View Full Version : Question for builders

10-12-2011, 09:51 PM
Have any of you ever used Albezia wood for your uke tops? I was told years ago by a builder that it had excellent tonal qualities. Was this guy off his rocker? He compared the tonal qualities I believe to Korina. Sure is easy to attain in Hawaii and super lightweight. And they grow practically overnight. Just a thought.

10-13-2011, 05:55 AM
Take some to a local builder and have him take a look first hand. Sounds like it could have some possibilities - although the Korina comparison surprises me a bit.

Tacote, for example, is an excellent Latin American (mainly Mexican) soundboard material, very light and strong. The Albezia could be an Hawaiian wood of similar property.

10-13-2011, 06:30 AM
I've never make a uke with it, of course. But I have done a lot of artistic carving with it. I think it would be a good choice. It is beautiful wood. I think it has a similar structure to mohagany, but with the light weight of cedar. Here is a link to a carving I made from abezia: Lizzard in frame (http://www.theleewardlounge.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=6&category_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=3)

10-13-2011, 08:15 PM
Why don't you give it a try? At least resaw a piece and see if it has any tap tone..

10-15-2011, 12:06 PM
Soprano ukes are a snap to build. Just build one with whatever wood, then do a show-and-tell for the rest of us. You'll be the automatic expert. To me there are only two varieties of hardwood, softer than EIR, and harder than EIR. Anything softer than EIR will probably make an OK top for instruments with a limited bass response (small ukes, dulcimers, etc.) Anything in the EIR range or harder will likely have limited response in range and volume. Just a quick way to line up the stranger varieties of wood we come across. I pretty much depend on the weight and thumbnail test to decide whether to make a top of a given wood. Instruments with a wide tonal response range probably need spruce tops. Guitars with mahogany or walnut tops look beautiful but usually sound too dry to me.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-15-2011, 12:33 PM
We have a ton of albezia growing here, it's really a pest and it is readily available. I've never considered it because the grain is so twisty. It looks like it would want to move around a lot after it was cut.

Pete Howlett
10-15-2011, 10:21 PM
Sopranos are NOT a snap to build!

10-16-2011, 07:59 AM
Sopranos are NOT a snap to build!
Ha, I have to agree with you on this one Pete as I'm having fits with one right now.

10-16-2011, 11:37 AM
Sorry, Pete, but compared to a guitar or a banjo, sopranos are a total piece of cake.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-16-2011, 12:29 PM
Sorry, Pete, but compared to a guitar or a banjo, sopranos are a total piece of cake.

To build maybe. But to get them to sound great, I'd have to disagree.

10-16-2011, 03:14 PM
Guys, it's nothing I want to fight about. I live in a cultural hole, and if there is a quality uke in the area I've not been exposed to it. But I'm happy with the way my ukes are turning out, and I have to say that they are the easiest instruments to build of all that I've attempted.