View Full Version : Macassar ebony neck-- too heavy?

12-04-2011, 10:21 AM
Building a new tenor and was toying with the idea of using a solid highly striped Macassar ebony neck wih jet black gaboon ebony fingerboard. Am I asking for trouble making the neck so heavy or think it can be done and still make a comfortable uke?

Liam Ryan
12-04-2011, 01:52 PM
I guess to a large degree it will be a matter of opinion, with my opinion being that it will be too heavy. For me, a light uke is a good uke. Plus, you could use that piece of Macassar to make a whole bunch of pretty fretboards.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-04-2011, 01:55 PM
My two cents......Way too heavy. I don't even like to use African mahogany or sapele because I think that's too heavy.

12-04-2011, 02:03 PM
Thanks guys. Maybe Ill just go the standard route and get some red cedar then. Seems to be the consensus wood around these parts. Was hoping for a neck as pretty as the AAAAA koa I got for the body, but I definitely enjoy a light uke as well. I played an acoustic guitar with macassar neck and it was fine, but that is a much heavier instrument to begin with so makes sense it might not work for a uke.

Rick Turner
12-04-2011, 02:41 PM
Are you actually going from Macassar ebony to Western Red cedar (Thuja plicata) for a neck? Good luck!

If you want light and reasonably strong, use Spanish cedar...one of the cedrella species which is neither a true cedar nor Spanish...just to keep things interesting. Cedrella odorata is the most common...a great neck wood if you're looking for light weight.

12-04-2011, 02:54 PM
yeah I misspoke, I meant spanish cedar. Good call.

12-05-2011, 05:34 AM
I wouldn't use AAAAA koa until you have more build experience. Once you get your chops down, then you can use the fancy stuff.
AAAAA Koa can be difficult to bend.....It would be a shame to wast a nice set of koa because of inexperience.

I would strongly suggest that new builders resist using anything close to AAAAA sets.

I don't know how many builds you have under your belt, so if im out of line here......my apologies.

Ken W
12-05-2011, 02:37 PM
Are you actually going from Macassar ebony to Western Red cedar (Thuja plicata) for a neck? Good luck!

I've done three or four necks out of Western Red and they've turned out nice. I found a quartersawn board with nice tight grain at the local big box lumber store and used it for necks, bracing, and tops. These were my first ukes and I got a lot of bang for my buck with that board. The ukes are nice and light with good volume. That said, I recently picked up a nice Spanish cedar board and it's in line for necks in future builds.

Pete Howlett
12-05-2011, 03:49 PM
Visually great but totally unsound from a joinery perspective. Save your ebony - it will be the price of gold soon :)