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View Full Version : Brad Donaldson Matching ukulele build Koa Sinker Redwood.



MARCOVGV
10-23-2012, 04:14 AM
Ok so i decided to create a build thread for the two matching ukuleles i am having made by Brad Donaldson. I am shipping him the wood today. I hope to update this thread every so often as it progresses. If you have any ideas or input feel free to share.

Details:
Back and sides: Curly Koa, I dont really know the grade Im sure Brad will be able to enlighten us. Looks amazing though.
Top: Sinker redwood
Size: tenor
Tuning machines: ??? waverly , maybe gotoh

This koa set was originally intended to be a fingerstyle acoustic guitar. This was before my addiction to the ukulele. What I have done is measure/map it out and it seems that i can get two tenor ukulele back and sides out of this set. I am using the pieces originally intended for the sides as the backs for the ukes. and the piece intended to be the back of the acoustic guitar will now be ripped into side pieces for the new ukes. Now this is all speculation and from my measurements should work but we will see what Brad says once he sees the wood and my markings.

Sides with a tenor uke template i made. The template is based on a acoustic guitar body shape designed by Andrewwhiteguitars.com I saw and heard one in person and it was one of the most aesthetically pleasing guitars ive seen. its a unique shape but Im not really set on any particular body shape for these yet. so we will see. Its funny but I had not looked at the wood in a very long time and I had totally forgotten about the templates so I snapped a pic. Let me know what you think
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc286/marcovgv/20121022_224834.jpg

original acoustic back that i envision cutting into 4 pieces for the uke sides.
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc286/marcovgv/20121022_224910.jpg

head plate and tail cap pieces
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc286/marcovgv/20121022_225441.jpg

sinker redwood tops. i have two matching sets of each one shown left and right. I think I am going with the one on the left. I love the striping and SWMBO says she likes better than the one on the right so who am I to argue. eventually Ill find some more nice koa and make two more matching ukuleles with the remaining redwood tops i have.
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc286/marcovgv/20121022_224333.jpg

MARCOVGV
10-23-2012, 04:15 AM
more pics
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc286/marcovgv/20121022_195224.jpg

kaizersoza
10-23-2012, 05:55 AM
how long do you have to wait for the build to begin MARCOVGV?

PhilUSAFRet
10-23-2012, 05:59 AM
Those are going to be some amazing sounding, drop-dead-gorgeous ukes. :drool:

MARCOVGV
10-23-2012, 06:14 AM
I have been on the schedule for a while. I dont have an exact date yet. I knew from the get go I had some time to really look around for nice soundboard material. now that the wood has been chosen and ready to go it still needs to sit and get used to that beautiful Washington weather! I have to talk details with Brad when hes ready, Im sure he will have questions for me. looking forward to finally getting started on this project.

PhilUSAFRet
10-23-2012, 06:24 AM
Where did you find the sinker redwood?

Wongo
10-23-2012, 06:32 AM
Looking forward to more progress reports. Very excited for you.

MARCOVGV
10-23-2012, 06:53 AM
I got the sinker redwood from a great lady by the name of Deana from http://www.luthierscooltools.com/Sinker_Gallery.htm

awesome people to deal with quick shipping and good communication. couldnt ask for better service.


Where did you find the sinker redwood?

bbycrts
10-23-2012, 07:21 AM
That sinker redwood is truly amazing stuff, and your ukes are going to be stunning!

I was visiting Brad the weekend before last - we were tapping a sinker top and it just rang and rang and rang (it also came from luthierscooltools).

I have a custom that Brad built for me and love it to death...you will be well pleased!

keliiyama
10-23-2012, 08:33 AM
Lovely stuff!!! That wood is PREMIUM!

laundromatt
10-23-2012, 08:36 AM
Where did you get the koa?

MARCOVGV
10-23-2012, 08:44 AM
My dad gave it to me it came from Bruce at www.Notablewoods.com

mm stan
10-23-2012, 09:55 AM
It's between set 1 and 3 for me anyday....wow brad is back making ukes....hope things have improved for him and family...

MARCOVGV
11-15-2012, 10:33 AM
What looks like a set is actually the headplate pieces. both ukes are already laidout. Brad now has the wood and its sitting getting used to the climate for now. he should start work on it soon!!

BigSkyUkuleleGirl
11-15-2012, 12:41 PM
Nice, I am on Brad's list and can't wait for him to begin mine. I have 3 koa guitars so I'm kinda thinking a koa ukulele. Although myrtle is very pretty too. I am getting nervous thinking that when my turn comes I won't know what to do.

coolkayaker1
11-15-2012, 05:08 PM
Nice, I am on Brad's list and can't wait for him to begin mine. I have 3 koa guitars so I'm kinda thinking a koa ukulele. Although myrtle is very pretty too. I am getting nervous thinking that when my turn comes I won't know what to do.
You haven't heard from Brad yet either, BigSkyGirl. I think you and I were on his list roughly the same time based on our old emails. October 2011 is when we got on the list, if my emails serve me right.

BigSkyUkuleleGirl
11-16-2012, 04:23 AM
You haven't heard from Brad yet either, BigSkyGirl. I think you and I were on his list roughly the same time based on our old emails. October 2011 is when we got on the list, if my emails serve me right.

Yeah, his schedule got pushed back and it actually works out for me - I just added a Taylor K66ce to my collection so that has been keeping me occupied. I can't help but be anxious tho' I am looking forward to my turn.

bonesigh
11-16-2012, 05:50 AM
Those are going to look awesome! Gee, I just looked back at my emails and I ordered a uke from Brad almost a year ago. Jan 6th. I last talked with him on October 23rd and things are going much better for him. I can't wait for mine but no word on exactly when and if it has been started yet.

It's going to be a pineapple shape, also wedge shaped with myrtle and Honduran mahogany. But nothing is set in stone yet. I just know I'm gonna love it! My first custom!

Dan Uke
11-16-2012, 06:10 AM
Brad is awesome to work with! Mine might be the last one he's finished...at least, reviewed on UU!!

BigSkyUkuleleGirl
11-16-2012, 06:32 AM
Those are going to look awesome! Gee, I just looked back at my emails and I ordered a uke from Brad almost a year ago. Jan 6th. I last talked with him on October 23rd and things are going much better for him. I can't wait for mine but no word on exactly when and if it has been started yet.

It's going to be a pineapple shape, also wedge shaped with myrtle and Honduran mahogany. But nothing is set in stone yet. I just know I'm gonna love it! My first custom!

Hi Bonesigh - I am just up the road from you near DC and got on Brad's list last fall. I too want to order a pineapple shape so it sounds like we will have similar ukes. Do you get with the NoVA Uke Ensemble?

Sorry to OP for hijack - please keep us posted on the progress. I hear such great things about Brad as both luthier and person but there are not alot of pics here (or maybe I just don't know how to search for them).

laundromatt
11-16-2012, 12:10 PM
So does anyone know for sure if he's starting up again? For those of you who have heard from him recently, when were your instruments scheduled to be completed originally?

I ordered an ukulele a while back that was supposed be built by next month, and would like a rough idea of when it will actually be done. But, given his situation, I don't want to bug him if he's still working out his family problems.

Hopefully everyone on his list will get theirs soon!

Doc_J
11-16-2012, 12:42 PM
So does anyone know for sure if he's starting up again? For those of you who have heard from him recently, when were your instruments scheduled to be completed originally?

I ordered an ukulele a while back that was supposed be built by next month, and would like a rough idea of when it will actually be done. But, given his situation, I don't want to bug him if he's still working out his family problems.

Hopefully everyone on his list will get theirs soon!

Had an email from Brad on Sunday he said his family's situation had improved, and he was starting up building again. I have been on Brads build list since about one a year ago. Brad said he had some catching up to do, but would start mine soon.