View Full Version : Circuit of Reviewers Tenor Uke - Poll #1

03-22-2013, 01:29 AM
Moving forward, I'm going to look for some suggestions and preferences for the choices of woods and features to be used in the tenor that I will be building for the Circuit of Reviewers.

Starting with wood choices for the Back and Sides...

03-22-2013, 03:39 AM
If you choose "Other", please post the wood of choice in this thread... Thanks!

03-22-2013, 03:54 AM
I'd like to see either koa or Indian rosewood.

03-22-2013, 06:23 AM
I voted for Tasmanian Blackwood as it's the only not endangered wood out of the three listed.

Sustainability must be no. 1 deciding factor when choosing your tonewood, IMHO.

03-22-2013, 06:42 AM
I voted for Tasmanian Blackwood as it's the only not endangered wood out of the three listed.

Sustainability must be no. 1 deciding factor when choosing your tonewood, IMHO.

Actually, the Cuban Mahogany I get is from a family-owned and run plantation where it's harvested and new seedlings are planted. They understand the value of the wood from all perspectives, and take pains to preserve it and plant where they can. Otherwise, I would tend to agree. African Mahogany is not endangered from all the information I have. OTOH, the old forests where Tasmanian Blackwood grows are under constant threat from developers from what my contacts there have relayed. One could say the same about Koa, since it's only native to the Hawaiian Islands. So at what point do we shut off our use for these woods? In truth, musical instruments are the smallest segment of the consumer groups that use these woods.

03-22-2013, 08:13 AM
Here (http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/restricted-and-endangered-wood-species/) is where I got my information. Where koa is actually listed as not endangered.

I think that the responsibility should lay on buyers, as long as there is demand there will always be builders ready to fulfill any kind of request. So I guess that you should not shut off use of these woods, but people should shut off demand. At least that is what I tend to do.

I wasn't in any way trying to accusing you of anything, I was simply explaining the reason of my choice in your poll. :)

Edit: based on what you said my choice would be cuban mahogany.

Edit 2: maybe I should of said that I voted for Tasmanian Blackwood as it's the more sustainable of the three and not "the only not endangered wood out of the three listed"

03-22-2013, 09:56 AM
FYI, I never took any offense at what you said, and agree that using sustainable woods is preferred. I have some small amount of pre-ban Brazilian Rosewood, and even that I feel I will never use except for personal instruments. Feeding a frenzy for an endangered species is never a good thing.
The fact that the family responsible for for the plantation of the Cuban Mahogany have a good supply and are buying more land and planting more trees does not remove the wood from the endangered species list nor from being actually endangered. But it does make me feel ok in using it knowing that they are working hard to do their part to both supply a need/demand for the material and also providing for the future of the species. It's pretty admirable in my book. Compare that to what Brazil is doing for the rosewood there (or rather, "isn't" doing) it is downright refreshing. There is still lots of Tasmanian Blackwood, and there are folks who sell the wood that they find that has only fallen down in the forest, rather than cutting more wood. Or, if others are developing areas of the country and are taking down trees, they try to rescue the wood from the wood chippers. Certainly, if it must come down, being made into an instrument is a far better use of the wood than mulch. I have some pretty spectacular Tassy Blackwood, and the thought that it could have been turned into mulch horrifies me!

Like these: Imagine these not becoming ukes....(shudder)


hawaii 50
03-22-2013, 01:58 PM
curly flamed Koa

Dan Uke
03-22-2013, 02:21 PM
African Blackwood

03-22-2013, 02:22 PM
I don't have a strong opinion on this but I did answer "other" and would like to see Black Walnut just because I liked it on a mountain dulcimer that I had and it's a non-endangered North American tonewood.

mm stan
03-22-2013, 02:57 PM
Milo, Koa, Mahaogany.....top three

03-22-2013, 03:17 PM
Definitely Kou

03-22-2013, 03:30 PM
Curly Koa happens to be my favorite wood in the whole wide world as far as its pure beauty of color and figure. There is nothing else like it. Tasmanian Blackwood may be a close cousin, but it's color is just less....spectacular.

I've been trying for awhile to find a supply of curly Koa in the region, but it seems virtually impossible to get. Even guitar sets are in short supply. I used to be able to get lots of it at reasonable prices, but my past sources are dry, and another source is not responding. So, I've almost given up hope of being able to obtain more. Consequently, I'm reluctant to use what I have for this particular project. Certainly, the Tasmanian Blackwood is much more widely available, and may end up what gets used here.

I've never been a big fan of black walnut, having grown up where it was relatively plentiful. It just always bored me, and seemed lifeless. Cherry was much nicer in my mind, and actually makes a decent tonewood as well, albeit much like maple in tone. It bends nicely though.

03-24-2013, 08:38 AM
Koa wood.....