View Full Version : Anyone ever worked with "claro" walnut?

07-21-2014, 04:47 PM
Hi everyone,

I've been looking around for back and side wood as I prepare for my first build, and I've come across some "claro" walnut on the LMII site. Anyone know about its workability? This is my first build and I'm nervous about side bending.


07-21-2014, 06:29 PM
No experience building ukes; however, I have an absolutely gorgeous one in claro walnut. Sounds great too!!!

Pete Howlett
07-21-2014, 08:37 PM
It bends easily, works well and takes a great oil finish.

07-22-2014, 02:11 AM
Claro walnut works like koa and sounds great too. One of my favorite woods.

07-22-2014, 03:49 AM
Great choice for a first build, and bends easier than mahogany and koa (IMO).

07-22-2014, 06:17 AM

I'm not a luthier (nor do I play one on TV) but I have been thinking about getting my first custom made soon and I was leaning toward walnut. For those of you who've made ukes from claro walnut, do you do the entire body in walnut or use something different for the top (and if so, what)?

Thanks much!

07-22-2014, 06:22 AM
has been used on some of the world's best custom rifle stocks.

07-22-2014, 09:39 AM
I have not made an all walnut ukulele. For top wood i use cedar, spruce, or cvg fir. No reason why it would not work, they use koa and mahogany on some of the best old ukes.

Michael Smith
07-22-2014, 12:03 PM
I too prefer a softwood top of Doug Fir, Cedar, Cypress, Spruce, Redwood etc..

07-22-2014, 01:56 PM
I'm with the others, claro is a lovely wood. More forgiving than koa and holds a bend much better than mahogany. Walnut topped guitars are fine, can't speak for ukes yet.

07-22-2014, 02:31 PM
The claro concerts I've done worked out fine. They are sweet and smooth, but not as loud as some. Walnut can be less stiff than some other woods but, of course, individual pieces vary quite a bit. On the concerts, I used three rather than two tone bars, but of smaller sectional size than usual.

Ditto on the bending characteristics. No drama there.

For a first build, don't worry too much about what wood you are using. Keep it light, don't overbuild, don't rush and enjoy the process of making it all come together. Chances are that you will end up with a pretty nice instrument.

07-22-2014, 04:37 PM
Thanks all for the replies. I am SO GLAD to hear that claro walnut bends easily. Less to worry about for me. I'm planning on a spruce top for this uke, and from what the replies have been, it sounds like this should be a fine combo.
Also, anyone know of any simple molds that can be built with hand tools, because I sadly don't have access to power tools, and part of the terms for this project (since it's my school "senior challenge" project) is that I will be building with hand tools. I've looked at some of the mold making tutorials and they all seem rather daunting for hand tools.

Pete Howlett
07-23-2014, 03:40 AM
Try a boat paddle design.....

07-23-2014, 01:24 PM
The claro concerts I've done worked out fine.

At least one worked out more than fine. :)

My others are being neglected most of the time since I got the claro concert.

07-23-2014, 07:07 PM
See here the thread about one of my homemade uke, a Claro Walnut soprano.
Alle the buiding story
with many pics, close up and so
on my web site.
Bending sides is realy without any problem.