View Full Version : sitka spruce as back and sides?

07-24-2014, 09:34 PM
I know spruce is great as a soundboard, but anyone try using it as back and sides with a different top hardwood?

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
07-25-2014, 07:01 AM
ive never seen an all spruce instrument.

Les Stansell does all Port Orford Cedar instruments though. Mya Moe may have too???

If flamenco guitars (back/sides) can be made from Spanish Cypress, i reckon spruce would work to.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-25-2014, 08:01 AM
I'm not sure I'd want the whole instrument to be that resonant. Denser back and sides would focus more energy to the softer sound board where you really want it.

07-25-2014, 08:29 AM
Peter Lieberman (Maui Music) has made a few all-cedar ukes.

07-25-2014, 08:45 AM
I have an ALL redwood concert I made (even the neck). It's unbelievably light, which is fun, but the sound is incredibly chimey. Like 12-string guitar chimey. I have Worth Browns on it to tone it down a bit. Not a typical sounding uke, but wonderful none the less. I think there's room for all kinds.

Of course OP is actually talking about softwood back and sides with a hardwood top. And I haven't tried that combo yet, but I think someone ought to. Would be interesting to hear.

07-25-2014, 08:46 AM
Duane Heilman has made at least one all-spruce Black Bear. Don't know what it sounds like.

07-25-2014, 02:22 PM
Duane Heilman has made at least one all-spruce Black Bear. Don't know what it sounds like.

I have made several all spruce instruments and they work very well. They only problem I has was bending the sides, well quartered spruce does not like to make tight bends, so I used very thin pieces to bend and glued them togther. Also, you have to make the back plate a little thicker than normal. Anything this different is harder to sell, so I only made the one uke.

While the sound was not that different than any spruce top uke, the couple of guitars I made of Sitka spruce bodied were very rich, good sounding instruments and I sold them right away. The guitars were very light in weight and had excellent volume and are still working fine today. Spruce is softer than hardwoods so you do have to take more care in handling them.

Michael N.
07-26-2014, 06:46 AM
Sitka spruce probably has a very similar density to Spanish Cypress and we do know that countless thousands of Flamenco Guitars have been built from that stuff. Occasionally it is used for Classical guitars. I even made a baroque Guitar from it. Absolutely no reason why you shouldn't try it.