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Thread: Fretboard and neck wood, opinions?

  1. #11
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    Feb 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerneltime View Post
    Which maple did you use? Is the neck heavy? How heavy is the overall uke? Why maple?
    Please forgive me, but I misspoke. My neck isn't maple. It is English walnut. I will answer the questions for walnut.

    My neck is English walnut and it is rather dark with black straight-grain striations. I actually smells really good.

    The weight is negligible. After all, it is a ukulele. I don't notice any weight, but I use a strap 100% of the time.

    Why English walnut? Because the builder suggested it, and that suggestion fit into the theme of an all-British uke.

    Lastly, since you are contemplating necks, think about the shape of the neck. I had never given neck shapes a single thought. Fortunately, my ukulele came with a flattened neck. I never would have requested such a thing, but now that I have it, I simply love it. Flat makes so much more sense than round for a resting place for your thumb. Whether you agree or not is not important. What's important is to realize that there are different neck shapes to choose from.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post

    Lastly, since you are contemplating necks, think about the shape of the neck. I had never given neck shapes a single thought. Fortunately, my ukulele came with a flattened neck. I never would have requested such a thing, but now that I have it, I simply love it. Flat makes so much more sense than round for a resting place for your thumb. Whether you agree or not is not important. What's important is to realize that there are different neck shapes to choose from.
    I agree, and Shawn has a vid on the topic.

  3. #13
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    Aug 2016
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    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
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    Well I'm going to be a bit of a contrarian here and suggest synthetic "plastic" Richlite for the fretboard. Gibson now uses it on even high end guitars, and without close inspection it is hard to tell it from ebony. It never wears out, doesn't dent, doesn't need conditioning, and best of all it doesn't shrink, so you'll never get fret sprout.
    Last edited by besley; 12-09-2019 at 07:23 AM.
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
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  4. #14
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    Jun 2018
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    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    I have an Oya tenor made of quilted maple with a Sitka spruce top. It has a maple neck with a Cocobolo fretboard. The neck is a flattened "D" shape and is fast and easy to play. Even with a gloss finish. (I did a NUD on it a while ago.)

    1 Front-crop.jpg 1 Back-crop.jpg

    Overall, I prefer a close-grain ebony or rosewood fretboard, but those are getting rare to find. The grains are not as tight as they used to be as demand has gone up. But the Cocobolo on the Oya tenor also works well and looks great.

    I've read good things about the Richlite fretboards, but have no experience with them.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

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  5. #15
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    For looks, that curly mahogany might be the best. I usually just let the builder select the neck material, but my visual preference is curly maple.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  6. #16

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    I have experience with Mahogany, Spanish Cedar, and Butternut for necks. I like the Spanish Cedar and Butternut better than the Mahogany for looks. Mahogany tends to have a reddish tone to me, and I like the lighter, earthier tones of the other two woods better. If you look at the Petros NUD from a couple days ago that you commented on, it has the Butternut neck in case you wanted to go back and look. It's lightweight and I think would work well with your wood choices, as would the Spanish Cedar.

    I only have experience with black ebony fretboards, but I really like the look of the maple fretboards that Mya-Moe uses on their Cascade Series ukes. It's against the norm but might offer a neat contrast to your wood choices. You can just Google Mya-Moe Cascade Series, and some pics will come up if you wanted to take a look.

    No matter what you choose, the earthtone cedar and pheasantwood should make a great paring.

    Good luck, and I look forward to seeing the finished product.

  7. #17
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    Dec 2010
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    I like striped maple the best for necks. Cocobolo is my fave for fretboards, by far.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

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