A ukes made of oak?

Ukecaster

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Saw this one, made from a wood called Hawaiian Silky Oak. I can't recall seeing a uke made from oak.


Edit: oh, it's not an Oak at all, but another species, from Australia, apparently very invasive, which some call the poison Ivy of Hawaii. But, it looks attractive to me.
 
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Very pretty!

My 2014 Larrivee concert has a back and sides made of what the label declares is Silver Oak. According to a Jean Larrivee interview I read, it was his favorite tonewood.

Silver Oak is actually Grevillea Robusta, also called Silky Oak. It has a gorgeous figure that reminds me of sycamore. That’s fabulous that Kiwaya is using it.

As for true oak, it’s one of the woods Aaron Keim mentions, when he discusses his Kingdom Era research, as being available to early builders in Hawaii. I’m considering having my Kingdom Era soprano built from it. Something you don’t see, which makes me think I want it! 😊
 
I've seen Lanikai oak ukes on eBay a number of times.


Lanikai oak.jpg
 
I love the look of silky oak wood grain, and that's amazing that it's being turned into ukuleles. I have a delightful little wood turning by Australian Richard Raffan that's made from silky oak, and it's gorgeous. Good to know that it's a weed in Hawaii, so that's good it's being used for instruments.
 
Nasty stuff. Here is an AI-generated article:

Grevillea robusta spreads through seeds, root suckers, and winged seeds that are dispersed by the wind. Its leaves also produce a substance that can inhibit the growth of other species. The tree's early and prolific seed production, combined with these other factors, contribute to its invasive behavior.

Grevillea robusta has become invasive in many countries, including:
Australia, Brazil, Caribbean, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Mauritius, New Zealand, South Africa, and United States.

In Hawaii, for example, 2.1 million silky oak trees were planted for forestry over a 50-year period, and the tree is now considered one of the state's most invasive horticultural plants. The leaves and seeds drop in large quantities, creating a thick layer of debris, and the tree's strong roots can damage sidewalks, streets, and foundations.

Some methods for managing Grevillea robusta include:

Cutting: Can be effective

Chemicals: The tree is sensitive to triclopyr ester applied to frill cuts and/or basal bark, and is also susceptible to picloram and glyphosate

Biological: Goats can be effective at controlling the tree, and its foliage can be used as livestock fodder
Generative AI is experimental.
 
Maybe we will see a "rash" of new instruments using it
Rash is correct! It's so great to see "weed" trees put to good use however. Albeit their value as air purifiers is utmost.
 
My Larrivee. Gosh, what a pretty weed 😊

Makes me wonder what lovely grain is lurking amongst the things threatening to eat my backyard (Crape Myrtle, Rose of Sharon, and Jackson Vine, I’m looking at you…)
 

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We had Silk Oaks growing on a property I used to live on here in NorCal... It must not like it so much here because it wasn't taking over or growing heartily...
We had a few odd and rare oaks growing there... Oracle Oaks and some hard to identify hybrids. I never even considered making anything out of their woods... I may need to take a longer look at these trees!
 
I have one in the development stages right now that will have a back and sides made from curly Quercus alba which is commonly known as white oak and is the state tree of Illinois, where I was born. Even this tree can produce some stunning tonewood...
 

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I'd like to hear what you think of the sound of that oken uke. I have made three tenor ukes entirely from oak (red and white mix, reclaimed wood). I build to sell (Dave's Extravagant Ukuleles) and I have one in stock now, a couple years old that I just picked up today, and I think it has mellowed out some from earlier, when the sound seemed quite "bright" or sharpish, with the volume good but maybe a tad below a more conventional tone wood. Personally, I believe that almost ANY type of wood can be a viable "tone wood" if one is open to sound that varies from some preconceived ideal. Maybe this idea is not all that radical, at least in the uke world (which seems less hide-bound in attitude than other musical realms).
 
As for true oak, it’s one of the woods Aaron Keim mentions, when he discusses his Kingdom Era research, as being available to early builders in Hawaii. I’m considering having my Kingdom Era soprano built from it. Something you don’t see, which makes me think I want it! 😊
He's got a couple videos of ukuleles he's built with oak before and I love how they look and sound (really evocative of folk music IMO)! There's some Beansprout oak banjos out there with a great purple stain on them from their previous life as wine barrels too; I'm unsure if he still has a supply or if they'd be suitable for uke backs and sides, but it could be a fun and colorful fretboard. My own oak banjo's got a great warm and dusty sound. I'm honestly surprised it's not a super common tonewood.
 
He's got a couple videos of ukuleles he's built with oak before and I love how they look and sound (really evocative of folk music IMO)! There's some Beansprout oak banjos out there with a great purple stain on them from their previous life as wine barrels too; I'm unsure if he still has a supply or if they'd be suitable for uke backs and sides, but it could be a fun and colorful fretboard. My own oak banjo's got a great warm and dusty sound. I'm honestly surprised it's not a super common tonewood.
I checked out a couple of those videos from Keim, and he sure does make some gorgeous ukuleles, and his historical orientation, to me, is impressive and valuable. I see he doesn't use oak for the sound board--going along with the conventional wisdom about a certain number of softwoods (spruce, cedar, maybe redwood, etc.) being suitable for a soundboard. It's a prejudice, if I can use that word, taken over from guitar-building, a consensus of tradition, so to speak. I have no doubt that these particular woods have sound qualities that builders, composers, and players have come to prize above all others. But as far as my personal practice goes,I question the necessity of adhering to this particular traditional consensus in order to build a uke (or a guitar either) that is beautiful, playable, and with good volume and a pleasing tone. Uke building has freed itself to some extent from some quite narrow luthier ideas--by using Koa for soundboards, most notably, and also using maple and other highly figured woods--not to mention the popularity of some non-standard forms other than the figure-eight guitar shape.
 
I checked out a couple of those videos from Keim, and he sure does make some gorgeous ukuleles, and his historical orientation, to me, is impressive and valuable. I see he doesn't use oak for the sound board--going along with the conventional wisdom about a certain number of softwoods (spruce, cedar, maybe redwood, etc.) being suitable for a soundboard. It's a prejudice, if I can use that word, taken over from guitar-building, a consensus of tradition, so to speak. I have no doubt that these particular woods have sound qualities that builders, composers, and players have come to prize above all others. But as far as my personal practice goes,I question the necessity of adhering to this particular traditional consensus in order to build a uke (or a guitar either) that is beautiful, playable, and with good volume and a pleasing tone. Uke building has freed itself to some extent from some quite narrow luthier ideas--by using Koa for soundboards, most notably, and also using maple and other highly figured woods--not to mention the popularity of some non-standard forms other than the figure-eight guitar shape.
I wonder if the explanation here could be as simple as "nobody's asked him to build an all-oak ukulele yet", since it's not a super popular tonewood. The softwood top-hardwood back and sides seems popular now, anecdotally -- though I don't know if these ukes' owners primarily enjoy this build choice for tonal characteristics or due to the visual aesthetics.
 
I checked out a couple of those videos from Keim, and he sure does make some gorgeous ukuleles, and his historical orientation, to me, is impressive and valuable. I see he doesn't use oak for the sound board--going along with the conventional wisdom about a certain number of softwoods (spruce, cedar, maybe redwood, etc.) being suitable for a soundboard. It's a prejudice, if I can use that word, taken over from guitar-building, a consensus of tradition, so to speak. I have no doubt that these particular woods have sound qualities that builders, composers, and players have come to prize above all others. But as far as my personal practice goes,I question the necessity of adhering to this particular traditional consensus in order to build a uke (or a guitar either) that is beautiful, playable, and with good volume and a pleasing tone. Uke building has freed itself to some extent from some quite narrow luthier ideas--by using Koa for soundboards, most notably, and also using maple and other highly figured woods--not to mention the popularity of some non-standard forms other than the figure-eight guitar shape.
Beansprout sure does make amazing instruments. And I, too, am fascinated by Aaron’s Kingdom Era project. I’ve watched nearly all of his videos on the subject, and he does discuss the historical use of single woods such as koa and mahogany. For his KE builds, he offers such, as well as all myrtle if the customer desires. It’s not strictly a softwood-top thing. I love the options💜
 
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