NUD: reclaimed wood baritone

tonyturley

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Two years ago this month I was roaming our rural church property along an old road, looking for fallen or discarded trees for various projects. From the top of a short, steep ravine, I saw that a huge Maple tree had been cut up and dumped over the hillside. Scrambling down, it was not just Maple, but heavily spalted Silver Maple. Score!
I was able to cut and roll several decent size log segments up out of the ravine and to my car. Two of those were cut into turning blanks, and I've made a number of nice bowls, urns, and writing instruments. I knew from the beginning that the third was going to yield a ukulele. It took me over a year to hand resaw, mill, dry, and further mill that log into usable ukulele wood. Throw in some locally reclaimed Cherry and Black Walnut, and I am very pleased with the outcome. Strung it this evening, and right now it is tuned about a whole step down, giving the strings time to slowly come to pitch over the next week or so. Scale is 20 3/16" with an OA length of 30". This is the third I've built from this body mold, including a 19 3/8" baritone and an 18 1/8" 12 fret super tenor. Tuners are Gotoh UK700. Fretboard and bridge are oven roasted Osage Orange.


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Two years ago this month I was roaming our rural church property along an old road, looking for fallen or discarded trees for various projects. From the top of a short, steep ravine, I saw that a huge Maple tree had been cut up and dumped over the hillside. Scrambling down, it was not just Maple, but heavily spalted Silver Maple. Score!
I was able to cut and roll several decent size log segments up out of the ravine and to my car. Two of those were cut into turning blanks, and I've made a number of nice bowls, urns, and writing instruments. I knew from the beginning that the third was going to yield a ukulele. It took me over a year to hand resaw, mill, dry, and further mill that log into usable ukulele wood. Throw in some locally reclaimed Cherry and Black Walnut, and I am very pleased with the outcome. Strung it this evening, and right now it is tuned about a whole step down, giving the strings time to slowly come to pitch over the next week or so. Scale is 20 3/16" with an OA length of 30". This is the third I've built from this body mold, including a 19 3/8" baritone and an 18 1/8" 12 fret super tenor. Tuners are Gotoh UK700. Fretboard and bridge are oven roasted Osage Orange.


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WOW that is gorgeous! Fantastic work.
 
Being a diehard treehugger, I hate people who abuse trees like that. But you, sir, have made lemonade out of lemons. Very pretty ukulele, a true work of art from the heart.
 
Fantastic job on all accounts. I love the body shape you developed, the curve of the waist and flow of the lower bout is very elegant. I bet it sounds wonderful👍
 
Well, I've discovered a new tuning I like a lot. My strings for this instrument are a TI CF30 + Oasis GPX NT carbon trebles. I had originally planned to slowly tune this instrument to low G tuning. But it seemed to me as I was tuning the 1st string, the tension was already fairly high at G. So I decided to give it a try at F A# D G. I spent about an hour running through some of my favorite chord melodies this morning. The G still wants to go out of tune every 10 minutes or so, but the other strings are already settling in. I like the sound, especially plugged in. I'm already familiar with transposing on the fly as a former church band guitarist, so if I ever did play with someone else, using different chord shapes would be no problem. This gives me another ukulele tuning to explore.
 
Thanks for sharing! What a finely crafted instrument. Like the looks of the osage. Oven roasted sure looks like an interesting process. I've had some osage bows over the years and I've enjoyed watching them go from bright to a wonderfully mellow golden and sometime darker hue over time. Will the roasting halt or slow down this process?
 
very, very nice:D
 
Thanks for sharing! What a finely crafted instrument. Like the looks of the osage. Oven roasted sure looks like an interesting process. I've had some osage bows over the years and I've enjoyed watching them go from bright to a wonderfully mellow golden and sometime darker hue over time. Will the roasting halt or slow down this process?
That I do not know. I wrapped them in foil and baked them at 250F for 3 hours. The color change goes all the way through, not just on the surface. The process did not seem to hurt their structural integrity, but the tension on a bow is far greater than any uke. If you try that route, I'd recommend scuffing the mating surfaces of any lamination with sandpaper and cleaning the surfaces with alcohol or naphtha. That's what I did before gluing the fretboard and bridge.
 
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