What wood will absolutely not work as a soundboard?

RyRod

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If, when, where, who, and how I get my next custom I want something different than cedar/spruce/koa.

I'm thinking dark and slightly figured....

Gracias Amigos!
 
Natalie Wood.
 
Balsa might be a bit soft for the neck :eek: Olive might present knotty problems for the soundboard :eek:

Scrap hard woods are often cheap and make superb instruments. They often have a style all of their own. Old furniture and even old packing cases or trunks can provide suitable wood for small instruments. I made my hammered dulcimer from a hardwood frame and used plywood panelling for the sound board. I was told that this was a great idea since a good hardwood produces far too many harmonics for a hammered dulcimer. Inspired? No I was just too broke, at the time, to go for decent wood :rolleyes:
 
Good to see you've your priorities right for uke design. Personally I'd rather consider getting the uke sounding like I want rather than looking a certain way. Any and all of the tried and true uke top woods (and there are plenty- plenty more than any other stringed instruments) can be used to make very nice, if different, sounding instuments.

PS I really wanted to give a stupid answer but couldn't think of anything funny enough (top marks to Ken).
 
It appears that I made my question too open ended.....

Natalie Wood.

Cork won't work very well

unamused.jpg


I couldn't help but chuckle a little bit though.




One darker timber that is a lovely tonewood is Tasmanian blackwood.
You might also consider black heart sassafrass
Here is a link:

http://tasmaniantonewoods.com/tonewood-data

Thanks for a decent answer.

Good to see you've your priorities right for uke design. Personally I'd rather consider getting the uke sounding like I want rather than looking a certain way. Any and all of the tried and true uke top woods (and there are plenty- plenty more than any other stringed instruments) can be used to make very nice, if different, sounding instuments.

PS I really wanted to give a stupid answer but couldn't think of anything funny enough (top marks to Ken).

First, thanks for not giving a stupid answer.

Honestly, I'm not worried about the sound. The guy I have in mind has made me one spectacular sounding instrument already and I'm sure he could make something from Home Depot sing.

Thanks for the input.
 
Might it not make more sense to ask what woods DO work as soundboards that have a certain range of aesthetic factors you like? Color, relative dark to light balance, amount of figure, whether you'd accept stain or paint or sunburst...that kind of stuff.
 
Burl.

But if you like dark and slightly figured, redwood can be great.
 
June 11 060.jpg

I love cherry. This is some perfectly quartersawn cherry that has much more figure than shows up in this picture. It darkens beautifully over time and has a nice rich tone. It's also easy to find in my neck of the woods.
 
The trouble with burled wood is that there is very little structural integrity.

But I second the motion on cherry...it's beautiful stuff.
 
My first build used Australian Sheoak for the entire body. Beautiful wood and sounds good too.
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Believe it or not, there was a time when answers were not quite so snarky here...

Humorous, yes, but snarky, no...
 
The Mya-Moe site has great samples and Char, Gordon & Aaron make some great instruments.
 
Can't imagine fossilized wood would work too well.
 
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