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Message started by William_Thompson on Nov 21st, 2004 at 7:21pm

Title: uke builder wanted
Post by William_Thompson on Nov 21st, 2004 at 7:21pm
:) I have a piece of Myrtle that is fiddle back,  full figure - all four sides that has been drying since 1982. Rather than using it as a gun stock, I would rather have it made into a ukulele.  

I live in Salem, Oregon, but shipping is not a problem.

Anyone do this, or know someone who does?

Title: Re: uke builder wanted
Post by hapakid on Nov 22nd, 2004 at 7:24pm
Because your wood is in a solid block, you'll need to find a luthier with the equipment to resaw, plane and thickness sand the wood you already have. That eliminates many luthiers who depend on wood suppliers to sell ready-to-build wood sets.
If you commission a well-known luthier, meaning ukes ranging from $900 and up, it might actually cost more because of the milling process.  
Perhaps an amateur or small-time builder might take this on.  
Good luck. It should turn out to be a beautiful instrument.
Jesse Tinsley
Maker of crude ukuleles

Title: Re: uke builder wanted
Post by William_Thompson on Nov 22nd, 2004 at 7:45pm
what means a crude uke? Just because I have this gorgeous piece of Myrtle I have been packing around since 82 doesn't mean that is the only uke I want.

Title: Re: uke builder wanted
Post by hapakid on Nov 23rd, 2004 at 6:59am
Hi William,
I am a uke newbie, so I could never do justice to your piece of myrtlewood, plus I don't have the milling equipment either.
I saw a myrtle uke online at Kanile'a's website:
Mine are pretty simplistic:
Sorry I'm not much help. But you might also try www.4thpeg.com and www.ukuleleguild.org to find a willing uke luthier.
Jesse Tinsley

Title: Re: uke builder wanted
Post by William_Thompson on Nov 24th, 2004 at 8:55am
methinks you sell yourself too short. Your uke looked quite functional. The wood can be amazing, but if a uke does not play well, it is an art piece to grace a wall.

do you make soprano ukes? Are you interested in making one, or selling what you might already have on hand.    Shall we take this discussion off post?


Title: Re: uke builder wanted
Post by William_Thompson on Dec 4th, 2004 at 11:50am
sorry I am just mainland haole, but will trade $$$ for a soprano uke which plays well.

Title: Re: uke builder wanted
Post by hapakid on Dec 4th, 2004 at 1:47pm
Hi William,
I think someone here is worthy of the project, though most of us are beginners and aren't ready for a formal commission yet.  I have built one soprano so far, but it was so overbuilt, it's virtually unplayable. It looks nice on my shelf. In some ways, the soprano is a more challenging instrument to build, even though it take small pieces of wood.  The wood has to be thinner, more accurately finished and is more easily damaged by handling during building.
I started building because, like you, I just wanted a decent uke to play that didn't cost me $300 or more.  Now I've got $1000 in tools and several okay ukes to play, but I've also gained even more respect for skilled luthiers.
Good luck finding the right builder for your project.  
Jesse Tinsley

Title: Re: uke builder wanted
Post by Road_Toad on Dec 11th, 2004 at 9:14am
You can also check with Michael DaSilva out of Oakland, CA (ukemaker.com). He makes some of the nicer sopranos I've seen. I used myrtle before on ukes 7 & 8 and it is really easy to work with. Bends easy, even with fiddleback figure. It's similar in density to koa, but with less open grain, so it is easier to finish. It looks a lot like mango in shades of gold, olive & grey instead of cream & brown. I'm sure if your piece is the right size, it can be made into a great uke. Good luck.


Road Toad

Title: Re: uke builder wanted
Post by kingkimo64 on Dec 13th, 2004 at 2:23pm
Hey william get in touch with Bruce at notable woods in oregon.He can point you in the right direction.Or contact dave means at glypn ukes but expect to wait.You gonna pay a heavy price for a custom made uke by any of the bigg guns.Heres a thought fly over and learn to build your own hana lima rules!Good luck buddy. ;D

Title: Re: uke builder wanted
Post by Bud on Jun 7th, 2006 at 7:50pm

Thanks for posting your pics... Man, your quite talented...
I especially was taken by your application of Sharks Teeth... hehe.. could be a dangerous venture to play one of those..  :o


I too have some myrtle wood planks... I have determined to take them down Cali way to my Father-in-law who builds and has some connections with some guys that resaw and sand... Im not sure how much it will cost......but I guess Ill find out... I feel more comfortable with him as he knows the dimensions and all that is needed.. It would be hard to explain and get someone around here to to do it.. Im sure I wouldnt communicate it correctly and it would get messed up... and I dont want that wood to get wasted...
Hope William was able to find some someone to help him out.. I know its been a couple of years on this post..


Title: Re: uke builder wanted
Post by hawtin47 on Jul 10th, 2006 at 3:38pm
Hi Bill,

You might want to check out a meeting of the Salem Ukulele Strummers Association...they are off until September 10, but one of their members (Darryl Hanson) makes some nice ukes. He's a real nice guy and his contact info is on their site. He's built with myrtle before.

I live in Stayton, but work in Salem.

Chek out their web site:


Aloha -


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