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wood selection

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I am in the process of finalizing some wood choices for a custom ukulele to be built for me, and have settled on myrtle for the back and sides, and port orford cedar for the top.  Both have excellent tonal and resonance properties, and both (at least on paper) offer the right combination of a heavier, denser hardwood for the back and sides, and something light but stiff for the top soundboard.  Any guitar people out there can probably chime in, as well as any woodworkers.


The builder has even sent me some pics of some wood choices he has available.  I like the look of this particular one for its consistency and striping and overall lighter hue (see image2)




However, take a look at the board below, especially the left half, with its extravagant and bold flame like curl (see image 1)




Feel free to comment.  Feel free to also share your experiences working with different woods, whether it be with speakers, instruments/guitars, or in general.

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Went with that first board. It has a little bit of everything that good myrtle seems to offer - some flame, some curl and figure, and some striping. The finish will be a pore fill oil, which should really bring out the natural color and figure.

Went with a Koa binding, and an abalone rosette with abalone fret markers.



I went with a pair of luthiers from Oregon called covered bridge. Originally wanted mya-moe but the wait time is minimum 2 years. This should be maximum 12 weeks and getting heck of a value at $725 for a custom handcrafted uke using local Pacific Northwest wood.

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No worries. A big part of what you are paying and waiting for on a Mya moe is the marketing and reputation. There are numerous quality Luthiers and custom uke builders that are not as well known (covered bridge doesn't even have a website) yet will have just as good a tone, intonation, and overall playability as the big dogs. Mya moes probably have the best resale value and they are definitely super pretty and polished with an excellent finish and build quality, but that wait is just ridiculous. I'll own one some day and I'll keep my name on the wait list and pass the time away with other ukes.

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