«Wana’ao»

This is an eight-string (taro patch) ukulele with a baked spruce top and bubinga back and sides. The fretboard, bridge, headplate and heel are ovangkol.

I was planning to send this ukulele to my brother, who lives on Kauai, but as it turns out I won’t be able to after all. Bubinga has been added to the list of protected species under CITES and the export from Europe to the US would require extensive documentation that I just don’t have. I actually bought this wood ages ago, but nobody bothered with registration and documentation back then, as long as it wasn’t Brazilian rosewood. So, this one probably won’t ever make it to Kauai, or anywhere else outside of Europe. The “replacement” for my brother is going to be made with German plum wood, and I am going to document the wood in detail, including the precise location where the tree stood, the age of the tree, the date, time and moon phase when it was felled…

I put Aquila Lava strings in Lili’U / taro patch tuning on it to start with, that is G3-G4, C4-C5, E4-E4, A4-A4. I’m not sure I like the high C, however, so I may drill another hole for a low C string and just keep the octave tuning on the G.

And now, as always, the list of details:

  • Top: baked German spruce
  • Back and sides: bubinga
  • Neck: alder with ovangkol heel
  • Head plate: ovangkol
  • Fretboard and bridge: ovangkol, fretboard with 16″ radius
  • Rosette: bubinga with wenge rings
  • Armrest: bubinga
  • Binding: mystery wood, could be mahogany…

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