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Black and White Swiss Moon Ukulele

It’s really nice to have friends in low places.  Last year, I received from a client and good friend several sets of Asian black and white ebony–sometimes called “moon ebony”.  Anxious to give it a go, I created this Black and White Swiss Moon Ukulele.  It’s a super tenor.

black and white swiss moon ukulele

“Lightning strike” bearclaw Swiss Moon spruce.

The wood story

I heard that Asian black and white ebony is not easy to work; and, I wasn’t disappointed!   It’s cracky, chippy and doesn’t want to glue that well.   But, it finishes like a dream!   I had my problems,  but the end result is very satisfactory.  Don’t the lessons just keep on coming?

black and white swiss moon ukulele

Asian black and white ebony back and sides.

This particular set of black and white ebony is the least figured of all the sets that I have but there is so much grain pattern and action that you would hardly notice.  Ryan Guitars showed a nice black and white ebony guitar paired with an ancient spruce top at NAMM this year–only $49,000.  Good thing I didn’t bring my check book?

For the top I used some new Swiss Moon Spruce that has Bear Claw figure.  I didn’t know that bear claw was common to this wood.  I used the only piece of vertical scratch that I received and I am calling it “lightning strike” bearclaw–very unusual.

black and white swiss moon ukulele

Bear claw Swiss Moon sound board with black and white ebony rosette.

The sound hole rosette is a matching black and white ebony.

I had some cool off-cut crinkle curl koa leftovers that I used for the binding and accent woods.  Simple, straight forward and no frills.

Curly koa accents.

Bottom line

The wood is expensive, difficult to work, kinda rare but it’s really a stunner.  It exhibits a very hard, reflective tap tone and when paired with a super sound board like this Swiss moon spruce it makes for a one-of-a-kind ukulele with excellent tonal qualities.  I don’t see any reason to change materials for future builds except for the possibility of a real dark Black Walnut neck and maybe some colored purfling accents.

Expect to see more of these Black and White Swiss Moon Ukulele beauties in the future.