My daughter ordered the Keali’i Koa Super Tenor Ukulele. She said to just make it nice and left the rest to me. Hmmmmm!
Classic Koa look.
For this build I decided to go back to some basics with a plain Koa look. Well, I guess that this Koa is not that plain looking. Some of the world’s best known Hawaiian builders use Hearne Hardwoods as their source of Koa wood. Fortunately for me, they don’t buy this look in Koa–to busy, not enough curl, too much curl, curl not straight, too much sap wood. I really don’t know but it definitely works for me.
Strong sap wood contrast in this rift sawn Koa.
Other than the custom inlay work by inlay artist to the stars Craig Lavin, I kept the build on the simple side. I wanted to showcase the Koa more than anything. I used dark blue and black fiber as purfling accents and for the rosette of Paua Abalone. That’s about it.
Custom inlay from Craig Lavin.
The headstock inlay is the logo for the Ku Kia’i Mauna movement in Hawaii.
Ku Kia’i Mauna LOGO headstock.
The accent wood is Asian Satin Wood Burl. I also added black Gotoh planetary tuners and Pepe Romero’s tenor low “G” strings to complete. The sound is classic “ono” Koa.
Satin Wood Burl back strap and black Gotoh tuners.
The Keali’i Koa Super Tenor Ukulele–definitely a fun build!