Okay gang! Here’s one for the books. This is the Teredo Worm Concert Ukulele custom. The sound board is a heavily damaged piece of Alaskan Sitka Spruce–no need for a sound hole here. There are a couple of guitars floating around the world with this look; but, to my knowledge, this is the first ukulele–a long neck concert.
How many sound holes are really necessary?
The holes are made by the Teredo Worm which is the famous ship worm which has plagued the wooden ships of the of world through today. They are big, ugly suckers and can do an excessive amount of damage. Brent at ASW says that there is no end to the infestation in fallen trees left to the ocean. He says the wood is really nasty to process with shells,calcium deposits and worm pieces-parts in the worm holes. I totally agree. Keeping with the theme, I left every bit of detritus that I could find in the wood.
Aaargh! Teredo Worm.
My client, being fascinated with this wood, wanted a concert ukulele made from it. She purchased the wood on her own from Alaska Specialty Woods . I think she coudln’t have found a piece of wood with more holes and water damage for this small instrument. I had to both laugh and cry while building since there is not one step that doesn’t provide an unusual challenge.
Teredo worms do provide a unique appearance.
The back and sides are California Claro Walnut and the neck is a piece of my 100 year old “pier piling” douglas fir from San Diego bay. The neck wood doesn’t have worms because it was encased in cement.
California claro walnut for the back and sides.
The pictures are worth more than words so I’m cutting this one short. Oh, you ask, what about the sound? The uke is totally playable. I would have liked a bit more volume and warmth but the sustain is there and it favors treble notes a bit more than bass. That said, I have purchased some more of this unusual wood for future builds; but, with fewer holes.
That’s it– the Teredo Worm Concert Ukulele. Go worms!