My Favorite Time of the Build

I’m sure every luthier has a certain time in the build process that he enjoys the most.  For me, this would be after the instrument body comes out of the mold and at the first application of sealer.  If  I could just quit at this moment it would be perfect.   It is at this time that I can get an idea of just what the final instrument might look like, feel like and possible sound like.

Here are a couple of instruments freshly sanded and sealed.  The top instrument is a Claro Walnut that I have recently acquired (honestly, I couldn’t say no to this wood–I  have three more sets). and the bottom instrument is constructed of Tasmanian Blackwood (Koa’s southern hemisphere brother).  The tops’s on these instruments  are 60 year+ sitka spruce from the Gibson Factory on the Walnut (I kept the age stain as evidence), and Tasmanian Blackwood on the Tasmanian Blackwood body.  I purchased the Tasmanian Blackwood from Gilmer Woods in Oregon.  Trust me!  I have been looking at this wood for over 18 years.  This wood was originally guitar sets that never sold or were not matched and on my last trip to the PNW I asked Marc to make me an offer on the lot–perfect for ukulele projects.  I don’t like to stain or tint the natural beauty of wood, I don’t care how many defects.  As our supplies of natural products are limited,  I think that this is extremelyimportant.  Let the natural beauty and age show through!  I think that the Walnut instrument will be warm and full while the Blackwood instrument will trend toward a brighter sound–keep posted for the final photos.