The Vader Tenor Uke
The Vader Tenor Uke was delivered late last year. I don’t usually give my projects names but sometimes it just happens. It just struck me that way from the start. I do recall that The Force Awakens was showing on the tele about the time the I was jointing the top and back.
The request was for the darkest Koa that I had in stock. This was the last of numerous salvage sets from the big island of Hawaii that I previously posted with similar appearances. This set exhibited good color, curl and some sapwood spalt as well.
An asymmetric sound hole was requested which I haven’t used in a couple of years. I think the big advantages here are not just visual but structural. For one, I get to move the horizontal brace which is normally just above my center sound hole design up even more. In addition, this brace gets a little angle to it but is now just beneath the asymmetric sound hole. The result is a bigger, more active sound board. I still use an “X” brace and feel this provides the necessary support while allowing for more action and sound board vibration. The result seems to be an instrument with more sustain. Being critical though, I believe the volume is about the same as the center sound hole design. Side port of course.
The Vader Tenor Uke is accented with dark Tasmanian Black Wood and the binding is black African Ebony without purfling embellishments. We just wanted to keep with that “dark” theme. The finger board and bridge are ebony species. The tuners are Gotoh 4:1 planetary.
I know, I’m going to take some heat for this one! “May the force be with you.”