Tenor Bearclaw and Koa Pineapple Ukulele

This new  Tenor Bearclaw and Koa Pineapple Ukulele shipped out yesterday.  This is the second instrument for Ken who actually provided the Koa wood for this build.  Originally he wanted a concert ukulele, thinking that the wood set gave me would only support an instrument of that size.  I gave him the option, though, of either the concert or the pineapple since they both have approximately the same dimensions with the exception of depth.  Ken opted for the pineapple.

tenor bearlaw and koa pineapple ukulele

Tenor bearclaw and koa pineapple ukulele.

The top is a very figured Alaskan Bearclaw Spruce (Alaska Specialty Woods).  The scratchier the better is my preference.  I prefer the vertical scratch, like here, for these small instruments.  I’ve bulked up on my selection of these great tops and have found no two to be an exact match.  Tonally, I believe they are all similar and I do believe they may be from the same log.

tenor bearclaw and koa pineapple ukulele

Bearclaw spruce–the scratchier the better!

Ken had quite a stash of old growth Koa from Hawaii at one time but has lightened the load with most of it going to Allied Lutherie.  I think this set was the last in his possession.

tenor bearclaw and koa pineapple ukulele

Customer provided Koa.

The build is complimented with sea foam green purfling accents and a paua abalone rosette.  The accent wood is African Zebra Wood which I have been using on almost all the pineapple builds.

ukulele backstrap

African Zebra Wood accents.

To spark up the look a bit I added a standard Pineapple Inlay on the head stock.  This is also the first instrument that I am using new sets of black Gotoh Tuners as opposed to the standard Gold that I have used for so many years.

ukulele headstock inlay

Pineapple headstock inlay of gold MOP and Paua abalone.


For strings, I opted for a set of Fremont Blacks with wound low “G”.  These strings were just starting to reach their potential when I packed the instrument up Sunday.  The sound is a little brighter than the warmer Romero low “G’s” that I have been using of late.  Very articulate.

Thas’ it gang–New Year and new Tenor Bearclaw and Koa Pineapple Ukulele!