Blister Koa Tenor Ukulele - Custom Build

Here’s a new custom build, the Blister Koa Tenor Ukulele, featuring a 100 year old sound board and a standard ukulele shape.

blister koa tenor ukulele

100 Year old pier piling Dourglas Fir sound board.

This is my first build using this look in Koa wood.  At first it looks kinda plain and darkish with chocolate color; but, get a little light on it and it comes alive with hundreds of small golden “eyes”. I received three sets of this wood from Hearne Hardwoods and have two left for future builds.  That’s all they had!

blister koa tenor ukulele

Hundreds of small golden “eyes”.

The sound board is 100 year old pier piling Douglas Fir from the Navy base in San Diego.  One of the principals involved with the pier re-build and the reclamation of this historic wood is the new instrument owner.  I think this selection is a perfect match for the dark koa back and sides.  And, it sounds great with clear, bright and distinct musical notes even strung with low “G”.  This is the third instrument using this unique wood.

blister koa tenor ukulele

Hawaiian mango with yellow/black fiber accents.

Since this instrument is going to Hawaii, I decided to keep it Hawaiian with accents in Big Island Mango.

Hawaiian mango wood accents.

The purfling is yellow/black fiber, the neck is Honduran Mahogany, the binding is India Rosewood and the fret board and bridge are Macassar Ebony.  These woods and combinations were personally selected by the new owner.

blister koa tenor ukulele

Side sound port of course.

I have some new band saw blades and I’m thinking of trying to find a couple more sets of the pier piling wood for future builds.   My remaining stock has a lot of tight knots and defects so it is difficult to find clear pieces.

That’s it folks, a unique and  historic Blister Koa Tenor Ukulele!