Lava Lamp Super Tenor Ukulele - Custom Build

When I was shown this interesting piece of compression koa wood I had to have it.  I had a little buyers remorse when I received it because I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to bend these heavy compression curls.  Sooner or later I was going to have to give it a go.  This is the Lava Lamp Super Tenor Ukulele.

lava lamp super tenor ukulele

Compression curl Koa and bear claw spruce.

A very unusual piece of Koa for sure with brown’s, some black streaks, and that bubbly, white sap wood.  The sap wood strip reminds me of a lava lamp.  I guess that dates me.

lava lamp super tenor ukulele

Lava lamp sap wood.

The request for a heavy bear claw sound board is accomplished with this very dramatic set of Canadian Sitka Spruce. Ouch!

lava lamp super tenor ukulele

Dramatic bear claw sound board.

Blue is another request, so the purfling, sound hole rosette and back strip are blue/turquoise fiber with a little Paua Abalone for accent.

lava lamp super tenor ukulele

Bubbles, blue and bear.

Composite neck–ok!  I am using  Honduran Mahogany with a “T-band” (that’s surfer lingo) of African Mbangu and Pacific Northwest curly Maple.  Actually, I decided to go all the way with the Mbangu for all the accent areas.   Here’s the story on that wood:  I purchased it maybe 15 years ago at a wood shop in Oregon.  I had no idea where it was from but it looked pretty cool.  The shop had two pieces and I purchased the smaller.   I made one ukulele for the son of a friend and the rest has been in my shop until this use.  Woods of the World doesn’t list this mystery wood; but, I believe it is from Africa and is named for fun.  The translation in Lingala (Republic of Congo) is “hurry”.

lava lamp super tenor ukulele

The complete package.

There is a Mi-Si pick-up as well.

Mbangu backstrap and black Gotoh tuners.

That’s it:  bubbles, blue and bear–the Lava Lamp Super Tenor Ukulele.