My Kahiko Double Puka Ukulele - Custom Build-Sold
My Kahiko Double Puka Ukulele is #1 in my builders choice collection of ukulele.
The Back Story
All luthiers have their secret stash of wood saved for that special build. Me too. When I get the opportunity I pull out some of the wood that I’ve been hoarding for years and maybe make something for myself. This particular set of Crinkle Koa Wood has been tugging at me for years. Since I finally had a slight break in the build schedule I decided to make a double puka super tenor.
Why the double Puka
Funny you should ask. First, I haven’t built an instrument of this design for a long time.
I’ve always found this design to be fun and unique and Hawaiian. The idea for this design, I must admit, I obtained about 30 plus years ago from the now nonexistent Nahenahe Ukulele company of Maui. You may have seen it more recently on Steve Grimes guitars and ukuleles. Second, moving the sound hole (s) up as far as possible does create options for more sound board action which might result in increased volume and sustain possibilities. For example, check out “The Ziggy” baritone at Lichty Guitars. It’s not a new idea and is being extensively researched by ukulele and guitar builds alike. I added the side port only because I’ve been asked to do so multiple times and I’ve never done it on a double sound hole before.
The Body: all crinkle curl Koa. This is the last from a billet of crinkle curl that I obtained maybe 8 years ago from the old Allied Lutherie. It is stump salvaged wood and has a pretty decent grain match for being “rift” sawn. There’s a bit of spalt to boot and it is very solid.
The Binding: curly Koa with black and blue fiber purfling.
The Accent Woods: also curly Koa with the lower bout graft in curly Mango.
The Neck: I wish I had matching neck blanks for these instruments but they are few and far between. My go to here is traditional Honduran Mahogany with carbon fiber truss rod.
The Finger Board and Bridge: Brown Macassar Ebony
The Rest of the Build
Stings: Pepe Romero tenor with wound low “G”
Case: Crossrock Fiberglass
The Final Word
I like it. I like the full and warm sound, the woodsy look, the all Koa look and the double puka. The side sound port works adding a bit more “presence” for the player.
I’d keep it but I already have a few and I can’t wait to hear the next “builders choice” instrument presently in the works. So, if you need something different and very playable for your collection then you might be interested in My Kahiko Double Puka Ukulele.