The Tree and Fort Ross Ukulele - Sold

This is The Tree and Fort Ross Ukulele.

The Tree and Fort Ross Ukulele

Fort Ross redwood sound board.

It’s All About the Wood

Body:  My last set of sausage curl “The Tree” mahogany.  This is a single piece back set.  I’m practicing for  two more builds with the tortoise curl and book match.  I’ve discovered that the sausage curl is more difficult to bend of the two looks.  This is a standard tenor shape.

The Tree and Fort Ross Ukulele

Single piece sausage curl “the tree” mahogany.

The sides are also laminated with a thin piece of Honduran Mahogany that is quarter sawn to stabilize the sides. If you think this is taboo then you should check out  Somogyi Guitar (prices start at 40K) to get the opinion of one of the world’s most acclaimed masters of lutherie.

The Tree and Fort Ross Ukulele

Jut another view of “the tree”.

Top:  Soon to be famous is this Fort Ross Redwood.  I guess it doesn’t look so special, but this is from a salvaged beam of an original structure.  It is quite old and very well seasoned.  I did a little research about Fort Ross and found it fascinating.   The same wood has been purchased for exclusive use by a well known guitar manufacturer and I expect to see instruments with this wood by early next year.  Very nice tap tone.  Adirondak bracking.

The Tree and Fort Ross Ukulele

Old growth, vintage, straight grained Fort Ross redwood.

Neck:  Very curly Honduran mahogany.  This laminated with-off cuts from the tree set.  Carbon fiber truss rod.  Sanded fininsh.

The Tree and Fort Ross Ukulele

Curly Honduran mahogany laminated with “the tree”.

Accents:  I am using Australian mallee burl for the backstrap, heal and lower bout graft.  The head stock face is the tree mahogany.

Fret Board and Bridge:  Brazilian Rosewood–radiused, bound with curly koa. Standard nut width of

1 3/8″.

Binding:  Chocolate curly Koa seems like a good choice.  This with a simple black and white purfling accent.

The Tree and Fort Ross Ukulele

Curly Koa binding with black/white fiber purfling.

The Rest of the Build

Tuners:  Gotoh UPT.

Strings:  Pepe Romero Tenor, low “G”.

Case:  Crossrock.

Nut and Saddle:  Bone stained vintage brown.


Don’t let anyone tell you that luthiers have all the answers.  Speaking for myself, I don’t.  I’m finding building to be a learning process with every instrument and especially with every new wood.  Sometimes even with wood from the same tree.

I am very pleased with the tone of this instrument.  I think it is unique–bright, almost “bell like” compared with similar instruments with sitka or koa tops.  It is also my opinion that this attribute is due to the redwood top and not the “the tree” back and sides–or, maybe it’s the combination.   I do think that the use of Adirondack bracing on the top is improving tonal quality and response.

There isn’t anything fancy about this build.  It’s all about the wood.  It’s straight forward and meant to be played.  I’ll be making  The Tree and Fort Ross with tortoise curl for myself next.