Mahogany and Burl Tenor Ukulele - Sold

Here’s my latest  instrument, the Mahogany and Burl Tenor Ukulele.  When I started building I really wanted to focus on the woods and the “fun factor” of the instrument.  Building outside the box has been my endeavor.  Over the past 20 years the ukulele has become somewhat serious and maybe too serious.  I’m hoping that this instrument brings back some of that original fun.

Mahogany and Burl Tenor ukulele

Swiss Moon Spruce on figured Mahogany.

It’s all about the wood.

Back and Sides:  Figured Honduran Mahogany.   I believe that most of the iconic guitars and some ukulele of the past have been made from mahogany.  For me, in the early days,  mahogany was just kinda plain.   I built a few guitars from mahogany and they all sounded good but again, were kinda ordinary in appearande.   Well, that was then but not now.  With the availability of some highly figured mahogany species I’m determined to drag the ukulele public back to the classics.  These woods are generally warm and resonant.  They favor mid-range notes and are extremely easy to play and are easy on the ear, generally having good volume.

Mahogany and Burl Tenor Ukulele

Ouch! Figured mahogany no ka oi.

Sound Board:  I decided to go with a subtle bearclaw Swiss Moon Spruce.  Generally lower in density than Sitka, this wood is also easy to play and provides great volume.

Mahogany and Burl Tenor Ukulele

Swiss moon spruce sound board.

Neck:  Did I say Mahogany.   Internal carbon truss rod.  Finish sanded to 4000 gt.

Fret Board and Bridge:  Ebony and Australian brown mallee burl with green opal accents.  Can’t beat natural art.  I’ve been wanting to use synthetic opal for years but some of my experiments didn’t do the material justice.  Here, I think, it is an appropriate and very natural union for a plain wood (ebony) with an exotic burl (mallee burl).  BTW, the mallee burl is very hard and dense and is harvested without damage to the tree–yay!  Edge markers in gold MOP.

Mahogany and Burl Tenor ukulele

Malle Burl, ebony and opal fret board.

BindingPomelle Sapelle (another mahogany species) with maple/black fiber purfling.

Accent woodsAustralian mallee burl of course.  The back strap is Maseur Birch from Finland.

Mahogany and Burl Tenor Ukulele

Maseur Birch back strap.

The rest of the build.

StringsPepe Romero flourocarbon with wound low “G’.

TunersGotoh upt.

CaseCrossrock ABS is the standard now.  Fiberglass available on request.

Mahogany and Burl Tenor Ukulele

Ctossrock cumfort.

Nut and Saddle:  unbleached bone.


My kind of sound–easy on the ear.  And, you won’t have to worry too much about having an instrument that looks like your friends at the next kanikapila.   This instrument hasn’t “set in” yet but its got plenty of umph.  Got some low action here so finger-style is is not a problem.

Can’t wait for my next Mahogany and Burl Tenor Ukulele.