Using locally produced timber was taken to the extreme one day last week, when what was probably the closest tree to the workshop was felled. It was a Sycamore that had self seeded some 100 years ago along the main drive opposite to the entrance of the Craft Village.
Needless to say, we watched it’s demise, even video’d the act, and, surprise surprise, obtained the best part of the trunk for Ukulele parts!
Sycamore is a member of the Maple family,
and is also known as European Maple or Scottish Maple, and is a very fine timber for our purposes. There is a nice bit of grain, and some figure showing now that we have sliced the logs shown in the picture lengthwise.
We are also in the process of making a different instrument. 350 years before the Machete, a derivative of the Renaissance Guitar, made it’s way to
Hawaii to become the Ukulele, that guitar made it’s way to Venezuela and morphed into the Venezuelan Cuatro. At a glance it looks similar to a Baritone Ukulele but is different in a number of ways. Extremely lightly built, with a scratchplate and flush fretboard, it is also strung differently with what can be described as Low Re-entrant tuning.
A customer brought one in over last weekend and asked if we could make one? It will be interesting to see and hear the outcome, as a little research has shown some differences between the one brought in for measuring and the traditional Venezuelan Luthiers idea of one, the main difference being in the bracing (or lack of) in the top.