I made this, the first Blue Uke, a few years ago. The body was
flipped in the opposite direction, unintentionally, but I didn't find
it objectionable, so left it that way. Subsequent Blue Ukes have
the opposite orientation. I made this just for fun and used wood
I had on hand, which were curly maple, for the back, sides and
neck and a wood from the spruce family, for the top, which I
can't remember the name of just now.
This is the second Blue Uke. In addition to
the obvious aesthetic changes, the scale
length had changed from 13.5 inches to
14.5 inches. This longer scale length
makes it possible to join the neck at the
14th fret while keeping the bridge in the
When I bent the sides for the first Blue Uke it
didn't seem worthwhile to spend time building a
bending form, as I was only planning on making
the one instrument. When I decided to build
another, I knew I'd be building at least a few
more so I made a form for this instrument.
From this point on they a have more or less the
same shape, but since I don't use a mold
during construction, no two are going to be
exactly the same shape. I prefer using the
traditional Spanish method of building on a
workboard as this gives me more freedom.
This honey colored "Blue Uke" has a slightly arched back (as do all
my instruments) and sides of European Maple. This is a wood
traditionally used for violins.
With the exception of the first, all the
Blue Ukes have a 14.5 inch scale. The
top is book matched Engelmann Spruce
and the mahogany neck has been
joined to the body at the 14th fret.
Gotoh tuners with "amber" buttons.
This koa BU has rosewood binding, fingerboard and
bridge. The fingerboard has been radiused and the
bridge, bone nut and compensated saddle have been
radiused to match. It has a "Tor-tis" nitrocellulose
The back is constructed from one piece of
European Maple with the flame of the back
Mahogany BU completed March, 2008. The
book matched front and back are lightly figured
mahogany that have been stained to match the
neck. It has tortise look binding and tail inlay.
MOP "R" headstock inlay and position markers.
Gotoh tuners with amber colored buttons. It has
a graphite truss rod, radiused fingerboard,
bridge, bone nut and compensated saddle.
The neck is joined to the body at the 14th fret,
with 19 frets total.
This is a recently completed "Blue Uke". The mahogany neck has a truss rod for added
strength, and has been stained a vintage brown. The binding, fingerboard and bridge are
rosewood. The fingerboard is slightly raidiused and has been inlayed with Mother of Pearl
position dots. Side dots are also provided. The neck is joined to the body at the 14th fret,
and there are 19 frets total.
The back and sides are koa. The back being one
piece and the sides are pickguard is also koa and in
fact comes from the same piece as the piece as the
back and are perfectly matched in color and grain.
The top is Engelmann Spruce. The headstock overlay
is koa, inlayed with a abalone "R" and has a veneer
sandwiched between it and the mahogany neck.The
heel-cap also has a rosewood veneer under it. The
fingerboard, bridge, and binding are rosewood. It has
abalone position markers. Side dots are also
provided. It has a compensated bone saddle and
The top is book matched Engelmann Spruce.
The fingerboard and bridge are ebony. The
nut and compensated saddle are bone.
Mother of Pearl "R" and position dots. Side
dots are also provided.
This instrument has a Pick-up the World I/O
Saddle Transducer pickup installed and has an
external PUTW Line Driver pre-amp.
The ebony fingerboard has been radiused to
enhance playability and for asthetics and has
mother of pearl position dots. Side dots are
also provided. The "R" on the headstock, is
also inlayed in MOP. The bone nut, and
compenstated saddle, as well as the raised
portion of the bridge, have all been radiused to
match the fingerboard. Scale length is 14.5
inches, and the body is joined to the neck,
using a traditional Spanish Heal, at the 14th
fret. It has Gotoh tuners.
There is one small design difference in this BU
and previous ones. The headstock has been
reversed so the orientation is like that of the
Rich, dark, master grade koa, with a
dark brown, vintage stained, mahogany
This was a very difficult instrument to
photograph well and the photos don't do
The "R" headstock inlay, fingerboard
position markers, rosette, and purfling
are all inlaid in abalone. The
fingerboard bridge and binding are
rosewood. The front and back are one
piece of koa, with the back slightly
arched in both directions. The
Honduran Mahogany neck in reinforced
with a graphite truss rod and joins the
body at the 14th fret. There are 19 frets
total. The fingerboard, which is slightly
radiused for playability and aesthetic
reasons, has side dots to assist in
positioning. The nut and compensated
saddle have been fashioned out of bone.
It has gold Goto tuners, with amber look
buttons and D Addario strings.
This Blue Uke has a rich, dark, master grade, one
piece koa back.The Honduran Mahogany neck has
been stained a vintage dark brown to bring it closer to
the shade of the body.
The "R" headstock inlay, and fingerboard position
markers, are inlaid in abalone. It has black binding to
match the ebony fingerboard and bridge. As with all
my instruments, the back is slightly arched in both
directions. The neck in reinforced with a graphite
truss rod and joins the body at the 14th fret. There
are 19 frets total. The fingerboard, which is slightly
radiused for playability and aesthetic reasons, has
side dots to assist in positioning. The nut and
compensated saddle have been fashioned out of
bone. The pickguards were made from the same
master grade koa as the back and match perfectly.
It has gold Goto tuners, with amber look buttons and
D Addario strings.
It has a one piece, curly maple back
and bookmatched sides. The curly
maple neck is reinforced with a
graphite truss rod for strength and
stability and joins the body at the 14th
fret. There are 19 frets total. The
ebony fingerboard has been slightly
radiused for playability and astethic
reasons. The headstock "R,"
fingerboard position dots and the side
dots are all inlaid in abalone. It has an
abalone rosette and top purfling. The
ebony bridge has been radiused to
match the fingerboard, as has the
black Corian nut and compensated
saddle. Black top and back binding, as
well as tail inlay, match the black
buttons on the Gotoh tuners.