Got an order for a tenor from a guy named Rich today-told him I would show him some of the details of the tenor I am building for Stu Fuchs. So here goes.
Rich, I always put a side sound port in my ukes. When you are playing in a group this allows you to hear yourself. It does not harm the instruments sound, Just sends some of the sound at you. If you absolutely don't want one, I can easily leave it out, but you would be making a mistake.
This shows the external part of the Kasha design. The oval sound port is up in the right hand corner and is a bit smaller than the classic sound hole. But these ukes are cannons, plenty of volume, perhaps because of the 12 small tone bars attached under the Redwood Soundboard, none of which reach to the sides. The entire top can vibrate. I usually have the "scoop" in the fretboard facing to the right, but Stu wanted to be able to fret the high E. he plays that far up the neck. I think that is at the 18th fret, fourth from the tip. Heck, I never get above the 5th fret, how about you?
I always put binding and an end piece on my ukes. The binding protects from bumps and bangs plus seals the end grain of the top and back so that moisture cannot travel into the end grain. I like to use wood with some figure. This is curly Koa. The end piece-well I just like the looks of it.
I always make the peg head plate from spalted Big Leaf Maple- Just because I find it fascinating and beautiful, and of course the inlaid g is my signature mark. You have already commented on the zero fret. The buffalo bone nut's only purpose is to separate the strings. The zero fret is a tiny bit higher than the other frets and begins the scale. And the Yin/Yang?, well that is Stuarts thing. It is inlaid ebony and holly. I kind of like it.
I call this "the hook". I make ukes in the Spanish style where the bent sides slip into a slot cut in the side of the neck. Makes a strong connection. Also allows me to shape the heel in this manner. I like the look and the feel of the hook. By the way, the Rosewood has just the first three applications of French Polish and is just beginning to take on a shine. It will receive many more applications.
I am not an admirer of "Bling" on a uke. But, I am fascinated by Paua Abalone so I use it for the five dots on top and side. I like to reserve "bling" for pretty wood with figure.
Stu wanted a little bit of radius in the fret board. I think you can see the curve of the fret in this shot. This is a 12 foot radius. Some folks think it helps with playing, some folks don't. I typically don't put a radius in, but will do so if you wish.
SO THATS IT FOR NOW, IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS PLEASE ASK