logo

RNS Ukulele Gallery

Below are some examples of previously sold RNS ukuleles showing a variety of timbers, finishes and decoration

Blackheart Sassafras tenor ukulele

Walnut tenor ukulele

Blackwood/Huon Pine tenor ukulele with additional tone slots

Blackwood/Spruce tenor ukulele

Rosewood/Spruce tenor ukulele

Figured Blackwood/Australian Red Cedar tenor ukulele

Tasmanian Myrtle soprano ukulele

Blackwood/Spruce concert ukulele

Blackheart Sassafras concert thinline ukulele with cutaway

Mahogany tenor ukulele

Australian Made Handcrafted Ukuleles

I started making ukuleles after a chance chat with someone at a timber yard in Melbourne where we were discussing timbers. It happened that he was a luthier, mainly making ukuleles due to demand from a renewed interest in the instrument. At that time I wasn’t aware of the renewed popularity of ukuleles, and more importantly, of the incredible variety of tones they could produce or the type of music they could compliment.

uke8

I decided to take up the challenge, and on returning home, started to design and build 3 concert ukuleles, using different timbers but the same design. The result was 3 distinctive ukuleles, each with its own tone and looks. As a guitar player, I found them surprisingly playable and versatile. Anyway an obsession was unleashed and before long I was experimenting with more varieties and combinations of timber and expanded into tenor and soprano designs.

I now offer a common design in soprano (13 3/4'' scale length), concert (15'' scale length) and tenor (17 3/32'' scale length) sizes. Each instrument is built with its own character, whether it be the different tone woods selected or the decoration, headstock veneer, binding, end graft or rosette. Ultimately, everyone has a different set of ears and hopefully each of my ukuleles has someone’s ears and eyes tuned to it.

uke9

RNS Guitars and Ukuleles stand at the Melbourne Ukulele Festival - March 2014, my first public display of RNS ukuleles, which proved suprisingly succesful

My ukulele designs all feature traditional Spanish heel construction, with the neck forming an integral part with the body, rather than the neck and body being made separately and glued together.

Soundboard bracing, which plays a key role in the final tone (and whether or not the structure will fall apart) is based on the traditional classical guitar fan pattern, but built lighter.

uke5

Spanish heel construction, spruce fan bracing and mahogany kerfed linings

I mill all the timbers used in my ukuleles myself from larger stock slabs or from recycled furniture etc, giving me greater control over what goes into the various components. This includes everything from soundboards to linings and braces, which all play a part in the final tone, however small. There’s also a certain pleasure in giving new life to a piece of quality timber in discarded old furniture, or what some would call ‘firewood’.

Recycled Hoop Pine from an old table top, before and after

Timbers I use for the ukulele soundboards, back and sides and necks include Australian Blackwood, Mahogany, Huon Pine, Australian Red Cedar, New Guinea Rosewood, Western Red Cedar, Satinwood, Spruce and Rock Maple. Timbers I use for bridges, binding, headstock veneers, rosettes, bracing include Rosewood, Gidgee, Australian Red Cedar, Rock Maple, Tasmanian Blackwood, Mahogany. Fretboards are mainly Rosewood, Rock Maple, Gidgee but others are available, such as Purpleheart and Gombiera.

uke10

RNS Spruce/New Guinea Rosewood tenor ukulele

Bone nuts and compensated saddles feature on all my ukuleles, providing better tone and intonation.

All standard ukuleles have an oiled neck, with most bodies also being oiled. Spruce and Cedar tops have a thin lacquer finish for better protection without smothering the tone.

 

 

 

For current ukuleles available to buy, please click on 'For Sale' tab on the Menu bar.

RNS Guitars and Ukuleles © 2014-2020