Locating timbre for instrument building is no easy task. I think there is only about 4 or 5 suppliers of tone woods in the UK and the prices on their woods are beyond what I have been prepared to pay. Essentially, I am a first time builder, and as such, paying £60 or £70 or £80 just for a block of wood to make a body out of could turn out to be an expensive mistake. You need to spend money on many other things as well. Nobody should expect a home built instrument to cost less than a factory built one of the same kind of quality… It just is not possible. I have been looking at ways to keep prices down though…. Recycling old bits of wood gathered by putting requests out on free recycling web sites such as freecycle or putting speculative bids on lumps of wood on ebay seem to be good ideas, so that’s what I have been doing. Occasionally, I come up trumps. In this case, I defiantly did.
There I was poking around ebay looking for ‘neck blanks’, which are the lumps of wood used to make guitar necks out of when I found, purely by luck, that the same fellow who supplied me the plans for the ‘tearcaster’ uke, Michael J King, was actually selling some bits. I was happy to pay £25 for this neck. He says it is a blank, but a massive amount of the work has been done to shape it already, and I know it will fit, because it is built from the same specs.