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Thread: Building an arch top ukulele

  1. #341
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bellevue, KY
    Posts
    81

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    I have 8 other ukes I have to get out. I'll work on this when I can and post it when I'm done. Black walnut back and sides, Sitka spruce top, flame figured maple neck. Probably a tobacco burst.

    archtop set.jpg
    Victor Jones
    Blue Frog Ukuleles

    Bellevue, KY
    bluefrogvic@gmail.com
    http://bluefrogukes.weebly.com/index.html

  2. #342

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    Hello everyone. I know this is mostly an old thread, but I was curious what your opinions were concerning the sound of an archtop uke vs a standard body. I'm presently working on my Stew Mac tenor kit, but the wheels have already started turning on my next build. While I was doing some woodworking for another project this morning, I cut and machined a Black Walnut fretboard blank for my next tenor uke. The top I carved for my old archtop guitar was quite laborious, but then again, it was much larger than a ukulele top. I'm just mulling it over right now, but I have a crazy idea about an archtop with an offset sound hole.

  3. #343
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    3,591

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    here is a new Ko'olau archtop(Koa/Spruce) built by Ryan Condon from Ko'olau

    https://vimeo.com/282174991
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor

  4. #344
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    4,979

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    I know a man who is doing amazing stuff on a CNC here in the UK. Will keep you informed.

  5. #345

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    Tony- I've made a few arch top ukes and guitars. I definitely plan to do more. My ukes have had redwood tops on koa backs and sides. They came out sounding very bright with a lot of volume. Very different from my flat tops. Carving the uke top and back is way easier than doing a guitar, simply because of the surface area. I guess there are places you could get the plates done by CNC, but you'd miss all the carving sweat, misery, and hands on learning. No fun in that! Enjoy your projects.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #346

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    Thanks for the quick replies folks. Pegasus, that's a beautiful uke. I just found out today that I may be able to get a nice supply of well dried Black Walnut. Wild Cherry, and Cedar for little to no cost to me, due to an offer from a family member. A woodworker's dream. Uke #1 build is only a few days old, and uke #2 is already starting to take shape. I had a small bit of Black Walnut already on hand, and fabricated a fretboard blank today while I was working on some other stuff. One only learns and gets better by doing, right?

  7. #347
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    a tiny dot in north of...
    Posts
    725

  8. #348

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    Quote Originally Posted by weerpool View Post
    a few archtop builds i did back in 2016.
    Those are beautiful.

  9. #349
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan
    Posts
    1,572

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    tonyturley: My book learnin' learned me that archtop guitars are prized by jazz musicians for the clarity and distinction of individual notes. There isn't a lot of sustain, i.e., the ringing between notes. I'd imagine that's true of archtop ukuleles, too, but it's what you would call an educated guess. Someone will be a long shortly to tell me why I'm wrong.

  10. #350
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    21

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    Hey Matt, you are correct about what you have read on guitars, and in my experience arch top ukulele generally behave similarly. Although the sustain on most ukulele is rather short compared to a guitar, so the difference is not as noticeable. I am working on an 8 string arch top ukulele now, mandolin shaped body, concert scale and four courses of unison strings with linear tuning. Will post some pics when done.
    Bradford

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