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tangimango
01-29-2015, 12:49 PM
When attaching the neck to body, is it best to have it straight or with a little angle for a better setup

jcalkin
01-29-2015, 05:24 PM
It depends. What size uke? Flat top or radiused? The dimensions of fretboard thickness and fret height play into this, as well as bridge/saddle height and scale length (which is what I meant by uke size). If in doubt, a bit of angle is best, but it might mean you'll have a saddle that's taller than you wished for. Only experience can let you accurately guess how much a given uke might deform early in its life. Its easier to lower a saddle as the instrument gives in to string tension than to reset the neck. Getting all these factors right in the first place is the goal. Fortunately, a lot of uke players adapt to their instruments' quirks more easily than musicians who deal with instruments with a lot more string tension.

tangimango
01-29-2015, 09:36 PM
Thank you,


It depends. What size uke? Flat top or radiused? The dimensions of fretboard thickness and fret height play into this, as well as bridge/saddle height and scale length (which is what I meant by uke size). If in doubt, a bit of angle is best, but it might mean you'll have a saddle that's taller than you wished for. Only experience can let you accurately guess how much a given uke might deform early in its life. Its easier to lower a saddle as the instrument gives in to string tension than to reset the neck. Getting all these factors right in the first place is the goal. Fortunately, a lot of uke players adapt to their instruments' quirks more easily than musicians who deal with instruments with a lot more string tension.

fynger
01-30-2015, 03:42 AM
always thought it was about 3 degrees

Timbuck
01-30-2015, 07:20 AM
No angle needed on a uke unless it's an arch top.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-30-2015, 08:43 AM
i usually go for flat- neck to upper bout transition.

However, on the selmer i just finished, i had the neck set a bit back as the customer wanted real low action...which usually means lower saddle on a normal neck angle. So on the selmer i have a real low action but full height saddle for drive that top well n good.

mzuch
01-30-2015, 09:31 AM
Here is the best advice on thois topic that I've ever seen on this forum, from a post in November 2014 from the inestimable Pete Howlett:


Many of the images of recent builds that have been posted here appear to have what I would consider to be high saddle. If you have a saddle that is getting beyond 0.125" above the top of the bridge I would venture to suggest that this is too high. If you wish to avoid this and have the preferable 0.110" above the top of the bridge you may want to consider these Pete Howlett workshop rules:

* Avoid introducing a neck angle*
* Use a fingerboard that is at least 0.220" thick
* Use a bridge blank that is at least 0.280" thick
* Make your saddle slot 0.075" shy of the base of the bridge - make it as deep as possible


I'm sure other makers have useful pearls of wisdom for this most essential thing to get right.

*Neck angle is only necessary on some guitars, banjos and resonators...

sequoia
01-30-2015, 09:56 AM
From a practical point of view (in my view at least), introducing a neck angle is unnecessary and only introduces more complications on, what is for me anyway, a plenty complicated joint already. Why make things more complicated if you don't have too? I do dead straight flush and flat and have no problems. Also, this is where (in my opinion) the ukulele and the guitar part ways when it comes to construction. The shortness of a ukulele neck and the low string tension are not going to introduce much curve into the neck/fingerboard/neck joint making angle compensation unnecessary. However, on an arch top or radioused top, then I would think, yes, an angle would obviously be necessary.

RPA_Ukuleles
01-30-2015, 10:56 AM
Here's a basic diagram of flat neck vs. angled. (two fretboard thickness shown on the flat just to demonstrate that effect on bridge and saddle height) As you can see the introduction of just a 2 degree neck angle translates into some big differences at the bridge. This would require quite a bit of top arching to compensate for. Also note that it moves the bridge slightly forward as well. And look at that fretboard end floating in mid air! (not a good thing)

I do use an angle on banjo ukes with a 1/2" or 5/8" tall bridge, and on old-school ukes with frets set directly in the neck. But not on flat top ukes with fretboards.

http://i913.photobucket.com/albums/ac331/rpashop/neckangle_zps77f9b5a7.jpg

(The angled diagram is showing why you should NOT go there)

sequoia
01-30-2015, 07:34 PM
Great diagrams. But I'm looking at the 2 degree and with the thin .15 fretboard thickness diagram and there is a definite issue with integrity of the build. That inderlap has to be filled. Air ain't gonna cut it in the end. I don't get the advantage? Volume? I've actually built a uke like diagram three and buzzing is a definite issue on set up. Why go there?

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-31-2015, 07:14 AM
The other way is what is found on classical guitars, which has the fretboard pointing to the bottom of the bridge- (so its the opposite of the 2 degree diagram) . Normal ukes/guitars point to the top, or just under the top of the bridge.
Doing this creates good action with the benefit of having a very low profile bridge and to a certain extent, saddle.
Having a low profile bridge makes for a lower weight bridge, which means less inhibiting/dampening to the top.

Uke makers can learn alot from classical and flamenco guitar makers. The size might be different, but its all just about top vibration.

One day i will try the classical neck angle on a uke. The tricky part is you have to plane/sand off the bottom of the fingerboard over the body due to it diving into the top, so the fingerboard gets a bit thinner at the end.

Kekani
01-31-2015, 09:48 AM
The other way is what is found on classical guitars, which has the fretboard pointing to the bottom of the bridge- (so its the opposite of the 2 degree diagram) . Normal ukes/guitars point to the top, or just under the top of the bridge.
Doing this creates good action with the benefit of having a very low profile bridge and to a certain extent, saddle.
Having a low profile bridge makes for a lower weight bridge, which means less inhibiting/dampening to the top.

Uke makers can learn alot from classical and flamenco guitar makers. The size might be different, but its all just about top vibration.

One day i will try the classical neck angle on a uke. The tricky part is you have to plane/sand off the bottom of the fingerboard over the body due to it diving into the top, so the fingerboard gets a bit thinner at the end.
When this topic started about neck angle on an `ukulele, that angle is exactly what ran through my mind. But when the graphic of a guitar style angle popped up, I figured I'd wait to comment (I didn't have coffee at the time).

I know a factory that adds in a 1/2 degree to the neck angle. Because of the inconsequential result of the frets over the body, there's no adjustment (that I know of) made from there. I guess if you wanted it really flat, you could level the frets.

Rick Turner does this angle on his `ukulele, but by design of his floating fretboard, it naturally makes sense. If I did a floating like him, I'd angle it the same way. And it would be super easy with my M&T neck angle jig (a la Robby O'Brien)!

And Beau is right - I've learned more technical stuff once I looked at Classical builds, like double string holes on the bridge - I don't have room for three. Currently got a tornavoz on a sideport going on, just for fun . . . headed for some guy in Kalihi (boxed it up in 2010 - he's still waiting).

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-31-2015, 10:24 AM
im going to raid your place and steal all your cool jigs! :)

Kekani
01-31-2015, 10:39 AM
im going to raid your place and steal all your cool jigs! :)
Ah, but they'll be no good unless you have a 1/8" cf rod in your neck, that sits proud into the fretboard. I forgot to mention, ALL of my neck jigs are based on the "centerline" process - the M&T one included. Oh, and the neck jigs are also based on the M&T, which is what holds it in place. . . with two bolts ;)

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-31-2015, 10:44 AM
Ah, but they'll be no good unless you have a 1/8" cf rod in your neck, that sits proud into the fretboard. I forgot to mention, ALL of my neck jigs are based on the "centerline" process - the M&T one included. Oh, and the neck jigs are also based on the M&T, which is what holds it in place. . . with two bolts ;)

Hahahha

Do you butt the end of your fingerboard up against the headstock veneer then have the nut sitting on a half depth step in the end of the fingerboard???- This is beginning to sound like a great idea to me

sequoia
01-31-2015, 04:19 PM
About butting up the peghead vaneer to the fretboard: Yes, that is what I do and then I cut out a nice slot for the nut which gives me a good friction fit. Also anchors the back of the nut keeping it vertical. This is good since I don't like to put glue on my nuts.


Having a low profile bridge makes for a lower weight bridge, which means less inhibiting/dampening to the top.

This is really an interesting statement. We are veering off topic and onto bridges and saddles, but taken to its logical extreme, wouldn't just a saddle sitting on the top with no bridge (not sure how that could be done) be the best for not inhibiting the top? I always thought the theory was that a bridge distributed the sound to the top and the bracing rather than inhibiting it, but now I'm not so sure. You have me thinking again Beau. Hmmmm.... I suppose it is all a compromise (distribution vs. inhibition vs.stability) like so much in building ukes. Maybe it is all about finding the best compromise.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
02-01-2015, 08:44 AM
About butting up the peghead vaneer to the fretboard: Yes, that is what I do and then I cut out a nice slot for the nut which gives me a good friction fit. Also anchors the back of the nut keeping it vertical. This is good since I don't like to put glue on my nuts.



This is really an interesting statement. We are veering off topic and onto bridges and saddles, but taken to its logical extreme, wouldn't just a saddle sitting on the top with no bridge (not sure how that could be done) be the best for not inhibiting the top? I always thought the theory was that a bridge distributed the sound to the top and the bracing rather than inhibiting it, but now I'm not so sure. You have me thinking again Beau. Hmmmm.... I suppose it is all a compromise (distribution vs. inhibition vs.stability) like so much in building ukes. Maybe it is all about finding the best compromise.

I should add that the bridge is also a brace. Id say the most important brace.

While classical guitar bridges are low in weight (for their size), they are still strong enough to retain their shape.

An arch top guitar bridge (and a violin) is essentially just a saddle, but they also have strings anchored at the back, so string load/pressure is different.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-01-2015, 12:12 PM
I set my neck in a flat plane with the upper bout but I build in a contoured solera and the lower bout falls away from that plane so in effect it does the same thing as setting an angle of about 1/2 degree or so. As has been said before, neck angle (if any) has to work in conjunction with the fret board thickness, bridge and saddle height, desired action and desired height of strings above the sound board. This is one reason I like the bolt on neck attachment because all of these variable can be adjusted unit I get everything right where I want it.