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DocFMF
04-04-2015, 09:19 PM
Can someone please post neck size specs for concert & tenor ukuleles? I do not require the fret spacing info, just the L/W/H measurements. I have never built anything without steel strings so I do not know how beefy a ukulele neck should be.

I need the info since it's time I built some ukuleles. One will be a concert and one tenor. Made with ambroisia maple (tenor) curley maple (concert) bodies (bottom & sides), eastern red cedar/white pine necks (both), and redwood soundboards (both).

To see some of my previous projects click on the link below.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?105688-My-past-works

Thanks
Doc

Pete Howlett
04-04-2015, 11:17 PM
Go to a music store and measure the one you like best....

Underling
04-05-2015, 05:52 AM
My tenor is 1.45" wide at the nut, 1.88" wide at the body connection, .9" thick and 9.5" long from nut body.

greenscoe
04-06-2015, 12:46 AM
I am a hobby maker not a pro, so take what you will from what I say.

The neck on a uke doesnt need to be that substantial. I sometimes laminate for additional stability or appearance but often use a single piece of wood. Some builders incorporate carbon fibre rods but most consider this structurally unnecessary and more an insurance against distortion or done for acoustic reasons. My headstock is also sometimes scarf jointed onto the neck or is part of the whole.

The width of the neck is usually 35/36 mm at the nut (1 3/8"). Tenors generally have 17" scale length and concert 15" scale length. The neck joint is usually at the 14th fret (though 12 , 13 or even 15 could be used) which then determines the length of the neck. This for example gives a neck width of 45 mm (1 3/4") at the 14th fret joining point.

For me its the neck thickness and profile which are most important. I aim for 17/18mm (11/16") total (fretboard plus neck) thickness at the nut which barely increases for the first 6 or 7 frets and then gradually increases for my classical guitar style heels. I don't use profile templates, I just shape by eye to make an oval not round neck. Occasionally, after playing for a couple of days, I rework the upper end profile having decided its a little too chunky or that the headstock is impeding my hand and the head shoulders need to be moved back a little. It always surprises me how thin and elegant the neck becomes and still has adequate strength.

greenscoe
04-06-2015, 12:47 AM
repeat posting deleted

ksquine
04-06-2015, 05:08 AM
Here are good free plans for a soprano... http://www.grellier.fr/plans.php?lang=en#!prettyPhoto[slide]/3/
Just add length for concert or tenor. The nut width and 12th fret widths will be the same for concert or tenor, just longer in between. You can use the same thickness and neck shape....but that's a personal choice.

DocFMF
04-06-2015, 05:15 PM
Go to a music store and measure the one you like best....

Wow.... really?

DocFMF
04-06-2015, 05:16 PM
My tenor is 1.45" wide at the nut, 1.88" wide at the body connection, .9" thick and 9.5" long from nut body.

Thank you very much. That was helpful.

DocFMF
04-06-2015, 05:18 PM
greenscoe,

Thanks that was the kind of info I needed.

DocFMF
04-06-2015, 05:21 PM
Here are good free plans for a soprano... http://www.grellier.fr/plans.php?lang=en#!prettyPhoto[slide]/3/
Just add length for concert or tenor. The nut width and 12th fret widths will be the same for concert or tenor, just longer in between. You can use the same thickness and neck shape....but that's a personal choice.

Once again great info..... When I read the first reply to my question, I figured I was not going anywhere in here... Thanks to all of you that proved me wrong.

Doc

Kekani
04-06-2015, 07:03 PM
Once again great info..... When I read the first reply to my question, I figured I was not going anywhere in here... Thanks to all of you that proved me wrong.

Doc
Seriously, Pete's response was the most spot-on. And you completely questioned, then discounted it.

My response would've been to do exactly what I did - spec out instruments that you feel are the best. Fortunately for me, I had a custom Kamaka Tenor, a Factory Kamaka Tenor (which I took nothing from), a 12-fret Martin and plans from my instructor.

Pete's suggestion, IMHO, is much easier, and attainable than mine, simply because its not that easy to find a Custom Kamaka and a 12-fret Martin in other than collectors homes, for the most part. And music stores should carry good examples, including guitar necks which you can certainly glean shape and profiles from.

Pete Howlett
04-06-2015, 11:46 PM
My very first act as a guitar builder looking to cross over from the dark side and build my first ukulele was to make a detailed drawing of a Kamaka... we who do this for a living have all probably started there. As part of my education in all things ukulele I spent a year on and off curating a ukulele collection making detailed drawings and templates. On my workshop wall is the spec chart for the Martin range of ukulele... it never stops, this learning process.

I'm now a successful ukulele builder with a 12 month order book. Probably has something to do with the effort I put in at the start to look at and catalogue everything I saw. At the start there wasn't anyone around to tell me what to do. I'm glad I have learnt to think and act for myself. It helps me really understand the process when I have arrived at it from my own personal physical research.

The technical term for this is autodidact...

DocFMF
04-08-2015, 09:51 AM
I am new here and please understand where I was coming from. I asked specific questions and your response looked to me like [Go find your own answers]. I would have done exactly as you mentioned except the nearest music shop to me that sells ukuleles is 90 miles from me. Why would I drive almost 200 miles when I could ask people who build ukuleles? I'm sorry for misunderstanding your intent. I hope this clears things up.

We cool?

Doc

DocFMF
04-08-2015, 10:35 AM
Also I do not make a living selling ukuleles nor do I intend to do so. I just want to build a couple to add to my collection or for gifts fo family or friends. I do however have some experience building instruments.

78278

Pete Howlett
04-08-2015, 10:49 AM
Research builders websites - most of them give specs

mvinsel
04-08-2015, 12:40 PM
Back to the dimensions - many of us with adult hands prefer ukes with wider necks; 1.5" at the nut feels best to me. Lots of excellent ukes are made this size.
-Vinnie in Juneau

Pete Howlett
04-08-2015, 12:45 PM
Really? I've made 2 tenor to client specification of 1.5" width. Both later regretted it....

Kevin Waldron
04-08-2015, 03:49 PM
Attaching two files showing our 3D necks that we were building...... the one more or less traditional and the other the Wine Glass Volute.

The Wine Glass Volute was actually our more popular neck..... it just really felt good in the hand.....

Many variations.....

Blessings,

Kevin
7829078291

DocFMF
04-10-2015, 05:27 AM
Kevin,

Thank you and yes that is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I have since gotten hooked on an hourglass shaped electric dobro-dulcimer project. A sort of a steel guitar like instrument but with a diatonic scale ala dulcimer. Some call them dulci-bros. I am building it for a dulcimer festival I am attending next month. Once that is complete I'll return to work on the ukuleles.

The one I am making will look somewhat like this....
http://www.steveeulberg.com/images/SteveDulcibroStreetmosphereTVS.jpg

Doc

mvinsel
04-10-2015, 02:16 PM
Really? I've made 2 tenor to client specification of 1.5" width. Both later regretted it....

I most like to play my Kamaka baritone and Kanalea super concert; both have 1.5" nut width. My 1925 Gibson soprano has nut width 1.46" and that is more playable than other sopranos with 1-3/8". With the Kamaka and the Gibson it might well be the fragrance that makes me like them best, but the Kanalea doesn't smell so nice. The tiny bit more of separation between the strings helps me a lot. I can't even use text on my phone because I can't hit one number at a time.

BTW, I read in another thread about the V neck on your own guitar - I had a very V necked replica Washburn parlor guitar and that was very comfortable and easy to play. I'm working on one for myself and will give that a try. I can always file it down thinner but it's tough to ever make it fatter.

Thanks,
Vinnie in Juneau

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
04-10-2015, 06:45 PM
Really? I've made 2 tenor to client specification of 1.5" width. Both later regretted it....

I'm with you on this one Pete. I, too, have found 1.5" to be too wide.

To the OP, may plans can be found online, either for free or pretty inexpensively.