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jaunedeau
03-29-2009, 02:09 AM
Hi,

Yesterday, I started to build speak about glueing a ukulele kit in the woodworkers club I recently joined.

The retired pro woodworkers will never like the idea of buying a "glue it youself" kit of course, and they started to say that :

-I can buy a 2"x12"x12' quarter sawn mahogany blank piece of wood for about $100 (I don't know if it's available in this size, given price is based on volume for this thickness)
-We have all the tools needed to make everything, including a CNC which can handle 15"Lx12"Wx4"H pieces of wood

So, if for the price of one kit, I can have enough wood to spoil the 10 first ukes and make an acceptable one from all scavenged pieces from them, I think I can give it a try. Of course I know I'll have to buy fret wire, tuners, nut and saddle, plus some rosewood for fretboard, and maybe other wood for bracing, and strings, ... But even $200 is acceptable to learn that much. I would also buy one grizzly kit, and start by replacing the soundboard and back with mahogny to learn a little bit befor I start the real one.

So, the questions :
-Do you think it's possible to just order quarter sawn mahogany and make a ukulele that will sound acceptable on first try (with help of experienced woodworkers, forums, and plans), or are there to many things to know about choosing the precise board ?
-Is it possible to make 3/16" thick soundboards from the "2 bare piece of wood ? of course we have planers, but I hope it's possible to get more than 1 soundboard from 2" piece of wood, or do I have to order the thinner available piece of mahogany and spoil half of it on planner / sander ? (I'm afraid that they won't have anything under 41mm, and I'll need 4mm, that's 90% garbage)
-What is the english name for "bare piece of wood" (see picture (http://www.machot-bois.com/static/documents/images/produits/bois%20de%20menuiserie/bois_de_menuiserie(1).jpg))

Thanks,
John.

Timbuck
03-29-2009, 05:46 AM
When I made my first uke..it was because I wanted a Martin, but couldn't aford one..So I decided to make one..I bought a drawing on E-Bay of a Martin Style 1 (By Scott Antese) I had a look around for something to start with and someone gave me a mahogany kitchen door, the type with 15 panes of hammered glass..so I dismantled it and cut some slices out of it.
These became the sides and neck/Tail blocks...any way it was great fun and I put pic's and what it was made of on the Cosmos Forum... Since then I've made about 30 and the quality has greatly improved ...but that first one is the one I like best even tho it looks a bit rough at the side of my latest efforts...You can see it here http://www.ukulelecosmos.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=6839&p=77484#p77484

jaunedeau
03-29-2009, 08:08 AM
timbuck : ok, so basically I can take any thickness piece of quarter sawn mahogany, cut it to about wide, then cut proper thicknness with a scoll saw and plan, that's good to know :)

Based on this, I made estimations, and in the 60-100 pieces of wood, I have enough to make 4 to 8 ukuleles, depending on the precise dimensions and shape. So it's worth a try. I'll ask next week confirmation about available stock :)

John.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-29-2009, 09:20 AM
If you only ever plan to build one uke and money is an immediate consideration then I suggest buying a kit. If, as you mentioned, you have pro woodworkers supporting you and the necessary tools and plan to build a few ukes, then buy all means build from scratch. It is so much more rewarding having completed an instrument build from a board than one from a kit. A board of Honduran mahogany of the size you mentioned would cost me about $275 locally. African mahogany about $150. I'm sure there are better prices around. Not only will you have material for lots of work but you'll be less afraid of making mistakes and you may even want to experiment down the road a bit.
I resaw my wood to about 1/4" to start with then thickness sand it with 36 grit on the drum sander until I get close to my final thickness. I try to get eight cuts from a 8/4 or 9/4 board. Don't resaw all your wood at once though, maybe enough for two or three sets at a time. That way you'll have plenty of 8/4 stock for necks, blocks, bracing, kerfing, etc.
There are a lot of inexpensive plans available on the Internet, some even free.
If your wood is pretty defect free and is all quarter sawn, you should be able to get a minimum of eight tenor ukuleles from the dimensions you gave us. That includes necks, blocks, etc.
Have fun.

ukantor
03-29-2009, 09:29 AM
I started by making ukes from the bare wood (five of 'em). When I no longer had access to a workshop, I built seven Stew Mac kits at home in my kitchen. Kits are great for a lone beginner, but with the support and the facilities you have got, I'd definitely advise you to build from scratch.

I envy you - you're gonna enjoy!

Ukantor.

jaunedeau
03-29-2009, 11:21 AM
Thank you for your advices, it confirms me that it is not so stupid to follow the "from scratch" path. I'll just buy a $40 makala to learn to play during the 6 months it'll take me to build one. I may also buy the $25 grizzly, just to see how it's made inside (yep, dismantle and glue a mahogany top and back, add biding, ...)

Moore : I live in europe, so africa is closer from here, so price difference is even greater in my case. I don't think that it would really matter for my first ukulele anyway, and I will feel more confident if I know I can spoil half of the wood :p (the guys at the club said to make every piece twice, because it take only 20% longer, and you are sure to spoil at least one !)

Do I need other wood than the mahogany ? Ebony for the freatboard I think. Do I need different wood for the bracing or do they just use other wood for bracing because it's cheaper ? Should the bridge be different too ?

Can someone point me to a recommandable soprano plan that can be trusted and without "weird" things so I can do it as a first project and I can understand how things are usually done ?

Ukantor : what is your experience with stewmac kits ? Do you think they are same level of quality than something you can do as a beginner (with some help and tools), or is there one of solution which would lead to better result ? (I only speak about quality of the final result, of course this is not the leading thing in my choice, I think that I no longer can help trying to make one from scratch anyway !)

Thx,
John.

PaulGeo
03-29-2009, 12:14 PM
Sounds like a fun project. Best of luck to you.

Pete Howlett
03-29-2009, 12:44 PM
Where in Europe are you getting your Mahogany from? The price here in the UK for African grown swietenia machrophylla is 198 not including VAT - cheaper than Chuck has to pay (which for some unhealthy reason makes me breath a sigh of relief - I thought you guys had it made over there :rofl:). Also, although building from scratch is a good way to start, unless you have skills already, it's also a great way to get discouraged.

I may be out of line here but I think it is important to 'test' your ability with a kit or even better, working with a luthier. When I built my first guitar it was under supervision at college. However I had already qualifications in engineering metalwork, silversmithingand wrought iron work, cabinet making and working with plastics. You could say I was 'handy'... I am more than ever convinced that the precise work I did in these disciplines schooled me for my adventures into instrument building - and the fact that I had to wait 3 years before I could get my hands on a piece of quartersawn Brazilian rosewood which I messed up first time! Now, after 15 years of building ukulele I am beginning to have the confidence to pick up a piece of wood and 'know' how it is going to turn out, what makes for a good soprano or tenor and when to start and stop with the bling.

I am totally confident in my pricing and advising clients. That hasn't come from building but from my years of competative swimming. I use this technology managing my own website, accounts, graphic designs because I taught IT in high school - I guess what I am trying to say is that building is more than a set of specific hand skills; with those, you can put something together resembling an instrument. The magic comes when your heart is in it and you bring to bear your life experienece to what you are doing. And IMHO it is why you know when a piece is good or not - and piece is the right word because there will be a little piece of you in it and if you have the right attitude...

OK enough of the Zen thing. My advice for what it is worth - do a kit, a Grizzly one just to see if your confidence on paper matches that at the bench. For $40 (that includes the shipping to Europe I believe - that is if you can get Grizzley to do it.; I just had a client in the west coast have Grizzly ship a rolling pin sander to him so he could ship it to me...) you will avoid a lot of disappointment and heartache. When I messed up, I just went to the wood store at college and got out a fabulous piece of splash figure makore and with a better and less arrogant attitude, made my first guitar; it sounded mediocre BTW - back in 1976 we had no video here in the UK, no support and no-one to tell us how it is done. It's why I do my videos... I want anyone starting out to have a better experience than I did 33 years ago.

Last word - the builders who post here are a great bunch but don't be fooled... we have all paid our dues and I well remember a conversation with Bob Gleason I had 10 years ago went something like this:

"How's it going Bob?"

"Oh you know...."

"No I don't. Tell me?"

"I just had to scrap a D45 treatment on a soprano (that's the pearl around the top and sides - $2000 worth of work) because it didn't look right..."

Bob is the grandaddy hand builder who has stayed the course in Hawaii. Interesting that after all his building knowledge there were still (like us all) days when it just wasn't going right. I then began to understand that this really is a very sophisticated business after all and not to be treated as a 'full-time hobby'. Oh no, this is very serious stuff isn't it Chuck, Paul and everyone else?:old:

ukantor
03-29-2009, 12:57 PM
Well Jaunedeau, as a kit the Stew Mac is an excellent product. When well made, the finished uke can sound as good as a MUCH more expensive instrument. As I said, I've made seven, and I know of another five made by friends, and they were all of a consistently high quality.

Having said that, I believe you should be able to make something at least as good, if not better, with the facilities and advice and support that you have. I warn you though, you will look at your first one and think, "I'm pleased with it, but I'm sure the next one will be even better". And the next - and the next - and the next! There are worse things to become obsessed with.

The Scott Antes "Martin" plan (mentioned by Timbuck) is very useful. It is not intended to be a "how to build a uke" plan. It is a detailed, and very accurate, set of drawings of the classic soprano. It might be all you need. Your woodworking buddies will probably look at it and say, "Yep. Let's get started!"

Ukantor.

ps. I've just read Pete's comment. I agree that making ukes professionally is a very serious business, but building is also a very worthwhile and fulfilling hobby. Don't be discouraged by unrealistic expectations, and remember that even mistakes have their value, if you learn from them.

jaunedeau
03-29-2009, 01:15 PM
>Where in Europe are you getting your Mahogany from?

It's in France. The price (1500€ per cubic meter) has been given to me by the president of the club, and they have "pro" prices. But I also found about the same price in this pricelist (http://www.dumoulin-bois.fr/backoffice777/gestion-pdf/ebenisterie/bois%20brut%20EXOTIQUE%202008.pdf) (last line in the table in first page is "acajou", though they d'ont say where this one is from). First column is thickness, second is price without VAT for less than 0.1 cubic meter. I need 0,06 cubic meter, and I will get best price because I order with the club which orders tones of wood every year, so if I get exactly the size dimension I mentionned, it would be 80€ including VAT and free shipping (ordered with tens of other boards). If the order is ok (the provider only has high quality when it come to local woods, and the club already has ordered ipe and ayous with good results, but never tryed mahogany), I can try to help people getting some or I may have some spares to sell (8 tenir is way too much for me :) )

>And IMHO it is why you know when a piece is good or not - and piece is the right word because there will be a little piece of you in it and if you have the right attitude...

Haha, I also want to spend more time woodworking because I now spend less time training kung fu, so I completely understand what you mean. Anyway, for now this is not the good question, which is : Is there any Heart into the stewmac kits ?

> For $40 (that includes the shipping to Europe I believe

$25 and free shipping to USA on amazon, some friend will bring it back here :)

>I want anyone starting out to have a better experience than I did 33 years ago.

I hope I won't forget to thank you in a few months :)

>this really is a very sophisticated business after all and not to be treated as a 'full-time hobby'.

I already turned my main hobby into a job, and gladely it brings me enough money (but not enough time !) for my hobbies. I then can accept to spoil a few parts, and my goal is not to build a D45 (I prefer my D41 :p), and is really not to have a certain quantity done in a certaine timeframe. I'd be really happy to have built something that can match a $50 KA-S by christmas.

I think I'm going to have a look at all the video you posted that I've not seen yet.

Thanks you,
John.

jaunedeau
03-29-2009, 01:31 PM
>I warn you though, you will look at your first one and think, "I'm pleased with it, but I'm sure the next one will be even better".

That's the problem I already have with loudspeaker building ^^!

>The Scott Antes "Martin" plan (mentioned by Timbuck) is very useful.

Thanks you, $5 is a very good price. Do you know if it provide printed, or if they can provide CAD files so I can directly drive the CNC ?

Regards,
John.

Pete Howlett
03-29-2009, 01:34 PM
All the best... I think you may find the journey a lot different from what you expect; I know I did and still do... Oh, and buying sight unseen - I no longer trust anyone to sell me wood without first seeing a jpg or visitng the yard, even people I already have a good trading relationship with. There is also a good and free set of plans drawn up by a fellow countryman found at www.grellier.fr (http://www.grellier.fr). Much better than Scott Antes since it is in metric rather than imperial measurements. Scott's plans are also inaccurate if you want to make a replica Martin style 0... Also, I notice they are dxf files which should convert to code for the CNC work you intend to do.

jaunedeau
03-29-2009, 01:45 PM
> I no longer trust anyone to sell me wood without first seeing a jpg or visitng the yard, even people I already have a good trading relationship with.

With the club's usual provider, if there is a problem with a board when it arrive, the president of the club just refuse the board and they bring replacement next day. Anyway, the stock is just 1 hour and a half driving from the club so I can just go to have a look at the board and choose one before I buy.

John.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-29-2009, 01:50 PM
Everyone has their own way. I started building 24 years ago on Moloka'i, an island of 7,000 people, very few services, very few goods on hand. For several years I built ukuleles with whatever materials I had on hand including coconuts and beach drift wood. I had no books on how to build, no Internet, and no other guiding hands from other builders (and no money!). My first shop tools were a Sears tablesaw, (which I used to resaw on!) and a Dewalt 3X21 hand held belt sander, that I would thickness sand on, both tools of which I still have. And a hand full of crappy hand tools. The one thing I did have an overabundance of was time and ambition. I built several dozen ukuleles, most of them rather poor, some OK, still around and playable, with just these resources. But to this day I feel blessed that I had no formal luthier education that I feel in my case would have hindered my growth.
My point in mentioning this is to encourage would-be builders who don't have a lot of tools or resources to just do it. You'll know by the end of a week if you're going to love building ukuleles or not. As Pete mentioned, it's good to be handy. In fact I think it's a requisite. But if you've ever built a bird house, a book case, a model airplane, you have more than a fair chance at success. After all, we ain't building space shuttles here!
And Pete, take heart, living on an island we pay more for almost everything (except maybe for koa). Even with koa however, many builders I know on the Big Island have lately been buying koa sets from mainland America. Go figga!

Pete Howlett
03-29-2009, 02:07 PM
Oooh er Chuck...:eek:

However I worked it out. 12 years ago I was offered workshop space in Hilo but my wife and I (apart from the aggravation Immigration Services give the British wanting a visa to work in the US) worked out that moving from one island to another would not work for us. Also, I think all that sun and sand would make me lazy and my darling wife knew a family from Hawaii who had tapeworm and that kinda killed it for her as well.:rotfl:

Talking of workshop tools - a good knife is often all you need and again, mine is French - a Sabatier marking knife that hold its edge forever. Many Paracho luthiers can practically built an instrument from start to finish with a knife and I believe most of them are made from metal hacksaw baldes!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-29-2009, 03:37 PM
Yep, a rasp, a knife and a hand bow saw are about the only tools you'll find in Paracho. You need not have worried about the distractions of sun and sand in Hilo. There are no sandy beaches and there's not much sun either. Definitely no money, especially these days.

Kaneohe til the end
03-29-2009, 03:46 PM
My first shop tools were a Sears tablesaw, (which I used to resaw on!)

you crazy!!!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-29-2009, 03:53 PM
Wat? You no like Craftsman?

Pete Howlett
03-30-2009, 12:09 AM
When I made furniture I had one of those saws - did everything on it after being inspired by Curtis Erpelding... now what happened to him?

jaunedeau
03-30-2009, 02:23 AM
Hi,

Another issue which may decide for me in the kit vs from scratch, is the problem of bending the side.

I've already bent some wood, but the cas was very different (mainly because I was laminating, which means that I could work with 1mm (1/24" ?) thick board, and glue them) :
- I just cut a mold made of several layers of 1/2" mdf, put some 3mm flexible thing in the bottom of the mod (I was making a 3mm laminate), then pour some concrete. Once the concrete was done
- I put the wood in a barel which was filled with hot vapor for 5-10 minutes (vapor was generated by my mother's electric kettle)
- I then remove the 3mm soft thing in the mold and replace it with the layers of wood + glue. It was summer, and cement was in bright sun, so it was almost to hot to be touched. The cement could suck the water out of the wood, and in one afternoon, it was dry. I let it like that for one more week, and, well, it worked.

Can something like this been done with solid mahogany ?

If not, do I really need to buy a $200 bending iron now (of course I don't mind buying it later if I make some more ukes ;)), or can I use gettho solution ? I've seen people using aluminium tubes + a kind of very hot hair dryer you use to remove painting from walls (don't know the english name), could this be used ? (I even can make a "ukulele side shapped tube" using 3mm sheets of aluminium and the CNC to cut the sides with perfect shape, but it mean I have to solder them somehow)

Of course, I could also go to see a local luthier and ask him to do it for me, but :
-That's not fun
-That would end costing more than a stewmac kit, and being not really different.

I thing this is the only issue left that can prevent me from trying. If I can solve the bending problem, I'll go to the wood seller see what he has in stock :)

thanks,
John.

ukantor
03-30-2009, 03:11 AM
I've bent sides by using my wife's iron. Apply the iron over a very damp cloth and it will drive steam into the wood. You may have to re-wet the cloth a time or two. You then have to work quickly to get it into the mold and clamped down to shape. I've done it with maple, and with spruce - it may work with mahogany. It's worth a try.

It is not difficult to make a tubular bending iron of the old traditional sort. The modern "blanket" benders are highly desirable, but you don't NEED one for hobby work.

Ukantor.

Pete Howlett
03-30-2009, 04:24 AM
A simple bending pipe - length of 60mm steel tube, propane torch and a vice to hold it in. Go to Dave's videos to see how it's done.

As a side note and without meaning to be rude... you are asking lots of questions here which are fully and probably better answered by a search through the YouTube library. Try there first - it's like being in a luthier's workshop with the benefit of a comfy chair.:nana:

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-30-2009, 07:59 AM
Pete's right. No need for a big investment on a bending iron. An 8" length of 2" galvanized pipe and a propane torch will work fine. Should cost you about $10 for the works. Although I use heat blankets I also use the hot pipe for cutaways and touch up work.

jaunedeau
03-30-2009, 12:07 PM
>you are asking lots of questions here which are fully and probably better answered by a search through the YouTube library

Wow... I spent hours founding only one website giving few information about the DIY bending iron, but in five minutes I found 3 detailed video on ebay... thanks for the hint :S

On question I could no found the answer for, is what exactly do we use the bending iron for. I imagine that it :
-First heat the wood / water, which help changing the shape
-Then evaporate the water, then the wood is no longer flexible and retains the shape

If this is how it work, I coul also do as I describbed : use steam in a barell to soften the wood, then let it dry for two days in mold. Is this just to much time consuming for pro luthiers, or would it just not work ?

Regards,
John.

Pete Howlett
03-30-2009, 12:47 PM
Wood is made up of cellulose and lignin - it is therefore technically what we might understand as a thermo plastic or more accurately a partial thermo setting plastic since it always wants to straighten itself out after being bent (or tortured as my college lecturer would say). The water does nothing but stop the wood from scorching. It's the heat that weakens the molecular bonds in the cellulose that allows you to bend the wood. The micro structure and other mineral constituents of the wood you are bending play a huge part also - just try bending some African Blackwood...

jaunedeau
04-01-2009, 12:31 AM
Hi,

I think that I'm now taken my decision :
-I'll start with a $25 ukulele grizzly kit, on which I'll replace the top (and maybe back ?) with solid something (we have some spare brazilian walnut at the club I think, maybe this will fit, or some spruce from north of europe)
-I'll then start to build one from scratch during summer. I'll use the grellier plan, but make a flat back (let's not pick a too difficult thing for a first try)

I have to approximatively plan the work, to know when I need to be at the club, and when to start (because I'm not sure that the club is open during whole summer). My actual estimation is that, for a first projet, it will be around 100 hours of work, with about 50 which required the tools in the workshop, 30 that I can do myself (everything that is done with sandpaper, glue, finish, and making the files for the CNC...), plus another 20 needed to correct errors, go buy some supplies, ... Working about 4 hours a day on it, il would mean I need 25 days, 13 week-ends, 3 months.

Does it seem a good aproximation for a first music instrument project ?

Thanks,
John.

Sven
04-01-2009, 03:07 AM
Hi John.
First, what the others already said makes a lot of sense.

Second, I would recommend (when you eventually will build from scratch) that you consider buying the Hana Lima book. Full of good instructions.

Third, my journey so far has been exactly like yours will likely be. I built a kit (a Brueko kit) and then I built a tenor from scratch. I have years of woodworking experience but no luthier training before that. I have made a primitive blog about all this, if you can bear the crudeness you might find something that inspires you. www.argapa.blogspot.com It starts with the uke kit because it was then I found the blog function on the cell phone.

I wish you the best of luck. Did you find the grellier plans by the way? I think I gave a link in a recent thread on this forum.

Sven

jaunedeau
04-20-2009, 11:06 PM
Hi,

I am waiting for the hana lima manual to arrive and (ten more days). I have been given some spare quarter sawn sipo, which looks nice and is dry. So I think I'll use it for back, top, sides and neck unless I am adiced not to do so.

I'll use the Martin 1940 ukulele plan (http://www.grellier.fr/plans/Soprano_ukulele/Soprano_ukulele_en.pdf) on Christophe Grellier's website.

The plan shows the height and width of the neck, but not the precise profile. Is the profil an ellipse which whom diameters are the height and width of the neck ? Is the larger diameter of the ellipse on the top of the neck, or on the top of the fingerboard ? (of course I guess most answers to this question will be in the hana lima book, but I may be forced to take 2 days off by the end of the week, and won't have received the parcel yet :) )

Regards,
Fabien.

Spooner
04-20-2009, 11:28 PM
Reading this thread makes me feel like I am in a straight jacket...in the sense that....my hands are kinda tied (aside from the fact I am crazy lol).

I got heavily into blacksmithing/bladesmithing for a few years. I went out to all kinds of events, struck up a few friendships with guys who had their own shops and such...but in the end I had to let it rest. I became increasingly frustrated that I couldn't do it whenever the mood struck me as I live in an apartment. About the only thing I could do was hand file down my blades....which is tedious and tiring to say the least.

I would LOVE to make a uke from the ground up..but it's just not hapnin here in an apartment lol.

So, yeah..if you have a desire and place to do it...build you an uke and let the rest of us live vicariously through you. :p

jaunedeau
04-21-2009, 12:39 AM
>So, yeah..if you have a desire and place to do it...build you an uke and let the rest of us live vicariously through you.

I'll post picture as soon as I really start. But there are chances that woodworkers (or metalworkers) club exist near your place. I've been looking for one for long time, but then suddenly found 3 differents ones. Those guys just don't appear to make websites, so you have to find someone who can tell you where they are :)

Timbuck
04-21-2009, 11:24 AM
I made a balls up of this so read the next post..I blame it on the drink.

Timbuck
04-21-2009, 11:27 AM
I would LOVE to make a uke from the ground up..but it's just not hapnin here in an apartment lol. :p

I made my first copy of a "Fender Jazz bass" in a multi storey block of flats..I lived on the 14th floor...I carved out the neck from a solid lump ..I cross sawed lots of cuts along the back of the neck and then proceeded to remove the unwanted timber by chopping the lumps out with a 2 inch chisel and a hammer.
The heel end of the wood/neck was resting on the floor of the flat and I spent most of the evening hammering and shaping the neck...The next day everybody who lived in the block were full of complaints "of a noisy neighbour who was building a boat somewhere in the block"..I said "yes! it was disgracefull it spoiled my night too"..luckily the building complex made it difficult to Zero in to find the real culprit...Where there's a will there's a way.;)

Spooner
04-21-2009, 11:55 AM
>So, yeah..if you have a desire and place to do it...build you an uke and let the rest of us live vicariously through you.

I'll post picture as soon as I really start. But there are chances that woodworkers (or metalworkers) club exist near your place. I've been looking for one for long time, but then suddenly found 3 differents ones. Those guys just don't appear to make websites, so you have to find someone who can tell you where they are :)

Hmm interesting. I may have to look into this.

Thanks for the tip! :shaka:

Spooner
04-21-2009, 11:56 AM
I made my first copy of a "Fender Jazz bass" in a multi storey block of flats..I lived on the 14th floor...I carved out the neck from a solid lump ..I cross sawed lots of cuts along the back of the neck and the proceeded to remove the unwanted timber by chopping the lumps out with a 2 inch chisel and a hammer.
The heel end of the wood/neck was resting on the floor of the flat and I spent most of the evening hammering and shaping the neck...The next day everybody who lived in the block were full of complaints "of a noisy neighbour who was building a boat somewhere in the block"..I said "yes! it was disgracefull it spoiled my night too"..luckily the building complex made it difficult to Zero in to find the real culprit...Where there's a will there's a way.;)

I won't even go into the story of my crazy neighbor upstairs who comes down at 3;30pm on a Sat. afternoon because I was hammering in a few nails to hang a picture up.

I'll just say I have a "nighttime' ukulele. :rolleyes:

Sven
04-22-2009, 10:56 AM
Is the profil an ellipse which whom diameters are the height and width of the neck ? Is the larger diameter of the ellipse on the top of the neck, or on the top of the fingerboard ?
I was gonna show you this as an example
http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/?action=view&current=58a9b087.pbw
but I watched it again and realized I'd gotten it wrong. Still it's an amazing slideshow, also check Timbucks other stuff at photobucket.

Anyway I thought it was the same radius, but the centerpoint gradually moved higher above the fretboard closer to the nut. (hard to put in writing!) This would give you the tapered sides as well. Seeing the slideshow now I realize the taper is set on the lathe and I'm lost in geometry. Seems you should go for circular, not ellipses.

Ken, lay off the booze and help me out goddammit..!:mad:

Sven

jaunedeau
04-23-2009, 07:58 AM
If I understand the picture correctly, the neck + fredboard makes a half-round profile, then you jsut need to know the height of the neck to have its width.

I'll check on the plans if have if (neck height + fretboard height) *2 = fretboard width on first and 8th fret !

Thanks you,
John.

Ahnko Honu
04-23-2009, 10:25 AM
You need not have worried about the distractions of sun and sand in Hilo. There are no sandy beaches and there's not much sun either. Definitely no money, especially these days.

Ain't that the truth, Hilo when it's not raining it's overcast, perfect place to spend allot of time indoors honing your ukulele making skills. I LOVE Hilo, and will retire that side of Big Island one day since I like to read, and play ukulele, but also fish, and hunt wild boars which there's plenty of. :shaka:

Ahnko Honu
04-23-2009, 10:30 AM
I've bent sides by using my wife's iron. Apply the iron over a very damp cloth and it will drive steam into the wood. You may have to re-wet the cloth a time or two. You then have to work quickly to get it into the mold and clamped down to shape. I've done it with maple, and with spruce - it may work with mahogany. It's worth a try.

It is not difficult to make a tubular bending iron of the old traditional sort. The modern "blanket" benders are highly desirable, but you don't NEED one for hobby work.

Ukantor.

I've done some boat building over the years and to make wood flexible I've soaked in water as well as made inexpensive steam tubes to place wood in that needed bending. Very easy to make a steamer with metal pipe, and a heat source.

Timbuck
04-23-2009, 11:35 AM
I was gonna show you this as an example
http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/?action=view&current=58a9b087.pbw
but I watched it again and realized I'd gotten it wrong. Still it's an amazing slideshow, also check Timbucks other stuff at photobucket.

Anyway I thought it was the same radius, but the centerpoint gradually moved higher above the fretboard closer to the nut. (hard to put in writing!) This would give you the tapered sides as well. Seeing the slideshow now I realize the taper is set on the lathe and I'm lost in geometry. Seems you should go for circular, not ellipses.

Ken, lay off the booze and help me out goddammit..!:mad:

Sven
It's too difficult to explain whats going on without diagrams but the neck part is just a long tapered cone with a slice cut out of the middle..Thus giving two neck parts... Like this (the dimensions are just approximations they have to worked out to get it right)
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/PICT2844.jpg

Timbuck
04-28-2009, 03:22 AM
I am thinking about buying some wholesale water pipes from this company in China http://www.liangdianup.com/tobacciana_z.htm
but I am not sure if they are legal to bring in to the states? What are the laws on water pipes, bongs, and pipes?

Oh Dear ...:wallbash:Oh Dear... one's on the loose