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View Full Version : made my first uke from hana lima book and plans.



robinashby
01-22-2016, 03:56 AM
876418764287643

any feed back welcome!

would be nice If I could ask a few questions regarding my next build if anyone out there is will to advise? I am in the uk in the midlands not to far from birmingham. I am also just learning how to play the uke and to be honest I am not sure how to check if this thing I made holds up musically cos I am only a learner player!

anyway I am new on here as well I hope to have a chat or two about where to buy stuff from and all that. Big thanks, robin

SweetWaterBlue
01-22-2016, 04:34 AM
Nice looking uke.

gspears
01-22-2016, 05:06 AM
Very nice! I use the Hana Lima plans and book to base my builds on as well. If you have questions, I can let you know what I have experienced using the Hana lima process.

Vespa Bob
01-22-2016, 05:31 AM
Well done! I'm sure it sounds as good as it looks! Welcome to the UU forum, there's no better place for friendly advice.

Bob

ksquine
01-22-2016, 07:04 AM
Looks great. Much better than my first effort lol
I like the quilted top

fynger
01-22-2016, 07:29 AM
Well done, Looking Good.

chuck in ny
01-22-2016, 08:21 AM
lovely instrument lad.

Kevs-the-name
01-22-2016, 08:59 AM
Welcome to UU Robin,
Glad you took my advice to join! there is a mountain of advice to be read here!

Look forward to a few chats in the future.
Kev

robinashby
01-22-2016, 09:23 AM
Thanks for the encouragement from you all.


I actually do cad modelling and 3-d printing for the jewellery industry for my job, my own little business ....

That said I am now for my next uke producing my own templates by doing the cad myself and printing them on paper. I did struggle to get the exact lines down from off the plans with card templates from the hana lima plans . I am now spray mounting my cad paper print outs to some thin ply to make some super accurate templates. All the way through my other uke I did struggle to convince myself everything lined up! I ve started the first templates and think its going to be much quicker and simpler knowing everything is exact!

I ve bought a bending iron (english company called luthers bench!) also as found I was always combating the spring in the sides i like to be able to bend and get better shape......... anyone tell me how hard it is to use one? I guess I ll find out soon..... any tips greatfully received. I did the rubber blanket over a forma thing on the first uke.

Also much talk of tone woods and how important they are but I see all kinds of woods used for sound boards? I have some english yew which is great looking but uncertain as to use that just for back and sides and keep to the normal spruce or maple tops or something?

It seems tough to get the supplies of tools and woods from the uk if anyone has some good contacts I luv to know. I bought some stuff from stewmac and others from ebay but have had to pay costly import customs on it all.

Please forgive the lack of knowledge...... i have transferable skills from the jewellery side but the knowledge in the wood side and all that is lacking. I am going to pimp the ukes up once I know what I am doing with a few tasteful jewellery inspired touches but need to walk before I fly!

I ve attached a pic of the template so far... but mainly this pic to show the english bending iron..... it took a geat deal of hunting to find a british one and its made to order so had to wait for it hope its good!87658

chuck in ny
01-23-2016, 04:57 AM
you have to be kidding. english yew? i'd get in a knife fight for some of that. history, that sort of thing.
just personally i would use it for the soundboard as well but if you have the slightest reservation use spruce and you can't go wrong.
don't be afraid to use native woods, you have stuff we don't have in the states, english oak and so forth. koa was no big deal until the portugese made ukuleles out of it, and it was a wood of opportunity just as is your yew. think about it.
logs cut firewood length, 16"/18", split 'em once in the middle across the pith, then split a few times again to recover the best quarter/rift grain, paint the ends with glue or tar etc., put 'em up and let 'em dry. you'll use a minor portion of the round with the rest going to the wood stove.

edit. looked up yew. mild toxicity with the dust. might be a thought to use a dust mask when sawing and sanding. extreme toxic reactions are rare.

PhilUSAFRet
01-23-2016, 05:06 AM
Nice job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-23-2016, 06:24 AM
Looks nice
For your next uke make the tail block the same width as the linings- the center can be fatter, but make it follow the linings. (see pic)
87679

robinashby
01-23-2016, 06:54 AM
ah ... that sounds more than a little positive then! I actually look with envy at all the american sites that seem to sell endless uke front back and sides and compare that to britain and the selection is proper small! So english yew ( and I dont want to make you jealous but the piece I have is breathtaking) I ll avoid the knife fight though as I d be certain to lose!

thanks beau hannam ukuleles for the tip of making the tail block less deep at the linings I guess thinner means better vibration to the surfaces? that makes good sense.

does anyone use the hide glue for any or all aspects of gluing their ukes? The idea seems good I ve had a go with some... seem to only be able to buy one type over here and it has no number or anything to ref it against as there's more than one sort?

I d like the next uke to have some inlay so I ll get a little more ambitious on the next one. I ve looked at some of the websites of the senior members on here and man they are making amazing stuff.

I ll need to get my trusty piercing (jewellery) saw out and get some practice in the inlaying. Could do with a supplier of the twist down router bits for this.... got a couple from stewmac but think I pay over the odds for anything from them?

thanks

Yankulele
01-23-2016, 07:17 AM
Nice looking uke. Pretty top wood. I'm a novice, finishing up my fourth uke now, also chiefly using the Hana Lima plans and book, although I shifted to a bolt on neck. I have been using hot hide glue and bottled liquid hide glue exclusively. I like it. The hot stuff can be a little tricky in the glue up due to time constraints, but I like the reversibility should I need to fix something (I have). I use the bottled stuff for bindings and purfling because it has a long open time.

Nelson

Pete Howlett
01-23-2016, 08:45 AM
Robin

Email me for some tonewood. Yew is a great wood to use BUT it produces a dreadfully 'dark' sounding ukulele upon which murder ballads and lost love songs are best performed in the key of Dm. It is also a monster to finish because it has no surface pore structure - great if you are handy with a spray gun or French polish but disappointing if you are in the TruOil camp. English Cherry is my favourite novice wood with African makore or African Cherry as it is also known a close second. They both work and bend easily and have a far more even and brighter sound than yew ukulele (and I've built quite a few of those...). I'll see what I have in my pile and gift it to you for making such a good first effort.

Side bar - I have decided to write the book on building a tenor ukulele, Hawaiian style - ie all same wood for body front sides and back, no rosette, just simple lines. It will be a true beginners book to cover all the techniques to make a largely hand built instrument using hand tools, a bandsaw, bench drill and router; plus a few essential specialist tools - bending iron, nut files - just as I did for my first 350 ukulele! There will also be a section on shop tool making to help you get consistency. I am hoping to make it a relevant to the common experience of building your first uke. It will also come with plans templates and the optional DVD shot by Artisan Media.

Hana Lima does a great job but it is very specific to their course.... It's about time another one came into view. it will take a year but there - I've nailed my colours to the mast and so I must now do it. There will be no Kickstarter mularchy or pre-order stuff. When it's done it will be published and on sale :)

Michael N.
01-23-2016, 09:00 AM
You can use the Yew, no problem. Providing it's dry and stable it can be used for Back, Sides and Tops. You can buy it in guitar sizes so it should be much easier to obtain decent stuff in uke sizes. A lot of the Yew that I've seen in board form has been pretty knotty with very swirly grain.

Pete Howlett
01-23-2016, 09:16 AM
The yew I have isn't....

jgarber
01-23-2016, 09:36 AM
Nice looking uke!! One question (pardon my ignorance about Hana Lima book plans): that bridge looks pretty thick. Does it affect the sound?

Kevs-the-name
01-23-2016, 10:43 AM
What a fantastic offer Pete!
I may be sending you an email soon too !!!!:worship:
I made a lovely(ish) concert from Cherry. I think it is great stuff! makes me scared to try anything else!

The book sounds like a great venture.. Ill be keeping an eye out!


Robin

Email me for some tonewood. Yew is a great wood to use BUT it produces a dreadfully 'dark' sounding ukulele upon which murder ballads and lost love songs are best performed in the key of Dm. It is also a monster to finish because it has no surface pore structure - great if you are handy with a spray gun or French polish but disappointing if you are in the TruOil camp. English Cherry is my favourite novice wood with African makore or African Cherry as it is also known a close second. They both work and bend easily and have a far more even and brighter sound than yew ukulele (and I've built quite a few of those...). I'll see what I have in my pile and gift it to you for making such a good first effort.

Side bar - I have decided to write the book on building a tenor ukulele, Hawaiian style - ie all same wood for body front sides and back, no rosette, just simple lines. It will be a true beginners book to cover all the techniques to make a largely hand built instrument using hand tools, a bandsaw, bench drill and router; plus a few essential specialist tools - bending iron, nut files

mm stan
01-23-2016, 11:14 AM
Congratulations Robin, very nice first uke, Lesley lives close to you and is a brummie :)
I think shed be happy to try your ukulele

robinashby
01-23-2016, 11:18 AM
lesly who? thanks r

robinashby
01-23-2016, 11:25 AM
I am new to both playing and making! It sounds very pleasant to me but having an expert to look at it is something I looking into! I think the measurements are correct according to the plans height wise however the mount/saddle is my own design shape wise. the hana lima i think is different design wise as the strings go though the inside of the uke you tie a bead to each string which is then inside the instrument....... hope that makes sense?

so in short it sounds nice......... maybe the bone part can be lower need an expert to tell me! can easy take some off it once i know! all learning which is why am doing this in the first place.

robinashby
01-23-2016, 11:28 AM
I ve sent private message pete.......... great for the help I sure need it!

robinashby
01-23-2016, 11:32 AM
87686 hey heres my own cad design plan which I can print actual size and work to.... just starting my next uke and doing a new mold this is very handy I just spray glue this to work wood... I am finding it useful way of working... do others on here work the same way? means I can put little locators in and all that.....

mm stan
01-23-2016, 12:14 PM
lesly who? thanks r

Lesley Fowles. .she is a uu member here :)
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/member.php?72736-barefootgypsy

sequoia
01-23-2016, 06:52 PM
Yes, nice looking effort. Nice and clean... My only observation is that the saddle seems to be sitting a bit proud and high. What is the height of the action at the 1st and 12th frets? I ask because a high action can be difficult for the novice player.

robinashby
01-23-2016, 07:30 PM
ah okay have just checked height between the 1st fret : from the wood to the bottom of string is 2.1mm

the gap at the 12th fret wood to bottom of string is 5.18mm.

When i bought the fret wire i made mistake of it being quite chunky which I ve now ordered finer stuff for the next one........... but the wire on these one is 1.17mm from wood part to the top of the half round section of wire.

I guess all this is critical an this is where I need to seek advice from the experts........ all input welcome.

The saddle bone part on the current one can be easy lowered by taking it down so maybe not all is lost!

I ve just got up today at 6am to get into the workshop before my kids awake to get an hour making new wooden forma !

sequoia
01-24-2016, 04:39 PM
You want to measure from the top of the first fret to the bottom of the string and not the string to the fretboard (wood). I don't work in mm but in Imperial decimals so after doing some calculations I see your action as about 30 at the first fret and 150 at the 12th. This is subtracting the 1.7mm height of the fret from your measurements since you measured to the fretboard. This is actually not too bad and certainly not disastrously high. If it feels OK when you play I wouldn't necessarily attempt to lower the action. You might lower the saddle a bit, but be careful since not much has to come off. Remember that lowering the saddle is going to lower the height at the nut end too and you are already pretty low there. If it was me I would take it down just a hair or two. But you might want to leave things as they are. At least there is no string buzz and that is always the danger. This uke should be plenty playable as it is.

robinashby
01-25-2016, 02:28 AM
sequoia : thankyou for checking...maybe leave it for now then as the next uke is in the pipeline.

the plans were in imperial which caused me troubles as had to look every thing up and convert to mm!

On another note does inlay et on the sound board effect sound so much? I ve seen some with inlay/differing woods but was just wondering?

thanks,

r

fretie
01-25-2016, 04:48 AM
Handsome uke, Robin! I look forward to seeing your next buuld.

Red Cliff
01-29-2016, 11:55 AM
Hi Robin

I'm in Sheffield, so not far away from you. If you need any advice re: suppliers for wood, tools etc then just pm me the specifics - there are loads of places in the UK, although sometimes it is necessary to go stewmac or LMII. My wood stocks aren't anywhere near Pete's levels but if there is something you need I can probably help so just let me know.

Giles

barefootgypsy
01-30-2016, 02:42 AM
Robin, I replied to your private message and sent another.... did you not get them?

robinashby
01-30-2016, 12:06 PM
Robin, I replied to your private message and sent another.... did you not get them?

appols only just back on here and yes just replied to your kind offer as your not so far from me!

robinashby
01-30-2016, 12:12 PM
Hi Robin

I'm in Sheffield, so not far away from you. If you need any advice re: suppliers for wood, tools etc then just pm me the specifics - there are loads of places in the UK, although sometimes it is necessary to go stewmac or LMII. My wood stocks aren't anywhere near Pete's levels but if there is something you need I can probably help so just let me know.

Giles

okay great thanks! I got a bit to be going on with and searching around the web to find more local ones.

I ve just started my neck (doing two at once as quicker to work like that I think) Maple is suprizingly hard wasn't expecting that but its nice and accurrate to shape... trying to add some style to the next ones I make!

pic if the x4 hours spent so far! the others only roughed out in back of the shot!87895

Red Cliff
01-30-2016, 09:18 PM
Robin, one thing you could try is reducing the width of the Spanish foot, it doesn't need to be the full width of the fingerboard, it can be much slimmer.

greenscoe
01-30-2016, 11:02 PM
Well as you can see there's plenty of support for newcomers on this forum.

So I'll simply add my congrats on your first build and look forward to seeing how your building and playing develops. Once it's taken hold it's hard to escape the uke bug!

greenscoe
01-30-2016, 11:03 PM
repeat posting deleted

robinashby
01-30-2016, 11:05 PM
Robin, one thing you could try is reducing the width of the Spanish foot, it doesn't need to be the full width of the fingerboard, it can be much slimmer.

okay great will give that a goo then! thanks,

r

robinashby
02-01-2016, 09:55 AM
taken bit off the width and chamfered in the reduce contact area for the heel.... not brave enough on this one to take any more off! This maple is really tough stuff I like it a lot to work with. 8794687947

Pete Howlett
02-01-2016, 10:03 AM
Yep I would chop that thing up and make it the width of the neck - see Les Stansell video on YouTube to see how he does this most awkward (on all levels) neck joint!

robinashby
02-01-2016, 11:05 AM
okay then.......... seems good feed back to me..... I can make the inside as wide as the heel type bit then... maybe that not so tricky! will be a job to sneak off my normal work for an hour or so!

will look again for the les u tube film.......... looked on his facebook page last time. to see what he has to say...... big thankyou to all.

robinashby
02-02-2016, 08:34 AM
got the wood parcel in the post pete thanks...... I ve emailed your website email hope you got the file? thanks

robinashby
02-02-2016, 10:44 AM
now slimmed down! hope it looks okay now?87974

robinashby
02-05-2016, 10:37 AM
8809588096

Just had a go at inlay.... marked out with cad on paper and pritstick to wood. Used my trusty jewellers piercing and finished with needle files form the days when I used to get my hands dirty making jewellery rather than 3-d printing it! I seemed to struggle marking out directly on the wood this way i seem to be confident its symmetrical and straight. I am making two at the same time as seems simpler to do so. I am luving maple to work with. Ordered a purfling cutter thing today made in brass..... fingers crossed it works okay.... another interest process to try I hope!

barefootgypsy
02-06-2016, 01:11 AM
Robin. your work looks really nice! I did PM you again last week - if you want to come round, just let me know, I'd be delighted to see your uke and play it!