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Hluth
03-20-2016, 06:55 AM
Part of the fun of building instruments can be going beyond traditional instrument building norms. This is where the object starts becoming a personal expression instead of a copy of what already exists. It can be small, like a different color binding or rosette pattern, or it can be more radical, challenging accepted ideas in both construction and appearance. My core life experience is in design, so as a designer, I canít leave anything alone. The design process is like any other skill that has to be developed over timeóitís a process where you can build on old ideas while searching for new ones. The method I currently use employs a combination of sketches and computer drawings. I realize that any idea I have in my mind will very rarely end up as the something I can use as I imagined it. It has to be tested on paper and continuously modified before it can be implemented. After it actually becomes part of the finished product, itís still open to modification the next time itís used. The picture below is from a current project that shows the use of sketches and computer drawings to develop an idea. This particular idea is leading to changes in the structure of the instrument that might open the door to new ideas that go beyond the current one. Itís never ending in a good way.

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jcalkin
03-20-2016, 09:04 AM
When you finally come up with a new shape, cut it out full-size and pin it up some place where you'll have to look at it a lot. If it grows on you, great. If it somehow makes you uneasy you know it has to be altered or discarded. Just use the shape, don't draw in any distracting details.

sequoia
03-20-2016, 04:49 PM
Part of the fun of building instruments can be going beyond traditional instrument building norms. This is where the object starts becoming a personal expression instead of a copy of what already exists.

I have to admit that my design shape comes from an instrument designer who I hope and believe knows more about these things than I do, so I am loath to tinker too much with the engineered design. I think my fear about deviating from these designs comes from the fear that my own design will be acoustically inferior. I mean, I just might put all that time, effort and money into building an uke that doesn't sound that good. Looks great - sounds like crap. I just don't know enough (yet) about sound design to venture too far off the well beaten path.

spongeuke
03-20-2016, 08:40 PM
That is very elegant the way you have documented the process.
You seem to have expanded the working area of the soundboard and incorporated larger than lute style sound holes.
What type of bracing are you going to use?
Keep us informed.

Hluth
03-21-2016, 03:40 AM
That is very elegant the way you have documented the process.
You seem to have expanded the working area of the soundboard and incorporated larger than lute style sound holes.
What type of bracing are you going to use?
Keep us informed.

The bracing will be similar to this one (this is a different style instrument I build with the same bracing). One advantage of this design is being able to move the lower bout brace into the area normally occupied by the sound hole. This enables me to place the bridge exactly where I want it in relation to the length of the fan bracing without it depending on where the neck joins to the body. The actual area of the sound hole openings in the new design is close to that of standard sound holes.

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After the sound holes were done:

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Hammond
03-21-2016, 05:33 PM
I like your drawing, from those papers I can feel the "evolution" of the design going on and on. This kind of events always happen in design phase, it just keep changing until a satisfied idea finally come out, yet the better idea come after it, and again.

Hluth
03-24-2016, 11:08 AM
That is very elegant the way you have documented the process.
You seem to have expanded the working area of the soundboard and incorporated larger than lute style sound holes.
What type of bracing are you going to use?
Keep us informed.

Here's the bracing before and after gluing on the top. The design differs from a lute sound hole in that it is less complex and is incorporated into the top rather than being a separate piece.

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chuck in ny
03-24-2016, 11:42 AM
I have to admit that my design shape comes from an instrument designer who I hope and believe knows more about these things than I do, so I am loath to tinker too much with the engineered design. I think my fear about deviating from these designs comes from the fear that my own design will be acoustically inferior. I mean, I just might put all that time, effort and money into building an uke that doesn't sound that good. Looks great - sounds like crap. I just don't know enough (yet) about sound design to venture too far off the well beaten path.

don't sell yourself short. you are meant to go beyond anything you have been taught and shown.

Timbuck
03-24-2016, 11:56 AM
I like the overall design I think the shape is great...but the only bit that bothers me is the exposed bracing that goes under the sound holes.

lauburu
03-30-2016, 11:29 PM
Agree with Ken.
Miguel

Hluth
03-31-2016, 11:01 AM
Here it is as is, and sans neck pocket under the scroll work. To my eye it becomes more two dimensional without anything under it. I like where the scrolls go from relief over the top edge of the neck pocket, then twice their thickness where they are open.

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Pueo
03-31-2016, 11:09 AM
The angled shot does show the relief better. It is one of those things where it probably looks much cooler in person than it does in a photo.
Keep doing what you do Jerry, I really like your stuff!

RPA_Ukuleles
03-31-2016, 11:47 AM
To my eye it becomes more two dimensional without anything under it. I like where the scrolls go from relief over the top edge of the neck pocket, then twice their thickness where they are open.

Its beautiful Jerry. How about a slightly darker wood for that neck pocket. Could still see it underneath for the sense of dimensionality but be dark enough to differentiate from the top wood. May give you the best of both worlds.?