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View Full Version : Archtop Tenor Wood and are rosewood tenor neck blanks available in the UK??



miche
04-12-2016, 03:16 AM
Hi all just read through Bradfords archtop group thread and it has really inspired me to give an arch top a go. I emailed him in the hope that he still has the plans and jig plans available, I know the thread is a few years old now. I understand that I can use a mandolin top for the soundboard of the instrument which will be a tenor but I just wondered about the back. How thick does the back plate need to be before carving. I imagine it will be a lot thicker then most standard sets. Any advice on cheap woods that would be good to use for a beginner and a source, I'm in the uk would also be greatly appreciated. I don't want to get anything expensive as I am almost certain I'll screw it up somewhere in the build.

Also off topic, is it possible to use rosewood for ukulele neck blanks? I have phoned around a few places in the uk and nobody seems to have them. Are they just too expensive or is wood of that thickness just hard to come by. I need a neck blank for a ukulele I am building and just don't want to use mahogany which seems to be the most readily available neck blank wood.

Thanks everyone

Patrick Madsen
04-12-2016, 07:04 AM
I suggest you contact Toby Chennell of Jazzbox ukes. He's in Bournemouth I believe. He makes great archtop guitars, ukes and basses. He may be a wonderful source for what you're looking for. jazzboxukes@gmail.com
I have an archtop baritone and bass from him. All handcarved.

Rob-C
04-12-2016, 01:28 PM
Any of the UK tonewoods suppliers (David Dyke, Touchstone) will be able to help you if you know what sizes you are looking for. Violin or viola body wedges may be more readily available than asking for a bespoke ukulele set to be cut just for you. I'm guessing from your post that the cheaper hardwoods such as sapele or utile won't be acceptable, as it sounds like you aren't interested in the mahogany-like woods.

In which case maple of some kind is probably your best bet.

There's also Maderas Barber in Spain http://tonewood.es/en/223-back or Madinter, though their violin stock is a bit limited at the moment.

A rosewood neck will be both expensive end extremely heavy by ukulele standards - If you absolutely need rosewood, talk to Kirk at http://www.exotichardwoodsukltd.com/ You'll probably want to construct a scarf-jointed headstock and a built up heel, but he'll have 1" thick stock that you can work with.

weerpool
04-12-2016, 01:36 PM
im an archtop builder and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a mahogany archtop lol. case in point.
90160 90161

Patrick Madsen
04-12-2016, 07:41 PM
Looks really nice Weerpool. Is it also small like those on your website? A 'hog archtop is definitely great sounding. I especially like it in a sunburst finish. If I had know Toby did sunbursts I would have ordered mine in mahogany rather than spruce/maple.

weerpool
04-12-2016, 08:53 PM
right now I'm only building them full-size. I'm already considering building miniatures in the future but we'll see. i do sunburst too!
the usual maple/spruce combo is just too bright sounding for my ear. I've refined my method enough , for what its worth, so my arch top ukes sounds mellower and tonally even. whatever that means lol. that is why i prefer alternative woods like mahogany or koa.
Looks really nice Weerpool. Is it also small like those on your website? A 'hog archtop is definitely great sounding. I especially like it in a sunburst finish. If I had know Toby did sunbursts I would have ordered mine in mahogany rather than spruce/maple.

miche
04-13-2016, 02:41 AM
I have used mahogany a lot and I find it really hard to work with which is who I was after something different. Hank's for the replies though.

little timber
04-13-2016, 05:08 AM
what bracing do you usually use on an archtop uke? 2 soundbars like a guitar? one x brace?

lauburu
04-13-2016, 11:34 AM
90207

Suggest you buy viola blanks and build it sized to fit into a viola case (slight tweaking required). I used spruce for the top and maple for the neck back and sides. Suggest you avoid cheap woods. You'll spend so much time building the archtop that it warrants an investment in decent woods.
Little Timber - I used 2 longitudinal braces.

Miguel

sequoia
04-13-2016, 06:56 PM
I don't think it is the two glasses of wine I just drank, but that is one sweet looking instrument. Very nice and I can tell a hellofalotta work went into making that ukulele.