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sequoia
05-11-2016, 09:05 PM
Well, I finally sprung good money for a "torrefied" spruce top wood. What I like to call a "terrified spruce" top. Also known as a "piece of toast". I really think this might be more than a luthier fad and might have real possibilities. We shall see. I bought a very expensive top from SMD ($25 US) and it arrived today.

First off the thing is huge and would be perfect for a small guitar which is probably what it was originally cut for. There will be a lot of waste for a tenor uke. Sad, but we need to sacrifice in pursuit of the perfect sounding ukulele. All I can say at this point is it seems to be very, very, dry. Right.

91067

91068

Michael N.
05-11-2016, 09:58 PM
It might have some tonal benefits. It won't be all encompassing though. In other words those so called tonal benefits might appeal to some, not to others. A bit like double tops or lattice bracing. Afraid there is no perfect sounding Uke, only the ones that you yourself happen to like. It would be interesting to try these as consecutive cut tops, one terrified, one not - all on the rest of the corpus made as close to each other as possible. Stick them both in double blind tests, see which folk prefer or whether they can actually tell the difference. Unfortunately that type of test is both time and money consuming.
Can't you get two tops out of it? Maybe a soprano too. Doesn't matter if you have to put the wide grain in the centre on the soprano. Just a thought.

Allen
05-11-2016, 10:00 PM
Place your sound board template on the timber and see if you can get 2 out of it by reversing the book match to the other side for the second set. That is if the grain allows for it.

printer2
05-12-2016, 01:17 PM
Nice color to it

sequoia
05-12-2016, 06:04 PM
Can't you get two tops out of it? Maybe a soprano too. Doesn't matter if you have to put the wide grain in the centre on the soprano. Just a thought.

You know that might be possible Michael. However, I've never built a soprano ukulele and don't really know the dimensions. I do know the things have a 13 inch scale length, but darned if I can find what the body length is nor can I find a free template on the web. Overall length is 21 inches, but I'm too lazy to do the math. Anybody know approximated body length? SMD used to offer a free PDF template for a soprano, but it appears they have discontinued their soprano uke kit. Interesting no? Significant?

Yeah, the top plates were probably cut for a grand concert sized guitar or even bigger, but there are two small imperfection knots that would have fallen on the edges of the upper bout. Thus...ukulele material by the wood grader I suspect. Nice wood nonetheless. This isn't the first time that I've scored some nice wood that had an imperfection in just the wrong spot for a guitar thus causing it to be thrown onto the reject pile. A triple A (AAA or even better) top that has that tiny inconvenient knot in just the wrong place which renders it downgraded. Us uke builders just cut off the offending bits and make perfect tops. Sometimes small is good.

Sven
05-12-2016, 08:46 PM
If you get material for a soprano top from the leftovers, keep it until you decide to build one or pass it on to someone who's jigged up to make sopranos. I would really recommend you try your hand at the size though, sopranos are indeed, as they say, where it's at.

Timbuck
05-12-2016, 08:54 PM
Soprano's are real ukuleles the original "dancing fleas"..anything bigger is a small guitar ;)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-12-2016, 10:07 PM
I'm not a purist but I agree, soprano ukes Rock. Especially after you've played tenor for a while, playing a soprano is a real welcome change. I don't see too much difference between tenor and concert sizes but the differences are noticeable with the soprano. The unique sound, ease of playing, the weight, just makes it a totally different experience. And if you really want to see how good a builder you are, try building some great sounding sopranos. It ain't easy.

Croaky Keith
05-12-2016, 10:45 PM
Soprano scale tends to be nearer 14" than 13" which seems to be a Sopranino scale length.

My long neck soprano (Kala) has a body length of 9.5", lower bout of just under 7", waist of just under 4.5", & upper bout of just over 5".

Edit: I'd love to see/have a Concano, concert 15" scale with a body size between soprano & concert. :)

Andyk
05-12-2016, 11:13 PM
...but darned if I can find what the body length is nor can I find a free template on the web.

for free soprano dimensions in PDF format you could try http://www.grellier.fr/plans/Soprano_ukulele/Soprano_ukulele_en.pdf

Michael N.
05-13-2016, 02:29 AM
So you need in the region of 240 mm x 82 mm's, 2 off, but of course the upper bout will be less than 82 mm's. You might be able to jig it around to get it to fit. Don't worry about placing the wide grain in the centre, I've done that many times, especially if it gives better reflection i.e. less visible runout. Don't be afraid to 'wing' the spruce if you have to, a 1 cm wing is of no consequence, the vast majority of it is supported by the side/linings. If you steal that wing from further up the soundboard, providing you don't flip the piece the reflection will be the same. You would need a microscope to notice providing the joint is good. You can even pick out a hard grain line if you really want to take it to the ultimate.
If you can do that your expensive $25 terrified spruce top is a less terrifying $15, or thereabouts.

ProfChris
05-13-2016, 04:48 AM
Soprano scale tends to be nearer 14" than 13" which seems to be a Sopranino scale length.

13 ins was the Kumalae scale length, and many other early sopranos too. Martin used a fraction over 13.5 (Ken will have the exact number), and most modern makers copy that scale length. But I like 13 ins, so I make quite a few at that scale.

Sopranino is usually around 11 ins.

Body length somewhere between 9 and 10 ins, to put the neck join at the 12th fret and the bridge in the centre of the lower bout.

Croaky Keith
05-13-2016, 05:49 AM
13 ins was the Kumalae scale length, and many other early sopranos too. Martin used a fraction over 13.5 (Ken will have the exact number), and most modern makers copy that scale length. But I like 13 ins, so I make quite a few at that scale.

Sopranino is usually around 11 ins.


I stand corrected. :)

Timbuck
05-13-2016, 06:29 AM
Martin Ukulele




Soprano (std) Total Length 21" Body 9 7/16" X 6 3/8" scale 13 5/8"

Concert Total Length 23 1/4" Body 11" X 7 5/8" scale 14 3/4"

Tenor Total Length 26 1/4" Body 12 1/16" X 8 15/16" Scale 17"

Baritone Total Length 30 11/16" Body 14" X 10" scale 20 1/8"

Titchtheclown
05-13-2016, 09:36 AM
More than a few home makers, and even a few propper luthiers use a guitar scale fret template and take advantage of the fixed ratio nature of frets and use the best matching section of the fretboard template for the task at hand. For example to do a sopranino 273.5mm scale I use the last 11 frets on my template (and measure in the 12th by hand).
I use a very basic fretboard duplicating jig simillar to this http://sixgunguitars.com/fret_slotting_jig.html with a pre slotted 648mm scale length guitar fretboard for pretty much everything. The commercial scale templates are usually 2 sided with 2 different scales which would allow a wider range of different scales.

RPA_Ukuleles
05-13-2016, 11:08 AM
Actually, the proper measurement unit for ukulele scale length is the international "ish" - 13.5 ish, 15 ish, 17 ish, 20 ish.

:o

RPA_Ukuleles
05-13-2016, 11:28 AM
I'd love to see/have a Concano, concert 15" scale with a body size between soprano & concert. :)

Funny you mention that, I made one and LOVED it. Seemed somehow the perfect size and tone. The best mix of soprano bark and concert mellowness/playability. But I always called it a Soprancert. Sorry I sold it. I don't even have a great pic of it, just this:

http://i913.photobucket.com/albums/ac331/rpashop/popuke2_zpszkvgedfi.jpg

I should contact the owner and get some proper pics for the book.

sequoia
05-14-2016, 07:44 PM
There will be a lot of waste for a tenor uke. Sad, but we need to sacrifice in pursuit of the perfect sounding ukulele. All I can say at this point is it seems to be very, very, dry. Right. /ATTACH]

I measured the plates out and it comes to 22 inches right on (559 mm or 55.9 centimeters for you European guys). This is exactly perfect for one tenor at 12 inches and one soprano at 9 1/2 inches with barely 1 /8th inch extra. A close shave but doable.

Another note: It is wet here and these so called stable plates have started to curl like potato chips. Currently stickered in the a severe way. Everything is gonna be fine. Fine...