View Full Version : Neck and heel block dimensions

06-04-2016, 04:37 AM
Hi all about to start build two and hoping it goes better this time. I now have a radius dish so am hoping that will eliminate a few problems I had last time.
I have a question regarding the neck and heel block dimensions people use on tenor ukes. On the last one the neck block I used was 30mm deep and 60mm wide. I had planned to use a dovetail which was 30mm wide at the back and 20 at the front but the block is so heavy and I think the dovetail would have ended up being unnecessarily big.
The end block I used was 60mm wide and 20mm deep again turning out heavy. I just wondered how small I get get away with making the dovetail and blocks. It will just be the joint holding the neck in. I won't be using any dowels or anything. Similar to a guitar.

Thanks again everyone.

06-04-2016, 09:22 AM
Sorry dude, haven't had my coffee yet, so I'm not doing conversions into the measurement system I use. Although there are a few here that go metric, and some that use both.

That said, I think the question you need to ask first is who does dovetails on Tenors, which, I'm not sure anyone here does. Dovetails on Standards? That would be Ken.

06-04-2016, 10:20 AM
Are we talking about dovetails or compound dovetails ?

06-04-2016, 06:40 PM
If I read your post right Miche, I think the weight of the neck block is the least of your worries. What you want to worry about is getting the thing in there straight, level and plumb. Very important as everything comes off this. As far as your neck attachment method goes, perhaps a compound dovetail is biting off a bit more than you can chew. Ken can cut one of these things perfect after a night out at the pub to a tolerance that would make Antonio Stradivarius blush with pleasure. Since we are not Ken Timms and this is your first uke, consider a straight radiused butt joint with dowels. It works just fine. Oak dowels and Tightbond and it isn't going anywhere. Trust me. The challenge is getting an absolute straight neck set with no reveals at the neck to body join. If you got your neck block in there right and your neck heal is a perfectly matched radius,... duck soup. Good luck! Send pictures.

Michael Smith
06-05-2016, 08:03 PM
As far as heal block, many use high quality 1/2" maple or birch plywood. I like a white maple plywood called ApplePly. it is a top of the line plywood. All plys are maple and it never seems to have any voids.

06-05-2016, 09:08 PM
Funny but my heal blocks are never a problem. I use mahogany blocks radiused and even if I get them slightly off center, nobody knows but me. A non-mission-critical part in my limited experience. Heal grafts cover all sins. However, neck blocks are mission critical and must be fit perfectly to get that easy neck set. Not easy as sides tend to rack and... you know.

06-06-2016, 08:48 AM
Thank you everyone for your advice.

06-06-2016, 01:36 PM
Not sure if ALL plywood is maple. I know there's a difference between Birch from HD and Baltic Birch. I use the latter for all my jigs, and some blocks (3/4" for heel with my M&T joint).

Baltic is more expensive, especially for jigs, but if you think about it, we need not go cheap there anyway.