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View Full Version : "heal block" foot?



FinnP
09-19-2016, 08:55 AM
I just bought a new Mainland cedar tenor and I wonder if it's "normal" that the healblock foot is not glued to the back of the uke?
Could this affect the neck angel, so the the uke's intonation goes flat.
I ask because the intonation is very flat 15 to 20+ cents, worst on the A string.
I can easily slide a piece of paper underneath the heal, se picture.
Is this normal, or a construction error?
I'm a little confused here, because it's glued in my other ukes.
Thanks

Michael N.
09-19-2016, 09:06 AM
No, that's certainly a fault in construction. Send it back.

FinnP
09-19-2016, 09:11 AM
Thank you, I will...bought in the UK btw.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-19-2016, 09:25 AM
What Michael N said.

Also, newer, cheaper Martin guitars (the ones with the spruce grain lines that are actually computer printed...) use a kind of undercut head block that by making that area smaller, speeds up the back fitting process.
Don't buy these piece of S*#t guitars.

Michael Smith
09-19-2016, 10:14 AM
i doubt that is haveing an effect on your intonation problems. It would seem to me if it were to have any effect it would be to allow the neck to come forward due to string tension causing raising of action and shortening of scale causing you to go sharp as you played up the neck rather than flat.

Not sure what the saddle is like on this ukulele but.
If you don't have a saddle wide enough to correct intonation you are not going be be as close as possible on a stringed instrument with a scale as short as a ukulele.

FinnP
09-19-2016, 10:40 AM
i doubt that is haveing an effect on your intonation problems. It would seem to me if it were to have any effect it would be to allow the neck to come forward due to string tension causing raising of action and shortening of scale causing you to go sharp rather than flat.
I see your point. It's not possible to compensate the saddle 20 cents+ as the string allready rests on front edge. So I got a misplaced bridge too, not my lucky day.

Michael N.
09-19-2016, 12:15 PM
Thank you, I will...bought in the UK btw.

But made in one of the Chinese factories I guess? Not their finest hour, if the intonation is so far out as well.

pahu
09-19-2016, 05:53 PM
what michael n said.

(the ones with the spruce grain lines that are actually computer printed...)

w h a a t ? ?

Timbuck
09-20-2016, 12:35 AM
It looks to me, like the neck block is resting on top of the cross binding strip.:confused:

Michael N.
09-20-2016, 03:11 AM
It might be. Trying to get a tight fit between the top block and the reinforcement strip. I rub pencil right on the edge of the top block, press the back down when fitting it. It doesn't give a precise line but it's a pretty good guide to nibble away at. I've tried scribing with a scalpel but that always seems to work out worse for some reason.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-20-2016, 05:48 AM
w h a a t ? ?

Yes...
You didn't mis read that.
The cheaper Martin guitars print the spruce grain onto their mdf tops and backs. I cant find a link that says anything about fake printed tops, but this beauty has "mahogany patterned high-pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides"
https://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/limited-editions-and-new-models/dcx1ae/

ok- i found one- it mysteriously doesn't mention the top...........
https://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/little-martin/lxm-little-martin/

lauburu
09-20-2016, 12:02 PM
it mysteriously doesn't mention the top.

Yes it does. Proudly displayed further down the page are the immortal words "Top material: HPL; Top detail: Spruce pattern" Looks to be at least AAA grade !!!
How the mighty are fallen.
Miguel

RPA_Ukuleles
09-20-2016, 12:19 PM
And yet we don't seem have a problem with carbon fiber or "e-koa" ?? Don't forget to mention the plywood necks. Must be purchased by the same folks who have "laminate flooring" in their houses. I can't really imagine there's any mdf at Martin. Event tho it makes a hell of a radiused dish.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-20-2016, 05:57 PM
Can any of the maker who have posted in this thread make a uke out of solid wood which can survive a freezing winter without needing to check the hydrometer every ten minutes? HPL and other new materials have significant advantages over solid wood in some circumstances, it is silly to ignore the advantages..

Yes it is silly to ignore the advantages- if i lived in a place where i couldn't maintain a good environment (ie 40-50% humidity, nice temperature) for my very expensive instrument, id get a "fake" wood something.

Michael N.
09-20-2016, 10:36 PM
MDF isn't a great material for instruments subject to extremes. It takes on moisture just like any other wood and it can react badly to it. I made a couple of forms out of the stuff and within a few months they were no longer flat. It also swells a little. A good quality thin plywood is a better proposition IMO. This is about cost though and printed MDF ticks all those boxes. Then again I tend to think that real wood is such a great material that there's no need to use anything else. Very little pollution, no nasty chemicals, the sun, the wind and the rain does it for us, virtually everyone on the planet has access to stuff that grows within a few hundred miles of them. The fact that people choose to use stuff that is grown on the other side of the planet is down to choice, not necessity.

Dan Gleibitz
09-20-2016, 11:53 PM
True, but HPL isn't MDF. It's more like the Formica used to laminate bench tops, and that stuff does not absorb moisture.

Pukulele Pete
09-21-2016, 01:16 AM
Wait , ...............what ? Heelblock , heelblock.

FinnP
09-21-2016, 03:23 AM
Wait , ...............what ? Heelblock , heelblock.
:rolleyes: Yes..but interesting, as there is another tread where people are praising the new Enya X1 all HQ print Koa laminate: http://www.banggood.com/Enya-X1-23-26-Inch-Hawaii-Concert-Tenor-Koa-Ukulele-With-Classical-Head-p-1068730.html

Back to my question. I've contacted the shop, but I haven't gotten a reply yet. I suspect that the neck-foot is supposed to be that way. I asked for other owners if this is the case. Still waiting for a reply.

Michael N.
09-21-2016, 04:26 AM
I can sell you a Uke with gaps like that. In fact it has gaps everywhere. Every joint has a gap, which is why it's completely in bits. I know I should charge a lot more, after all you are getting a lot of gaps and gaps can be very expensive. A few hundred quid should cover it, post and packaging extra. Very cheap for a handmade luthier Uke with gaps. I'll put a few gaps in the packaging too, gratis.