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johnson430
10-10-2016, 05:19 AM
OK, not really.

But what about drilling holes in the bracing to increase volume and sustain?

Here is a short article from a Texas luthier about the concept.
http://www.kinscherff.com/BracingSys.html

So, who has tried it?
Who wants to try it in their next build?

stevepetergal
10-10-2016, 05:57 AM
I'm quite sure Kanile'a has done this for years.

johnson430
10-10-2016, 06:12 AM
I'm quite sure Kanile'a has done this for years.


Steve, I had no idea. I was not familiar with Kanile'a's build so I looked it up and they drill holes only in the braces around the sound hole.
Does any builder drill holes in the other top bracing or back bracing, like in the photo of the guitar?
I wonder why more builders don't do this with their bracing?

Recstar24
10-10-2016, 06:30 AM
Steve, I had no idea. I was not familiar with Kanile'a's build so I looked it up and they drill holes only in the braces around the sound hole.
Does any builder drill holes in the other top bracing or back bracing, like in the photo of the guitar?
I wonder why more builders don't do this with their bracing?

Cost and labor I would imagine, or they simply don't feel it adds that much more to the sound and resonance of the top. Each builder seems to have their own recipe of how they treat bracing, which is a big part in what makes each builder have their particular sound. Couple that with each builder has their own target thickness levels they like for their various tops, a builder will determine how thin/thick/type of bracing they need based on what they are looking for.

johnson430
10-10-2016, 06:58 AM
Cost and labor I would imagine, or they simply don't feel it adds that much more to the sound and resonance of the top. Each builder seems to have their own recipe of how they treat bracing, which is a big part in what makes each builder have their particular sound. Couple that with each builder has their own target thickness levels they like for their various tops, a builder will determine how thin/thick/type of bracing they need based on what they are looking for.

Ryan, you bring up some good points. You are right, there are many factors in a uke's sound and the builder's own "way of doing it" is going to impart certain characteristics even when building a uke of similar wood and design execution.
Thanks for your insight.
One reason I brought this thread up is because I saw a uke maker out of Asia that is doing this to their ukes and was curious.

stevepetergal
10-10-2016, 07:19 AM
...they drill holes only in the braces around the sound hole.
Does any builder drill holes in the other top bracing or back bracing, like in the photo of the guitar?

The braces near the soundhole will have, by far, the most effect on an ukulele. With a small soundboard, even a tenor, the portion that does the vibrating is right there in the middle. As the top nears the sides, it's held fast, with or without holes in the braces. My guess is Kanile'a has determined lightening up the braces further from the center is not sufficiently beneficial. Looking at the Kinscherff soundboard in the article you linked, you'll see there are a few inches between the edges of the soundboard and the outermost holes. These are still probably farther from the sides than those on a Kanile'a.

As to why no one else does it or why it's not common practice, the answer is in the article. Even though it's just as strong, from an academic, engineering viewpoint (and I'm sure it is as strong), Kinscherff did it as a prototype, and kept the instrument for testing (for at least a year) . Hard to say how many builders are able and willing to conduct such an expensive experiment.

mzuch
10-10-2016, 07:36 AM
Kanile'a uses a suspended bracing system. Except for the transverse braces, the tone bars are very thin and touch the top only at the ends. There is no room to drill little holes in them.

I also use a kind of suspended bracing pattern. I used to drill 1/4" holes in the transverse braces, but stopped the first time a brace cracked along the grain line, a break that was made possible in part by the holes. I've noticed no difference in tone or volume between the transverse braces with and without holes.

Ukulele braces are made of spruce, not steel, and I'm now convinced that the holes make the braces weaker.

Rakelele
10-10-2016, 07:46 AM
Might an additional factor be reducing weight? I notice my Kanilea is lighter than most other ukes of the same size.

tobinsuke
10-11-2016, 03:50 AM
I'm just delighted by the obscure Simpsons reference in the thread title.

johnson430
10-11-2016, 04:12 AM
I'm just delighted by the obscure Simpsons reference in the thread title.

Tobin,
Thanks for noticing. =)

Andyk
10-11-2016, 04:36 AM
I imagine most builders don't drill holes in their braces because they are a hell of a lot smaller than guitar braces ... having holes in braces that you most likely are going to shave down to get the response from the top could mean you chisel/shave off into the holes. I'm only saying it sounds like a PITA and a bit of a marketing up-sell to me ... I'm not suggesting people shouldn't try it if they want to.