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Pete Howlett
02-14-2017, 02:25 PM
For the past 5 years, I have resisted putting sound ports on my tenors. Our last 15 instruments have had ports and I am now preparing a hat casserole - they really do work :) Apologies for naysaying...

97821

97822

97823

and so on...

97824

ksiegel
02-14-2017, 03:22 PM
For the past 5 years, I have resisted putting sound ports on my tenors. Our last 15 instruments have had ports and I am now preparing a hat casserole - they really do work :) Apologies for naysaying...

97821


Not that I have a chance of ever affording one of your ukes, Pete, but...

What wood is this instrument made from? That is just incredibly beautiful! (Well, they all are, but this one even more so!)

mainger
02-14-2017, 10:52 PM
What wood is this instrument made from?

That'd be English Oak.
See thread here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?125636-The-Oak-Question/page4) for more pics.

ukatee
02-15-2017, 12:28 AM
"Hat casserole" ???

mainger
02-15-2017, 12:38 AM
"Hat casserole" ???

Not a native English speaker myself, but I believe it relates to the idiom "to eat one's hat". Pete probably said in the past that he would never do soundports, and he has changed his mind.

Pete Howlett
02-15-2017, 03:37 AM
I have changed my mind - I am not the sort of person who resists change; I am more wary of change for change's sake.

When I visited Hawaii and played one of Chuck's ported instruments, that's when I decided to stop being an ostrich and really look seriously at this. I can now say through empirical study, "It works without compromising tone or volume. Try it! " I will do a video tomorrow (I am away Saturday) showing you how we do it in our shop using the working method of Shelley Park. Takes 30 seconds...

Pukulele Pete
02-15-2017, 03:51 AM
Mmm , ............hat casserole ,........:drool:

ukatee
02-15-2017, 05:41 AM
"Hat casserole" ???


Not a native English speaker myself, but I believe it relates to the idiom "to eat one's hat". Pete probably said in the past that he would never do soundports, and he has changed his mind.

Thank you - I honestly thought it was some clever acoustical device he was going to add......maybe related to a banjo 'pot'?!

:rotfl:

Debussychopin
02-15-2017, 08:18 AM
Sorry if this derails, but how do I put a sound port on one of my ukes (cheaper)? Can I just go to home Depot and do a little work (with some care and elbow grease I'm sure) ?

Nice uke by the way. The oak is amazing

cml
02-15-2017, 09:22 AM
Sorry if this derails, but how do I put a sound port on one of my ukes (cheaper)? Can I just go to home Depot and do a little work (with some care and elbow grease I'm sure) ?

Nice uke by the way. The oak is amazing
If it's a laminate, you shouldnt have any issues. With a solid side, you might. There might be tension in the side. Some of the luthiers here know much better than me, but I reinforced the area around the sound port to be sure on my latest build.

Kevs-the-name
02-15-2017, 09:57 AM
Try it! " I will do a video tomorrow (I am away Saturday) showing you how we do it in our shop using the working method of Shelley Park. Takes 30 seconds...

I certainly would like to.
I have no idea how to produce one though so look forward to seeing how it is done. Thank you

cml
02-15-2017, 10:07 AM
I certainly would like to.
I have no idea how to produce one though so look forward to seeing how it is done. Thank you
No idea how Pete did but it's a simple job compared to most tasks on a uke. I simply drilled a few holes in an oval and finished with the dremel. As Pete wrote, just a few minutes of work. I did reinforce the side beforehand though, and the binding of the sound port was a little fiddly.

Debussychopin
02-15-2017, 11:28 AM
If it's a laminate, you shouldnt have any issues. With a solid side, you might. There might be tension in the side. Some of the luthiers here know much better than me, but I reinforced the area around the sound port to be sure on my latest build.

Thanks it would be a laminate (islander I have for sale, I'll have to pull it off Sale) and if I make a mistake it is only 80 bux so no big loss. At least I get an education.

Pete Howlett
02-15-2017, 12:17 PM
I don't think there is any tension in a solid side - not that we have noticed anyway. In my opinion, the holes in the side of a ukulele are generally small enough to be structurally sound without the need for reinforcing.

With stuff like this, it is always best to use a template to get an accurate start point. My routing jig is made from an ellipse template used for quilting or crafting. CNC cut with accurate axis lines - very important, it produces a consistent ellipse every time using a router fitted with a guide bush. Will shoot and edit video for you tomorrow. If we get our CNC machine working I'll be producing this prototype jig as a tool....

M3Ukulele
02-16-2017, 05:25 AM
Pete, when you mention "using the working method of Shelly Park". Is that Shelly from North Vancouver making her Moodyville ukuleles. If so, she is terrific and very talented. Looking forward to your video. I have one Pono I'd like to add a sound port to. There was Also a thread of a UU member who put a Dog print looking sound port in both his Kanilea soproano (first) and then his tenor.....it look great when done and UU member like the sound results. Can't wait to see how it's done. Thanks for posting and comments on the whole sound port thing. I want to try one but am too far away from anyone or a seller that has them.

kohanmike
02-16-2017, 05:39 AM
I'm no luthier or woodworker by any means, but I have installed preamps and battery holders in the side of a few of my ukes, mostly that are solid wood. I first measured and drew the cutout, then clamped the uke sideways between two pieces of wood, used my Dremel with a cutting bit to rough cut the openings, then a finer sanding tube to finish the opening. Didn't take long and after about 2-3 years, no consequences at all. Seems to me making a sound hole that way would work perfectly fine.

Timbuck
02-16-2017, 06:03 AM
If we get our CNC machine working I'll be producing this prototype jig as a tool....
PETE ..You wont get your CNC machine running until youve gone through "The breaking of cutters stage" when the machine seems to have a mind of it's own and plunges the router straight down into worktop and goes berserk.;)

saltytri
02-16-2017, 06:16 AM
I use flexible plastic elliptical templates made on a CNC machine to outline the hole. A Foredom tool is used with a grinding bit to open the hole and then successively finer sanding drums are used to get to the final outline. That part is fairly quick. Most of the time spent on doing a sound port goes into the reinforcement.

It is interesting that Pete doesn't see a need to reinforce the side and he could very well be right. This has come up before and I think the consensus has been that reinforcement is a good idea. Has anyone actually experienced a failure at an unreinforced sound port?

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
02-16-2017, 07:09 AM
[QUOTE=Pete Howlett;1941421]For the past 5 years, I have resisted putting sound ports on my tenors. Our last 15 instruments have had ports and I am now preparing a hat casserole - they really do work :) Apologies for naysaying...

A sign of a true thinker- the ability to correct oneself over time, even if new info contradicts previous statements.

chuck in ny
02-16-2017, 07:17 AM
pete

the english oak is quite handsome. the top looks thick? how does it play, both the material and the thickness into consideration?

mzuch
02-16-2017, 08:22 AM
Most of the time spent on doing a sound port goes into the reinforcement.


Any easy way to reinforce the area around the sound port is to use cheese cloth. Simply cut a piece that conforms to the width of the sides between the linings, lay it down, and brush on some hot hide glue. When dry, cut out the soundport as usual. Some guitar makers use this method instead of wooden cleats on the sides to prevent cracks from propagating.

Pete Howlett
02-16-2017, 10:48 AM
Thing is, you don't need to...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-16-2017, 12:58 PM
Thing is, you don't need to...

Probably not. But it doesn't hurt. I installed my first SSP on one of my personal players about 8 years ago. (You played it Pete.) I did it after the uke was built though because the sound wasn't as open as I would have liked it to be on the finish uke. I did reinforce it with two small braces, easily glued on both sides of the ports and the uke has held up just fine. I have reinforced all my SSPs since, (with a patch) as I am overly cautious with my builds and the extra thickness is also nice to have to receive the purling and binding I also add.

gabefranco
02-16-2017, 01:22 PM
If you laminate your sides, no extra reinforcement needed :)

As a side note, I add them after the instrument is finished, (haven't done a bound one as of yet) and dab a bit of shellac or whatever I'm using on the new exposed edge.

Michael Smith
02-16-2017, 01:26 PM
To my eye the added thickness of wooden reinforcement is attractive, especially when bound. I see no downside to the added thickness.

Pete Howlett
02-16-2017, 03:05 PM
The upside is it's one less process... also, you have to negotiate a curve and taper to get these to fit right - I've tried it, abandoned it, may try it again....

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-16-2017, 04:14 PM
The upside is it's one less process... also, you have to negotiate a curve and taper to get these to fit right - I've tried it, abandoned it, may try it again....

It's an extra 5 minutes.

Pete Howlett
02-16-2017, 04:19 PM
We all do things differently.

saltytri
02-16-2017, 07:14 PM
To my eye the added thickness of wooden reinforcement is attractive, especially when bound. I see no downside to the added thickness.

Same for me, Michael. My reinforcement is a two layer veneer laminate that is laid up on the outside of the body exactly where the hole will be so that it has a matching curve. Then, the only fitting issue is tapering the width of the patch to fit between the linings. I don't bind the hole but do often use a contrasting color for the layer of the patch that ends up in the middle of the sandwich. Here's one I’m working on right now.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3904/32905250056_acf393c1fa_c.jpg

hawaii 50
02-16-2017, 09:32 PM
looks nice David.....I like the ukes I have with a bound SSP but yours looks real good too.....keep putting out your great ukes....

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
02-17-2017, 06:13 AM
I would say you do need reinforcement of the side port, be it a few veneers or a extra bit of side material.

A two multi colour laminate veneer makes for a cool look (like in the pic posted above by saltytri).
Binding a side port brings in complications.

I
1- Glue in the first veneer,
2-Cut the hole and bind it (with purfling),
3- Cover all my mess with a second face veneer clamped in with a caul and some thin foam padding.
4- Then i add kerfing over these veneers-
This is the cleanest look i have achieved. I used to put the kerfing in then do all these steps but its hard to get the veneers to butt up nice against the kerfing.