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Edspyhill05
12-20-2017, 01:07 PM
Anyone here ever convert a cheap baritone ukulele to a resophonic ukulele? Iím thinking of trying this with a 5.5Ē cone. Iíve been searching and reading sites loke cigar box guitars and C.B. Gritty. Not sure to start this project. I have to reinforce the top around the resonator hole. This looks like it involves severe luthiery.

Ed

printer2
12-20-2017, 03:38 PM
Not a lot of luthiery, effectively you will be cutting a hole in the top, building a well for the cone. Cover it all up with the cover and you are done. Simple huh? What gets you is the little details though. The big one is to get the depth of the well deep enough so that the biscuit allows the strings to go the right height over the fretboard. Everything else is a piece of cake. Get the measurements of the cone, the uke, figure out if you have enough room inside to build up a well. As long as you have enough room on the top to mount the cover and stick on a tailpiece you should be good. Google people doing a full sized guitar. Do the same thing but smaller.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?127365-Paint-Can-Lid-Resonator-Baritone

Sven
12-21-2017, 12:05 AM
I've seen this done to acoustic guitars and they all failed because the bridge on the cone didn't end up where the original bridge was located. The answer was raising the strings and calling it a slide guitar.

To make a proper resonator instrument it's necessary to start from scratch and make a full scale drawing.

Edspyhill05
12-21-2017, 06:12 PM
Not a lot of luthiery, effectively you will be cutting a hole in the top, building a well for the cone. Cover it all up with the cover and you are done. Simple huh? What gets you is the little details though. The big one is to get the depth of the well deep enough so that the biscuit allows the strings to go the right height over the fretboard. Everything else is a piece of cake. Get the measurements of the cone, the uke, figure out if you have enough room inside to build up a well. As long as you have enough room on the top to mount the cover and stick on a tailpiece you should be good. Google people doing a full sized guitar. Do the same thing but smaller.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?127365-Paint-Can-Lid-Resonator-Baritone

printer2 - I'm going to use a Charles Atchison Lightening 5.5" cone or the Aiersi 6" cone. The Atchison cone is designed for surface mounts on cigar box instruments. I won't know if the biscuit bridge is too high until I get the cone. I think both will require a sound well, especially the Aiersi cone. I'll probably buy all the parts and design a 2 piece sound well.

Part of me says to abandon this idea, but it will be a cool project.

Thanks,

Ed

Edspyhill05
12-21-2017, 06:16 PM
I've seen this done to acoustic guitars and they all failed because the bridge on the cone didn't end up where the original bridge was located. The answer was raising the strings and calling it a slide guitar.

To make a proper resonator instrument it's necessary to start from scratch and make a full scale drawing.

Sven - I think this project will require creating a sound well. I'll probably buy all the parts and design a 2 piece sound well. I want the ukulele to be a fretting instrument and not a high action slide guitar. Charles Atchison advised that it me be very difficult to design and fit a sound well without removing the top or back. Part of me says to abandon this idea, but it will be a cool project.

Thanks for the reply,

Ed

resoman
12-22-2017, 06:55 AM
You don't need a sound well if you use posts like many of the dobro builders use. I have a dobro apart somewhere and I can send some photos if you wish.
The posts have a pad on each end glued to top and bottom. Posts are glued to the pads. I've seen some instruments without the pads but I for one wouldn't do that.

Edspyhill05
12-22-2017, 11:14 AM
You don't need a sound well if you use posts like many of the dobro builders use. I have a dobro apart somewhere and I can send some photos if you wish.
The posts have a pad on each end glued to top and bottom. Posts are glued to the pads. I've seen some instruments without the pads but I for one wouldn't do that.

I think I can see how high the biscuit has to be in relation to the original top of the ukulele. The Aiersi 6" cone measures 15.5mm in height, so some kind of sound well needs to be created. I found a guy on Youtube that uses a 6" plastic pipe plug for a sound well. Search Youtube for Reso Uker, "RESONATOR UKULELE SOUND WELL". I'm also considering using a cheap 6" tambourine, but not sure if the diameter specs are inside or outside measurements.

Project is on temp hold for the holidays.

Ed

resoman
12-22-2017, 02:48 PM
Right, you will still need a "ledge" for the cone to sit on. Indeed, the ledge needs to be supported by the posts and the posts not glued to the top as I said earlier but glued to the ledge. I'm working off a poor memory, an aging one

printer2
12-22-2017, 07:00 PM
There is two kinds of cones. One that uses a biscuit, more blues orientated. The other uses a spider, more the bluegrass scene.

Motorbuffalo
12-22-2017, 09:29 PM
Hi everybody! Long-time reader and first-time poster here, also frequent musical instrument tinkerer. Jake Wildwood's blog is often a good source of ideas, here's a baritone he modified into a reso: https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/2016/04/1950s2016-united-made-baritone.html

ProfChris
12-23-2017, 07:48 AM
The 5.5 inch cone from CB Gitty is a biscuit cone, but shaped more like a spider cone!

https://www.cbgitty.com/cigar-box-guitar-parts/resonator-parts/5-5-inch-lightning-spun-metal-cigar-box-resonator-cones-by-charles-atchison/

The centre of the cone needs to be where the saddle is on the baritone, or maybe a fraction further back if it's not properly compensated (like most cheap ukes). So your saddle has to be at least 3 inches from the tail, 3.5 inches would make life easier.

Then the top of your new saddle needs to be a fraction higher than the current saddle when all is in place, to allow for the cone sinking maybe 1/16 under string tension. Looking at the pics I'd guess you can't surface mount the cone because you'd be too high, so you'd need to construct a shallow sound well (this might be little deeper than the thickness of the top). You'd probably need to chisel away some of the tail block.

All doable if your bridge is 3 inches or more in front of the tail. If not, not doable.

[Edit] I see Jake Wildwood mounted his cone upside down - that should make surface mounting work if the biscuit doesn't have to be too tall.

Sven
12-23-2017, 11:54 AM
Sven - I think this project will require creating a sound well. I'll probably buy all the parts and design a 2 piece sound well. I want the ukulele to be a fretting instrument and not a high action slide guitar. Charles Atchison advised that it me be very difficult to design and fit a sound well without removing the top or back. Part of me says to abandon this idea, but it will be a cool project.

Thanks for the reply,

Ed

Of course you need a well. I was thinking of the location of it - its centre needs to be exactly where the bridge is on the baritone. Otherwise youíll eff up the scale length and intonation.

Edspyhill05
12-28-2017, 01:07 PM
Thank you to the new posters. I lost the bid on the low priced baritone ukulele on ebay, so I'm waiting for another candidate for transformation to show up. It is hard to ferret out all the cheap ukes out there sitting in closets and under beds.

As far as the sound well, one option is buy a cheap tambourine and use that. I found several on ebay for under $3.00. Just need to match the inside diameter.

To be continued.

Ed

Edspyhill05
01-08-2018, 06:29 PM
Hi everybody! Long-time reader and first-time poster here, also frequent musical instrument tinkerer. Jake Wildwood's blog is often a good source of ideas, here's a baritone he modified into a reso: https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/2016/04/1950s2016-united-made-baritone.html

Thanks for this link. Every bit of information helps since this will be my first attempt.

Ed