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ChuckBarnett
07-16-2018, 07:02 AM
This has all been new but not all of it has been scary. Continuing on this tenor ukulele, I now have a fretboard prepared (without frets installed at this point). I have a neck that is roughed out and I have the body without the back attached. I'm not sure how to approach fastening the fretboard onto the neck onto the body. This is a bolt-on neck so that part isn't the question. I am concerned about ensuring that the angle between the neck with fretboard and the top is as it should be to allow strings to hit a bridge where they should. I have heard of concerns about a 'hump' being created at the joint between the neck and the body if things are not perfectly flat. The top was radiused and so it is theoretically impossible for the fretboard to rest perfectly flatly on the top.

Somebody HELP the lad!? 😁
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sequoia
07-16-2018, 08:34 AM
I have heard of concerns about a 'hump' being created at the joint between the neck and the body if things are not perfectly flat.

I've actually had this hump problem before and it is not good. The action was not good because the saddle had to be higher to "get over the hump" and spring buzzing issues raise their ugly heads. Had to be disassembled and the neck angle corrected. Don't go there if you can help it... As to the fretboard on a radiused top I cannot help you here. This is one reason I use a flat top rather than radiused tops. I'm sure someone here who is more knowledgeable on radiused tops can help. Good luck!

PS: The instrument looks great so far.

mikeyb2
07-16-2018, 09:10 AM
as far as I'm aware the top should only be radiussed from the soundhole downwards towards the tail. The main transverse brace above the soundhole should be perfectly flat to allow for the fretboard extension to sit onto. If this area is radiussed, you may need to sand it flat.

sequoia
07-16-2018, 06:18 PM
as far as I'm aware the top should only be radiussed from the soundhole downwards towards the tail. The main transverse brace above the soundhole should be perfectly flat to allow for the fretboard extension to sit onto. If this area is radiussed, you may need to sand it flat.

This is what I understand how it works also. The lower transverse brace is radiused and the upper brace is flat. However, in this case sanding the upper bout flat could be problematical depending on what the radius is. You might not have much meat to work with and things could get thin if the radius exceeds the top thickness. Thus what you need to do is float the fretboard above the top. But then this raises the saddle height too high. The cure for this is a tail piece set-up like a carved top which is a whole 'nother instrument. Could be cool though.

ChuckBarnett
07-17-2018, 01:21 PM
I looked more carefully and found that the heel isn't 90 degrees; it is more than that. Seems to drive the sound-hole end of the fretboard into the top the way it is. I'll need to take a little off the bottom end of the heel, tapering the full height. All because I didn't realize how important that body shape was and had a rounded surface where the neck joins the body! Rookies!!!

jcalkin
07-18-2018, 03:24 AM
Often the rookie builder's first stumbling block is too much information or, at least, too much theoretical information. What they need first is an uncomplicated plan for a sensible first instrument utilizing a flat top, flat neck joint area on the body, ladder bracing, no binding or complex inlay. The goal should be a pleasant sounding, easy to play instrument, not some theoretically cutting edge music machine. And it should not be thought of as a plan that needs to be quickly outgrown, but a plan that may be evolved if desired according to the sensibilty of further research or the desire of the builder to make a prettier instrument. Your succession of problems might have been avoided by this, Chuck, without compromising your uke. Sometimes sophistication is its own enemy. Not that any of this will help rescue your current project. Perhaps you should consider putting it aside and come back to it when you've gained more experience. The solutions may seem obvious to you at that point.

Jardin
07-18-2018, 04:08 AM
Often the rookie builder's first stumbling block is too much information or, at least, too much theoretical information. What they need first is an uncomplicated plan for a sensible first instrument utilizing a flat top, flat neck joint area on the body, ladder bracing, no binding or complex inlay. The goal should be a pleasant sounding, easy to play instrument, not some theoretically cutting edge music machine. And it should not be thought of as a plan that needs to be quickly outgrown, but a plan that may be evolved if desired according to the sensibilty of further research or the desire of the builder to make a prettier instrument. Your succession of problems might have been avoided by this, Chuck, without compromising your uke. Sometimes sophistication is its own enemy. Not that any of this will help rescue your current project. Perhaps you should consider putting it aside and come back to it when you've gained more experience. The solutions may seem obvious to you at that point.

I would say that this is some of the best advice one could give any rookie dabbling in any form of instrument making.......could not have said it better. Building on success is way better than trying to avoid another failure.

We can write down all the thoughts we have as to whats going on and how to make it right but without being there and walking through it it really has a different meaning as there is already a basic need to understand how it works. That's why I agree that if you start a new simple, bare-bones uke without the radius on the soundboard, you would not only realize how to finish this one, but also reinforce the memory, skills and technique on those jobs you have already figured out.

Of course being stubborn and pushing through has its moments but remember it only takes one mistake.....an instrument will last a lifetime so it is worth the wait.....

Either way you choose Chuck you are doing a great job and I wish you all the best....We just want you to have this turn out they way you want it to in the end as you have put a lot of work into it.

ChuckBarnett
07-30-2018, 05:24 PM
I have experience some frustrations along the way, but I've also learned a lot. If I had strapped myself to a time frame on this I would have found myself in trouble. But I'm simply trying to do the best I can and learn both woodworking and luthiery skills. I credit this forum for a lot of my progress!