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View Full Version : Video- Making, shaping and installing solid linings



Beau Hannam Ukuleles
10-30-2018, 08:32 AM
https://youtu.be/m3A2FtZW3nM

So Here is my method for making and installing solid linings. I'm using mahogany but anything of a decent density will work well- walnut, rosewood etc. You can of course use spruce but woods of a higher density are a better choice.

The "Pete" I mention a few times here is Pete Howlett form the UK. He does good videos but not on Youtube, only (i think?) on Facebook. We are mates and I had the pleasure of him visiting me in 2016 for his Winston Churchill Traveling Fellowship research.
www.petehowlettukulele.com

Towards the end I mention "The Scottish Luthier"- He is the fab fellow Rory Dowling of Taran Guitars- Do you think I could remember his name while filming..... I really should have given him high praise for his pre gluing trick at the beginning of the video but was to busy trying to remember things to say.
https://www.taranguitars.co.uk/

Also, John Bogdanovich's excellent classical guitar making book (for an amazing price of about $30) has another method for doing this- that book is worth getting for the price whatever instrument you build.

Pete Howlett
10-30-2018, 09:25 AM
Safest way to rout those linings is to 'back' the outside with a female mold. Wish I could explain it better but watching this gave the willies!

Friday Lunchtime Lecture is at www.facebook.com/artisanukulelemaker 13.00 BST. So about 7am US time. This week it's about this baloney of sharpening your tools using the so called 'scary sharpening' method and that strange thing with the ruler trick... I don't buy it!

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
10-30-2018, 11:07 AM
Safest way to rout those linings is to 'back' the outside with a female mold. Wish I could explain it better but watching this gave the willies!
!

I get what you mean- good idea- ill use a stop next time- I'm taking only a tiny bit off so this is about as safe as routing by hand gets (which is still unsafe!- but i usually use two clips to hold it)
Scary sharp is with sand paper and glass right???- i've not used that method.

mineymole
10-31-2018, 03:18 AM
This video is wonderful and so helpful. Thank you.

Pete Howlett
10-31-2018, 10:25 PM
This is a robust reply to Beau's video and quite honestly a little slap on the wrist. We have exchanged emails privately about this so he knows it's coming. Joking aside - safety using power tools is at the top of my teaching agenda. So here is my take on routing solid linings:


https://www.facebook.com/artisanukulelemaker/videos/2161165127433753/

And in an ideal world I would have used two clamps to hold my small temporary table router onto the bench instead of the vice which gripped the aluminium safely but not ideally. I needed to do this to clear the wood. This setup is used for very small items and a clamp either side of the table usually secures it to a bench top.

greenscoe
11-01-2018, 02:51 AM
As someone who has been using laminated lining for a while, Beau's original video and Pete's follow up are of interest to me. Looks as though I'll now be changing the way I do this. Useful info like this is why I visit the forum every day!

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-01-2018, 04:00 AM
Pete's way to route the bevel is great.
This use of the lining laminating mold is in the Bogdanovich book that I mentioned (everyone should buy it at $30) but i don't use it as my side thickness is always a bit different so the best way to get your linings to fit the actually instrument they are going on is to use the actual instrument and the mold.

The lam mold would be close enough in shape to use as a routing jig which ill do for safety from now on (i guess with a few tabs of double side tape)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-01-2018, 07:35 AM
I don't use solid linings (I did at one time) so I shouldn't but in. But if I did I'd probably go about it differently. I'd do my routing before bending or even cutting into strips. I'd take a board of the appropriate length and height and rout and rout the edges on both sides of the board. I'd repeat until I had all the linings I needed. Then I'd rip the strips to the desired thickness and pass them through the drum sander and then bend them. (Up to a couple of dozen strips can be run through the drum sander at the same time if first backed with a couple of strips of tape. This is how I make my bindings.) Of course this wouldn't work with laminated linings but solid linings of 1/8" thick made of basswood or Spanish cedar can easily be bent. Just a thought that I think would save some time.

Pete Howlett
11-01-2018, 08:39 AM
Laminating provides the 'stiffness' that Beau is looking for. If I'm correct, it's all about driving the energy to the top only isn't it Beau?

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-01-2018, 09:25 AM
Laminating provides the 'stiffness' that Beau is looking for. If I'm correct, it's all about driving the energy to the top only isn't it Beau?

Yes Pete
Super stiff sides and solid linings made from high density woods (walnut, mahogany etc) add to less energy being lost from the top down the sides etc- it bounces back into the top.
It can be proven scientifically bte- its not snake oil. Read the Gilet/Gore book.

Chuck- Solid linings from made from soft woods could certainly be bent at 1/8" but I use 2 ply high density wood for the advantages mentioned above, which aren't found in low density woods.

Pete Howlett
11-01-2018, 09:41 AM
Doesn't a uke want to act more like a Flamenco Blanco though....? You are effectively building a small guitar and I wonder if there is not enough energy from the strings to achieve the effect you want? I dunno. It's just counter intuitive to me. A lot of what Gore talks about is from a mechanical engineering point of view and totally homogenous materials.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-01-2018, 09:55 AM
But aren't ukes really like small guitars?:eek::rolleyes::p
But honestly, It just depends upon what tone and volume you are seeking. I think the line between guitar building and ukulele building are getting blurred here.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-01-2018, 12:53 PM
I just try to build the best sounding instrument- I don't differentiate size as the goal is always the same- ie, trying to find and put as much energy into the top as possible.
People do this all the time by putting a longer scale on a smaller instrument (eg- 19" scale on a tenor body)- that's the same thing.

By doing stiff sides and high density linings you expand the vibrating area of the top. All tops only start to vibrate about 1" inside the actual perimeter- by having weighty sides/linings, you "expand" that perimiter from 1" to maybe 1/2"- that's huge.

This doesn't change the tone of the instrument I dont think, you just get more. Actually, Trevor Gore talks about live backs (and falcate bracing) getting a more complex tone. But some like a traditional uke (or guitar sound) so a super high functioning instrument isn't for everyone.

greenscoe
11-01-2018, 10:47 PM
I find these discussions between pros about what makes a great sounding uke fascinating, in part because there's not always agreement! In a previous thread, Allen showed a complete concert build (which is worth reading if you havent seen it). He stated that hot hide glue (to attach the top) was important for tone. In post 14 I asked him for his opinion on laminated linings: he replied in post 15 that he didnt consider this important in a uke with such a small soundboard and that there was also a time penalty in doing so. Here's the whole thread:

https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?130738-Follow-along-Concert-Uke-Build&highlight=concert+build

As a hobby maker I pick up ideas which make sense to me and use them in my builds. Like Beau I tie my upper cross brace to the neck block to make this area very stiff. This is said to improve sustain. I note that some acoustic guitar makers are now using heavier denser woods such as Wenge for the whole neck, where traditionally light woods such as Spanish cedar or mahogany are used. This too is claimed to improve sustain. I wonder what the pro uke makers think of this?

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-02-2018, 04:50 AM
You are all thinking about it incorrectly and narrow mindedly.

Any instrument is just a vibrating surface. That's it.

So make that vibrating surface as best as it can be.

The only unmovable parameters are the body size and scale length.

Everything else a luthier can either optimize or not..... so make it the best you can within the parameters of body size and scale length.

____
To greenscoe and Allen

Now i'm laminating my sides, I save time- its quicker in every way for me.
Also, i lam my sides to make the vibrating surface bigger (Laminating the sides expands the vibrating surface through the mass/stiffness of the sides- Trevor gore proved this- it is irrelevant that he did it on a guitar, or that it is a mechanical engineering point of view- like i said- it's just a vibrating surface.
This expanding effect of side mass on tops is more pronounced/effective in guitars, but even If i gain 5% more top vibrating surface just by doing what i do, thats a good thing. SAme with using good neck woods, fingerboards, bridges etc- 1% here and there adds up to a great sounding uke.

Pete Howlett
11-02-2018, 08:54 AM
I think we just do it differently Beau. This ain't no spitting contest. My view is you are applying guitar making principles to a smaller folk instrument where the variables are very narrow. If you are happy to do that then fine. I would not spend the time and effort doing what you do and if I did, I would certainly make everything consistent using accurately made CNC machined jigs to achieve this plus consistent thickness laminations. I am also confused that you say it is quicker? Takes me now 20 minutes to bend and set sides and 12 minutes to make a set of kerfed linings - that is from raw wood to finished piece (using a Ken Timms machine for the final kerning). I would also struggle to put a solid and very stiff lining around the back rim of one of my instruments which has an 8ft radius and a 16mm taper back to front. The compound curve produces a rigid and strong back, but manipulating a solid laminated lining through the undulations of that rim would be a nightmare.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-02-2018, 10:07 AM
I agree the variables are narrower with ukes, but like i said, if i get push the vibrating perimeter of the lower bout out 1/8", thats a huge advantage- it makes a concert top almost the size of a usual tenor tops vibrating surface area.

It's faster due to:
1- The wood being thinner so a breeze to bend
2- Sides glue up perfectly flat and stay flat so less sanding flat.
3- No more side splints

I use a 15' back and have no problems with the solid linings going in perfectly (why i use the actually sides as my clamping "jig" for solid linings.) really no probs at all.

I would say our times are very similar (20 mins and 12 mins)- no not including glue ups - i leave my sides over night and the linings for about 1hr, but as i do it at the end of the day and in batches, it all works out quicker.

So, it's quicker AND easier for me after 15 years doing it the other way.

Pete Howlett
11-02-2018, 10:34 AM
And there you have it - it works for you. Horses for courses as we say in Blighty! Keep on trucking bro. What you do fascinates me.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-02-2018, 10:54 AM
I agree the variables are narrower with ukes, but like i said, if i get push the vibrating perimeter of the lower bout out 1/8", thats a huge advantage- it makes a concert top almost the size of a usual tenor tops vibrating surface area..

Or you could make the lower bout wider. That's what I did a few years ago. But we all have our own ways and we will stick to them until they stop working for us. It'd be pretty boring if we all worked in the same manner and produced the same instruments.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-02-2018, 12:40 PM
Or you could make the lower bout wider. That's what I did a few years ago. But we all have our own ways and we will stick to them until they stop working for us. It'd be pretty boring if we all worked in the same manner and produced the same instruments.

Hahah- i did that too- i realised i might as well make the lower bout fit inside a common tenor case, instead of having 1/4" of space around it (i think my tenors are about 9 1/8" or 9 1/4" now)- traditionally they are about
8 3/4"?? something like that

saltytri
11-03-2018, 06:37 AM
Interesting ideas here! If I were going to rout a radius on laminated linings, Pete's method looks good. Not routing is certainly a valid choice aesthetically. Also, while it is true that rounding over the edge of the linings doesn't remove a whole lot of material, leaving that material in place works toward the goal of maximizing mass in the laminated sides and linings. Not by much, of course, but we're chasing down little bits of improvement. :)


https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1945/44974742394_0e4170e8da_z.jpg

Pete Howlett
11-03-2018, 10:56 PM
So how do you cope with shaped backs and the changing line of the rim?