PDA

View Full Version : Before I glue on the top and bottom?



Steve-atl
12-16-2018, 05:42 AM
I am assembling a StewMac Baritone Ukulele kit. I am getting close to gluing on the top and bottom. Looking at the braces they are big and bulky and certainly do not taper to paper thin at the ends. Should I spend time thinning these out a little?

Anything else I should do before gluing the top and bottom on.

Thanks

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-16-2018, 06:40 AM
What am i looking at?
back, top?

Steve-atl
12-16-2018, 08:00 AM
What am i looking at?
back, top?


That's the back but all the braces look like there just roughly shaped.

saltytri
12-16-2018, 08:08 AM
This just happens to be on my bench right now. There is certainly more than one good way to do it but it'll give you an idea of the general approach that many builders follow.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4816/45619184544_8e2ce60453.jpg

Steve-atl
12-16-2018, 08:20 AM
This just happens to be on my bench right now. There is certainly more than one good way to do it but it'll give you an idea of the general approach that many builders follow.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4816/45619184544_8e2ce60453.jpg

Man, that is beautiful. How do you not have any glue squeeze out anywhere

PereBourik
12-16-2018, 08:46 AM
Man, that is beautiful. How do you not have any glue squeeze out anywhere

Because he's the MASTER.

Seriously, check out Beau's website.

saltytri
12-16-2018, 08:56 AM
Man, that is beautiful. How do you not have any glue squeeze out anywhere

Over time, you learn how much of a film to spread in a given situation so there are maybe some tiny bits of glue that squeeze out. Then wait long enough before scraping the little beads so that they pop right out rather than smearing. For this, I use a popsicle stick that has a chisel blade cut across the stick at an angle. Eventually, your screwup to success ratio will improve. ;)

saltytri
12-16-2018, 08:58 AM
Because he's the MASTER.

Seriously, check out Beau's website.

Yes indeed, Beau is a master!

Steve-atl
12-16-2018, 09:08 AM
Over time, you learn how much of a film to spread in a given situation so there are maybe some tiny bits of glue that squeeze out. Then wait long enough before scraping the little beads so the they pop right out rather than smearing. For this, I use a popsicle stick that has a chisel blade cut across the stick at an angle. Eventually, your screwup to success ratio will improve. ;)

That is very impressive

sequoia
12-16-2018, 09:43 AM
Anything else I should do before gluing the top and bottom on.

Thanks

I don't spend that much time scalloping the back braces. I just sand them to make them look pretty. These braces are mainly for structural purposes and do not contribute much to the sound in my opinion. Then there is always some adjustment so that the ends of the braces don't interfere with the linings. One has to decide if you are going to attach the ends of the back braces through the linings and to the side. I don't do that anymore, but just stop them short of the linings. Your choice.

The top braces however are a different kettle of fish as they do contribute to the sound of the instrument. I scallop them and shave them down to what seems to be the minimum needed to be structurally strong, but light so there is a minimum of top damping. This is where the art of lutherie really comes in and it is a matter of feel. I do not claim to be an expert in this area and there is some voodoo here. Don't worry too much about it. The braces with your kit have been pretty much roughly pre-shaped. Just scallop them more and dress them up and you will be fine. As for glue squeeze out: don't over glue and clean up any squeeze out immediately. Go back later and clean any blebs with a sharp tool. Oh and keep in mind that some of the best sounding instruments of all time had horrible squeeze out. Its an obsessive thang. I'm obsessive. (See Weissenborn).

Steve-atl
12-16-2018, 11:29 AM
I don't spend that much time scalloping the back braces. I just sand them to make them look pretty. These braces are mainly for structural purposes and do not contribute much to the sound in my opinion. Then there is always some adjustment so that the ends of the braces don't interfere with the linings. One has to decide if you are going to attach the ends of the back braces through the linings and to the side. I don't do that anymore, but just stop them short of the linings. Your choice.

The top braces however are a different kettle of fish as they do contribute to the sound of the instrument. I scallop them and shave them down to what seems to be the minimum needed to be structurally strong, but light so there is a minimum of top damping. This is where the art of lutherie really comes in and it is a matter of feel. I do not claim to be an expert in this area and there is some voodoo here. Don't worry too much about it. The braces with your kit have been pretty much roughly pre-shaped. Just scallop them more and dress them up and you will be fine. As for glue squeeze out: don't over glue and clean up any squeeze out immediately. Go back later and clean any blebs with a sharp tool. Oh and keep in mind that some of the best sounding instruments of all time had horrible squeeze out. Its an obsessive thang. I'm obsessive. (See Weissenborn).

Thanks

I wish I had not ran the ends of the back braces through the linings and to the side. It turnnd out ugly

Steve-atl
12-16-2018, 12:22 PM
OK, clearly not as good ass saltytri but not horrible either. The next one will be better

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-16-2018, 01:20 PM
i used to tuck my back braces into the linings with 2mm thick brace ends. My back brace ends now tuck into the linings at 5mm thick.
DO whatever thickness you want as it makes little difference, just TUCK THEM INTO THE LININGS

PereBourik
12-16-2018, 03:39 PM
i used to tuck my back braces into the linings with 2mm thick brace ends. My back brace ends now tuck into the linings at 5mm thick.
DO whatever thickness you want as it makes little difference, just TUCK THEM INTO THE LININGS

Because why???

Timbuck
12-16-2018, 11:13 PM
I have repaired at least 3 cheap ukuleles with cracks in the tops or backs right where the brace ends short of the linings, one brace was about 20 mm short...if the brace ends tuck into the linings this problem goes away.

mineymole
12-17-2018, 03:02 AM
About The long center back brace and the side linings.... how do you make them, or where can they be purchased? I don’t see them on Stewmac... thanks!

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-17-2018, 04:50 AM
I have repaired at least 3 cheap ukuleles with cracks in the tops or backs right where the brace ends short of the linings, one brace was about 20 mm short...if the brace ends tuck into the linings this problem goes away.

WHat timbuck said,
Also, it minimises the back brace (really any brace) from popping off.

Those pics one page one where of David INgalls uke (i think?- i get confused with everyone's strange UU names)
This is one of mine
114189

PereBourik
12-17-2018, 05:50 AM
Curiosity satisfied. Thanks gents.

sequoia
12-17-2018, 08:58 AM
OK, clearly not as good ass saltytri but not horrible either. The next one will be better

Looks good Steve. My only thought is that the linings look a little thin if you are planning on installing bindings. Oh, and bindings are not obligatory. Many a fine looking uke do not have bindings.

Steve-atl
12-17-2018, 10:13 AM
Looks good Steve. My only thought is that the linings look a little thin if you are planning on installing bindings. Oh, and bindings are not obligatory. Many a fine looking uke do not have bindings.

Thanks John.

I was going to try and install some binding but maybe I will wait until the next one. Thanks for the heads up

saltytri
12-17-2018, 10:26 AM
What John said! Trying to add a bunch of bells and whistles the first time around can really bog you down. Better to concentrate on the fundamentals so it doesn't take you forever to finish it.

Steve-atl
12-17-2018, 12:11 PM
Thanks

I have made a few acoustic guitars and a bunch of electrics in the 90ies so I kind of know that rabbit hole I am going down. One of the reasons I quit is because I could never get the finish as good as I liked. I am hoping that I can find something that I can live with. I love making musical instruments. There something magical about it.