PDA

View Full Version : Invested material cost



cornfedgroove
10-04-2009, 05:58 PM
My plan is to get a tenor form, an electric charcoal starter and a pipe to bend...consensus seems to be that everyone should learn how to bend on a pipe, so I will. Plus, I really prefer the pipe idea because its one less jig to eat up space and I dont have to match the bending jig to the form...simplicity.

after that...what kind of wood costs are we talking about?...nothing fancy, but basic inexpensive tonewood for the body and neck. Shoot, I dont even care if its tonewood, as long as its cheap and wont cry if I ruin it while practicing.

I'm getting some money from a How To CBU class and I'm considering a small investment in a few items that might really get me going...BUT if the actual wood cost is gonna be fortune, then I'll put it off.

Bradford
10-04-2009, 07:12 PM
The way to get wood relatively cheap is to find a local lumber store that lets you sort thru their stacks of wood. Maybe one piece out of a hundred will be quarter sawn and narrow grain, but if you find it, you pay no more than the rest for it. Be aware that there are others doing the same thing and sometimes it takes a bit of luck, but persistance can pay off. Find out what woods are readily available in your area and what their potential is for being used as a tonewood. Be willing to experiment. I could not find any Sitka spruce at my usual sources in Seattle last week, but I was able to buy some really good Alaska yellow cedar quite cheap. You will see the results of that soon.

Brad

cornfedgroove
10-04-2009, 07:26 PM
do they all need to be quartersawn or top and backs most importantly?

quartersawn being the grain running the length of the body from neck joint to the back end?

Pete Howlett
10-04-2009, 07:27 PM
Hooray... a newbie who doesn't feel the need to go straight to a Fox bender! Congratulations, you will find pipe bending the most satisfying of tasks in the workshop.

If you are going for ukulele then you can do no better than invest in koa - I think it is a mistake to go for a 'guitar' build since the challenge of a traditional build (so to speak) is far more exhilirating. Good, plain quartersawn koa will make some lovely instruments. You don't need all that curl but you do need to plug right into the tradition.

A good hand held 1/4" collet plunge router - Dewalt 615E would be my next buy (eBay purchase...). I'd make myself a thickness sander...

cornfedgroove
10-04-2009, 07:46 PM
Hooray... a newbie who doesn't feel the need to go straight to a Fox bender! Congratulations, you will find pipe bending the most satisfying of tasks in the workshop.

If you are going for ukulele then you can do no better than invest in koa - I think it is a mistake to go for a 'guitar' build since the challenge of a traditional build (so to speak) is far more exhilirating. Good, plain quartersawn koa will make some lovely instruments. You don't need all that curl but you do need to plug right into the tradition.

A good hand held 1/4" collet plunge router - Dewalt 615E would be my next buy (eBay purchase...). I'd make myself a thickness sander...

Well thanks Pete...aside from issues of space and finances, I really think getting a feel for the wood will pay more divends in the long run. I so have a few questions for you regarding this comment.

I dont know what a collet plunge router is (well I just watched a youtube vid on it), so I kinda know lol, but what would you use it for? and what have you been using instead of it up till now?

I dont know what you mean by a thickness sander...that like a po' man alternative to a planar?

It doesnt seem like koa would be real easy to get or real inexpensive, but I'm willing to listen. You give me a resource and I'll check it. I was looking at Hanalimastore at something like this
http://www.hanalimastore.com/servlet/Detail?no=82

there's a lumber yard about 40 minutes from here, I'm gonna run up there anyhow to scope it out. until then, you throw me some resources and I'll keep plotting it out

Pete Howlett
10-04-2009, 08:22 PM
You don't buy koa from luthier suppliers - it is the most expensive way to do it. Befriend a local furniture maker - they are usually most accomodating and will cut wood for you often for the cost of their labour. Because they are used to fine tolerences, when you say I need it cut accurately to an eight they will be able to do it. They may also have sanding facilities... Go for koa, but plain. It bends easily and you will be rewarded with outstanding understated beauty. Otherwise go for cherry or myrtle - with myrtle you will have the easisest wood on the planet to hand bend and you can get it from Blue Mountain Acoustics at a very reasonable price already converted for ukulele building.

Ah, the router. You need to do some YouTube 'snorting' to find out how versatile this tool is - I can't begin to say how important it is for doing simple stuff like brace end shaping, grooving for cf neck reinforcement and saddle grooves in bridges, template routing. I'll do a video this week on this particular tool, a simle table for it to convert it to a shaper and other stuff, tho I will be demonstrating with my Elu - similar model but predates deWalt's takeover of this company. I made my sanding dishes with it, profile most of my parts and it is rare that it doesn't get switched on in a working day.

RonS
10-05-2009, 03:50 AM
Koa is expensive for a beginner on a budget.

http://www.ocoochhardwoods.com/Scroll_Saw_Lumber.html

Sayyadina
10-05-2009, 04:08 AM
All in all I paid around 400 for the mold, wood for 1 uke (extra sides to be able to learn to bend), a Dremel, files, miter box, building books, glues and all the other little things you need, and that was the absolute minimum required for building (at least I think so).
I bought the wood from a luthier because I needed it thickness sanded. That was pretty expensive. The wood alone cost me around 100. You should be able to find cheaper wood if you are able to thickness sand it yourself.

cornfedgroove
10-05-2009, 04:49 AM
right now I'm only getting the mold, charcoal starter and pipe. If I figured out how to do the mold myself I'd get more. I may just try and trace my current tenor, maybe borrow and trace a buddies pineapple soprano, then saw it and sand it...will that work? Doesnt quite seem like its gonna be exacting enough, but whatever.

That would save me alot of money and allow me to get some files and other junk...I hate reading, since I learn slower that way...and patience isnt always my favorite virtue, but maybe a book is in order. Otherwise, you'll get annoyed with me...dang this forum needs a live chat like cigarboxnation.com lol.

I dont know any furniture/custom cabinet makers in the area, the only ones I've come across have not been the actual shops, but just the sales front. I do have a friend about 5 hours away with a mill...they make boats there, he owns it - I can ask. I also have a friend about 7 hours away who works at a custom cabinet shop where they can do anything. Both run CAD programs and can really do anything, but I dont know how it would labor/shipping would translate into $$.

Matt Clara
10-05-2009, 05:40 AM
Just wanted to say, Dave G appears to be bending on a pipe with a 100 watt bulb inside it. Might be cheaper than an electric charcoal warmer.

cornfedgroove
10-05-2009, 05:59 AM
Just wanted to say, Dave G appears to be bending on a pipe with a 100 watt bulb inside it. Might be cheaper than an electric charcoal warmer.

yeah, but you also gotta get a receptacle and all the fixins needed...not to mention wiring it up. Its easier to just stick the starter in the pipe and call it a day.

fromthee2me
10-05-2009, 06:05 AM
I am reading this with interest CFG. A thicknesser here in South Africa, sizes the wood down with blades, but I have not seen a thickness sander here, other then a homemade one by Timbuck that uses sandpaper.

Scouring for youtube ukulele construction videos, the productive cinematographers are Pete Howlett and Dave Gesjing.

O'Brien Guitars instructional videos (I know it is not the same) have videos on bending sides, and on that video you can see that, while heating the side, the momentum needs to be kept going as otherwise one looses heat and flexibility.

If you want to have a look, here is the link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fEhicNLgxo

Re: the size of the mold, I wonder if there is a "laid down" standard, as there are many variations in shapes... eg: narrow waist, paddle, pineapple.

The initial outlay is substantial, but even if you are not making a living out of building ukes, you will gain a worthwhile skill.

My woodwork at the moment is limited to very basic instrument cases out of 6mm plywood (painted black with foam rubber inside no velvetty materials), mainly for friends.

thistle3585
10-05-2009, 07:39 AM
If you want to come to southern Indiana some day, we can spend a couple hours in the shop making molds and bending a few sides. I can also take you over to another local uke builders shop then you could finish up the day by hitting Mainland and Bushman.

cornfedgroove
10-05-2009, 05:49 PM
very generous...I sent you a message Thistle

I think my plan is going to come together, and I'm pretty confident that I can do the sides and neck, but there's a whole lot left to learn. There was a thread on good books recently that I cant find...there was a question on a certain book that was supposed to be good, but in discussion it came up that it was really substandard and they brought up a much better book.

Dominator and I think Pete were talkin bout it

Matt Clara
10-05-2009, 06:03 PM
That sounded like such a great offer, I actually checked out how long of a trip it would take for me to swing through Indiana, pick up MR. CFG in Hebron, and head on down to Columbus. Unfortunately, the answer is, too long...not that I had an invitation...it sure sounded good, though. :D

cornfedgroove
10-05-2009, 07:19 PM
lol...yah thats a trek.

If you made it, I'd let you be Kirk if I can be Spock

Matt Clara
10-06-2009, 05:11 AM
lol...yah thats a trek.

If you made it, I'd let you be Kirk if I can be Spock

It's good by me! Did you see the new Trek movie this summer past?

cornfedgroove
10-07-2009, 06:20 PM
no, I dont watch star trek anymore...the original was cool when I was little and I liked Picard when I was in high school, but it was never so cool that I would go drop a dime to see it in a theater.

Star Wars, Transformers, GI Joe, He-Man...sure no problem, but not star trek

Matt Clara
10-07-2009, 06:47 PM
no, I dont watch star trek anymore...the original was cool when I was little and I liked Picard when I was in high school, but it was never so cool that I would go drop a dime to see it in a theater.

Star Wars, Transformers, GI Joe, He-Man...sure no problem, but not star trek

It was a blast--rent it if you get a chance.