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mvinsel
10-19-2009, 09:39 AM
Hello,
I have a Stew Mac Tenor Uke kit and am still going over the instructions carefully. The method is to build the soundbox and neck seperately, then attach them together. There are two 1" dowels that are drilled into the soundbox, then you line up the neck on a jig and mark their centers onto the neck, then drill the neck for accepting holes to line it up when gluing.

This seems like a place where a bit of off-eyeballing could lead to an incorrectible bad action.

I envision that I could leave the back off until after the neck is finished, align it all up on the jig, then drill through from inside the body and use longer aligning dowels (or screws) with the final gluing, then putting the back on afterwards.

Seems to me this way there is less chance of screwing up the connection.

Is there some reason that I'm missing, why this might not be a better way?

-Vinnie in Juneau

PS - I apologize if this has been asked and answered, but I couldn't come up with right words to search to find it, if it was.

RonS
10-19-2009, 10:21 AM
I rarely do things by the book... and sometimes I even succeed in doing it better.

Then there are other times...

ecosteel
10-19-2009, 11:28 AM
I've made them both ways. What you describe will work. It's a lot easier to finish (varnish) the neck and body separately though and then assemble.

Sven
10-21-2009, 09:50 AM
I envision that I could leave the back off until after the neck is finished, align it all up on the jig, then drill through from inside the body and use longer aligning dowels (or screws) with the final gluing, then putting the back on afterwards.

That's exactly how I do it. Another plus (for me and my ukes) is that you can make the back a wee bit longer and let it cover the heel of the neck. That might not be possible on a kit uke though.

The downside is you can't put finish on the body like Pete did in that other thread.

I'm crap at uploading pics to photobucket and then to here, so if you have five minutes check my blog:
BLOG (www.argapa.blogspot.com)
You should be able to see some ukes built in that manner. I have an angle adapter for my "dremel" and drill the hole from inside the body into the heel. I've used dowels, threaded inserts and sometimes wood screws.

All the best / Sven

erich@muttcrew.net
10-22-2009, 11:44 AM
We've done it both ways, and I think both have their advantages. Depending on the neck joint it can really help to be able to clamp, drill, insert dowels, etc from the inside.

On the other hand, my impression is that anything smaller than a tenor will do fine with a nice coat of hide glue, a strong rubber band, and a cup of tea while you wait, really. These are not high-tension steel-string guitars we're talking about...

Pete Howlett
10-22-2009, 12:47 PM
Take a look at how the Kamaka factory used to put their instruments together. Youtube kamaka factory tour and you will find it. Very peculiar if you ask me...

ecosteel
10-22-2009, 02:48 PM
I've used dowels, threaded inserts and sometimes wood screws. The first few ukes I made I used wood screws to pull the neck up tight. I don't believe this joint would fail. providing you've got a good fit, It's tried and tested. But when you look inside the uke, as most people will do at some point and see a wood screw it's surprisingly disappointing. Whether it's slotted, Posi, Phillips, Spax, drywall etc they all look rubbish inside a uke. On the other hand if I look inside and see an Allen head stainless steel bolt I'm reassured. Maybe it's just me

RonS
10-23-2009, 09:16 AM
The first few ukes I made I used wood screws to pull the neck up tight. I don't believe this joint would fail. providing you've got a good fit, It's tried and tested. But when you look inside the uke, as most people will do at some point and see a wood screw it's surprisingly disappointing. Whether it's slotted, Posi, Phillips, Spax, drywall etc they all look rubbish inside a uke. On the other hand if I look inside and see an Allen head stainless steel bolt I'm reassured. Maybe it's just me

I have thing thing against screwed on necks. (AKA Taylor Guitars) But it has been around for at least a hundred years. So like you say, it's tried and true.

How about countersinking the screw then gluing in a wood button to hide the screw head?

Timbuck
10-23-2009, 11:14 AM
Use! "Allen Bolt"and "Screwed Insert"...Then bolt it on but don't apply glue (yet)... set it all in line, then fit and glue the back plate and clamp it down...the fitting of the back plate will hold everything in place.. when the back is glued on and cured .. remove neck ( with long (Allen Key) for final finish.. when happy with results of finishing , then bolt and glue the neck back on for the final assembly.

eleuke
10-31-2009, 08:15 PM
When deciding to get my kit, the first thing I started looking at was neck joints, knowing that the challenge would be there. I can tell you from my miniscule experience that you're thinking is good. I decided (foolishly) that since this was my first build I would follow the instructions. Bad idea. Dowels plain suck. Bad way to attach a neck on any stringed instrument, imho. If I could do it over, (which I will, very soon) my choice would be to do exactly as you suggest and leave the back off until the neck is secure. My thinking so far after all my research is that I'm going after the hanger bolt method. Easy for the beginner and extremely secure. Plenty of strength for the pull of uke strings. Even a 6 or 8 string. Good luck with your build!