View Full Version : My new design!

05-25-2010, 01:25 AM
So, I'm new to Uke, and I already suffer from UAS! The only problem is that i'm not a huge fan of traditional ukes. I do love the one I have, but one is enough. I really like strange and unique style. The Boat Paddle M-style is hands down the nicest and most stylish one I've ever seen, but it's way out of my price range. I even tried emailing to see if he sold seconds! ...I really should have known better. He is a master builder.

So, short on funds, but with about a dozen detailed plans drawn up, I decided to go with a cheap luthier in Vietnam to bash out a rough design. I'm sure some of you know who he is, and I'm aware that the wood may not be the best, but I just had to see one of my designs come to fruition. This is just a mock up though and the final one will have cleaner wood for the neck.

So here it is! The first "sample" as he put it. This was just a test because I couldn't decide on wood choices. I'm going with #1, nicer fret markers, and bridge inlay to match the fret markers. I'm a little worried that the two bigger sound holes may be a touch too large, and I've also toyed with the idea of one F-hole on the left side. I'll probably have two or 3 finished pieces made now that he did these two samples for me. As long as the first one sounds OK.

Ideas? Feel free to mock it openly, I know it will make most people cringe. But, that's why I like it.

05-25-2010, 01:31 AM
Here was the first sketch I made. The Banksy "Love Bomb" image was going to be inlaid, but I decided it would be too busy.

05-25-2010, 01:40 AM
From behind, it reminds me of the Road Toad Mana.

05-25-2010, 02:30 AM
Interesting... It would all depend on how it sounds of course.. I think what you did is a very personal thing, and yes, would be cool to see what is going on in your head, turn to a real playable instrument. Even a failure would be cool, so kudos.. If nothing else, it is unique, and of course rare, so you should recoup expenses by using the prototypes or the ones you don't choose as Ebay fodder.. There are allot of people out there that might bid on it, just because it is unique, regardless of sound... People like to have something that no one else has, or seen.. Just sayin.. Keep us posted..

That said, as for myself, I am more "traditional", and like the old school, standard, plain ol boring Ukes.. But, do love to look at all the cool ones you see come out..

05-25-2010, 05:17 AM
Hi choss
Interesting design. Good for you... going out and getting samples made! I like the shape. I am not sure about the sound hole design. If there was an acoustic/ physics based reason for the size and placement of the holes I would be more willing to accept them as they are. If the size, number, and shape are purely decorative, then I would probably experiment there a bit more. Maybe you have reasons for the 3 holes. Can you cover them independently to change the sound? I would like to hear more about the thought behind your design. I would like to see a photo of what it looks like when someone is playing it.

05-25-2010, 05:22 AM
Very, very interesting. Definitely need more info and pics as it develops. How exciting!

05-25-2010, 05:24 AM
I like it.
I guess perhaps you are using a lot of potential soundboard vibration (and volume and treble) with the sound holes - so I agree with checking other options.
Maybe an offset paisley hole.
But I like them. Potential for a lot of volume - like a Vita.

I REALLY like the slotted headstock.
Geared tuners (yay) will put the buttons out back like
friction tuners on a conventional headstock( yay also)
(Why don't Flukes/Fleas come that way?)

05-25-2010, 05:52 AM
Here was the first sketch I made. The Banksy "Love Bomb" image was going to be inlaid, but I decided it would be too busy.

Banksy is one of my favorite artists along with Shepard Fairey.. I agree though it might have looked a little too busy. This is really cool though!

05-25-2010, 06:01 AM
Interesting design, and very creative, but why would you want one (or is it two) of the strings to not be over a sound hole?

05-25-2010, 06:42 AM
Maybe an offset paisley hole.

Ooh yes! This.

05-25-2010, 06:58 AM
Interesting design, and very creative, but why would you want one (or is it two) of the strings to not be over a sound hole?
Is there a reason they should be over the sound hole? I wouldn't think there'd be any acoustic coupling to speak of directly between the strings and the sound hole. But I could be wrong.

05-25-2010, 07:58 AM
does it work? do you like it?

05-25-2010, 10:35 AM
I think it looks cool so far. Don't forget to post updates as they become available, okay?

PS - Which luthier are you referring to?

05-25-2010, 11:13 AM
I like the shape, the holes aren't my cup of tea. Of course, it's how you like it that matters.

05-25-2010, 11:28 AM
The sound doesn't come from strings being over the soundhole. I comes fro the string vibrating the body/top. The hole is simply to let the sound out of the box. So the location isn't a problem.
Three sound holes are a problem. I would loose the big one and the small one. Have you ever noticed most all ukes have similar soundhole sizes? There is a reason, based on physics, but don't ask me to prove or explain it.
I'm diggin' on the shape, but I like the top wood better on #2.
Not a fan of the classical guitar slotted head, but it does work on yours.
Way cool, only way to be any cooler ... if you built it yer ownself!


05-25-2010, 01:43 PM
I really like it! I believe there is a formula that determines (total) soundhole area dependant on body capacity...meaning the internal size (volume) of the body cavity. I don't think it matters how many soundholes there are, but rather their total area. Take a look at an Ovation/Applause, for example.

Great looking uke! What woods are you thinking about for the finished product? If you find you have one you can't use, I'll send you my address....

05-25-2010, 04:01 PM
Wow! Lots of responses while I was sleeping on this side of the world.

I understand this is kinda a hack job, and I have no idea what I'm doing. I appreciate all the great feedback.

The sound holes have been my main question. YES, they are 100% aesthetic. There is no rhyme or reason. I hope to find a set up that sounds great and looks unique after a few tries.

I've heard multiple guitars, and ukes with strange, or multiple holes that sounded great. The placement under the strings never seemed to be a problem with them. The ratio of hole to surface area does seem to be a big deal though. I've tried to figure out what that ratio should be, but I think it's going to be a little trial and error. I think they are definitely too big right now though. a reduction in sound hole size is called for. I'm going to go ahead and have sample 2 finished to see what it sound like, but I'm about to start a new version of sample 1 with smaller sound holes.

For now I'm just having fun and since I'm using Antoniostai (Lee) I can do a couple different designs for a reasonable price if the first one is halfway descent. Once I find the one I like, I may consider forking out more cash for a build by someone with nicer wood, and less humid conditions.

Is the offset paisley hole the same thing as an f-hole on a violin? If so, I have been considering that.

05-25-2010, 05:46 PM
Erich has the formula (memorized, I think! *grin*) I have it written down, but the book is elsewhere...

Found it!

From Erich in another thread.

Here's a quick calculation to determine the theoretical soundhole diameter.

First, calculate the volume of the box - measure and multiply the inside length, width and depth of the box.

Based on the volume, you calculate the spherical radius, that is the radius of a sphere that has the same volume, like so:

R = (V/(4/3*PI))^1/3

SHR = R/4, SHD = R/2

In words: Divide the volume V by (4/3 * PI), then take the cubed root of that value to get the sperical radius R.

OK, now you divide the spherical radius R by 4 to get the soundhole radius SHR or by 2 to get the soundhole diameter SHD.

For example, take a box that measures L = 180 mm x W = 120 mm x D = 40 mm.
The volume V = 864,000 cmm.
The sperical radius according to our calculation is R = 59 mm.
The calculated soundhole radius and diameter are then SHR = 14.75 mm, SHD = 29.5 mm.

Now it's your turn to grab your ruler and your pocket calculator and find out for yourself.

And then...

With multiple soundholes you are distributing the area, which in theory means you make two holes that add up to the total area. Remember area A = R^2 (radius squared). So if you wanted two soundholes of the same size (twice the joy) it would be

R1, R2 = ((R^2)/2)^(1/2)

Square the (calculated) radius to get the area, then divide by two to get half the area, then take the square root to get the radius of each hole (and multiply by 2 to get the diameter, which I didn't show above to avoid another set of brackets).

So much for the calculation, but you have to keep in mind that the helmoltz calculation is based on a range of factors, not just the volume. There's also the length of the resonator - if you've seen a tenor sax you know, that ain't no tweeter - and the size of the soundhole. If you make the soundhole smaller, the tone goes down - we can get that from the calculation of resonator frequency. But if you add another soundhole, does it go back up. In theory no, because you have created multiple resonators in one box. In practice it really depends, but it does make it difficult to calculate - you really have to eyeball it and see what you get, then proceed from there.

In general, smaller soundholes sound deeper and darker, larger soundholes sound higher and brighter, too small sounds trapped and muffled, too large sounds thin and airy.

05-26-2010, 01:58 AM
Is the offset paisley hole the same thing as an f-hole on a violin? If so, I have been considering that.

I was thinking like Tacoma or MacPherson guitars