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View Full Version : Bevel Cutaway from DaSilva Tenor



Oneslypig
06-16-2010, 10:15 PM
I'm sure some of you have seen it, but was wondering how complex a process it is to do the bevel cutaway used on the James Hill Custom DaSilva Tenor(Image below for reference). I love the look and am nowhere near the point of being able to do it myself(just ordered a grizzly kit and am hoping to move up to the stewmac from there, hopefully ending in making my own from scratch).

I guess I'm just wondering if I should be building or saving up the $ to order one. Thoughts?

UPDATE: Forgot the image

http://www.ukemaker.com/images/UkeGallery/205-JHTenor-1024.jpg

Allen
06-17-2010, 02:44 AM
I've done bevel armrests on guitars before, and while it's certainly challenging, and not something that a beginner would want to tackle. It's actually easier than what you might initially think. Very time consuming though.

It's certainly in the realm of those who have a pretty good grasp of how to put an instrument together, and most importantly, how to fix and or compensate when things go pear shape.

Pete Howlett
06-17-2010, 03:07 AM
And the point of this design is? I am totally out of step with this sort of malarky. All credit to DaSilva for being able to execute it but honestly, apart from a demonstration of skill it has little else to recommend it.

Timbuck
06-17-2010, 03:50 AM
I looked at the pic' for about a quarter of an hour trying to figure out how it's supposed to work..The binding seemed to lose continuity as it connected to the bevel, and the heel would look better if it went down to the cutaway bit instead of a triangle piece of wood bridging the gap...in the end I decided it just looked ugly and I didn't like it..It's just my opinion..Maybe others will think it's great.

dave g
06-17-2010, 04:25 AM
Looks pretty straight-forward, but time consuming. I think it looks good - try it :)

SailingUke
06-17-2010, 05:52 AM
When I first saw a picture of this instrument on Mike's website I liked it.
I ordered one from Mike and am the proud owner of #213.
It plays like a dream, has an unbelieveble sound and is stunning.
The cutaway/bevel is noticed by everyone, but its voice gets everyone attention.
The bevel actually works too, I find it very easy to strum and/or pick.
I believe there is a little more top area than a cutaway ukulele. Some believe reduced top area = reduced volume/tone.
Personally for me, I like the look of a non-cutaway, so this is a great compromise for me.
Mike is a class builder whether you get this model or any other instrument he builds.

Matt Clara
06-17-2010, 06:35 AM
And the point of this design is? I am totally out of step with this sort of malarky. All credit to DaSilva for being able to execute it but honestly, apart from a demonstration of skill it has little else to recommend it.

Similar to a cutaway, it allows easier access to those frets to which it is adjacent, but without reducing the interior volume of the instrument. Is my guess. I could do the marketing for it, anyway!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-17-2010, 07:17 AM
I met with and talked to both Mike DaSilva and James Hill about this uke. The bevel doesn't have anything to do with having better access to the higher frets. James told me he simply did not want to be hitting the soundboard when he is strumming up there. Construction-wise the hard thing is getting the binding/purfling right. The particular model I saw, the one he built for James, came close.
As a practical matter, there are certain things that are pretty ridiculous on a small instrument like a ukulele, including beveled arm rests, cutaways and slotted head stocks. I still favor these elements and I've been dying to give arm rest bevels a shot, but i think it's a case of fashion upstaging function. However, I'm in awe of the bevels that Grit Laskin and Kevin Ryan do.

Pete Howlett
06-17-2010, 07:48 AM
And on a guitar it makes a lot of sense. I tried it once - it is quite a feat of geometry and wood engineering. Slotted headstocks on tenors look OK. I'm just waiting for a tuner company to make a 15mm wide baseplate before I feel totally comfortable with this design :)

SailingUke
06-17-2010, 08:02 AM
And on a guitar it makes a lot of sense. I tried it once - it is quite a feat of geometry and wood engineering. Slotted headstocks on tenors look OK. I'm just waiting for a tuner company to make a 15mm wide baseplate before I feel totally comfortable with this design :)

I like the look of slotted headstocks. I am not a builder, but some tell me the lighter headstock improves string vibrations thus volume.
Notice the pegheads Mike used on this ukulele and how thin the headstock is. The pegheads are very light so I imagine the weight is equivalent to a slothead.
As I said, I love the slothead, but changing strings on them can be a little more challenging than a paddle head.

Oneslypig
06-17-2010, 08:19 AM
@Pete: Ya, my only desire to have one is that it is a pretty unique feature that sets it apart from other ukes. Not that mine is getting lost in a pile at the next get together, just personal preference.

@SailingUke: I'm envious. Do you mind sharing how much it ended up costing you, the DaSilva site wasn't very specific. I suppose I could just call. Hrm.

@Chuck: I hadn't even thought about it being to not hit the top.

@Dave: Maybe I'll try it when I'm bending my own sides. :)

ksquine
06-17-2010, 09:40 AM
De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum!!
I kinda like it but aggree with Timbuck that the binding scheme doesn't work well. Its something different anyway.
Check the Online Luthier Forum armrest guitar posts for better examples
Just watch out Pete....if Jake starts playing one of these, everyone will be asking you for one.:eek:

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-17-2010, 09:46 AM
The binding seemed to lose continuity as it connected to the bevel.

I inspected it up close. That's the problem I saw with it. I saw the first one he built, maybe he's improved on it. No doubt about it, it's a tough angle to deal with when it comes to binding and purfling.

Bradford
06-17-2010, 10:52 AM
Hey Oneslypig, I see you are in Portland. If you ever get over to Cannon Beach, give me a shout. I'll show you how I build ukes. I also have an idea on how to accomplish that bevei a whole lot easier.

Brad

thistle3585
06-17-2010, 11:21 AM
And the point of this design is? I am totally out of step with this sort of malarky. All credit to DaSilva for being able to execute it but honestly, apart from a demonstration of skill it has little else to recommend it.

I bet a lot of people said that about the scroll on the mandolin when it first came on the scene but it seems to have caught on. :)

Oneslypig
06-17-2010, 11:23 AM
Oh ya, I'm headed to the coast on the 7th of July. I'll drop you a dm on here ahead of time to see if we can meet up.

Pete Howlett
06-17-2010, 11:38 AM
This is not ground breaking design. If it was we'd all be doing it. As for me, I have no desire to go through the masochistic agony of executing this modification. I'm glad the talented Mr DaSilva did though...

Oneslypig
06-17-2010, 11:47 AM
This is not ground breaking design...

Oh, I by no means think that it is. I just like it and thought that someone here may have some words on some of the pros and cons. Sounds like mostly cons so far. :)

Matt Clara
06-17-2010, 11:54 AM
I met with and talked to both Mike DaSilva and James Hill about this uke. The bevel doesn't have anything to do with having better access to the higher frets.

Yah, but it wasn't a bad guess! ;) I should have gone on to get my Ph.D. in literature (my original college plan), where you can posit any danged theory, and as long as you can prop it up and expound upon it long enough, you've got yourself a publishable paper. I never would have guessed the actual use of the thing, as from my experience, you'd have to remove a lot more than that to keep me from hitting it.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-17-2010, 12:06 PM
Yah, but it wasn't a bad guess! ;) I should have gone on to get my Ph.D. in literature (my original college plan), where you can posit any danged theory, and as long as you can prop it up and expound upon it long enough, you've got yourself a publishable paper. I never would have guessed the actual use of the thing, as from my experience, you'd have to remove a lot more than that to keep me from hitting it.

My first guess was that it was a hybrid cutaway. But when I talked with James Hill about it he said he didn't need a cutaway for reaching the upper frets. That wasn't an issue for him. He said that for some of his finger styling he didn't want to be hitting the sound board. Anyone who has seen James play knows that many of his techniques are varied and a bit strange. So I doubt if it would be an issue for most players. I have heard of players commenting that they don't want their action set too low for the very same reason so maybe there's something to it.

maclay
06-17-2010, 09:40 PM
I love it when builders try something different. From what i hear, DaSilva builds a great ukulele.

Jake Maclay
http://www.hiveukuleles.com/

Allen
06-18-2010, 01:03 AM
Don't forget the very obvious factor of setting yourself separate from the rest of the crowd. There are very few people building ukes with any features like this that I'm aware of. So being one of the first is certainly going to bring you some notoriety, just as it has for Grit Laskin and Kevin Ryan. Might be a totally useless feature for 99% of the folks out there, but it doesn't change the need for others to "Must Have" that feature because their idol has it.

camface
06-18-2010, 09:36 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC2FK3SeQx8

That doesn't demonstrate the cutting of the bevel, but it shows how to make it look pretty! I've always felt uncomfortable holding a uke while standing, since i have to keep a lot of pressure with my right forearm to keep it from falling. I've been wanting a uke with a bevel towards the tail, and I've seen a few (not within my pricerange though!). They seem to look nice.

Allen
06-18-2010, 11:06 PM
The bevel is going to add a considerable amount to the price of an instrument. No matter where it's placed. I had a rough estimate that it doubled the amount of time I spent on closing up the box on the two guitars that I've built with the Ryan style armrest.