View Full Version : Kasha baritone build

Pete Howlett
07-10-2010, 08:39 PM
Kathy is marching on with her build - 5 pages (http://home.comcast.net/~kathymatsushita/moreprojects/htmlpages/bar5.html) of her thorough documentation..

07-10-2010, 09:40 PM
Cool stuff from Kathy, as usual.

Has anyone ever tried Kasha bracing on a uke? It seems like it would be a lot of work.

07-10-2010, 09:49 PM
A fellow in Sydney named Matt has posted a Kasha braced tenor on the ANZLF about a year or so ago now.You can see his website here, (http://www.makaioukuleles.blogspot.com/) but when I tried a couple of minutes ago it was down. It's in Tiger Myrtle and Engelman. A really stunning looking instrument. I asked him about the tone, and he said it was really difficult to say as it so very different from anything he had done before in the way of wood, and bracing, plus being a lot better at putting them together than previous ones. It's certainly a lot more work than a few finger braces, but so is the lattice bracing I've been using. Going to appeal to some, but I wouldn't ever expect it to be everyones cup of tea.

Pete Howlett
07-10-2010, 10:00 PM
Great comments Allen - that subjectivity thing which we just can't avoid and always struggle with. I love ladder braced guitars for their lack of complex sound architecture. I made 2 when I was building guitars and like Marc Silber, just couldn't interest enough bluesmen to get that authentic sound... that is if you are not trying to emulate Frank Stokes, Josh White or Bill Broonzy :)

07-10-2010, 11:11 PM
Kathy's website is excellent! I actually discovered it a few days ago but missed the update on her new build.

Edit: I see now that she doesn't have a link from page 3 to page 4, which is why I missed it!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-11-2010, 07:31 AM
. Has anyone ever tried Kasha bracing on a uke? .

I've built Kasha style side by side with fan bracing. I've done X and lattice as well. I could find no difference in sound withe either style. When it comes to ukuleles, I think if you can build a good instrument you are going to do so regardless of the bracing pattern, all other things being equal of course. I can't speak of baritones however, I only build ukuleles.

07-11-2010, 08:49 AM
I've built one (zebra wood & spruce) and it sounded nice but not any better in my opinion (compared with my fan braced ukuleles). Reading about the theory of them where there are longer braces on the bass side of the sound board progressing to shorter ones on the treble side to even out the response of the top for all the strings kind of falls apart on a ukulele with reentrant tuning. It would seem to make sense on a guitar though.

I do like shinning a light through the sound port to back-light the top and see it's rib-cage though!

07-11-2010, 09:10 AM
Thats a Lefty.. Wot's the sound port doing at the bottom ???

07-11-2010, 03:13 PM
See if these help.

Dave Higham
07-12-2010, 03:13 AM
Thats a Lefty.. Wot's the sound port doing at the bottom ???

Very strange. The fingerboard looks like a lefty, everything else (including the bridge) doesn't.

07-12-2010, 06:52 AM
The fingerboard looks like a lefty, everything else (including the bridge) doesn't.

Yes, something went wrong here - the soundhole and fingerboard are left-handed, the bridge is right-handed.

07-12-2010, 09:14 AM
Hendrix didn't exactly follow the rules on handedness when it came to guitars. Didn't seem to make him any worse.

07-12-2010, 01:04 PM
In all fairness, I think that is a bit far fetched. If this uke is right handed, why would you extend the fingerboard on the low strings and not the high ones? If it's really a lefty, then the bridge is on backwards. And, as Darrel points out, it does make a difference with kasha bracing which side of the instrument is treble and which is bass.

But, hey, who am I - you do whatever you like... kasha, ladder, fan, lattice, forwards, backwards...

07-12-2010, 02:06 PM
I guess I should come clean on the finger board, It started with a crack on one end so I was forced to trim it away on one side, unfortunately I cut the fret slots on the wrong side of the board. I was going to just make a new one but putting it on the body I kind of liked the way it curled around the sound hole and went with it. It is right handed.

For Kasha bracing (my understanding) the sound hole is placed on the treble side as there is a radial tone bar on the bass side. Here is a picture of the inside of a kasha braced top (not mine): www.devineguitars.com/htmlContent/design.htm

07-12-2010, 08:52 PM
Darrel, I just looked at the hana lima plans and they do have the soundhole on the treble side. And yes, there is a tone bar extending into the upper bout on the bass side. So sorry, I guess Timbuck and I were wrong about the soundhole. BTW, the fingerboard on their plans is cut off straight.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-13-2010, 06:35 AM
A lot of what Richard Schneider and Dr Kasha did has been elevated to mythic status and seems to have an almost cult like following. The bracing pattern is art work unto itself but beyond that I personally don't think it matters what side the sound hole is placed on a ukulele. Some have only a side sound port.

Pete Howlett
07-13-2010, 06:48 AM
I don't think the science/design stands up...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-13-2010, 06:54 AM
I don't think the science/design stands up...

Agreed. As in most fields of creative endeavor, you don't need science, just a good gimmick.

Pete Howlett
07-13-2010, 07:38 AM
I'm not saying Dr Kasha wasn't sincere... on the contrary, he was probably too sincere. It's just that as far the ukulele goes, there's not much too it. Trying to add in order to improve I believe is looking in the wrong direction...

07-13-2010, 11:35 AM
No doubt, the kasha bracing is intriguing and esthetically pleasing, although no one would ever notice... but as a player all I can say is that I do not want the soundhole south of the fretboard, and I don't know anyone who would.

08-16-2010, 02:19 PM
I am looking for specific diagrams for the Kasha bracing pattern for a tenor uke. Anybody that could post a picture or give me a web address for that? Thanks, and nice build journal Kathy, and beautiful uke, Darrel. Beth

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-16-2010, 02:49 PM
Hana Lima sells kasha plans for many ukulele sizes. Get a preview look here:


Pete Howlett
08-16-2010, 08:34 PM
Anyone visited recently? It's nearly together. She gives quite a detailed account of an oil finish she has used which is a bit unusual because she usually sprays waterborne lacquer...

08-23-2010, 05:40 PM
I'm liking the site by Kathy, as a newbie it has great photos and tips and some jigs I'll be building soon.

08-26-2010, 07:23 PM
Hi Pete, love your videos on YouTube! I've experimented with the same finish that Kathy is using, Tru Oil, which is actually a misnomer I think, because Tru Oil is actually a varnish if I'm not mistaken, and is usually used to refinish the wood on gunstocks/rifles. Hana Lima'ia recommends it in their classes and their plans as a quick "dummy proof" way of getting a nice glossy finish on a ukulele without too much hassle. It works pretty well though I've found it takes months to really cure and harden properly, and to get rid of the slight odor it gives off as well.

10-24-2010, 04:37 PM
Kathy finished her build! Go check out her website. Her last posting on the build is a video, so you can hear how it sounds.

10-25-2010, 04:27 AM
Such a great website! Every step is laid out clearly so you can really get a feel for the whole process.