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breitling
07-25-2010, 08:57 AM
I am building a StewMac tenor kit. I decided to make a better form (simular to the form in Ukulele Design and Construction) then the jig suggested in the instructions. How exact do the curves of the form need to be based on the template supplied? My first attempt is fairly close but not exact.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Bob

Matt Clara
07-25-2010, 09:31 AM
Thoughts from a fellow noob (I have tried my hand at building, but I'm no expert): If the form is a little small, then the sides will be too long and you'll need to trim them to fit, and if it's too big, you won't be able to clamp the sides into the form (after they've been joined by neck and heel blocks) without deforming their hourglass shape somewhat. Neither problem is insurmountable, or deal breakers, but if you were going to go exactly by the numbers in the StewMac plan, then the numbers will have to change. If you're feeling your way through the build with the plans as a guide, on the other hand, then you won't have to think about it much if at all.

Allen
07-25-2010, 11:20 AM
The shape of the sides, ie. the curves doesn't have to be exact. They have very little to do with the sound that an instrument will make, and everything to do with how it looks. As long as it's held in a manner that makes it look balanced from left to right, you are good to go.

When building on a board such as in the Spanish method, it's very rare that any 2 instruments will be exactly the same.

mzuch
07-25-2010, 04:28 PM
Since the sides of the Stew-Mac kit are already bent, the form does not have to be an exact fit. It would be different if you were bending sides to conform to the mold.

zdiver7
07-25-2010, 10:01 PM
I am actually building a Stew-Mac right now too... so far it's been a blast and I can't wait to finish this and start on my Hana Lima kit, then on a complete "raw" build later :)

I followed the plans for their building jig, but used 1" dowels for the waist bend cut about 1/4" below the sides, and also put some on each side below the lower bout and above the upper bout for a bit of extra support. Not as sturdy as a full building form, but I think it was a bit better than just using an L bracket to hold the waist in like they suggested...

Good luck on your build! I am about to start final sanding and prep for finish, so I'm almost there! :) Have fun

Matt Clara
07-26-2010, 03:08 AM
Since the sides of the Stew-Mac kit are already bent, the form does not have to be an exact fit. It would be different if you were bending sides to conform to the mold.

I didn't realize they were already bent--that would make cutting them shorter to make them fit a smaller mold extremely difficult. :)

breitling
07-27-2010, 08:08 PM
I am actually building a Stew-Mac right now too... so far it's been a blast and I can't wait to finish this and start on my Hana Lima kit, then on a complete "raw" build later :)

I followed the plans for their building jig, but used 1" dowels for the waist bend cut about 1/4" below the sides, and also put some on each side below the lower bout and above the upper bout for a bit of extra support. Not as sturdy as a full building form, but I think it was a bit better than just using an L bracket to hold the waist in like they suggested...

Good luck on your build! I am about to start final sanding and prep for finish, so I'm almost there! :) Have fun

Was your neck block like 1/4 inch shorter than the sides? How did you glue it on? flush to the bottom?

Bob

zdiver7
07-29-2010, 09:06 AM
Was your neck block like 1/4 inch shorter than the sides? How did you glue it on? flush to the bottom?

Bob

Yes, the neck block is a bit shorter than the sides because once you have both blocks in place, you will taper the sides from the back down to the neck (the neck end will be shorter than the tail end of the uke). The top(soundboard) will be flat, but the back will be curved by means of the radiused braces, and will also be tapered.

I believe that the neck block should be glued in flush to the top of the uke, so that when you are gluing the soundboard on, it will be nice and flat against the flat surface of the neck block.

Hopefully that helps! I will post some pics of my build so far in a bit...