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View Full Version : Very first build-Kerfed lining help please??



ucityuker
12-06-2010, 11:39 AM
Ok so I am to the point of gluing up the soundbox and I saw that people use cloths pins to hold the kerfed lining onto the sides. When I told my woodworking friend, he said they probably weren't going to be strong enough...Sure enough, he was right. The clothes pins that I bought were too weak. He had some small clamps for us to use. The question we have now is: Is there a "tried and true" method for installing these pieces so they are completely flush with the top and back for maximum glue coverage? I told him about gluing them on the uppermost part of the side (when lying in the assembly gig) and sanding them flush...He was hoping to glue them on the lower most part so the gig itself makes them flush. He said I should ask the pro's. [He belongs to a woodworking forum and loves it...was very happy to hear that I joined a uke forum. :) ]. Anyway, thanks in advance for the help.

new wave ukulele
12-06-2010, 01:00 PM
1-Break your kerfing strips up into 2-3 inch sections.
2-Carefully sand the back side so that they are most bendable without falling apart. the bends on a uke are more extreme than a guitar so the kerfing acts a little more stubborn when gluing up.
3-Rubber bands around the front end (clamping)of your clothes pins will help with clamping pressure....

and if you really want a good clamp fit, take the clothespins apart, use a band saw to cut the profile of the kerfing into the clamping end. there is enough material to make it work.

Best of luck!

Koa Soprano
12-06-2010, 02:36 PM
Like New Wave Uke stated you'll need to add elastics to the clothes pins, here's a pic of a violin I made with both clothes pins (with elastics on) and small clamps.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/violin2/v007.jpg

One my current uke I just used the clamps as I had enough. I also went with un-kerfed linings like in a violin and shaped them after they were installed.

http://i56.tinypic.com/mm91xk.jpg

http://i52.tinypic.com/15zk32b.jpg

rickmorgan2003
12-06-2010, 03:37 PM
Don't worry too much about getting them flush, make them a little proud and then plane or sand them flush.

Philstix
12-06-2010, 05:50 PM
I agree with the previous post. Glue them in a little proud and sand them flush. Did you radius the top or back? If you did you need them a little proud to get the curvature correct anyway.

Dominator
12-06-2010, 06:33 PM
I have a bunch of the same clamps that Koa Soprano is using above. However, I use the mandolin kerfing from Stew Mac and I have found that the tension on them is so high that they don't allow the narrow part of the lining to mate tight to the sides without a lot of fussing. This is due to the angled shape of the kerfing. Lately, I have been getting great results from the small binder clamps from the office supply store. They are the same depth of the Stew Mac lining and allow me to get them tight to the sides.

It looks like in the case of Koa Soprano, that those spring clamps will work better because his is a solid lining without such a steep angle. Looks like they would be perfect for his application.

Timbuck
12-06-2010, 08:41 PM
On Soprano ukes I also use those small metal clips, I make my own kerfed linings at approx: 6mm X 4mm..I cut the kerfs deep enough to leave approx: .030" of material to hold them together..they are mostly very flexible and fit in full lengths without breaking even on tight soprano waists..I find close grained sepele to be one of the best materials to use...sometimes if I do get a brittle section of lining I'll prebend it in the waist area,on the hot pipe..to help it fit without breaking...Here the Thread I started on brittle linings..Hope it helps.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?33424-Timbuck-s-Tip-s-(fitting-kerfed-linings)&highlight=brittle+linings
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/PICT2324.jpg

ucityuker
12-06-2010, 10:12 PM
Thanks for all the responses, guys. You really answered all of my questions. I was fairly sure we had to glue them proud and sand them flush but we wanted to make sure there wasn't another way to do it. All of the responses led to another 'not so important' question. Can you explain how the unkerfed lining works. I have never seen that before. It looks amazingly clean. I would like to give it a shot on my next one. We made our own kerfing out of a scrap piece of oak that my friend had lying around the shop. As far as clamps go, we will just have to try a few different kind and decide which one we like best. The pieces were wet and clamped to the sides and he is going to let me know whether or not they are going to hold their shape. We shall see... I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for all the help.

Michael Smith
12-06-2010, 10:39 PM
They sell some small green clamps at home depot for 37 Cents each that work very well. They are small and much stronger than a close pin.

ucityuker
12-06-2010, 10:40 PM
Cool. I'll have to check those out. Thanks.

Dominator
12-07-2010, 05:24 AM
They sell some small green clamps at home depot for 37 Cents each that work very well. They are small and much stronger than a close pin.

These are actually the clamps I was referring to above. I was assuming the red ones were the same as far as tension. If the kerfing was more square and not angled these clamps would work perfect buth not so well on the material I'm using.

Regarding the solid lining. One of the purposes of the kerfed lining is to still have some wood left to support perflings and binding after routing the channels. I've never used solid linings so I have no first hand experience with routing binding ledges on an uke with them. So I'm just guessing that solid linings are more suited to an instrument without binding.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-07-2010, 05:33 AM
These are actually the clamps I was referring to above. I was assuming the red ones were the same as far as tension. If the kerfing was more square and not angled these clamps would work perfect buth not so well on the material I'm using.


I have a couple of hundred of those Home Depot clamps too. I've taken a pair of pliers and bent the jaws inward to better fit my kerfings.

Dominator
12-07-2010, 05:43 AM
I have a couple of hundred of those Home Depot clamps too. I've taken a pair of pliers and bent the jaws inward to better fit my kerfings.

Hey, why didn't I think of that. I've seen several discussions over the years about modifying the clothes pins but never thought to try to modify the metal spring clamps.

Chuck, what is your view about my response regarding the solid and kerfed linings as it relates binding? Am I off base on that one?

JoshFromTallGrassUkes
12-07-2010, 05:49 AM
Regarding the solid lining. One of the purposes of the kerfed lining is to still have some wood left to support perflings and binding after routing the channels. I've never used solid linings so I have no first hand experience with routing binding ledges on an uke with them. So I'm just guessing that solid linings are more suited to an instrument without binding.

I'd say you're right on the money here. I remember the first build I did was a StewMac kit, and it came with solid linings/no binding. Ours have binding front & back and we use kerfed.

Timbuck
12-07-2010, 06:28 AM
I have a couple of hundred of those Home Depot clamps too. I've taken a pair of pliers and bent the jaws inward to better fit my kerfings.
Me Too :cool: :D

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-07-2010, 06:43 AM
Hey, why didn't I think of that. I've seen several discussions over the years about modifying the clothes pins but never thought to try to modify the metal spring clamps.

Chuck, what is your view about my response regarding the solid and kerfed linings as it relates binding? Am I off base on that one?

Generally, I agree with you. I feel better having the additional material that kerfed linings offer behind my bindings. And it's mandatory when you add purflings. I do know people who double up their solid linings in such cases though. I think it's easier to get a better fit with kerfed linings.

I'll make a couple of hundred kerfing strips at a time and they are all slightly over sized. When it comes time to use them I will run four of the strips in the drum sander and resize them according to the binding/purfling combination in which they'll be applied. I'll then take the hard corner off by laying the strips in a board that has V grooves in it and running it through the drum sander again. Followed by a hand sanding.

One piece of advice I have to home builders out there is to profile your linings, especially the kerfed ones. I don't think anything looks as bad as looking inside a sound hole and seeing a square kerfing. Maybe it's just me but I think every component of the instrument should be created with an equal amount of attention to detail.

Doug W
12-07-2010, 07:05 AM
Don't worry too much about getting them flush, make them a little proud and then plane or sand them flush.

Hmm, "proud" in this context does not translate in Minnesotan. What does proud mean here-sticking out a little?

ucityuker
12-07-2010, 07:21 AM
Hmm, "proud" in this context does not translate in Minnesotan. What does proud mean here-sticking out a little?

Exactly. "cutting 'proud' of the line" refers to leaving a little material between the line and the cut, so in this case it means sticking out. Had I been teaching myself and not learning from a wood worker I may not have known that either. :)

Doug W
12-07-2010, 07:23 AM
Exactly. "cutting 'proud' of the line" refers to leaving a little material between the line and the cut, so in this case it means sticking out. Had I been teaching myself and not learning from a wood worker I may not have known that either.
Thanks. Now I am slightly smarter.

ucityuker
12-07-2010, 07:25 AM
I think I might leave the non-kerfed lining alone for a while. I like the look but it seems it requires more expertise than I have. Besides, I would like to go with a binding next time. I will also profile my kerfing in the future. Ours is perfectly square. I noticed that all the ones available for purchase are profiled but I didn't think it make that big of a difference. It's all trial and error for me.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-07-2010, 07:32 AM
I think I might leave the non-kerfed lining alone for a while. I like the look but it seems it requires more expertise than I have. Besides, I would like to go with a binding next time. I will also profile my kerfing in the future. Ours is perfectly square. I noticed that all the ones available for purchase are profiled but I didn't think it make that big of a difference. It's all trial and error for me.

It's not a big deal, just a pet peeve of mine. Like not rounding the corners off of frets, and heels with wide shoulders, and necks that aren't round, and the list goes on...... :) As I said, maybe it's just me. BTW, ready made kerfings work great. But since they are made for guitars they need to be ripped down a bit for our use.

Dominator
12-07-2010, 08:12 AM
BTW, ready made kerfings work great. But since they are made for guitars they need to be ripped down a bit for our use.
The mandolin kerfing that Stew Mac sells works great for ukuleles.

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bodies,_necks,_wood/Mandolin:_Kerfed_lining_strips/Kerfed_Lining_For_Mandolin.html

olgoat52
12-07-2010, 08:12 AM
I have a bunch of the same clamps that Koa Soprano is using above. However, I use the mandolin kerfing from Stew Mac and I have found that the tension on them is so high that they don't allow the narrow part of the lining to mate tight to the sides without a lot of fussing. This is due to the angled shape of the kerfing. Lately, I have been getting great results from the small binder clamps from the office supply store. They are the same depth of the Stew Mac lining and allow me to get them tight to the sides.

It looks like in the case of Koa Soprano, that those spring clamps will work better because his is a solid lining without such a steep angle. Looks like they would be perfect for his application.

Dom beat me to that suggestion. Binder clips are pretty cheap and come in different sizes. The angle of the kerfing is always a problem. Stewmac sent an email out a week ago on this very topic. The newletter shows how to modify clothes pins into kerfing clamps. A lot of screwing around but looks like you do it once and you have them for life. http://www.stewmac.com/tradesecrets/ts0127_clothespins.hzml?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ts0127

As far as square kerfing, an old turkish luthier I had the privilege of working with used to always say "guitar like woman, no sharp edges" . I learned later he was talking about the female physical form and not their personalities...

camface
12-07-2010, 09:53 AM
It's not a big deal, just a pet peeve of mine. Like not rounding the corners off of frets, and heels with wide shoulders, and necks that aren't round, and the list goes on...... :) As I said, maybe it's just me. BTW, ready made kerfings work great. But since they are made for guitars they need to be ripped down a bit for our use.

What are wide shoulders on heels?

ucityuker
12-07-2010, 11:24 AM
It's not a big deal, just a pet peeve of mine. Like not rounding the corners off of frets, and heels with wide shoulders, and necks that aren't round, and the list goes on...... :) As I said, maybe it's just me. BTW, ready made kerfings work great. But since they are made for guitars they need to be ripped down a bit for our use.

No, I completely agree. I have a background in auto body customizing and was taught "Smoother=Cleaner". I normally use that in theory in every thing that I do. Just wasn't thinking about it at the time. That's why I like the non kerfed lining so much. Its clean. When I imagine the instruments I will build in the future, I picture style and elegance. I think that they (the instruments) deserve that since they bring so much joy to us...just my beginner philosophy. :D

Vic D
12-07-2010, 02:32 PM
I have some of the same pet peeves. Though I've been lazy and not rounding my linings, I have a set of linings on my desk that I'm carving little palm trees and tiki gods n such. My soprano necks have to be hair wider at the nut yet slim and eliptical... It's one of the most important things to me... other than volume and sweet tone.
Oh, and I round my frets to little shiny bbs.
And since I feel that some might read this and wonder how to round the ends of the frets, you take the fret file and start at about 45 degrees and move it in a continuous arc from left to right... there's a video or two on youtube.. look up rounding frets.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-07-2010, 03:16 PM
I have some of the same pet peeves. Though I've been lazy and not rounding my linings, I have a set of linings on my desk that I'm carving little palm trees and tiki gods n such. My soprano necks have to be hair wider at the nut yet slim and eliptical... It's one of the most important things to me... other than volume and sweet tone.
Oh, and I round my frets to little shiny bbs.
And since I feel that some might read this and wonder how to round the ends of the frets, you take the fret file and start at about 45 degrees and move it in a continuous arc from left to right... there's a video or two on youtube.. look up rounding frets.

Exactly. It only takes a few licks with a safe file but it makes a lot of difference. I saw a picture once of Frank Ford's fret ends, all highly polished like little pearls. The picture was hugely magnified and you could see the reflection of the camera.
Oh, another pet peeve is hard sharp corners of the bindings. I like them nicely rounded, especially on the back of the uke where it contacts your body.
All these little details may seem insignificant on their own but when you add them all up it really makes a difference.

ucityuker
12-07-2010, 05:01 PM
Well here's the route we took. Not perfect, but good enough for now. Will improve greatly next time thanks to everyone's advice.
http://i883.photobucket.com/albums/ac34/elliscody06/DEC7GL1.jpg
http://i883.photobucket.com/albums/ac34/elliscody06/DEC6DR1.jpg
http://i883.photobucket.com/albums/ac34/elliscody06/DEC7DR1.jpg

dave g
12-08-2010, 08:37 AM
Your lining strips look to be at least twice as heavy as they need to be... No wonder you're having trouble clamping them.

(The end block could be about a quarter as thick too.)

tattwo
12-08-2010, 10:49 AM
The mandolin kerfing that Stew Mac sells works great for ukuleles.

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bodies,_necks,_wood/Mandolin:_Kerfed_lining_strips/Kerfed_Lining_For_Mandolin.html

Thats what I have been using. Small and great for tight curves

mwaller
12-08-2010, 11:39 AM
Ok so I am to the point of gluing up the soundbox and I saw that people use cloths pins to hold the kerfed lining onto the sides. When I told my woodworking friend, he said they probably weren't going to be strong enough...Sure enough, he was right. The clothes pins that I bought were too weak. He had some small clamps for us to use. The question we have now is: Is there a "tried and true" method for installing these pieces so they are completely flush with the top and back for maximum glue coverage? I told him about gluing them on the uppermost part of the side (when lying in the assembly gig) and sanding them flush...He was hoping to glue them on the lower most part so the gig itself makes them flush. He said I should ask the pro's. [He belongs to a woodworking forum and loves it...was very happy to hear that I joined a uke forum. :) ]. Anyway, thanks in advance for the help.

Get some of these micro clamps from Harbor Freight. They apply very firm pressure, and have swiveling feet that adapt well to triangular or sqare kerf linings. I used them with Stew Mac mandolin size kerf linings on my tenor kit - they worked flawlessly!
Mika
http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/370x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_1219.jpg

Dominator
12-08-2010, 11:48 AM
Get some of these micro clamps from Harbor Freight. They apply very firm pressure, and have swiveling feet that adapt well to triangular or sqare kerf linings. I used them with Stew Mac mandolin size kerf linings on my tenor kit - they worked flawlessly!
Mika
http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/370x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_1219.jpg

I have a whole bag of these clamps also. I've had mixed success using them. They just don't seem to have enough tension. But as you say, the swivel of the pads does adpat to the shape of the kerfing. I just wish they had more tension.

Doug W
12-08-2010, 12:01 PM
I have a bunch of the same clamps that Koa Soprano is using above. However, I use the mandolin kerfing from Stew Mac and I have found that the tension on them is so high that they don't allow the narrow part of the lining to mate tight to the sides without a lot of fussing. This is due to the angled shape of the kerfing. Lately, I have been getting great results from the small binder clamps from the office supply store. They are the same depth of the Stew Mac lining and allow me to get them tight to the sides.

It looks like in the case of Koa Soprano, that those spring clamps will work better because his is a solid lining without such a steep angle. Looks like they would be perfect for his application.

Are you talking about these clips (http://www.staples.com/Staples-Small-Metal-Binder-Clips-3-4-size-with-3-8-Capacity/product_831594)? If so, which sizes do you keep around?

Thanks,
Doug

ucityuker
12-08-2010, 12:37 PM
Your lining strips look to be at least twice as heavy as they need to be... No wonder you're having trouble clamping them.

(The end block could be about a quarter as thick too.)

We measured the lining according to the plans. (www.donsplans.com) It showed what the kerf "should" look like so we went with that. We also weren't sure on the end block so we just cut the remainder from when we did the dovetail and went with that. Will know for next time. :)

ucityuker
12-08-2010, 12:39 PM
Oh and thanks, dave g, for all the youtube videos. My research on this project consisted of yours and Pete Howlett's videos being played and studied EVERY night for about 2 months. Haha.

rickmorgan2003
12-08-2010, 12:51 PM
Exactly. It only takes a few licks with a safe file but it makes a lot of difference. I saw a picture once of Frank Ford's fret ends, all highly polished like little pearls. The picture was hugely magnified and you could see the reflection of the camera.
Oh, another pet peeve is hard sharp corners of the bindings. I like them nicely rounded, especially on the back of the uke where it contacts your body.
All these little details may seem insignificant on their own but when you add them all up it really makes a difference.

Dam you all for your pet peeves- I thought I had finished my work LOL. You are right of course, when I went back to round out my fretts I noticed a world of difference. Now I am trashing my finish smoothing over the bindings. All kiding aside- you all are making me a much better builder. I am not clear about what a wide shoulder on a heal means though- any visuals on that Chuck?

dave g
12-08-2010, 01:57 PM
Oh and thanks, dave g, for all the youtube videos.

You're welcome! I had fun making them :-)

My lining strips are of "Spruce/Pine/Fir" about 5/16" x 3/16", and I'd guess the "web" between the segments is about 1/32" thick. I soak them in water for perhaps an hour, dry them with a towel, then bend them into a tight spiral (~1 1/2" dia.) before starting to fit them in. So I'm working with a nice pliable piece of stuff that is easily tamed by ordinary clothespins :)

Koa Soprano
12-08-2010, 03:47 PM
My uke will still have binding (it's already installed) with it's thinner smooth linings. It only has one strip about 1/16" wide of Ebony binding. If I added purflings I would require thicker linings, and probably kerf them at that point.

I have infact made a uke years ago with no linings at all, and no back bracing and only one brace and a bridge plate on the top. It was an experiment that only took 5 days to make. I even wacked it against something once when I was mad and mearly put an easily repaired crack in the back.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-08-2010, 04:12 PM
Dam you all for your pet peeves- I thought I had finished my work LOL. You are right of course, when I went back to round out my fretts I noticed a world of difference. Now I am trashing my finish smoothing over the bindings. All kiding aside- you all are making me a much better builder. I am not clear about what a wide shoulder on a heal means though- any visuals on that Chuck?

Broad shoulders, hippy heels, call it what you will. I'm referring to the heel profile itself, the point where it attaches to the body. Some are cut in a variation of a "V" shape, others have more of a contour to them. But they shouldn't be blocky in my opinion, they should be graceful. I see a lot of beginners that seem to be afraid of removing enough material from the neck. It's understandable to be timid; once the wood is removed it can't be put back on.

olgoat52
12-08-2010, 04:35 PM
Broad shoulders, hippy heels, call it what you will. I'm referring to the heel profile itself, the point where it attaches to the body. Some are cut in a variation of a "V" shape, others have more of a contour to them. But they shouldn't be blocky in my opinion, they should be graceful. I see a lot of beginners that seem to be afraid of removing enough material from the neck. It's understandable to be timid; once the wood is removed it can't be put back on.

I have a P-base I built (Koa as a matter of fact) that is a testament to not being able to put wood back on. It is a very very thin neck but a tad too bendy for a bass.. I really should build another one of these days.

Flyfish57
12-08-2010, 05:20 PM
Broad shoulders, hippy heels, call it what you will. I'm referring to the heel profile itself, the point where it attaches to the body. Some are cut in a variation of a "V" shape, others have more of a contour to them. But they shouldn't be blocky in my opinion, they should be graceful. I see a lot of beginners that seem to be afraid of removing enough material from the neck. It's understandable to be timid; once the wood is removed it can't be put back on.
ahh I see you remember the photos of my first tenor--My 70's Les Paul has a slimmer neck! Hippy Heels? DO you mean Birkenstocks? :)

As far as clamping these little buggers in, the Home Depot clamps do work the best for me too. But the little marks they leave annoy me. I'm going to order the Lee Valley (http://www.leevalley.com/us/garden/page.aspx?c=&cat=2,42194,63682&p=63682)clothespins and modify them like the StuMac way. I think Pete posted something similar last year on those.

dave g
12-09-2010, 01:28 AM
Broad shoulders, hippy heels, call it what you will. I'm referring to the heel profile itself, the point where it attaches to the body. Some are cut in a variation of a "V" shape, others have more of a contour to them. But they shouldn't be blocky in my opinion, they should be graceful.

Keep in mind that if it is of "Spanish Heel" construction, the point of the heel has to be wide enough for both the tenon through to the body, and for the two grooves the sides are let in to (a minimum of perhaps 5/8", 3/4" - somewhere around there).

rickmorgan2003
12-09-2010, 02:19 AM
Broad shoulders, hippy heels, call it what you will. I'm referring to the heel profile itself, the point where it attaches to the body. Some are cut in a variation of a "V" shape, others have more of a contour to them. But they shouldn't be blocky in my opinion, they should be graceful. I see a lot of beginners that seem to be afraid of removing enough material from the neck. It's understandable to be timid; once the wood is removed it can't be put back on.

Ah- rather than continue to hijack this thread I'm going to post a new thread "Pet Peeves"