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View Full Version : Builder's Pet Peeves



rickmorgan2003
12-09-2010, 02:28 AM
This got started over on another thread and rather than continuing to hijack that thread thought I would start a discussion on Pet Peeves of the builders. It's the finer details that many of us amateurs either don't know about, too timid to do, or simply ignore that make the difference between us and the pros.

The quote that got it all started was by Chuck over at Moore Bettah Ukes:

Originally Posted by Moore Bettah Ukuleles View Post
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.

So here's your chance to vent or help, which ever way you look at it ;)

For my part, that quote of Chucks got me to go back and fix some stuff on the Uke I was "just about done" with and I am happy he inspired me to do so. It's a bettah uke for his imput.

hmgberg
12-09-2010, 03:15 AM
I love the idea of this thread and hope that it gets some consideration. I'm fascinated with the craft and I speak with luthiers whenever I get the opportunity. I'm trying my hand at a few things, not looking to make a career change or anything, just indulging an interest. I realize that building and repairing involve skills that take years to even begin to master. However, as I learn more, my esteem for the pros increases. Conversely, my experience when speaking with luthiers has been that they always inquire about what I like in an instrument, what qualities I find most desirable, even though my talent in playing is modest. The dialogue is great because while I know what I like tonally and in terms of playability, I often have little idea what goes into construction to bring it about.

Bradford
12-09-2010, 08:02 AM
My pet peeve is builders who add a lot of bling and gingerbread to mediocre sounding instruments. Learn to make great sounding and easy playing instruments first and then doll them up. You can bet that Chuck Moore's ukes sound and play as nice as they look. It is important to have a balance between sound, playability and appearance.

Brad

Dane
12-09-2010, 08:26 AM
My pet peeve is builders who add a lot of bling and gingerbread to mediocre sounding instruments. Learn to make great sounding and easy playing instruments first and then doll them up. You can bet that Chuck Moore's ukes sound and play as nice as they look. It is important to have a balance between sound, playability and appearance.

Brad

But wouldn't you say it is better to learn on a poopy instrument, than to practice and mess up one that sounds good? I understand that you mean for people to TRY harder on sound, but maybe if these people stay with it long enough they eventually transition to that point. Which is better for the luthiers right? In theory it would weed out the lesser talented and leave more business for the good builders.

drumgerry
12-09-2010, 10:44 AM
One thing I really hate is to see glue runs on bracing/linings when I look through the soundhole. The inside of an instrument should be as clean as the outside!

ksquine
12-09-2010, 04:24 PM
My pet peeve is that one item I forgot in the last stew-mac order.

hmgberg
12-09-2010, 05:08 PM
Bling is nice, aesthetically - sometimes. What really interests me is what makes an instrument sound good.

Dominator
12-09-2010, 06:37 PM
One thing I really hate is to see glue runs on bracing/linings when I look through the soundhole. The inside of an instrument should be as clean as the outside!

I have to agree with this one. I always glue the back on first which allows me to clean up any glue mess. This is difficult for those building with the spanish style on a solera since the back is glued on last.

Pete Howlett
12-09-2010, 09:46 PM
I use a glue roller which accurately distributes glue and I rarely have a dribble - if I do, a long artists paint brush used dry normally solves the problem.

My pet peeve is builders who underprice their instruments and clients who the minute they place an order are on my back for progress reports and completion dates. These people usually get their deposits back :) And despite my long list of videos I am not a fan of documenting the build and posting it on my website - it takes a total of about 3hours just to make a short instructional video. I usally give clients a visual when it is ready to go into the sprayshop since I don't have to make bling reports.

Vic D
12-10-2010, 11:00 AM
I'm trying to get away from doing hippie heels and lining drips... heh. Guilty. Those glue rollers are expensive but it's on my list.

rickmorgan2003
12-11-2010, 09:19 AM
I am calling it quits on this build. If I don't stop tweeking things I won't get to the next one. So I'm pretty sure this qualifies as too wide of shoulders/hippy heals and not enough roundness to the neck. I did go back to deal with the frets and rounded off my bindings but I just wasn't ready to pull it apart to reshape the neck. I promise to do that on the next build:)
Thanks to all you guys out there that help me build my first uke.

ADD
12-11-2010, 08:08 PM
I'm trying to get away from doing hippie heels and lining drips... heh. Guilty. Those glue rollers are expensive but it's on my list.

What kind of glue roller are you talking about that's expensive?

Vic D
12-12-2010, 07:18 AM
What kind of glue roller are you talking about that's expensive?

Well you can get them for 10 bucks and up. I'm thinking the type that Pete uses is a bit more than ten bucks. Hey Pete, what type of roller do you use?
I just don't wanna buy a cheap one that doesn't do the job and won't last. I have a thing about things that are made to throw away...

This one is probably overkill. "It meets the demands of all professional etching artists. The rubber is super soft, about " thick, durable, and long lasting. The brayer has a wood handle as a finishing touch. " Holbein Super Soft Brayer $127.28

But the one Pete uses looks like hard rubber. I want one just... like... Pete... uses... :)

And I guess I don't do hippie heels, but the shoulders on mine need to come in some, starting with my next one, ambrosia goodness, which has no glue drips. :)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-12-2010, 08:50 AM
Who wants to clean a glue spreader? I'll stick with the old stand-bys. I've got ten of them.

Dominator
12-12-2010, 09:03 AM
Who wants to clean a glue spreader? I'll stick with the old stand-bys. I've got ten of them.

I'm with you on this one Chuck. I just make sure my hands/digits are clean before spreading the glue.

Timbuck
12-12-2010, 09:11 AM
Who wants to clean a glue spreader? I'll stick with the old stand-bys. I've got ten of them.
I've got some of them..but I only use one... and "Titebond" stalagmites and stalactites keep growing on the end of the bench.

Flyfish57
12-12-2010, 04:06 PM
I've got some of them..but I only use one... and "Titebond" stalagmites and stalactites keep growing on the end of the bench.

I started putting a strip of tape on the underside of my bench since I had to keep moving down the bench to find a flat spot...Someday, I'll try pulling it off!

I do use one of those roller squeeze bottles for when I'm gluing up anything bigger than twice the length of digit number one.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-12-2010, 04:11 PM
"Titebond" stalagmites and stalactites keep growing on the end of the bench.

One day I've got to take a chisel to those. I just checked mine, it's pretty disgusting. I can't even get a clamp to hold on the edge of my bench any more. Maybe I'll just start licking my fingers from now on.

Vic D
12-12-2010, 04:17 PM
I do the glue under the bench thing too... makes the bench stronger.

dave g
12-13-2010, 01:22 AM
One day I've got to take a chisel to those.

Try one of those "cheese grater" planes - works well for me :)

Ken W
12-13-2010, 03:41 AM
[QUOTE=Vic D;549063]
But the one Pete uses looks like hard rubber. I want one just... like... Pete... uses... :)

QUOTE]

I contacted Pete a while back about these rollers. He described it as an inexpensive wall paper seam roller that he gets at a Lowes-like store in the UK. I checked our stores and the only ones they carry are hard plastic and they don't pick up the glue. I'm now using the rubber roller from an inexpensive glue bottle package ($5.00 on sale at the local woodworker's store) and it is working o.k. It is made to fasten to a bottle that despenses the glue. I just use it to spread the glue.