PDA

View Full Version : Book matched or One piece?



narrowuke
01-18-2011, 03:58 AM
Everything is in the title really, for Ukuleles is there a preference?
I have enough in a couple of pieces of walnut to make a
top, back and sides for another soprano ukulele (working this time from Grellier's
pdf)http://www.grellier.fr/plans/Soprano_ukulele/Soprano_ukulele_fr.pdf
and can do the top and back either one piece or book matched.
All thoughts and recomendations welcome.

spruce
01-18-2011, 04:35 AM
If you can go one-piece with the wood you have, then do it...

Less work to get the joint right, less chance of joint failure down the line, and--visually--a more appealing "flow" to the look....

YMMV...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-18-2011, 05:10 AM
If you know what you're doing you'll never have trouble with a center seam. This means using well seasoned wood, choosing wood with grain that is suitable for joining, using proper techniques, tools and glues, and working in a climate controlled environment. Naturally with a one piece top and back the question is moot. There may also be some debate on structural balance and it's affect on the tone with a book matched top but that's probably more pertinent in building larger instruments such as guitars.
Aesthetically, to my eye anyway, a beautiful grain pattern always looks better when book matched.

ksquine
01-18-2011, 07:48 AM
One piece is fine if you have the wood. Very traditional for sopranos. I think the important thing is consistency across the top....the left side should be as stiff as the right.

narrowuke
01-18-2011, 09:34 AM
Thanks for the replies,I'm learning so much from here, quite suprisingly different from guitars, thanks.
The pieces I have are pretty good AA Walnut from an 'OOO' set
I can use the centre book matched pieces (fairly close grained) for the sides and get
nice single piece top and back from the rest.
I guess it's pretty much up to the individual whether you go for book matched or single.

Liam Ryan
01-18-2011, 02:00 PM
I've cut out one piece tops and backs and found a noticable difference between the stiffness across said top/back. A bookmatched top can have varying stiffness across the top too but at least it will be mirrored on each side.

Allen
01-18-2011, 08:38 PM
It needs to be a small instrument like a soprano, or an exceptional piece of wood before I'd go with a one piece top or back. And I'm with Chuck on the look of a nice bookmatch.

narrowuke
01-19-2011, 08:57 AM
I decided to go with the book matched option and glued the top and back this morning.
I now have a dilemma, do I put a simple rosette on the top or leave it O'natural:confused:
Here's a picture of the glued up top.
19465

Allen
01-19-2011, 09:03 AM
Fantastic look to that top. But it is a dilemma. What is the plan for bindings etc?

narrowuke
01-19-2011, 09:13 AM
Yep its a nice looking piece of wood. The sides are just as nice and the back has just a little less (but not much) colourful.
Thats another dilemma, I have a choice for bindings of rosewood, maple flamed or plain or no bindings at all.

Dane
01-19-2011, 09:41 AM
Is the idea of bookmatching just for aesthetics? Or is it some theory of matching tone across the soundboard?

tattwo
01-19-2011, 09:52 AM
So the top is walnut?

narrowuke
01-19-2011, 11:13 AM
So the top is walnut?
Yep:confused:

tattwo
01-19-2011, 12:39 PM
I was thinking it may be too dence of a wood to make all out of walnut. It may sound better to use a soft wood like spruce or cedar for the top. A more balanced tone. ....my:2cents:

spruce
01-19-2011, 01:46 PM
Is the idea of bookmatching just for aesthetics? Or is it some theory of matching tone across the soundboard?

It's more about pragmatism....
It's sometimes difficult to find wood that will make a one-piece instrument, especially in the larger instruments like guitars and cellos....

You see a lot of miss-matching on old violin tops, to the point that I think a lot of it is intentional...
It kinda makes sense to put some bassier sounding wood on the bass side, and brighter sounding wood on the treble...

I've even seen mixed species on tops.
I supplied wood for an arched-top mandolin build, with Engelmann on the bass and Adirondack on the treble...
Sounded, looked, and played great....

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee22/e_stamp/Kimballmando_1.jpg

narrowuke
01-19-2011, 10:26 PM
I was thinking it may be too dence of a wood to make all out of walnut. It may sound better to use a soft wood like spruce or cedar for the top. A more balanced tone. ....my:2cents:

Thanks for that, good point. I'm now in even more of a dilemma about what to do.
Although if I used a spruce top I would put a rosette and bindings on.
I've just enough for 2 sets of sides to match if I use the top as another back,
so maybe its a spruce sound board then.

Just as a thought following on from this, has anyone any thoughts about a ballpark size of braces for a soprano spruce top?

Bradford
01-20-2011, 10:05 AM
The usual bracing pattern on a soprano are two transverse braces on either side of the soundhole, about 6mm high and 6 mm wide and a bridge patch.

Brad

ksquine
01-21-2011, 07:47 AM
I was thinking it may be too dence of a wood to make all out of walnut. It may sound better to use a soft wood like spruce or cedar for the top. A more balanced tone. ....my:2cents:


I've made an all-walnut concert size. It sounds really nice to me...good volume and a tone somewhere between mahogany and koa. I think the top was 0.07" thick

I don't know what I'd do with a rosette with that nice grain. Maybe pencil in where the sound hole and rosette would be and see if it looks too busy. If it cuts through that point in the grain I think I'd leave it out. There's probably room there for a simple decoration anyway.

tattwo
01-21-2011, 08:25 AM
I've made an all-walnut concert size. It sounds really nice to me...good volume and a tone somewhere between mahogany and koa. I think the top was 0.07" thick

I don't know what I'd do with a rosette with that nice grain. Maybe pencil in where the sound hole and rosette would be and see if it looks too busy. If it cuts through that point in the grain I think I'd leave it out. There's probably room there for a simple decoration anyway.


Well I may have to try all walnut. ...do you have any pictures or sound clips of your build? I would love to see it

Allen
01-21-2011, 09:39 AM
If it was my choice, I'd be building two instruments with that wood. One with a spruce top and the other with cedar just to get a direct comparison to what difference the tops make to an instrument made with the same back and sides. Valuable information to learn if you want to continue building.

As Brad said, 6 x 6 mm. You could also slant the lower transverse brace so that it opens up the bass side and tightens up the treble.

Sven
01-21-2011, 09:52 AM
I've built two ukes with walnut soundboards and I won't build another. Maybe there's a clip on my youtube channel. I'll look for it.

Allen's idea was a good one.

narrowuke
01-21-2011, 10:57 AM
There's lots of things to think about, and thanks all for the advice and ideas.
I've only got cedar in guitar size sets which I've had for 5years+ now so I'm not going to
cut into them so it's either walnut or spruce for the sound board.
I thought about slanting the lower brace on my first Uke (classical guitar head on)
but then thought about the effect it would have on the 'G' string so put it straight.
6x6mm on the braces, thats really quite small isn't it.
I'll let you know what I decide to do.