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banjoprat
02-26-2011, 09:00 AM
I'd like to try to build a Tenor Uke with the thinnest body, how thin can I go on the sides, top and back?

Steve vanPelt
02-26-2011, 09:04 AM
First question, what kind of wood are you going to use?

Allen
02-26-2011, 09:42 AM
Are you talking the thickness of the wood, or the depth of the sides? Your question is a little ambiguous.

Liam Ryan
02-26-2011, 11:16 AM
Your intensions are a little ambiguous. Thinness does not by itself equate to light weight, volume, great tone etc, etc.

The answer to your question will of course be _mm but............
So here you go: you can go well under 1mm for the top, back and sides but you'll have to know how to brace everthing or it will rip apart under string tension. That's if you don't put a finger straight through it during the construction process.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-26-2011, 12:13 PM
Keep in mind that thinness does not necessarily mean good tone, in fact a top that is too thin can sound thin and one dimensional. While it might be loud you are also likely to lose the overtones and subtleties of a properly thicknessed sound board. But then again I have a hunch you think banjos sound good. if so, never mind what I said.
Why not tell us what your objective is?

banjoprat
02-26-2011, 09:46 PM
First of all say sorry for my English , is not as good as I like.
I've been makeing my Ukes with a 2,5mm side , top and Back for years and I like to try whats happen with a different Thickness. I'm going to build 2 instruments, both made with Mahogany , one with 2,25 thickness the other as thin as possible.
That's the idea...

Timbuck
02-26-2011, 09:52 PM
First of all say sorry for my English , is not as good as I like.
I've been makeing my Ukes with a 2,5mm side , top and Back for years and I like to try whats happen with a different Thickness. I'm going to build 2 instruments, both made with Mahogany , one with 2,25 thickness the other as thin as possible.
That's the idea...
As you get thinner on mahogany..the bracings begin to show through the skin.. and then it looks like a kite...or a Zepplin...or a bats wing..type of thing.:)

BobN
02-27-2011, 05:12 AM
Some flamenco guitars have spruce tops that are as thin as 1.0 mm. They are built for load percussive sound with almost no sustain.

Like Chuck M. said

Keep in mind that thinness does not necessarily mean good tone, in fact a top that is too thin can sound thin and one dimensional. While it might be loud you are also likely to lose the overtones and subtleties of a properly thicknessed sound board. But then again I have a hunch you think banjos sound good. if so, never mind what I said.
Why not tell us what your objective is?

Sven
02-27-2011, 07:35 AM
2,5 mm? That's way thicker than I build them. I usually end up at 1,5 - 1,6 mm in a mahogany soprano.

(Yes, in Sweden we do use "," instead of ".")

Kekani
02-27-2011, 07:44 AM
To +1 Chuck, we still don't know what your intentions are. We do know that you're going to build one thinner than the other, but we don't know why? If its just to try, then I don't think anyone can answer. I can say go as thin as 1/16" on the top, but you'll need to brace the hell out of it, and probably end up throwing it away. Can it be done? Sure, buy why would you?

In any case, you gotta do what you gotta do, but here's my take anyway - stiffer sides are better, particularly for projection and tone, on my instruments. All things being the same, the instrument with thicker sides will sound better than the one with thinner sides, if you know how to make use of it.

All things not being the same, you can stiffen the thinner sides to sound better than the thicker one.

banjoprat
02-27-2011, 08:09 AM
To +1 Chuck, we still don't know what your intentions are. We do know that you're going to build one thinner than the other, but we don't know why?


Just to see what happen, and to learn something new about instruments making.

tikibar
03-01-2011, 04:10 AM
Hey, i did not want to make a new topic one somewhat the same question category so ill try to get an answer in this one first :)

can anyone tell me what the prefered thickness of most popular woods used are ?
like: walnut, mahogany,spruce,...
it would be nice if there was a list or something with the pro's / cons.
hope someone can help me out with this :)

Allen
03-01-2011, 09:16 AM
Not trying to be evasive here but it depends on the size of the instrument and the stiffness of the wood too much for any really definitive answer. Then there is the bracing.

BobN
03-01-2011, 09:17 AM
Hey, i did not want to make a new topic one somewhat the same question category so ill try to get an answer in this one first :)

can anyone tell me what the prefered thickness of most popular woods used are ?
like: walnut, mahogany,spruce,...
it would be nice if there was a list or something with the pro's / cons.
hope someone can help me out with this :)

Usually somewhere less than 2mm.
When you are working with natural materials, there will be a lot of variation even in the same species. Think of stiffness and weight. A stiffer piece of wood can be made thinner.
An experienced builder makes a judgement when a piece of wood is in their hands. They may even reject a piece of top wood or use it for something else.

Check some of these sites:
http://www.designofaclassicalguitar.com/soundboard.php
http://tguitars.home.texas.net/guitar%20construction.htm
http://www.frets.com/FRETSpages/Musician/Guitar/ToneWoods/tonewoods1.html
http://www.ukuleles.com/Technology/woodprop.html
http://books.google.com/books?id=l5uInDconwAC&pg=PA80&lpg=PA80&dq=guitar+top+thickness+david+hurd&source=bl&ots=SjdEK3JSF8&sig=H0Mh-dS_v7a7RKCMovEFRDw_ibg&hl=en&ei=-UptTeSmMcP58AaWto2NDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CGAQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

tikibar
03-02-2011, 05:59 AM
okay thx you 2 :)
ill try and start out around 2mm then. i guess a lot of time and practis will be ahead of me :)