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OldePhart
03-19-2011, 11:50 AM
21691

Stay tuned...

greenway
03-19-2011, 12:20 PM
My guess is it's a saxophone...
Right?

fitncrafty
03-19-2011, 12:33 PM
OOhhh.. Hurry up and reveal!!

mm stan
03-19-2011, 01:32 PM
Hey Teaser,
Stop it....hee hee...

joeybug
03-19-2011, 03:02 PM
OOO..for once I'm awake when these things happen!

Lexxy
03-19-2011, 03:05 PM
You can't do these things! SHOW SHOW SHOW SHOW :P

cletus
03-19-2011, 04:22 PM
I don't know why everybody is getting excited...
OldePhart SAID he was finished buying his new ukes.:wallbash::deadhorse::nana::biglaugh:

Hippie Dribble
03-19-2011, 04:28 PM
hang on ye olde phart, just off to grab the popcorn...!!! (ooooh you're naughty)

OldePhart
03-19-2011, 05:02 PM
Sure is some purty rosewood...

21721

Hint - this is not the tenor I just bought from Glenn in the marketplace. :o

mds725
03-19-2011, 05:04 PM
If it's taken you six hours to take the blue paper off, it can't be that exciting. ;)

Hippie Dribble
03-19-2011, 05:04 PM
Garcon!!! Garcon!! More popcorn please....oooooh but you're awful :drool:

Gmoney
03-19-2011, 05:05 PM
So... thats the backside of the Red Cedar Mainland Tenor - I thought that the shape looked familiar in the first pic. And... under the blue tape in the first pic you can see the outline of the wide bridge Mainlands have... am I right??

Now WHAT are you gonna do w/that baby?

OldePhart
03-19-2011, 05:12 PM
So... thats the backside of the Red Cedar Mainland Tenor - I thought that the shape looked familiar in the first pic. And... under the blue tape in the first pic you can see the outline of the wide bridge Mainlands have... am I right??

Now WHAT are you gonna do w/that baby?

You must have seen the last post before I edited it. That's not the tenor... I got to thinking about it and didn't want to worry you too much so I edited the post. LOL

Gmoney
03-19-2011, 05:19 PM
If it's taken you six hours to take the blue paper off, it can't be that exciting. ;)

He's a tease, that he is!

Gmoney
03-19-2011, 05:20 PM
Hint - this is not the tenor I just bought from Glenn in the marketplace. :o

Then its the Red Cedar Concert? Or a Makai, or an Ohana made in the same factory in China.

OldePhart
03-19-2011, 05:26 PM
If it's taken you six hours to take the blue paper off, it can't be that exciting. ;)

Well...I've done a little more than take the blue painter's tape off...

21722

Mike at Mainland has a well-deserved reputation for doing right by his customers...but I think I may have voided the warranty on this red cedar concert...

:biglaugh:

John

Lexxy
03-19-2011, 05:32 PM
A mainland Resonator?!??!?!

philpot
03-19-2011, 05:55 PM
... "You just voided your warranty!" - Said a voice from the heavens...

OldePhart
03-19-2011, 06:06 PM
A mainland Resonator?!??!?!

You win the gold star...

21723

Now if you look closely at the picture you will see that the resonator "cone" is the bottom of a 1lb coffee can. There are two things to note about this:

1) It's absolutely essential that you use the right brand of coffee - only Cafe du Monde from New Orleans has the proper mojo to match the red cedar.

2) By leaving the "best buy" date on the can I have thoughtfully considered my heirs. Some day 100 years from now my great-great grandson will be able to prove to the Antiques Road Show that his great-great grandfather butchered, I mean, modified, the rare and valuable Mainland red cedar concert "back in the day" before it became rare and valuable.

Actually, the real things to note are that the hole has to be a very snug fit because the can actually rests on the top of the ukulele by its rim. The can is cut very short, only about 3/4" of can hangs down into the uke. This is because I wanted a real "wood body resonator" sound.

I also used a little then CA glue on the inside of the top all around the hole to stabilize the wood to help prevent it from splitting or shrinking away from the can.

The can is not glued in, but fits snugly and rides on its rim.

I've seen a couple of conversions where someone just upended a can in a loose hole, letting the can sit on the back of the uke. That works, but volume is low and it sounds more like a tin can than a wood-body resonator.

Hopefully, this will be louder and sound more like a resonator. Time will tell.

Oh, and, yes, carving a 4" diameter hole in the top of a new Mainland red cedar concert ukulele was very nerve wrecking!

John

didgeridoo2
03-19-2011, 06:13 PM
So its the chicory that really makes the instrument sing?

OldePhart
03-19-2011, 06:14 PM
... "You just voided your warranty!" - Said a voice from the heavens...

Actually, I think Mike lives in Indiana... They tell me West Virginia is almost heaven...but I'm not sure about Indiana... LOL

OldePhart
03-19-2011, 06:16 PM
So its the chicory that really makes the instrument sing?

That's my theory. Hopefully I'll get the bridge and string doohicky done tomorrow and we'll find out - also have to find something to go over the bridge, too.

Plainsong
03-19-2011, 06:20 PM
Mainland: Good to the last drop! :)

OldePhart
03-19-2011, 06:21 PM
Oh, BTW Glenn, this uke had gold tuners with amber buttons on it which would have looked totally inappropriate with the coffee-can resonator so now the tenor has gold tuners with amber buttons, and this one is going to get the nickel and black tuners from the tenor.

John

Tack
03-19-2011, 08:25 PM
Hey OP - dunno whether to congratulate you or send you for therapy! :D
You carved up a MAINLAND! Did you practice on a mahalo first? :confused:

PS on second thoughts, Mike may need the therapy when he sees what ya have done!! :)

ADD
03-19-2011, 10:32 PM
You win the gold star...

21723

Now if you look closely at the picture you will see that the resonator "cone" is the bottom of a 1lb coffee can. There are two things to note about this:

1) It's absolutely essential that you use the right brand of coffee - only Cafe du Monde from New Orleans has the proper mojo to match the red cedar.

John

I'll be right over to whip up a batch of beignets (only Cafe du Monde's mix in a can will do) to go with that - now that's real proper mojo. Then you can make a beignet resonator uke. I have a spare tenor. How bout a uke strap woven from authentic Louisiana Spanish moss?

fitncrafty
03-20-2011, 02:16 AM
Hurry up and finish so we can hear what it sounds like.. You are most certainly brave...

joeybug
03-20-2011, 03:36 AM
Woah, that is far more brave that I am...the mere thought of taking a drill/saw or whatever to one of my Ukes makes me break out in a cold swear..hope it sounds just the way you want it too!

Gmoney
03-20-2011, 03:55 AM
Oh, BTW Glenn, this uke had gold tuners with amber buttons on it which would have looked totally inappropriate with the coffee-can resonator so now the tenor has gold tuners with amber buttons, and this one is going to get the nickel and black tuners from the tenor.

I have to applaud your ingenuity & note for the record that you may have totally lost your remaining marbles w/this wild frankenstein savagery! Mike & Tookta will be sure to note your progress w/a bit of trepidation as well as curiosity; as likely we will also!

rem50
03-20-2011, 04:41 AM
I cannot wait to hear that! You are a brave soul!

OldePhart
03-20-2011, 08:20 AM
Hey OP - dunno whether to congratulate you or send you for therapy! :D
You carved up a MAINLAND! Did you practice on a mahalo first?

PS on second thoughts, Mike may need the therapy when he sees what ya have done!! :)

I've been told I'm beyond therapy, but Mike may be salvagable... LOL

OldePhart
03-20-2011, 08:22 AM
I'll be right over to whip up a batch of beignets (only Cafe du Monde's mix in a can will do) to go with that - now that's real proper mojo. Then you can make a beignet resonator uke. I have a spare tenor. How bout a uke strap woven from authentic Louisiana Spanish moss?

<impression voice="Homer Simpson">
Ummm, beignets
</impression>

OldePhart
03-20-2011, 08:25 AM
Hurry up and finish so we can hear what it sounds like.. You are most certainly brave...

Actually, the real bravery part comes in posting all this before I have any idea if it's going to work or not... I had kinda planned on keeping the project under wraps until it was finished and successful - that way if things didn't work out no one needed to know about my ukulelecide. But then, what would be the fun in that? LOL

I'm really going to look the right fool though if this turns out to sound like...what was that British expression someone used...oh, yeah, "a bag of spanners." :biglaugh:


John

KevinV
03-20-2011, 08:44 AM
Can't wait to hear it. Have you any sound samples yet?

Susie A
03-20-2011, 09:17 AM
Actually, the real bravery part comes in posting all this before I have any idea if it's going to work or not... I had kinda planned on keeping the project under wraps until it was finished and successful - that way if things didn't work out no one needed to know about my ukulelecide. But then, what would be the fun in that? LOL

I'm really going to look the right fool though if this turns out to sound like...what was that British expression someone used...oh, yeah, "a bag of spanners." :biglaugh:


John

Not to worry! I am hoping your first try is successful because I have a uke with the spot already traced, just haven't been brave enough to take the dremel to it yet :) If you aren't successful on this attempt .. no problem .. remember .. Watson didn't hear Bell on the first attempt either.

OldePhart
03-20-2011, 11:04 AM
It works! It works!

21776

I still have a lot of tweaking and adjusting to do. No sound samples yet because I've laid it aside for a couple of days for the strings to stretch in. It's kind of maddening trying to position the bridge when you don't know if the pitch changed because the bridge moved or because the strings are still stretching.

The "resonator" component of the sound is fairly subtle. It's definitely there, but not the defining characteristic of the sound the way it is with a metal body. The volume is almost as loud as it originally was (However, I've strung it with tenor strings to get the tension up a little).

The action is still a little high. I want it high, but it's still just a bit too high. Next step in adjusting the action is to compensate the bridge saddle. That alone may take enough height off to make it about right.

Once the strings stretch in I'll do the final bridge placement and tack it in place with a dab of super glue. The other thing that needs to be done is the bridge saddle needs small notches for the strings. This is because the distance from the bridge to the anchor point for the strings is now quite long so there is far less down force. You can actually see the strings move on the saddle when you pluck them. I think once the notches are cut volume will come up more and the "resonator" quality may also be more pronounced.

BTW, waste not, want not; I cut the original bridge in half between the part that holds the saddle and the part that the strings tie to, cut the "ears" off, and then rounded the corners. The part the strings tie to was glued to the top near the heel and the rest was glued to the top of a disk made of redneck ebony. You can get a bag of 1" diameter turned hardwood (pretty sure it's maple) disks at Lowes for a couple of bucks. A few moments with a black Sharpie laundry pen and then a bit of paste wax and you have redneck ebony.

I'll have more news in a couple of days, or maybe not until next weekend depending on how my schedule ends up.

John

OldePhart
03-20-2011, 11:09 AM
Not to worry! I am hoping your first try is successful because I have a uke with the spot already traced, just haven't been brave enough to take the dremel to it yet :) If you aren't successful on this attempt .. no problem .. remember .. Watson didn't hear Bell on the first attempt either.

I actually did this without the use of a single power tool. I bought a cutting bit I was going to use with the Dremel but chickened out 'cause I tend to go a little wild with a dremel tool. I cut the circle out using one of those cheap cutters where you break the tips off as you go to keep a sharp tip. I used a small (9mm) one. It was a little tough cutting through where the braces were - I had intended to use a coping saw on the braces but the way the angles worked out I couldn't really get the blade where it needed to be so I just hack away for a long time with the knife. I knew the can needed to be a snug fit so I cut the circle undersize and then sanded it out to suit.

Be careful not to put too much pressure on the top or it will crack. I cracked the top getting the bridge off but it didn't matter because the cracks were in the part being cut out anyway.

There is a large brace just below the sound hole and to get the resonator "cone" centered properly where the bridge needs to be you end up having to carve about 2/3rds of the way through that brace.

Good luck - it's lots of fun!

John

KevinV
03-20-2011, 11:23 AM
It looks cool, but having cut through bracing I'd be concerned about the top caving in at some point.

ksiegel
03-20-2011, 12:42 PM
Here I am, still hemming and hawing about if, when, and how to try and adjust the intonation of a $119 uke, and you cut a hole in a brand new Mainland!

You either have a lot of faith in your abilities, or they are huge, and brass! (g)

Seriously, it looks great, and I hope that the sound is everything you wanted.

If you also want to do that to a stranger's el cheapo Republic concert ukulele, I'm sure that we can arrange something. (g)


-Kurt

OldePhart
03-20-2011, 01:41 PM
It looks cool, but having cut through bracing I'd be concerned about the top caving in at some point.

I don't think it's going to be an issue. There is still a little of the brace just behind the soundhole in place, and the brace that ran across the top under the bridge was a thin (1/8" x ~1/2" glued flat against the top) plate I think mostly intended to make sure the bridge vibrations got spread across the top evenly.

I was more concerned about the top cracking around the edges of the new hole. I used thin CA applied from inside to penetrate and strengthen the wood around the hole.
If it does start to crack I'll take the next step and use a little carbon fiber and epoxy to stabilize it - but so far it looks like it's going to be okay.

Also, there is far less stress on the top with this arrangement. The string tension is pulling against the top right at the join with the heel - a pretty strong area. The down force on the bridge is fairly light - in fact I went to tenor strings to try to increase down force.

Biggest worry at this point is if the small footprint of the string anchor is going to hold in soft cedar against string tension. I think I may have to put a small wooden plate inside the top at that location and run small screws down into it. The uke is sitting in its box on the shelf near me, and I half expect to hear twang-kathunk at any moment - LOL.

John

haole
03-20-2011, 02:09 PM
If it holds up well, see if Aldrine will let you do that to his Kanile'a.

OldePhart
03-20-2011, 04:03 PM
If it holds up well, see if Aldrine will let you do that to his Kanile'a.

Ehh, I don't see that happening in this life time :)

AncientMatingCalls
03-21-2011, 10:29 AM
Biggest worry at this point is if the small footprint of the string anchor is going to hold in soft cedar against string tension. I think I may have to put a small wooden plate inside the top at that location and run small screws down into it. The uke is sitting in its box on the shelf near me, and I half expect to hear twang-kathunk at any moment - LOL.

JohnThat was the problem with my resonator project. I still haven't gotten around to finishing.

It looks great though.

HornedOne
03-21-2011, 11:45 AM
maybe you can make some sort of tailpiece and fix it on the tailblock, somewhat like this

21816

OldePhart
03-21-2011, 11:51 AM
maybe you can make some sort of tailpiece and fix it on the tailblock, somewhat like this

21816

That's pretty - afraid I don't have that much skill with wood! I'm going to take the strings off tonight and glue a plate under the string anchor, then run a couple of small bolts down through the assembly. I think that will do the job and not look too bad. I decided it makes sense to fix this before it tears loose and boogers up the top!

John

aljanny
03-21-2011, 03:05 PM
Woah, that is far more brave that I am...the mere thought of taking a drill/saw or whatever to one of my Ukes makes me break out in a cold swear..hope it sounds just the way you want it too!


Haha, me too! Just the thought of trying to do something like that has me biting my nails in anxiety =P

OldePhart
03-22-2011, 02:03 PM
Haha, me too! Just the thought of trying to do something like that has me biting my nails in anxiety =P

Well, see, right there is the problem - you're stopping to think! Far better to just give into your insanity and leap in with both feet - at least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. LOL

Progress report: Today I removed the resonator and cut the can down some. I'd left 3/4" of the side and realized that was just extra mass that wasn't needed. So, I cut it down to less than 1/4" from the rolled and welded seam. I also put a couple of screws in the heel to serve as string anchors, the part on top is now just a guide. There is some tension but probably not enough to tear the wood. This is fairly ugly, but I wanted to move on to getting the bridge adjusted. Later, I'll peruse the catalogs and find a nice tailpiece to use. Installing the tailpiece will cover the holes made by the present screws so it will be okay in the long run. I also filed the top of the bridge saddle for what compensation I could get out of it. The action is still a tad high, but I'm going to play it for a while before lowering it any further.

Hopefully in a couple of days I'll have the bridge located and the new strings stretched in and then I'll do a video sound sample. It's really starting to sound quite good. Removing the extra mass from the resonator seemed to increase the "resonatoresque" tone considerably.

John

70sSanO
03-22-2011, 03:56 PM
That's pretty - afraid I don't have that much skill with wood!

But I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the artistic quality of using a can...

....as for a tailpiece, you can attach a small aluminum angle to the back and attached the stings to it in the same manner as the wooden tailpiece.

John

Susie A
03-22-2011, 04:03 PM
But I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the artistic quality of using a can...

....as for a tailpiece, you can attach a small aluminum angle to the back and attached the stings to it in the same manner as the wooden tailpiece.

John

Oh! If you use aluminium put some eyelets (sp?) in it for strength. Then you can attach the strings with beads. Good idea John!

OldePhart
03-23-2011, 04:36 PM
I think I can get a banjo tailpiece that will work pretty nicely. I did make some progress today. I notched the bridge saddle but I think I'm going to hit it again to make it a tad deeper. I positioned the bridge for decent intonation and used a dab (actually, two dabs) of CA glue to tack the bridge bisquit to the "resonator."

It's playable now, though I still need to deepen those slots a smidge and it's not real pretty without a tailpiece. It sounds pretty decent, though. Volume is still good, though down a tad (another one of those precise scientific measures I'm so fond of). The tone is maybe a third of the way between the original wood top and a full metal-body resonator. Now that I think about it, the can takes up about a third of the top area - interesting. I had hoped for a little bit more resonatoresque tone, but if I can't get it exact I'd rather err to the "woody" side than the "tin can" side.

A tenor might have been a better choice because there would probably have been room for a 6" cone but I really prefer the concert scale. I kind of suspect that a cheap uke with a laminated top might actually be a better choice if you're looking for more emphasis on the resonator tone. The top on this Mainland cedar is really, really lively. It's hard to keep good cedar down. :) Of course, if I'd wanted really strong resonator tone I just would have bought a Recording King or something.

Video still to come - but probably not before this weekend.

John

Plainsong
03-24-2011, 03:32 AM
From Airplane II:

Stewardess? What exactly is a tad?
In space terms that's about half a million miles.

OldePhart
03-26-2011, 02:16 PM
As promised, video is up, see http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?44452-New-Mainland-Resonator-Ukulele!

Ambient Doughnut
09-26-2011, 02:57 PM
28383
Inspired by you (and of course Aaron) I decided to have a go too...
The strings are still settling but already it sounds great, really metallic. Total success!
Thanks for inspiration. :)

OldePhart
09-27-2011, 02:41 PM
Cool! Looks like a good job. Need video! :)

SuzukHammer
09-27-2011, 04:38 PM
I missed this thread because I was travelling.

I was looking for some inspiration and thinking I was going to have to make a Diddley bow. This may be a safer option than popping a steel wire into my eye. And I'm envisioning wound strings.

Thanks Dusty Phart!!!

Ambient Doughnut
09-29-2011, 10:26 PM
I'll post a vid up soon!

I did some more mods last night. Originally I just had the tin chopped off so that it sat in the hole and rested against the back of the ukulele. The only holes I cut in it were a couple of notches to allow it to clear the bracing. It sounded great but not very loud so I tried chopping a hole in the side of the tin.
that's made the sound go kind of weird - it sounds almost like it's going throught a flanger! Not sure I like it like that but as it's easy enough to swap the tin out not a big deal. I'll cut another one to size to compare (It's a Heinz soup can BTW - a large one)

Ambient Doughnut
10-01-2011, 07:40 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWFUi8GJJyE&feature=youtube_gdata

Here we go - Afraid the sound's not great, I could do with a better camera!

I've cut and fitted a new tin to size. Vegetable soup this time, not sure if that makes a difference!

hibiscus
10-01-2011, 09:18 AM
You are such a tease! Looks beautiful so far:o

OldePhart
10-02-2011, 08:46 AM
Very nice job!

Ambient Doughnut
10-02-2011, 08:59 AM
Thanks man, you inspired me!

I've posted some more pics including one of the 'innovative' tailpiece design over in the videos forum
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?53947-Wandering-Boy-Clawhammer-Reso-Content