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View Full Version : Has anyone built a Tenor Based on the Denis Gilbert Book?



Gyozu
09-19-2011, 07:00 AM
I am working towards building my own Tenor. I have gotten a copy of this manual through my Library. The construction path laid out looks quite similar to what I have seen in other threads, blogs and videos. I've been reading older posts and watching videos, and frankly a lot of the sonic discussions are above me. This might be better listed under a structural/ long term integrity question.

However, there is a bracing method that is used that is different from what I have seen elsewhere.

Would anyone care to weigh in on this instrument design if you have followed this manual?

Would anyone care to comment on this style of bracing versus the bracing that I have seen on other sites?

Some info that might have a bearing on this question. The neck, sides and back will be Osage Orange, Top will be spruce and fretboard will be Cocbola. At least that is the plan after I have built a few instruments to risk the good wood.

(Images from two web sites with attributions).

Gilbert Style bracing


28193


Other style bracing I have run across.
28194

ksquine
09-19-2011, 07:58 AM
Interesting. I haven't seen that book. The bracing isn't that radical though, just skewed. I think it would probably sound very uke-like.
I would be concerned about the lack of a bridge plate.

mzuch
09-19-2011, 08:05 AM
That must be some book. A search on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Ukulele-Denis-Gilbert/dp/0972879501) shows it available used for $998.88! Shipping not included.

Allen
09-19-2011, 10:30 AM
I've not seen the book, but using the angled lower transverse brace while perhaps not common place, is used quite a bit. A few notable builders here use it. It's hard to comment further on that bracing without actually having the instrument in hand, but at first glance the lower tone bars look a bit beefy to me.

The second image from Kathy's site is very conventional, and countless instruments are built with something similar. It's a tried and tested design that will certainly not lead you astray and make a uke that sounds like a uke.

new wave ukulele
09-19-2011, 10:42 AM
That must be some book. A search on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Ukulele-Denis-Gilbert/dp/0972879501) shows it available used for $998.88! Shipping not included.

That's the used price!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-19-2011, 11:33 AM
The Gilbert book seems to be geared to the backyard hobbyist builder with lots of B&W photos and an overview in the back of the book on tools and jigs you'll need to make. Maybe a good book for the absolute beginner to get an idea of what's going on with ukulele construction. Some of the techniques seem rather crude but I'm sure it has it's niche. I think anyone who plans to build more than just a few ukes will quickly outgrow it however.
BTW, the bracing on the first uke looks waaay big. Maybe for a cutting board but........I'm just saying. Remember, the sound board's gotta move.

Dominator
09-21-2011, 12:12 PM
I have that book and it does have some good info about jigs and tools but the actual instruction of building the uke is pretty crude. Carving the braces is not discussed other than shaping a radius on the back braces. So I have found a few good tidbits from it but I highly recommend the Ukulele Construction Manual available from our good friends at Hana Lima 'Ia. I think it is $25 or thereabouts. And if you want to take it a step further also get William Cumpiano's book. I think it's called Guitar Tradition and Technology. It's a great book.
Good luck with you build.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-21-2011, 12:58 PM
I have that book and it does have some good info about jigs and tools but the actual instruction of building the uke is pretty crude. Carving the braces is not discussed other than shaping a radius on the back braces. So I have found a few good tidbits from it but I highly recommend the Ukulele Construction Manual available from our good friends at Hana Lima 'Ia. I think it is $25 or thereabouts. And if you want to take it a step further also get William Cumpiano's book. I think it's called Guitar Tradition and Technology. It's a great book.
Good luck with you build.

Agreed, and if you are getting the Hana Lima book, get the plan as well.

Gyozu
09-21-2011, 02:06 PM
Thanks everyone for weighing in. I am trying to track down a copy of the Hana Lima manual through our library. If not, then I will raid the piggy bank since it is often referred to.

In looking around the various sites and videos, several things have caught my eye. I especially like the bolt on neck. After a go round with a banjo, that seems a step up in mounting technique. That the ribbing needed thinning was apparent right from the start. Long ago, I viewed a PBS special on D'Angelico and the "the New Yorker Special" archtop guitar. There were several scenes devoted to fabricating and installing the bracing. Quite a show.

I don't know what is up with the pricing on a used copy. At best it might be worth $20.00, IMHO.

So, I will continue to read, view the tutorials and ask questions.


The Gilbert book seems to be geared to the backyard hobbyist builder

Considering the quality of some of the first time/ One off builders, I would hope that with some thought and careful building I could be a backyard Hobbyist builder.