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View Full Version : Luthier's Bible: What book(s), articles, websites should I read?



gyosh
09-20-2011, 08:44 AM
I'm a lounge lurker who has become fascinated with "the how/why" of ukulele builds and I'm interested in learning as much as I can. I have no desire to become a luthier although some day, when time allows I'd like to give building from scratch a shot. I figure I have twenty years to learn before I retire and have time to devote to a future hobby. Anyhow, what I would like are suggestions for the "must reads" for your profession. I'd also welcome suggestions for websites, magazines etc. (love frets.com).

Thank you,

-Gary

Nixon
09-20-2011, 09:06 AM
Read as many build logs as you can. Also. Pete Howlett's Youtube videos are a must watch. Wouldn't be half the builder I am today without them.

resoman
09-20-2011, 09:25 AM
Being as I am a total newbie I hesitate to respond but I will anyways. David Hurd has a wonderful website with lots of information.
http://www.ukuleles.com/HouseKeeping/sitemap.html.
Also the Hana Lima Ia book has pretty good step by step info. Tons of stuff on youtube as Nixon pointed out and doing a search on a particular aspect of building will give you lots of info.

gyosh
09-20-2011, 09:31 AM
Being as I am a total newbie I hesitate to respond but I will anyways. David Hurd has a wonderful website with lots of information.
http://www.ukuleles.com/HouseKeeping/sitemap.html.
Also the Hana Lima Ia book has pretty good step by step info. Tons of stuff on youtube as Nixon pointed out and doing a search on a particular aspect of building will give you lots of info.

Thank you for the suggestions, these sites look promising for step by step information. I guess I should have been more specific, but what I really want to learn is the "why" so a book heavy in theory/engineering design would be better for me at this point. When I know about the "why" the "how" seems to make much more sense to me. Keep 'em coming, and thanks again.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-20-2011, 09:37 AM
I enjoy Bill Cumpiano's web site, especially his newsletters. It's the kind of easy to understand, down to earth, no BS, I like.
And beware, don't believe everything you read.

hapuna
09-20-2011, 10:19 AM
Don't know if you really looked at the Kawika site but there is a hell of a lot of stuff there though its not easy to find. Here is a book he wrote that you might find interesting as its beyond building an ukulele. http://www.ukuleles.com/LBLBook/TOC.html

Allen
09-20-2011, 10:22 AM
Books....that's easy. Read all the ones you can get your hands on concerning acoustic guitar building. A ukulele and acoustic guitar are built the same way essentially. Both steel string and nylon. As Chuck says, don't believe everything you read. Some of the books available are quite old and procedures have changed drastically in some cases. Not everyones way of doing something will suit you, and by reading a wide variety you will gain a perspective on what may work for you.

For websites I'm partial to the ANZLF. Australians have a very low threshold of tolerance for spammers, wankers and trolls. We soon sort them out. Unfortunately many forums allow this sort of behaviour to go on and while some of the info on them is good, I find it difficult to participate.

ksquine
09-21-2011, 07:53 AM
Keep reading this forum. Also the Official Luthier's Forum.... luthiersforum.com is a great site
I like the Cumpiano book and have probably read it 6 times now.
There's also a lot of videos on Youtube. Most are guitar builders but most techniques are applicable.
I look at every site I can for ideas. There are several ways to do most steps in building and you might find a way that works better for you

resoman
09-21-2011, 08:42 AM
Thanks for the tip on Mr. Cumpiano's site!!
Hapuna, I'm constantly digging through David Hurd's site and find more all the time. Great stuff but a lot is too technical for me particularly the math. My poor brain can't handle it!

Steve vanPelt
09-21-2011, 10:04 AM
Which website? This one! When I found UU the luthiers Lounge was like 10 pages so it was easy to go back to the beginning and then keep up with everything since. Now there are 129 pages of wisdom from the best uke builders in the world. And some other stuff, too. I've found some important clues and downright tips in the most unlikely of threads. If you don't want to read them all, MattClara once posted this list... http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/archive/index.php/f-30.html? of every thread from the beginning, if you want to cherry pick through the topics.

To see discussions about two sides of the same coin, and/or the various ways to skin a cat, no place better than the ANZLF. Those guys, and girl, can get into full on arguments on theory or technique and still somehow manage to keep it friendly-ish. Except that one time, now there are a few rules.

The log cabin, http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/forums/6/The-Log-Cabin#.Tno-Kc00jE0 ,is a great place to learn about tonewood, mostly spruce, mahogany and rosewood, but plenty of useful information.

Some good stuff in the Acoustics section of Al Carruth's website. This link, http://www.alcarruthluthier.com/Tool.htm , goes to the tool of the month section, good stuff there, too.

OLF and MIMF are great, and http://www.foroflamenco.com/tt.asp?appid=5 is a bit specialized and not very ukulele like, but has some good reads.

Obsessed Newbie... me too. I'm afraid you may have no idea what's about to come your way. If you build just one, even from a kit, it will help to understand a lot of this, too. Good luck and have fun.

Steve

Michael Smith
09-21-2011, 01:19 PM
Steve's Guitar Making videos on youtube are very comprehensive. Most applies to ukulele construction.

check out all Chris Paulicks videos http://www.youtube.com/user/chrispaulick