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pt66
10-18-2011, 03:24 AM
I'm more of a guitar builder (steel string). I just finished a baritone and felt I may have left the top a little thicker then I needed to. I am planning to build a tenor and wanted to get some idea of average top thickness for spruce or western red cedar. I will use walnut for the back and sides.

Thanks

ukulian
10-18-2011, 09:05 AM
1.5 - 2mm or thereabouts

dave g
10-18-2011, 09:12 AM
.063" to .070" - thereabouts...

tattwo
10-18-2011, 09:42 AM
.063" to .070" - thereabouts...

Im with Dave

Vic D
10-18-2011, 12:11 PM
.063" to .070" on a spruce tenor top? Seriously? That's seems just a bit thin. I was thinking of going about .075 to .080 on my first tenor with spruce top and I like to build light as the limits allow of course. Is there a good online reference on checking deflection?

ksquine
10-18-2011, 01:50 PM
For cedar I'd go 0.08" For the hardwoods I'd do 0.07". Just watch out while inlaying the rosette ;)
How about a walnut top too? I built a concert with all walnut...I love it. Walnut smells so nice to work on too

UkeforJC
10-18-2011, 03:35 PM
I have made one with spruce, 0.076"
and one with WRC, 0.08"
both sounds pretty good to me and plenty loud...

BlackBearUkes
10-18-2011, 04:01 PM
How thick? It depends. I've made hundreds of ukes of all sizes and woods and in my opinion you can't just decide what the top thickness is going to be by asking others. Each top needs to be evaluated on its own merits, stiffness, weight, etc. Since you have made guitars you probably know something about all the stuff, so just use your knowledge and intuition and go for it. You'll figure it out.

maclay
10-18-2011, 05:07 PM
.063" to .070" on a spruce tenor top? Seriously? That's seems just a bit thin. I was thinking of going about .075 to .080 on my first tenor with spruce top and I like to build light as the limits allow of course. Is there a good online reference on checking deflection?

I agree with you Vic.
Of course it depends on how you brace your tops. If i go below 70 on a spruce top, the braces start to telegraph, and the top will distort a little.....some serious players don't mind a potato chip thin top, but it will freak most customers out.

ukegirl13
10-18-2011, 05:09 PM
I'm with Tattwo and Dave.

Allen
10-18-2011, 09:53 PM
I don't go below 1.8mm with most Spruce on a conventionally braced instrument unless the wood is exceptionally stiff like some of the Adi that I've got. Even then, like Jake says, with 3 fan braces they will usually telegraph through.

Going with 5 fans though the top has more support and telegraphing doesn't seem to happen, and you can end up making the braces a bit lighter.

Sven
10-18-2011, 10:08 PM
I need to ask, what do you mean with "telegraphing"?

Ta / Sven

Liam Ryan
10-18-2011, 11:16 PM
I've not done a spruce top tenor. The WRC top tenors I've done were all 1.7-1.8mm (0.067-0.071"). Best sounding ukes, I reckon.

Telegraphing is when you shine light across the uke and you can see the braces bulging through. just a little.

Allen
10-19-2011, 12:53 AM
You can see the brace position as evidence of a very slight bulge in the top. Really only visible on high gloss finish.

dave g
10-19-2011, 02:23 AM
I failed to notice we were talking tenor... I've never made one - would probably go a little thicker if I ever did.

maclay
10-19-2011, 04:44 AM
I failed to notice we were talking tenor... I've never made one - would probably go a little thicker if I ever did.

Yeah Dave, a different size box really changes the game.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-19-2011, 08:38 AM
Really depends on the specific piece of wood, but I shoot for .072" to .074" on the drum sander knowing that I'm going to lose at least .005" or so in the finish sanding. I'll also take off another .005" to .01" around the outer perimeter depending upon how the top is moving for me. Light fan bracing, usually three, sometimes five.