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View Full Version : Plans or Dimensions for Camp and Bell Ukuleles



Vic D
12-02-2011, 08:56 AM
Anyone have a source for plans or just the bracing info and dimensions of the bodies on these critters? Concert size preferably but tenor and soprano info would also be great.

Liam Ryan
12-02-2011, 11:21 AM
I don't see how drawing up a set of plans is all that difficult. I use a pencil, ruler, set squares and paper.

Vic D
12-02-2011, 01:46 PM
I don't see how drawing up a set of plans is all that difficult. I use a pencil, ruler, set squares and paper.

Yeah? That's awesome mate. I land surveyed for over ten years in the day and drew plats at night. There are hundreds of plats with my name and my personal north arrow in courthouses from Ohio to Tennessee... Sometimes freehand, sometimes Leroy. Try closing a 500 acre traverse with a straight edge and a protractor. I probably have over 500 dollars worth of implements of drawing destruction alone, much more in other art supplies and I know how to use them but that wasn't my question. What I'm seeking are plans or tried and true dimensions of these types of ukuleles. And when I've perfected them I'll make sets of plans and sell them eh? I think I'll even put my special north arrow on them just for kicks.

So if anyone has the dimemsions and wouldn't mind throwing out a few measurements that would be swell. If not I'll just wait till I can find a couple of basket cases on ebay and go from there.

And if anyone has any thoughts on why the camp ukes seem to get splits in the tops and backs that would be great too. I have my own thoughts but it would be good to hear thoughts from others. I think a flared end block and reinforcement of the sides would put a stop to it. Maybe two thin, flared side blocks... hmmmm

And I plan on painting all of the different documented crop circles on the backs of my camp ukes... sort of a "I want to believe" series that would be cool to mess with around a camp fire.

Thanks for playing though! Good day, mate!

Now where did I put my smoke... all land surveyors have bad knees and smoke don't you know...

KamakOzzie
12-02-2011, 04:09 PM
Vic, I have a Gretsch and a Lyon & Healy camp uke. Tell me what measurements you want, and I will try to get them tomorrow.
030613

Bill

Pete Howlett
12-02-2011, 10:14 PM
What I did was blow up the excellent photos in Jim Beloff's book and then using known dimensions scaled up the pics. No-one is trying to yank your chain here...

Vic D
12-02-2011, 10:35 PM
What I did was blow up the excellent photos in Jim Beloff's book and then using known dimensions scaled up the pics. No-one is trying to yank your chain here...

You're the guy who's pounded home again and again the good advice of starting from the shoulder of the giants and going from there. Sure, I could blow up some pics (if I had a printer) with a known scale and rough out the "known dimensions" if I knew them... of the exterior from there but I was hoping for something more concrete and hopefully some information on the bracing etc...
I'm not sure why such a simple request has garnered such touchy response but I'll take what I can get eh?

KamakOzzie, it would be great to have the scale from the nut to saddle, the circumference of the body, and if you can peer inside, the bracing pattern. Thanks!

Rick Turner
12-02-2011, 10:39 PM
Vic...Wow, thank you!

You have gone right to the head of the class, way beyond me as most pompous, most snarky in all of lutheriedom!

I was tempted to comment to the effect that it might just be appropriate to be able to draw before building, but...

COME ON NOW!!!!!

Vic D
12-02-2011, 11:00 PM
For great deals on car insurance CLICK HERE. (http://www.quotecheap-carinsurance.co.uk)

Lol, wut? Does this site have a spam filter? *plunk*

Vic D
12-02-2011, 11:03 PM
Vic...Wow, thank you!

You have gone right to the head of the class, way beyond me as most pompous, most snarky in all of lutheriedom!

I was tempted to comment to the effect that it might just be appropriate to be able to draw before building, but...

COME ON NOW!!!!!

Thanks, Rick. I'm learning as I read your posts. Much respect, for your work. Seriously.

KamakOzzie
12-03-2011, 03:17 PM
Vic, here are the measurements for the camp ukes.

LYON & HEALY
12 15/16" scale
7" diameter
1 top brace (1/4"' back from sound hole)
neck block (neck is glued on with a small dowel toward back of heel and a wood screw on the inside going
into the heel below the fret board)
back (lathe turned wood 1/4" thick at center tapering to 1/8" at edge-flat on the inside)
kerfed lining on top , no lining on back


Gretsch

13 1/2" scale
8" diameter
2 3/8" deep
neck block
no braces or lining on top or back

Feel free to PM me for any other info. Hope some of this helps.
Bill

erich@muttcrew.net
12-04-2011, 02:32 AM
Vic, I'm curious as to why you're going for campfire ukes now, are you getting tired of building sopranos?

----
Greetings to all from Buenos Aires

Vic D
12-04-2011, 03:42 AM
KamakOzzie, thank you so much! Those are some beauties you have there.

Erich, I'll never get tired of building sopranos :) . I have a few reasons for the camp ukes though. One, I want to build affordable ukes for peeps who can't afford to dish out hundreds of dollars for a solid handmade uke. I love the shape and look of them and I'm serious about painting crop circles on the backs of some of them lol. I'll make airbrush stencils and the process should go pretty quickly. I'm thinking I'll just shoot them with rattle can paint of some sort with the burst and then clear coat a bunch at a time. They'll all be poplar and as many other local, sustainable woods I can find, maybe ebonized fretboards of some sort.

Doug
12-04-2011, 05:11 AM
I tried the ebonized fretboard thing once Vic. It didn't work out for me. Everytime I "ebonized" it the grain rose up and I had to sand it again which removed some of the ebonized wood. I was using walnut. Maybe other woods would work out better. Good luck with yours though.

realityguy
12-04-2011, 06:55 AM
That's nice..I tried to post a lot of info and it required me to refresh the page and dumped my post...GRRR....SIMPLFIED:Inside I basically use the same type of bracing as for my 4 and 8 string concerts and tenors..depending on the string count...

<img src=http://www.kb-ent.com/ukujos1.jpg>

Ukes:
Gibson Tenor TU-1
Kamaka '60s soprano
about 20 of my own builds(at the moment),about 50% 4 string and 50% 8 string ones

Tarhead
12-04-2011, 07:06 AM
Thanks Vic for asking and KamakOzzie for sharing. I have more to add to my list of Ukes to build.
Be nice everyone!

aaronckeim
12-04-2011, 12:26 PM
Hey Vic- I have built 6-8 camp ukes and had fun and they sounded pretty cool. I basically just traced the size circle I wanted, placed the bridge 1/3 of the way from the edge, placed the soundhole 1/3 from the other side, and did one cross brass and a bridge patch. pretty simple. then i engineered my scale length and neck size so it matched up with where I wanted my bridge. have fun!

Gyozu
12-05-2011, 04:32 AM
Ebonized fretboards on late 1800's banjos were done using thin (1/8") pearwood. Local landscape tree around here is Bradford pear. The wood turners use it frequently since it turns up on craigslist for free every now and then.

Pete Howlett
12-05-2011, 10:31 AM
I'm gonna say this and upset a few people - the internet and free exchange of information has raised the expectations of too many of us. Like people who constantly demand that I reload deleted videos from my YouTube channel or, as in the case here, expect and I mean that, expect free information instead of doing the hard bit and working it out for themselves as demonstarted by our good friend Aaron Keim. I actually thought I was being helpful when out of laziness all you wanted was the answer, gratis. I'm getting pretty fed up with your peevish outbursts Vic and cannot understand them.

FYI, I don't have a printer but my library does and an hour of my time with a steel rule and plenty of 20p pieces (I guess quarters are the US currency equivalent) enabled me to work out the percentage enlargement etc... I then spent half a day working on the drawings, investing time in understanding the problem and design constraints as you should have before expecting a free handout here. If after so doing you couldn't get any further you should then have asked for help and had the decency to recognise it when it was given - true help that will enable you to get a purer understanding of the problem. It's how I have learnt, not by standing on the shoulders of giants or epxecting handouts from them but working out how they got to be that way then aspiring to their greateness. Honestly mate, you really do bite the hand that feeds don't you?

Rick Turner
12-05-2011, 11:52 AM
Aside from all the drawing issue here...and I do think that anyone who has the gumption to build a uke should first know how to design and draw it...there was another subject that flew by here...

Dying wood...

Best done by vacuum infusion which can achieve pretty much 100% penetration. Aniline dyes...metal acid would be good. Can be done on a small scale, but you need a pretty good vacuum pump, and you have to be careful with solvents, off gassing, etc.

Vic D
12-05-2011, 03:48 PM
I'm gonna say this and upset a few people - the internet and free exchange of information has raised the expectations of too many of us. Like people who constantly demand that I reload deleted videos from my YouTube channel or, as in the case here, expect and I mean that, expect free information instead of doing the hard bit and working it out for themselves as demonstarted by our good friend Aaron Keim. I actually thought I was being helpful when out of laziness all you wanted was the answer, gratis. I'm getting pretty fed up with your peevish outbursts Vic and cannot understand them.

FYI, I don't have a printer but my library does and an hour of my time with a steel rule and plenty of 20p pieces (I guess quarters are the US currency equivalent) enabled me to work out the percentage enlargement etc... I then spent half a day working on the drawings, investing time in understanding the problem and design constraints as you should have before expecting a free handout here. If after so doing you couldn't get any further you should then have asked for help and had the decency to recognise it when it was given - true help that will enable you to get a purer understanding of the problem. It's how I have learnt, not by standing on the shoulders of giants or epxecting handouts from them but working out how they got to be that way then aspiring to their greateness. Honestly mate, you really do bite the hand that feeds don't you?

I... don't know what to say. I... feel so ashamed. I.. was.. I just wanted some plans for camp ukes. I'm so sorry, Pete. Please forgive me.

Vic D
12-06-2011, 03:11 AM
Dear Pete. After giving your last admonishment much thought I've come to the conclusion that I've been a very naughty, very lazy boy indeed. It occurred to me that you are absolutely correct in your assessment that blowing up photos of objects and studying their exterior is absolutely needed when taking on a task that you've never attempted. Asking others for data is sinful sloth plain and simple and quite honestly now that I think about it that type of behavior reeks of communism.

That got me to thinking. I love hot dogs and I've always wondered how they were made. I downloaded some hot dog photos from the internet and blew them up, the photos, not the hot dogs. After burning the midnight oil studying said hot dogs I came to an astounding epiphany! It hit me like a stampede of shopping carts while standing in front of the new Justin Beiber dolls on Black Friday. Now, brace yourself for this because we've been lied to all of our lives. Hot dogs are vegetables! The evidence is empirical. If you study them up close you will notice what they've tried to conceal all of these years... a navel!

30737

This photo is absolute PROOF of a conspiracy to hide the real source of those delectable dogs. Call me paraloid, but I have a suspicion that those FEMA camp areas that the government won't let anyone visit or even photograph from a distance, are actually hot dog gardens! I've searched the underground sites for contraband hot dog seeds but that proved to be fruitless and it occurred to me I was being lazy again. So after doing a bit more research on plant propagation I've started a little experiment (see photo below). If this works out I'll be growing my own hot dogs and I'll never have to purchase them again. Thanks so much, Pete! You've definitely opened my eyes!

30738

dave g
12-06-2011, 04:17 AM
What I did was blow up the excellent photos in Jim Beloff's book and then using known dimensions scaled up the pics. No-one is trying to yank your chain here...

Yep - that's how it's done.

Vic D
12-06-2011, 05:46 AM
It's not how I do it. Not when I see so many of the old camp ukes with split tops and backs. Gleaning the outer dimensions is a simple task as long as you have one known measurement but that's not the sum of the information I was seeking. Maybe it's how those who did the old campstyle ukes did it but that's not my style. :)

Vic D
12-06-2011, 05:48 AM
Ebonized fretboards on late 1800's banjos were done using thin (1/8") pearwood. Local landscape tree around here is Bradford pear. The wood turners use it frequently since it turns up on craigslist for free every now and then.

Thanks Gyozu, I'll keep an eye out for it.

Vic D
12-06-2011, 05:50 AM
That's nice..I tried to post a lot of info and it required me to refresh the page and dumped my post...GRRR....SIMPLFIED:Inside I basically use the same type of bracing as for my 4 and 8 string concerts and tenors..depending on the string count...

That's what I was thinking too. Although I'm thinking of a different brace arangement. Thanks, Realityguy.

Vic D
12-06-2011, 09:36 AM
I think I have the solution to the camp ukes being prone to cracks in the tops and backs. I was sitting, gazing at my navel, and the idea came to me... probably from the gigs of data that I've read on the subject. I'm going to use about a 1" wide hemp paper reinforcement around the top and back where they meet the sides along with a feathered channel there. I have some braces in mind that follow circular things in nature. And... I've got a jig in mind that'll cut the radius in the heal and tail blocks, 8 at a time, I just need to source some curtain pins... The necks will have a splined butt joint.

Navel gazing... some don't care for it ( see photo below ).

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