View Full Version : Hi - New Here

01-02-2012, 11:48 AM
Hi, just introducing myself,

I live in Bath, UK and have been tinkering around in my shed for a couple of years now trying to build ukes. I've built a concert (old mahogany/walnut neck, a soprano ( roseweood/walnut neck English Yew soundboard) a tenor (all african mahogany with english walnut neck) and just finishing a baritone, which started out as a copy of a Martin 5/18 with sitka top and English walnut b/s, old mahogany neck. It has been a lot of effort and many mistakes along the way, building the moulds, trying out different neck joints. Ive decided after doing a couple of dovetails - not all that well, but they haven't moved - that I will be sticking with a spanish heel, neck reinforced with a spline and no binding. Routing into the finished instrument is just a bit more stressful than I really want and too easy to ruin it. I tried a bolt on but failed miserably. I reckon nobody is likely to want to do a neck reset on a uke of mine and the fingerboards are stout enough to take a refret and planing if necessary.

I prefer using hand tools, apart from bandsaw and drill press - routers and I dont get on too well and Ive just ruined a drawer front on a cabinet I have been making at a class for several months.

The first instrument actually sounds the best and I wish I knew why! Possibly because the mahogany was, Im told very old and mature and I took a lot of trouble to get the plates very thin.

For the next instrument it will be a tenor, probably all English Walnut - I would be really interested to know if anyone else has done an all English Walnut uke and what the sound was like. I know the wood may not be the most important feature but it would be good to know before I start- I have some nice spruce from Alaska as an alternative but I guess I will find out how that sounds when I finish the baritone.

Anyone in Bath Bristol/wilts/Glouc Mendips type area interested in getting in touch it would be nice to compare notes.

Michael Smith
01-02-2012, 11:56 AM
Welcome, Good to have you aboard.

01-02-2012, 12:33 PM
Hi there. Other side of the country I'm afraid, over in Kent.
Walnut is a wonderfully warm tonewood and I have done a number of bodies in the timber, including the soundboards.

Pete Howlett
01-02-2012, 01:40 PM
Hi there
My son lives in Bristol...
Walnut is a good tonewood but I like it with a spruce front combo.
I have 12 routers and couldn't work without them. Perhaps you need to visit my workshop in North Wales and book a course for some hlep or watch any one of the 128 YouTube videos i have on building and playing...

01-02-2012, 01:45 PM
Some pictures would be lovely. Yew wood is beautiful--we have a very old yew table at home. It's a dark, dense and mysterious-looking wood.

01-02-2012, 02:02 PM
Welcome! The walnut sounds delicious. I do love walnut back & sides in guitars and would probably enjoy a tenor uke with spruce top over walnut.

01-03-2012, 10:37 AM
for the welcome. I expect I will come up with a few daft quetions from time to time.