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View Full Version : Something VERY special - thought I'd share



UK Paulie
04-03-2012, 11:22 PM
Ok so a short while ago I got in touch with a builder here in the UK and asked him to build me a ukulele! I just thought I'd share it's progress and my utter excitement and anticipation with you fine folks! So what I have so far is the pics he has sent to me, beginning with just raw woods and continuing on to...well, see for yourselves..More to come!!
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Ok, I'm not sure if they all uploaded, should be 5. If not, more to come sooner than I first thought lol

UK Paulie
04-03-2012, 11:24 PM
35875

And another...I hope....

Lexxy
04-03-2012, 11:58 PM
Indian rosewood and cedar top?

Nixon
04-04-2012, 12:01 AM
Have they stuff the kerfing in the wrong way around??

UK Paulie
04-04-2012, 12:04 AM
Indian rosewood and cedar top?

Its macassar ebony/cedar. Loved your willie wixom review btw, cool uke mate

UK Paulie
04-04-2012, 12:06 AM
Have they stuff the kerfing in the wrong way around??

Dont think so buddy, he's been making ukulele's for 30 odd years so if he did, it would be an easily rectifiable surprise lol

Lexxy
04-04-2012, 12:27 AM
Its macassar ebony/cedar. Loved your willie wixom review btw, cool uke mate

Thanks buddy. Macassar Ebony..It looks kinda brown to me though. I thought ebony was always black-ish.

connor013
04-04-2012, 01:12 AM
Look at the grain on that cedar -- it's going to sound oh so sweet!

Congrats. Who's the builder?

UK Paulie
04-04-2012, 01:19 AM
Cheers for the comments guys. Builder is Marshall Stapleton, former and founding member of the 'ukulele orchestra of Great Britain'. He started about 30 years ago because they all had cheap crappy ukes and couldn't afford expensive ones!! lol His ukes sound amazing and hes a top bloke!

UK Paulie
04-04-2012, 01:21 AM
Thanks buddy. Macassar Ebony..It looks kinda brown to me though. I thought ebony was always black-ish.

The ebony used for fingerboards and stuff is black, Macassar can vary in colour. Alot of macassar is kinda brownish, I love it!! Looks like milk and white chocolate! Good enough to eat!! But I wont...I think I'll play it instead.

GX9901
04-04-2012, 04:57 AM
That's a great looking set of Macassar ebony! I'm a big fan of this look and your uke should look great.


Have they stuff the kerfing in the wrong way around??

I think that's called "reverse kerfing". I know Kanile'a does it that way. I don't know what advantage, if any, it has over the traditional kerfing, but everyone has their own way and reasoning of doing things.

GinnyT11
04-04-2012, 05:04 AM
This is going to be a great uke! I love your choice of woods---the macassar will look fantastic. How great it's made by a UOGB member/luthier.

You will love, love, love it! Happy days ahead!

UK Paulie
04-04-2012, 05:49 AM
That's a great looking set of Macassar ebony! I'm a big fan of this look and your uke should look great.



I think that's called "reverse kerfing". I know Kanile'a does it that way. I don't know what advantage, if any, it has over the traditional kerfing, but everyone has their own way and reasoning of doing things.

Thanks George, he sent me a pic of a cuatro he made for someone with the same macassar and it really does look great! I'm hoping it has a voice to match its looks! lol

OldePhart
04-04-2012, 06:29 AM
I think that's called "reverse kerfing". I know Kanile'a does it that way. I don't know what advantage, if any, it has over the traditional kerfing, but everyone has their own way and reasoning of doing things.

I've never seen that before but after seeing that photo I can think of one huge advantage right off - great strength while remaining flexible. Typical kerfing is from one piece of slotted wood and the non-slotted side is glued to the side of the instrument. The non-slotted part has to be fairly thick to keep the "kerfs" from simply breaking off (in which case they are no longer attached to the side).

With the kerfing this way around the "kerfs" are glued directly to the side and the non-slotted part can be very thin and flexible because it's not structurally significant. In fact, the non-slotted part could be a paper backing (although in that case the kerfing might have to be replaced if the top was steamed off for a repair).

That seems like a really cool approach - both stronger and easier - I wonder why more builders haven't thought of it?

John

UK Paulie
04-04-2012, 07:07 AM
I've never seen that before but after seeing that photo I can think of one huge advantage right off - great strength while remaining flexible. Typical kerfing is from one piece of slotted wood and the non-slotted side is glued to the side of the instrument. The non-slotted part has to be fairly thick to keep the "kerfs" from simply breaking off (in which case they are no longer attached to the side).

With the kerfing this way around the "kerfs" are glued directly to the side and the non-slotted part can be very thin and flexible because it's not structurally significant. In fact, the non-slotted part could be a paper backing (although in that case the kerfing might have to be replaced if the top was steamed off for a repair).

That seems like a really cool approach - both stronger and easier - I wonder why more builders haven't thought of it?

John

Thanks for that John, you put it way better than I can. I trust Marshall's judgement anyway, if he does something its for a reason and its probably like you said. He's been building uke's almost as long as I've been on the planet so I'll just shut up and say "thanks" lol Really appreciate everyone's comments by the way. Thanks guys

ukuloonie
04-04-2012, 07:39 AM
I think I found his website, just click on the Ukulele and it shows a gallery of some of his work.
http://www.wix.com/marshallstapleton/guitars#!guitars

keliiyama
04-04-2012, 07:45 AM
Sweet and unique wood combinations. That Cedar has beautiful tight grain:) This is will definitely be a show stopper with a low G. I bet your super stoked and now have to endure several weeks of waiting... But if you ask me, that the funnest part! Look forward to seeing and someday hearing the progress. Boy, I can't get over that Cedar...

UK Paulie
04-04-2012, 08:25 AM
Sweet and unique wood combinations. That Cedar has beautiful tight grain:) This is will definitely be a show stopper with a low G. I bet your super stoked and now have to endure several weeks of waiting... But if you ask me, that the funnest part! Look forward to seeing and someday hearing the progress. Boy, I can't get over that Cedar...

Thanks mate, yeah I'm really excited! I'm loving the cedar too, a one piece top too!! Cant wait!!

Mandarb
04-04-2012, 08:44 AM
Thanks mate, yeah I'm really excited! I'm loving the cedar too, a one piece top too!! Cant wait!!

How come you are so excited over a one piece top?

weerpool
04-04-2012, 09:04 AM
Dont think so buddy, he's been making ukulele's for 30 odd years so if he did, it would be an easily rectifiable surprise lol

he's using a reversed-kerfing. much more stable than the normal ones. less flimsy andf makes for a very sturdy sides. yeah he knows what hes doing

UK Paulie
04-04-2012, 09:42 AM
How come you are so excited over a one piece top?

Well theres a school of thought which says they are more resonant. I'm more excited about the whole thing to be honest.

ukuloonie
04-04-2012, 09:47 AM
It still going look great when it's done.

Mandarb
04-04-2012, 01:25 PM
Well theres a school of thought which says they are more resonant. I'm more excited about the whole thing to be honest.

Never heard that. Good luck with the build - enjoy.

whit
04-04-2012, 01:29 PM
Looks great. Now I need to consider that Macassar ebony as well. Hmmm....

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
04-04-2012, 01:59 PM
Looks pretty before its even glued together. Nice.

BlackBearUkes
04-04-2012, 02:52 PM
Well theres a school of thought which says they are more resonant. I'm more excited about the whole thing to be honest.

One piece being more resonate than a two piece top? I would love to see the proof of that school of thought. Reversed kerfed linings are stronger than plain kerfed linings, but if you want the strongest, than you have to use solid linings.

UK Paulie
04-04-2012, 10:02 PM
One piece being more resonate than a two piece top? I would love to see the proof of that school of thought. Reversed kerfed linings are stronger than plain kerfed linings, but if you want the strongest, than you have to use solid linings.

Just saying what I've heard. Heck I haven't got a clue whether they are or not! It kinda makes sense to me, the top resonating as one, I don't mind either way to be honest. I'm just happy I'm about to be the proud owner of such a cool uke.

steelarts
04-04-2012, 11:05 PM
One piece being more resonate than a two piece top? I would love to see the proof of that school of thought. Reversed kerfed linings are stronger than plain kerfed linings, but if you want the strongest, than you have to use solid linings.

That's interesting, my Ohana CK35 has no kerfs; glue everywhere, but no kerfs!!!

This looks like it's going to be a wonderful instrument and I hope you can keep us updated with pics as the build progresses. Thanks for sharing.

UK Paulie
04-05-2012, 12:15 AM
This looks like it's going to be a wonderful instrument and I hope you can keep us updated with pics as the build progresses. Thanks for sharing.

Funny you should ask...here are some more, mainly the stages involved in doing the beautiful koa rosette which will match the binding and end graft. Enjoy!

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mm stan
04-05-2012, 12:49 AM
Congrats on you new build..thank you for sharing pictures..alot more variations in color than my madagascar rosewood...

UK Paulie
04-05-2012, 02:44 AM
Congrats on you new build..thank you for sharing pictures..alot more variations in color than my madagascar rosewood...

Thank you Stan, oh and its macassar ebony mate, not madagascar rosewood. Cheers.

Lalz
04-05-2012, 04:40 AM
Very exciting indeed! I love seeing pictures of ukes in the building, especially beautiful ones. Please keep us updated! :)

Nickie
04-05-2012, 05:39 AM
Wow, that is cool! Congratulations. That uke is gonna be a keeper!

UK Paulie
04-05-2012, 09:31 AM
Jeez! Its moving fast now! The body is almost done and some of the pics show it with some water or alcohol (not sure which) to simulate the finish. The Koa rosette and tailpiece look amazing! He's gonna bind the fingerboard in the same Koa.
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barefootgypsy
04-05-2012, 09:52 AM
It all looks and sounds fabulous, Paul! You must be SO excited! :D

UK Paulie
04-05-2012, 10:44 PM
It all looks and sounds fabulous, Paul! You must be SO excited! :D

Thanks Lesley, yes I must say I am pretty stoked!!! I found out last night its going to have a maple neck. I was originally going to have a mahogany neck but Marshall came across some really nice maple in his workshop so we're going with that. I think the contrasting colours are going to look great and to hear him talk about the bracing he's used and how the various construction elements relate to the sound I was looking for makes me fairly certain its going to sound just as good. This is clearly a guy who knows exactly what he's doing and why!!

UK Paulie
04-07-2012, 12:55 AM
35986359873598835989

And more.....He's doing the slothead just the way I like them...I'm so impressed with Marshall. Nothing is too much trouble, I've had every question I've asked happily answered and I've really been made to feel a part of things, my suggestions have all been taken on board. Some weren't practical and Marshall took the time to explain why and some are being used and will be a part of the finished instrument. What an amazxing experience!

barefootgypsy
04-07-2012, 03:28 AM
Green eyes glowing in the dark........;D