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View Full Version : So what is it you luthiers do?



pootsie
07-02-2012, 08:31 AM
As a new uke player I have been following the discussions on this board with great interest. I have learned a lot and thank you for letting me eavesdrop on your shop-talk.

Although I have picked up bits and pieces of what goes into building a stringed instrument I would love it if someone could link me to a good vid that shows a build from start to end.

I would google for one but I want to get see one that is recommended by someone who knows their adz from their elbow. Thanx!

SailingUke
07-02-2012, 08:51 AM
Check out the shop videos on Mya-Moe ukuleles.
Lots of good information.

weerpool
07-02-2012, 09:51 AM
if you havent already sort through Pete Howlett's video,here ya' go. start to finish.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tesAV2GPVZ4
As a new uke player I have been following the discussions on this board with great interest. I have learned a lot and thank you for letting me eavesdrop on your shop-talk.

Although I have picked up bits and pieces of what goes into building a stringed instrument I would love it if someone could link me to a good vid that shows a build from start to end.

I would google for one but I want to get see one that is recommended by someone who knows their adz from their elbow. Thanx!

ChrisRCovington
07-02-2012, 10:21 AM
Wow that was interesting. He uses a mold inside like a violin maker... That's cool.

ksiegel
07-02-2012, 10:55 AM
Yes, it was interesting...

The neck is strictly glued on, no doweling or bolt, the sides are a single sheet of thin wood (Veneer perhaps?) bent and glued, no heat bending, and the finish is sprayed on. No idea what the neck wood is, but looked like regular hardware store pine.

And at the end when he said it was tuned and ready to go.... that wasn't what I call tuned.

Please don't get me wrong - I don't have that level of skill whatsoever, and the work he was doing with hand tools was far superior to anything I could imagine trying. (I'm prohibited from using tools in at least 7 states.)

For a home-made ukulele to play or give away, that was very nice... But it is nowhere near the level of luthierie that I've seen here from.. well, any of the luthiers here on the forum.

I would definitely suggest watching the videos from the Professional makers here on UU.



-Kurt

ChrisRCovington
07-02-2012, 11:30 AM
I agree the wood choice looked a little suspect at best.

Watch Pete Howlett's videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/PeteHowlett?feature=watch

You can also see what they did back in the day:
http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675023085_Construction-of-Ukulele_young-man_instrument_hammers-on-pegs_trims-wood_overalls

weerpool
07-02-2012, 12:10 PM
i think the OP asked for a video that shows a uke being built from start to finish and thats what the video was all about. now, if he wants to learn serious lutherie then thats another whole can of worms. the type and quality of materials is completely not as important if youre just starting out in my opinion. its the skill and instinct that needs honing more than anything . Ken Timms once made a tenor ukulele out of a shipping crate or a palette and it sounded absolutely fantastic. Pete's videos are very informative but theyre not "how-to" videos like most people think. he is simply showing techniques to better achieving specific tasks in a more accurate and simplier way. i have alittle over 40 + build iunder my belt and i still dont know jack about building ukes.
Yes, it was interesting...

The neck is strictly glued on, no doweling or bolt, the sides are a single sheet of thin wood (Veneer perhaps?) bent and glued, no heat bending, and the finish is sprayed on. No idea what the neck wood is, but looked like regular hardware store pine.

And at the end when he said it was tuned and ready to go.... that wasn't what I call tuned.

Please don't get me wrong - I don't have that level of skill whatsoever, and the work he was doing with hand tools was far superior to anything I could imagine trying. (I'm prohibited from using tools in at least 7 states.)

For a home-made ukulele to play or give away, that was very nice... But it is nowhere near the level of luthierie that I've seen here from.. well, any of the luthiers here on the forum.

I would definitely suggest watching the videos from the Professional makers here on UU.



-Kurt

pootsie
07-02-2012, 01:26 PM
Thanks all for the responses. I'm not sure if Uncle Knuckles was what I was after but it was interesting. Was that actually a pine tuba-fer he was using for the neck?
I was thinking more of a vid of a pro start to finish, not so much a "how to" but just a demo of what it takes. I have no intention to try this at home.
I will check out those Howlett vids.

weerpool
07-02-2012, 01:36 PM
there is no video that exist as far as i know.
Thanks all for the responses. I'm not sure if Uncle Knuckles was what I was after but it was interesting. Was that actually a pine tuba-fer he was using for the neck?
I was thinking more of a vid of a pro start to finish, not so much a "how to" but just a demo of what it takes. I have no intention to try this at home.
I will check out those Howlett vids.

pootsie
07-02-2012, 01:39 PM
there is no video that exist as far as i know.

Well that is simply not satisfactory.:old:
I demand that a professional luthier produce a video for me now. Thanks for your input tho

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
07-02-2012, 01:44 PM
UUmmm- Judging from his table saw safety, im surprised he still has fingers!

ChrisRCovington
07-02-2012, 01:46 PM
Mr. Howlett's videos are very good. I think he has documented almost every step to make an ukulele on video. If you sort through them and watch them in the right order you could probably see him build one from start to finish :D

BTW, I am going to be attempting to build my own ukulele from scratch here shortly. I've been doing a lot of research both online and in person. The thing I have determined is that there are many right ways of reaching the same goal (a finished ukulele in hand). There are also many wrong ways. A "right way" in one building style will end up being a "wrong way" in another style. It is all very confusing but very rewarding to study. Ukulele building (and lutherie as a whole) is a true craft and art. I am getting a real appreciation for it now.

pootsie
07-02-2012, 01:50 PM
UUmmm- Judging from his table saw safety, im surprised he still has fingers!

Ya, I was thinking that as well. Are you supposed to lean forward with both arms over the blade like that?
39759
I guess that way if you slip you can just stop the blade with your sternum.

oudin
07-02-2012, 04:07 PM
We don't actually do anything. We invent all manner of confusing looking things to appear as though we are working. Its all a scam. All play, no actual work.

ukulele-melee
07-02-2012, 05:18 PM
Not start-to-end videos but start-to-end pictures and descriptions for multiple instruments can be found here: http://home.comcast.net/~kathymatsushita/
She isn't a "pro" but lots of good info and a good reputation.

Kekani
07-02-2012, 07:21 PM
Not start-to-end videos but start-to-end pictures and descriptions for multiple instruments can be found here: http://home.comcast.net/~kathymatsushita/
She isn't a "pro" but lots of good info and a good reputation.

Ha! Don't let Kathy fool you.

Robby O'Brien has a pretty thorough series for guitar building. If you want an idea from a video perspective, look there. If you're serious about it from an 'ukulele perspective, see Pete for a week, or visit Rick for 4 days.

Aaron

Liam Ryan
07-02-2012, 11:28 PM
Luthiers make guitars too. And banjos, violins etc, etc......