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View Full Version : I want a side port in my Mainland Concert. Doable?



ukemunga
08-20-2013, 02:29 PM
I've seen discussions of DIY side ports before but thought I'd start another thread so anyone else that is tempted can benefit too. And I don't know if I can find the info I need with search.

I find that what I hear as I play is nothing like the "audience" hears. And I think it's mostly a volume and direct projection thing.

Is this possible without grief. Have you done it? How? Are you happy with the results?

Photos or links?

Thanks.

rem50
08-20-2013, 03:31 PM
great question! Can't wait to hear the answers.

ukemunga
08-20-2013, 04:06 PM
I'm sure I don't have the skills even if I have the tools to do this so it's off the table except for a discussion of how you would go about it. And/or if you should even attempt it.

PhilUSAFRet
08-20-2013, 04:26 PM
I know a few people have done it here, hope someone could put you onto the thread

mm stan
08-20-2013, 05:03 PM
Sounds like you best uke, why risk it.... have you thought about how you going to put a back plate or bracing ......
I guess I am saying, why change your auto trans to a manual tran? buy another uke with sound port, and sell this one....

mm stan
08-20-2013, 05:15 PM
This is where you lost me.

Ha ha to fund the next one.....:)

Doug W
08-20-2013, 05:26 PM
Some people have done it, not me though

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?37112-Questions-about-making-a-sound-port

http://lostshock.blogspot.com/2012/01/building-ukulele-side-port-binding.html

Bill Mc
08-20-2013, 06:11 PM
I've seen discussions of DIY side ports before but thought I'd start another thread so anyone else that is tempted can benefit too. And I don't know if I can find the info I need with search.

I find that what I hear as I play is nothing like the "audience" hears. And I think it's mostly a volume and direct projection thing.

Is this possible without grief. Have you done it? How? Are you happy with the results?

Photos or links?

Thanks.

I've put sound ports in four ukuleles: Martin S-1 that was purchased from Musicians' Friend with a damaged upper bout allegedly from the zipper of the Martin's case crushing a portion of the Martin's upper side bout; a KPK acacia soprano; a Lanakai NKT; and an aNueNue Khaya mahogany concert - all without grief. Only the KPK acacia suffered from the procedure in that the "C" string was not as prominent as without the sound port. I liked the result on the other ukuleles especially the Martin S1 that sounds incredible with the sound port. I took an 1,1/4" (inch and a quarter) rubber washer and taped it to side of the upper bout equidistant from the sides with Scotch brand packing tape. Then with a small utility knife equipped with a new blade I slowly, gently, and carefully scored around the washer until I broke through the other side. I also re-taped a couple times so no damage would occur to the cutout as I proceeded. Also, change blades as needed to keep them cutting easily. Eventually I was able to remove the circular cut out and was left with a hole that only needed a bit of cleaning up. To achieve this I used an old cue stick handle from a warped cue that was unusable. I cut the handle to about 12" in length on my table saw. I then wrapped duct tape around the handle so that at about mid point the handle would no longer fit in the hole. Then I attached 220 grit sand paper over the handle securing it with packing tape at each end. Put the handle inside the hole and rotate slowly until any rough edges are gone. As material is removed the handle can be moved a bit further inward. Finish the edges by slightly rounding off with a 400 or so sandpaper. You can stain the edges of the hole and finish with a finishing wax like Minwax. The key is to work slowly. The process takes at least 1 1/2 hours. Also if you have a ukulele with ultra thin sides like the aNueNue you've got to be especially careful when cutting out the hole.

TheCraftedCow
08-20-2013, 09:41 PM
If you want to change how you act, first change how you think. Whe you say you cannot, that is the right answer. HOWEVER....when you say I have yet to do it, you are not tied to the past or even the present, you are focusing upon what you would liketo become or be able to do. If you are willing to have an "I have yet to" attitude, side porting is easy and enjoyable.. So far I have done three hearts in a \ diagonal line on the front bout; a circular snowflake design all with a small moto-tool and two different size drill bits; a circular port on the inside waist of the rear bout of a tenor; a profile of a beaver on an orange and black soprano--to keep the guts of the white inside from showing, I glued a piece of brown fuzzy fabric to the inside. From any angle it looks like a beaver (Yes!! Go Beavs!!!) On a green soprano , there were 5 progressively larger duck prints from the middle of the waist to the top of the front bout. They were outlined in genuine Uof O Duck Yellow.
A concert from the 60s made in Japan sports a honu on the front bout waist. There is a piece on linen with a spiral thread from a fabric sample page that makes it look honu not just a hole. My new myrtlewood concert pineapple has an oval hole at the top of the front bout. The Martin backpacker madolin has the F holes closed off, and a round hole cut not too far from the end of the fretboard I call it my concert size Taropatch tuned Dd gG Bb EE. Behind the bridge was mapped out and done in 24 line gunstock checkering to reduce the thickness needed to hold steel strings, since it now runs Aquila strings. Side porting is not difficult, nor does it take lots of tools. One of the main instruments is a surgeon's scalpel from Harbor Freight, but one of the tricks of the trade is to not cut away from yourself toward the center of the center of the instrument, but to cut from the inside to the outside.( that means up cuts not down cuts) Let's talk Private Message if you want to do it. It isn't complicate or requiring lotsa stuff. We can start on a piece of wood the same thickness as a uke top...in fact it will be an old uke top. Wanna give it a go?

Kayak Jim
08-21-2013, 09:17 AM
I agree with others that it's not rocket surgery, you just have to use a very sharp knife and go slowly.

Why not try a round hole on your Kala first? Save the hula dancers for the Mainland. :rolleyes: