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View Full Version : No Kerfing or lining build ?



tangimango
09-23-2013, 07:51 PM
Has anyone built a ukulele without lining or kerfed lining?

ive been using kerfings but notice Koaloha ukuleles never use linings and seems to stay intacted and sounds bright and loud.

i know i need linings if you are going to do purflings and bindings but for a simple build is it nessasary/recommended?

would like to hear your experience with no lining builds.

mahalos

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-23-2013, 11:09 PM
the sides themselves are simply not enough to glue onto....unless you are Charles Fox who has a line of guitars that use 1/4" thick sides....

Michael N.
09-24-2013, 02:44 AM
I disagree. You'll be OK at sides of 1.8 mm's - 2 mm's. No binding, obviously!

BlackBearUkes
09-24-2013, 04:06 AM
If you are building for yourself, you can do anything you want. If you use a thicker side wall you might not need linings. Thin side walls don't offer any strength and if the wood decides to move, it could break away from the top and back easier if there is only a thin glue line for support. Take a look at all the millions of plucked string instruments over the years, the vast majority of them have linings for a reason. It would be a warranty nightmare for all the big guitar maker out there if they didn't use some kind of linings. There are enough things that can go wrong over the years as an instrument ages, why make it worse.

Michael N.
09-24-2013, 04:21 AM
I have some experience of building plucked stringed instruments without linings. Actually I have quite a bit of experience. They hold up well. In fact I can't remember a time when I've had a problem with a seam coming loose.
Ukuleles are pretty low tension instruments. You can't really compare them to the kind of tension that you find on a steel string Guitar, for example.
The type of instruments that I've built without linings are Vihuelas and Baroque Guitars. 2 mm thick Sides. Total string tension is around 30 Kg's and 25 Kg's respectively. Glued with HHG. No binding but a purfling half edge is frequently put on these types of soundboard.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-24-2013, 04:37 AM
Hi Michael N- Your guitars look fantastic. I love the look of romantic guitars. On no linings- it is Interesting to hear it can be, and is, done. I wouldn't have thought it possible. I stick with linings though :)

Do you use side splints?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-24-2013, 05:02 AM
If volume is what you're after, the reason KoAlohas are loud have to do more with their bracing (or lack of it) than anything else.

Michael N.
09-24-2013, 05:32 AM
Hi Michael N- Your guitars look fantastic. I love the look of romantic guitars. On no linings- it is Interesting to hear it can be, and is, done. I wouldn't have thought it possible. I stick with linings though :)

Do you use side splints?

I don't know what Side splints are. I'll guess that they are the pieces of wood that go across the grain, across the width of the side? I've never used them, not even on a modern Guitar. I'm sure they do offer some insurance against side splits/cracks. . . pretty much everything associated with instruments is a compromise between strength, thickness, longevity and not upsetting the response to string vibration. Where you draw the line is part of the individual makers approach.
I use linings too, on anything after about 1750! On a Ukulele you could easily use a partial lining (from the b.block around and ending at the saddle/bridge position - which certainly would give you further assurance.

ksquine
09-24-2013, 07:52 AM
I wouldn't build without a lining in there. Just seems like any bump or knock could break a side loose without the extra support.
Then again....I haven't built anything without binding before

sim4lin
09-24-2013, 08:17 AM
Though I've not seen one, I've heard that Brükos don't have linings.
The back of my Big Baby Taylor guitar has a lining around the lower bout only, nothing at the waist or upper bout.

AndrewKuker
09-24-2013, 10:46 AM
the sides themselves are simply not enough to glue onto....unless you are Charles Fox who has a line of guitars that use 1/4" thick sides....

He actually uses solid kerfing. Or did when I attended his school. He's all about the stiffening of sides. Typically a 25 ply snare will be much louder than a 10 ply.

Timbuck
09-24-2013, 10:54 AM
He actually uses solid kerfing. Or did when I attended his school. He's all about the stiffening of sides. Typically a 25 ply snare will be much louder than a 10 ply.

No such thing as "solid kerfing" :confused: if it don't have "kerfs" it's just called "linings"......Sorry about that:o... I'm in a "nit picking mood" due to the consumption of 3 cans of Skol Super 9% strong lager.:cheers:

AndrewKuker
09-24-2013, 11:48 AM
No such thing as "solid kerfing" :confused: if it don't have "kerfs" it's just called "linings"......Sorry about that:o... I'm in a "nit picking mood" due to the consumption of 3 cans of Skol Super 9% strong lager.:cheers:

ya, fair enough. I am no stranger to the dumbness. haha, make me jealous, me no buzz, more dumb. :cheers:

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-24-2013, 02:01 PM
Not sure- the 1/4" thick nomex CF sides was something a close friend of his told me.

His website makes no mention of it and his pics indicate normal kerfed linings...? :confused:

AndrewKuker
09-24-2013, 02:32 PM
Ya, well it must have been 13 14 years ago and I'm sure he's experimented all over but 1/4" is a bit ridiculous. How much would that weigh?! 1/10 of an inch is thicker than most. Many of his at the time were 3 piece laminate side too, for tonal reasons, or theoretical ideas. Ya, know I just remember he didn't have solid lining, it appeared that way, he was doing a reverse kerf... but doubled so you couldn't see the kerf. Looked solid. How about that question. Kerfing..or double kerfing? We were Hawaii's dealer for R. Taylor for 3 or 4 years and they always made a big deal about it being solid. Bending lining much more labor than cutting kerf?

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-24-2013, 02:36 PM
Solid linings are very nice but a bit of work. A freind at the Botany workshop in OZ uses 3 ply solid linings for his classicals and they look great but he had to buy a $80 router bit the put a chamfer on them.
Reverse kerf with side splints makes my sides as stiff as they need to be.

connor013
09-24-2013, 03:43 PM
Though I've not seen one, I've heard that Brükos don't have linings.

No lining in mine.

I use it hard. No signs of problems yet.

AndrewKuker
09-24-2013, 04:59 PM
Sure, every builder finds their their ways, beliefs, comfort zone.
as far as the op's question, i believe Chuck answered it well. KoAloha went to no kerfing for production reasons. If you want to sound like a Koaloha you skip the tone bars, do a full length oversized bridge patch and a unibrace. Isn't that patented though? You could do some hard time, I suppose, maybe even end up being some dudes girlfriend, perhaps. That's allota risk for a little volume.
Tone and dynamics can be argued but players adjust to the instruments character and go right on having fun. Good ukes come in many ways.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-24-2013, 05:29 PM
You could do some hard time, I suppose, maybe even end up being some dudes girlfriend, perhaps. That's allota risk for a little volume.

Geez...the decisions we have to make!
In my dreams Ukulele Prison is full of women anyway.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-24-2013, 06:01 PM
I don't really wanna be some dudes girlfriend ;) next life perhaps!

Ps- unibrace?? Ill have to look that one up

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-24-2013, 06:29 PM
Ps- unibrace?? Ill have to look that one up

You better not girlfriend!

Michael N.
09-25-2013, 12:17 AM
Here's one I did in 2011 without any linings to the Top or Back:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g193/mignal/uke1.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/mignal/media/uke1.jpg.html)

That's actually a renaissance Guitar which is practically the same as a baritone taro patch. It just has the support bars at the ends of the harmonic struts, which is probably a good idea. As far as I know it's still holding up fine. In any case I have similar instruments made without linings dating back to 1998 that are still fine. Even if a seam were to come apart it's a 5 minute job to put some Hide glue in and clamp with a few spool clamps. I guess that's the beauty of building without bindings, everything becomes easier to repair. You reach the way that Violin repairers can remove a Back in a matter of a few minutes.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-25-2013, 03:22 AM
"Harmonic struts"??- Is that what you call those 3 back braces, or the three small lengths running up the side? What is the reasoning for making them half length?

I can't quite tell if this has a bowl back with staves but that end block looks disproportionally chunky compared to the rest of the build. Do you chamfer its top edge so only a small portion is touching the top???

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-25-2013, 03:40 AM
You better not girlfriend!

I just looked up unibrace...I should have listened to you and not looked. I feel dirty...so, so dirty.

Michael N.
09-25-2013, 07:19 AM
"Harmonic struts"??- Is that what you call those 3 back braces, or the three small lengths running up the side? What is the reasoning for making them half length?

I can't quite tell if this has a bowl back with staves but that end block looks disproportionally chunky compared to the rest of the build. Do you chamfer its top edge so only a small portion is touching the top???

Harmonic Bars or back braces. The supports are 'half length' because they don't need to go all the way across the side. They aren't there to reinforce the sides but to prevent the ends of the Back bars from coming loose.
The bottom block is larger because that's the major component that is holding the soundboard on. The string tension is pulling everything up South of the bridge and pushing everything down North of it.

new wave ukulele
09-25-2013, 02:04 PM
When I worked at the big box guitar factory, I made miles and miles of kerfing...prolly why I stay away from the stuff now a days

erich@muttcrew.net
10-02-2013, 06:53 AM
Though I've not seen one, I've heard that Brükos don't have linings.
The back of my Big Baby Taylor guitar has a lining around the lower bout only, nothing at the waist or upper bout.

Both my Brükos, a custom Bubinga/Cherry concert and a mahogany tenor, both have solid linings.