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View Full Version : Tenor no 4 in Tulipwood



greenscoe
06-08-2014, 08:06 AM
Iíve just completed tenor no 4, made over 3 weeks and about 45/50hrs. Itís my first uke with a slotted head and has a tulipwood soundbox (American poplar). I think it looks good and am pleased with the sound. Itís a little brighter than my previous sapele tenor uke and has good volume and sustain. It certainly does not sound like the spruce topped uke that I made. I particularly like the slightly wider neck/string spacing which I copied from my Lanikai LM-T.

Soundbox : tulipwood with walnut purfling and sapele binding. 3.5 to 3.25Ē deep with curved back. Soundboard is flat. No bridge patch and 5 (light) fan struts

Neck : laminated oak and sapele

Head: slotted with basswood/walnut veneer to front, oak to rear, individual machines at 35mm centres

Fretboard: rosewood with ebony nut, 10mm string spacing/38mm wide at nut

Soundhole: 63mm, 2.5Ēdiam. with rosette made from strips of veneer

Bridge: Chinese made, rosewood with bone saddle

Strings: Aquila nylgut 10U

Finish: Liberon finishing oil

Weight: 580g, 1lb 5oz

Iím wondering if the effort for the slotted head is worthwhile as I do everything except the routing for the purfling/binding/rosette without power tools. I do think it looks classy but I reckon this must have taken me 5 or 6 hours extra. I also think the ebony nut looks the part-the first nut I've made.

Iíd be interested to hear whether folks think the neck is too busy: would a plain light coloured (oak, maple, ash?) or dark coloured (sapele) neck have looked better on this light coloured box? I also like my classic guitar influenced heel but again maybe others think its not for a uke?

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perep
06-08-2014, 08:23 AM
Greenscoe
GREAT job, I would buy it just like it is. Neck is great color with light wood, dark would be great also for same box, just a matter of taste. You did a very nice job. For sale?

ksquine
06-08-2014, 10:46 AM
Very pretty. That's a classy binding combo

Jim Hanks
06-08-2014, 10:59 AM
Nice job! I like the neck but I agree with perep that other combos would work also. On the slotted headstock, this looks nice but I'm with you on the "is it worth the effort" question. Personally I don't see the real point for 4 strings.

Steveperrywriter
06-08-2014, 11:25 AM
Looks fine to me, neck and heel.

RAB11
06-08-2014, 09:52 PM
Absolutely gorgeous. The darker neck and fretboard contrast nicely with the rest of the body and the binding looks great.

Red Cliff
06-10-2014, 01:21 AM
Hi greenscoe

Nice work - I like the heel personally. I don't use any power tools other than a drill press to do my slotted heads - haven't really timed it but 6 hours seems like a long time - what tools are you using to this procedure?

I get by with a fret saw ok - although it takes care and a bit of finishing with sanding sticks.

Giles.

greenscoe
06-10-2014, 03:24 AM
Thanks for all the positive comments. I think that visually, this is the nicest so far. My first uke with a sapele box and honduran mahogany soundboard is probably my favorite soundwise as it has the warmest/mellowest tone. Though this is essentially a hobby, I think that soon I will have to consider selling what I make otherwise the house will be full of ukes. Maybe I need to start another thread for advice on this.

Red Cliff: The reason why it took so long to make the slotted head was partly due to the fact that it wasnt designed (it sort of evolved) and partly the way I made it. I started before I had the machine heads and wasnt sure about the slot width and length and the thickness needed. The first set of machine heads had 25mm spacing, which I then decided didnt look right. The head was too thin, hence the addition of oak to the rear. I then realised 35mm was the required spacing and bought individual machines. The 2 slots were done by drilling, chiseling, filing, then sanding, a rather laborious process to ensure everything was square and symmetrical. The ramps proved to be inadequate and needed extending after I thought I was done. So in reality I did some things twice before I finally arrived at the finished head. It seemed a lot of extra hassle and time but I suppose the next one will be more straightforward and quicker to do.

itsscottwilder
06-10-2014, 03:29 AM
The slotted head increases the string break angle and has a subtle but real effect on string tension. Some players like the added tension.

Sven
06-10-2014, 06:57 AM
That made me curious - how would the tension increase?

mzuch
06-10-2014, 07:12 AM
The slotted head increases the string break angle and has a subtle but real effect on string tension.

I've heard this before but don't understand how the break angle affects string tension. I'm no physicist, but it seems to me that tension is a function of string material, thickness and the note to which it is tuned. However, break angle may affect the amount of downward force exerted on the saddle. Perhaps this is what you are referring to?

Doc_J
06-10-2014, 08:26 AM
I've heard this before but don't understand how the break angle affects string tension. I'm no physicist, but it seems to me that tension is a function of string material, thickness and the note to which it is tuned. However, break angle may affect the amount of downward force exerted on the saddle. Perhaps this is what you are referring to?


I agree. Well stated.

itsscottwilder
06-10-2014, 10:32 AM
Here's someone who did a real world test of how break angle affects tension

http://siminoff.net/string-break-angle-loads/

mzuch
06-10-2014, 10:41 AM
Thanks for linking to the Siminoff article. Note that he does not refer to tension. Instead, he talks about the effect of break angle on "down pressure" on the bridge. String tension and bridge/saddle pressure are different concepts.

itsscottwilder
06-10-2014, 10:42 AM
good catch! thanks for the correction!

Huke60
06-16-2014, 02:56 AM
hi alan
that uke is beautiful
thanks for all the advice on my uke.
i have posted a thread on here of my first uke
here is the link
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97690-First-ukulele-build