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iPreferAndroid
06-12-2014, 07:17 AM
I am on my very first build, which is a gift for a certain female in my life. I had a crazy idea, and am wondering if all of you guys, who actually have built before, think it would work.
So I wanted to get a wood burning pen in order to engrave a message on the soundboard of the uke. I realize this could cause issues both in sound and with the durability of the board, so my next idea was to aim the engravings over my bracing, solving the issue of the durability, but still not the sound. My building partner then suggested carving the letters all the way through the board, and not cutting a soundhole in the traditional shape.
What do you guys think? Are any of these viable options, or am I just crazy and should stop lutherie? ;) If I am indeed crazy, What would you recommend instead for imprinting a personal message on the uke?

resoman
06-12-2014, 07:22 AM
How about the inside of the back so it can be seen through the sound hole?? On paper just in case :uhoh:

iPreferAndroid
06-12-2014, 07:27 AM
I thought about that as well. Is it pretty general that I probably shouldn't carve it into the wood?
The only thing I didn't like about that idea was that I would kind of like the fact that there are words carved to be seen quite easily, even if observers can't read it from afar. It makes for a fairly unique look. Like this http://www.amazon.com/Luna-Mahogany-Maluhia-Concert-Ukulele/dp/B004PJLQSM but not nearly as cluttered.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-12-2014, 07:55 AM
How about wood burning the lettering in upper bout? You're pretty safe up there. If you insist on piercing through the soundboard, make sure you back the area up with either wood or carbon fiber. Of course you may be compromising the tone if you do.

iPreferAndroid
06-12-2014, 08:38 AM
So close to where the soundhole is, but not piercing? I am by no means insisting on piercing, just trying to get some opinions, you know? So burn the letters in the upper bout, closeish to where the soundhole is?

resoman
06-12-2014, 08:59 AM
Here's a koa uke I did a while back with barbed wire lasered around the soundhole. Chuck called it the Bob Whyr uke, something like that

67735

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-12-2014, 09:01 AM
Here's a koa uke I did a while back with barbed wire lasered around the soundhole. Chuck called it the Bob Whyr uke, something like that

67735

Bob Wahr I think it was. :)
Honestly, you should be OK anywhere on the upper bout. If you plan on going deep though I would still back it up with something.

iPreferAndroid
06-12-2014, 09:09 AM
I wish I had access to a laser cutter. It would help a lot...

TJ Uke
06-12-2014, 09:24 AM
Not a luthier, just a forum lurker. You may wish to totally disregard what I say! My thought has nothing to do with the technical side of making an instrument and is more just a personal thing, though.

Which is more important, the sound or the meaning of the gift? If preserving the best sound interferes with the best presentation and meaning of it as a gift, then maybe you want to forget sound this once.

Allen
06-12-2014, 09:44 AM
Bob Wahr I think it was. :)
Honestly, you should be OK anywhere on the upper bout. If you plan on going deep though I would still back it up with something.

Getting something laser engraved is pretty easy to do. I use a local trophy shop that has one, and charges are very reasonable for really professional results.

iPreferAndroid
06-12-2014, 10:23 AM
That's a good point TJ, but to be fair, she does play. So you know. But if it sounds like poop, I wont fully discard it. And Allen, that is an interesting thought, I might check around my town.

TJ Uke
06-12-2014, 10:57 AM
That's a good point TJ, but to be fair, she does play. So you know. But if it sounds like poop, I wont fully discard it. And Allen, that is an interesting thought, I might check around my town.


If it sounds bad enough, she'll never play it; it will stay pristine forever!

:p

iPreferAndroid
06-12-2014, 10:58 AM
I do have another question. What method would you guys recommend for bending sides on a tight budget? I have broken 2 different sides trying to bend them already, and I am getting tired of it. I was trying to steam the wood.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-12-2014, 12:19 PM
Tight budget? You can't get any tighter than a pipe and a torch. Ten bucks. If you're breaking sides, chances are it's not the equipment, it's your technique and lack of experience. Practice before bending good wood!!! There are lots of videos and other info on pipe side bending on the Internet.

1931jim
06-12-2014, 12:22 PM
There is a Canadian company called Godin in Canada. They have been making beautiful guitars for many years. Here is a link to something you may find interesting. I would certainly as others have said keep your incisions in the upper bout.
Regards. Jim.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjrWvgm5vIU
Here is another.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjeiUkeQ56M

iPreferAndroid
06-12-2014, 02:50 PM
Wow, that is really interesting... Hmmmm... Ideas...

Michael Smith
06-12-2014, 09:44 PM
I do a lot of my wood burning above the kerfing. So no problems there.

iPreferAndroid
06-13-2014, 08:56 AM
Oh, because it just sits above the kerfing, so no support issues or anything, huh? Hm. That is a really good idea.

ksquine
06-14-2014, 02:00 PM
I wish I had access to a laser cutter. It would help a lot...

Google it. I bet there's a place near by. Lots of trophy shops and jewelry engravers have the equipment or could send it to their engraver for you.

I kinda like the idea of cutting the letters through the top....but hole corners can be stress concentrators and cause cracks. You would definitely want to back it for support.
How about an inlay? Route the letters part way through and fill with black epoxy?

iPreferAndroid
06-16-2014, 06:41 AM
I had thought about that. I just dont know, would that harm the sound, having the epoxy in there?