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Timbuck
07-31-2014, 04:17 AM
I was getting fed up of making the Style 0 sopranos..So I decided to start a new project...I'm going to make a few Island style soprano's.
When I restored a vintage "Mossman soprano" a few weeks back it gave me the chance to make some drawings of it and take an accurate dimensional survey of it...I intend to build them in the traditional way with hide glue and string and the same inside out violin type jig/mold with the spanish heel construction that they used back in the 1900's..I'll try and document my progress as I proceed.:)....I made a start today on the mold and this is how it looks so far...
https://live.staticflickr.com/7826/46654933365_25d4341ed4_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2e5JJfR)IMG_1674_zps9db7f105 (https://flic.kr/p/2e5JJfR) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

ericchico
07-31-2014, 04:49 AM
Sounds like fun, I'll be following this one for sure

Timbuck
07-31-2014, 07:28 AM
A bit more work done on the Jig/mould ..It now looks like this,
https://live.staticflickr.com/7832/40604476073_f6870bcc92_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/24S5y6F)IMG_1678_zps4a749479 (https://flic.kr/p/24S5y6F) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
And from the rear.
https://live.staticflickr.com/7837/33693634478_d9d29a82cb_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/TkoFEo)IMG_1684_zps999a967b (https://flic.kr/p/TkoFEo) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

PereBourik
07-31-2014, 07:54 AM
Thanks! I love watching your projects develop.

aquadan
07-31-2014, 08:16 AM
looking forward to seeing how this progresses!

And I have a funny feeling I'm going to want one when they're done.

ksquine
07-31-2014, 12:46 PM
Mahogany for the form?? How fancy

Titchtheclown
07-31-2014, 09:06 PM
Will you be using the same solid bend/form/snap keep going linings used in the original or will you be firing up the old kerfed lining maker?

Timbuck
07-31-2014, 09:27 PM
Will you be using the same solid bend/form/snap keep going linings used in the original or will you be firing up the old kerfed lining maker?

It will be the solid type bend/form without the snap I hope,;) and I may be adding the odd kerf on the tight bits :)

Timbuck
07-31-2014, 09:29 PM
Mahogany for the form?? How fancy
Fooled you there!.. it's Makore and Oak :D

Gary Gill
08-01-2014, 12:44 AM
Nice work Ken. Please tell me about the fence on the bandsaw. Did it come with the saw or did you add it yourself? Thanks

Timbuck
08-01-2014, 02:53 AM
Nice work Ken. Please tell me about the fence on the bandsaw. Did it come with the saw or did you add it yourself? Thanks
It's a SIP 14" bandsaw Gary..it comes with all the extras, base, fence, and miter square.

Timbuck
08-01-2014, 03:09 AM
Next bit is making the radiused wedges that clamp the uke sides to the mould at the waist....luckily I have just the tools for this job.
First turn a block of hardwood into a round shape same radius as the waist 1" Rad = 2" Dia plus a bit off to allow for the side thickness, in this case .050" so .100" has to come off the 2" diameter.
https://live.staticflickr.com/7897/46654938885_7b364da001_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2e5JKU2)IMG_1703_zps090d2005 (https://flic.kr/p/2e5JKU2) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
https://live.staticflickr.com/7871/46846532524_10e276c8f0_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2enEJ1C)IMG_1713_zps844a886a (https://flic.kr/p/2enEJ1C) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr/shiregreenbod/IMG_1713_zps844a886a.jpg[/IMG][/URL]
This is where they go on the jig.
https://live.staticflickr.com/7871/32627883477_c09233cd2e_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/RHdr28)IMG_1719_zps1f35f848 (https://flic.kr/p/RHdr28) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
And then a couple of small wedges knocked in to secure them
https://live.staticflickr.com/7831/46654944275_6d472f3eb6_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2e5JMuX)IMG_1729_zpsaf8be464 (https://flic.kr/p/2e5JMuX) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

RPA_Ukuleles
08-01-2014, 07:34 AM
Ken you've really been studying that old old video of Hawaiian Ukulele building, haven't you?. You're also gonna need a pair of bib overalls, a pocket full of wedges, small hammer, some twine, and an enormous chisel!

Are you gonna make your assembly video in black and white?

Timbuck
08-02-2014, 08:34 AM
There is nothing in that old movie that shows how they made the necks...So I just had to use my noggin and go with the sketches and pics I had...If I had a Draw knife or a Spokeshave I could have done it quicker but I ended up with some thing that looked ok in the end..I used some Ash to make the neck co's I only had Koa sets for the body, but I recon when it's done no one will notice :)...Pete Howzatt, will be wanting to know what I'm going to do about "The Step" (anyone who uses the Spanish Heel method will know what I mean) well! I'm trying a method I thought up for that, by inserting a shim in the jig the same thickness as the top plate....I hope it works :rolleyes: here's some more pic's.
https://live.staticflickr.com/7831/47570339291_ee708fc780_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2ftCqxD)IMG_1732_zps3805e03f (https://flic.kr/p/2ftCqxD) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
https://live.staticflickr.com/7847/47570341691_aa21a3da59_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2ftCrg2)IMG_1738_zpsc9611d21 (https://flic.kr/p/2ftCrg2) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

Titchtheclown
08-02-2014, 04:37 PM
Ken you've really been studying that old old video of Hawaiian Ukulele building, haven't you?. You're also gonna need a pair of bib overalls, a pocket full of wedges, small hammer, some twine, and an enormous chisel!

Are you gonna make your assembly video in black and white?

From the in jokes I guess it is this video.
http://www.ukulele.org/?Videos
or
http://youtu.be/MxapCiRm278

Fascinating techniques and skill levels. - Why is he bashing the fret wire before he puts it in? Why isn't he using a regular old carpenter's hammer to bash them in?
Did I catch a glimpse of the tail block being stapled in place?
The arch in the back brace seems to need no fancy radiusing dish. Are we over thinking all this stuff?

Even accounting for the showing off factor I expect he would have a dozen knocked out before morning tea.

Timbuck
08-02-2014, 10:11 PM
I'ts what they don't show in the film that takes up the time...Resawing timber planing and sanding the plates... Carving the neck, cutting fret slots..Bending sides and dry fitting to cut to length ....I believe a radius type dish was used before the back was fitted otherwise you wouldnt get a good enough fit (as I found out restoring one) in the film we are looking at several ukes and workers at different stages in the build, and you have to allow for the hide glue drying don't you....The Guy fitting the fret wire is bashing the wire with a very sharp blade to put nicks in it so it will grip in the fret slots..You can see this on old vintage instruments when you remove the worn out barfrets..and yes you did see staples in the tailblock...Staple guns were invented in the late 1800's and were available. see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stapler how long would it take to sand the uke and and finish the shellac to a marketing standard ? in total about 30 man hours went in to making a uke in those days, maybe more?..and if you wanted rope binding :rolleyes: Who knows how long.

Timbuck
08-02-2014, 11:29 PM
Cutting the Rosette Channels

This one is something that is causing me to think a lot :confused: Three channels cut at approx: .015" wide for white celuloid rosettes..How can i do this without splintering the wood and making the job look neat ? I'm thinking of making a cutter that will do the three rings in one go, with the cutting bits made from HSS darning needles...Maybe coating the workpiece with shellac to stop splintering ??? It looks as if it's time for experimenting..Is there anybody still alive who has done this before?...any advice and ideas are welcome.
https://live.staticflickr.com/7911/46655969565_021c65e14b_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2e5Q3hn)IMG_1261_zpsa8ef553d (https://flic.kr/p/2e5Q3hn) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

Gary Gill
08-03-2014, 12:49 AM
It's a SIP 14" bandsaw Gary..it comes with all the extras, base, fence, and miter square.

It looks very much like my Craftsman saw that looks like a Rikon. Thanks

Timbuck
08-04-2014, 06:14 AM
For the first one off..I've decided not to use any of my Koa stock but make it from African Mahogany, until I know what i'm doing..And it's a good job I did as I ruined the first set of sides by bending them wrong :mad:...But my 2nd attempt was more successful :)
I got the hide glue pot up and running today and this is where I am so far.
https://live.staticflickr.com/7810/40605405763_4bbbd4fdc2_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/24SajsP)IMG_1754_zps9be6baa0 (https://flic.kr/p/24SajsP) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
https://live.staticflickr.com/7913/47570345941_c00575d258_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2ftCswi)IMG_1752_zpsc314bb3e (https://flic.kr/p/2ftCswi) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

Pete Howlett
08-04-2014, 07:35 AM
Bravo Ken :)

DazW
08-04-2014, 08:44 AM
I seem to spend nearly all of my forum time browsing the luthiers lounge section! I've not yet tried my hand at building a uke but it's something I will do in the future. Big thanks to all of you who post in this section, it's invaluable information for people like me and I love seeing how you guys work.
Can't wait to see the finished uke, it's gona be a real gem.

Kevin Waldron
08-04-2014, 02:46 PM
Tim,

It's possible a hand brace was used with something much more crude than what LuthierTool makes..... but your idea would ring true about 3 different cutters.

Blessings,

Kevin

For those who want to see what this thing does.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2-9JLDnneo...... we just love ours..... ( We sold these at one time but we couldn't keep them in stock so now we refer people to the maker )

tangimango
08-04-2014, 03:45 PM
I just love build threads, I would pay to watch it on the big screen lol

Timbuck
08-06-2014, 01:53 AM
I'm finding there is a big learning curve..when you change from one method of building to another especialy when there is very little info to go on and you have to use guesswork ..but today I made a bit of progress with an experimental rosette cutter I made from scrap metal bits...It cuts 3 rings and the soundhole in one go.
I was supprised how well it worked..It's not perfect yet but I'm getting there ;)

https://live.staticflickr.com/7893/47571374721_c9351a01db_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2ftHJkT)IMG_1828_zps1a9f2ac1 (https://flic.kr/p/2ftHJkT) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

RPA_Ukuleles
08-06-2014, 03:07 AM
Ken, I think you got it. Looks like set screws on the face of the bar to lock the needles in place.? What profile did you grind the needles for the cutting edge?

Hey BTW, what were the thicknesses for top, back, and sides you measured on the vintage islander? Some were paper thin. I measured a back on an old one once, was .045" !

Timbuck
08-06-2014, 07:52 AM
Ken, I think you got it. Looks like set screws on the face of the bar to lock the needles in place.? What profile did you grind the needles for the cutting edge?

Hey BTW, what were the thicknesses for top, back, and sides you measured on the vintage islander? Some were paper thin. I measured a back on an old one once, was .045" !
Would you believe that the cutters I used for the rings were about .030" and were way too wide for the look that I'm after ..I think i'll have to make some thinner cutters at about .016".....The Uke I took the measurements from was in this thread http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97731-Rehydration-of-an-old-uke/page3&highlight=restoration

RPA_Ukuleles
08-06-2014, 11:47 AM
That will be some fine inlay. I might be too fumble fingered to manage that.

So are you going to hold true to the plate thickness of the measured uke? Or go with more "modern" numbers?

I do like the simple design of the cutter bar.

Timbuck
08-07-2014, 02:45 AM
If at first you don't succeed Bla! Bla! Bla! etc:... Anyway after many attemps on scrap wood plus spoiling 3 tops I finally got it cutting something like it should 1/2mm :)
https://live.staticflickr.com/7852/32628883707_900f94c912_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/RHiymt)IMG_1843_zpse5532682 (https://flic.kr/p/RHiymt) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

Sven
08-07-2014, 02:59 AM
If at first you don't succeed;
persevere or reach for beer.
Failed again? Then get some mead
and tell well-wishers to stay clear.

Timbuck
08-07-2014, 03:06 AM
FITTING THE LININGS

https://live.staticflickr.com/7890/47571378091_1ec996e36c_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2ftHKkZ)IMG_1762_zpsf854f5cb (https://flic.kr/p/2ftHKkZ) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
END GRAFT NEXT
https://live.staticflickr.com/7891/46847568484_6becdb75f7_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2enL2Y1)IMG_1777_zps914e46ae (https://flic.kr/p/2enL2Y1) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
ONE SINGLE BACK BRACE FITTED
https://live.staticflickr.com/7848/47571383051_8e69bff368_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2ftHLPv)IMG_1791_zpsbd9daa2a (https://flic.kr/p/2ftHLPv) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
BACK GLUED ON AND CLAMPED WITH STRING I made a video of myself binding the back on with the string...but i's too embarrasing to show you.
https://live.staticflickr.com/7895/47571385841_1e6212461f_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2ftHMDB)IMG_1794_zpsa6ab61b6 (https://flic.kr/p/2ftHMDB) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

Timbuck
08-07-2014, 03:23 AM
BACK NOW FITTED AND REMOVED FROM JIG
https://live.staticflickr.com/7856/40605601613_17f4f7bf50_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/24SbjFx)IMG_1813_zps3120277f (https://flic.kr/p/24SbjFx) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
NEXT THE LININGS & TWO SOUNDBOARD BRACES GLUED IN PLACE
https://live.staticflickr.com/7811/32629086047_ee69e9ce2b_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/RHjAv6)IMG_1820_zpse970dd08 (https://flic.kr/p/RHjAv6) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
TOP GLUED ON AND FRET WORK STARTED
https://live.staticflickr.com/7888/32629090027_82c205e928_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/RHjBFH)IMG_1844_zpsb19991d9 (https://flic.kr/p/RHjBFH) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

ukantor
08-07-2014, 05:15 AM
Bloody 'ell, Ken, that's looking triffic! It would take me about six weeks to get to this stage. You must LIVE in your workshop.

John Colter.

Timbuck
08-07-2014, 06:23 AM
It's a good job this is just an experimental uke made from cheap wood..If it was Koa I would have had a mental breakdown by now cos I've just sanded through the side and exposed a bit of lining :o well! it is thin wood and I wasn't concentrating :old:

ukantor
08-07-2014, 09:46 AM
Daft old sod!:rolleyes:

John C.

RPA_Ukuleles
08-07-2014, 09:51 AM
Some rope binding should cover that up nicely. :o

Timbuck
08-07-2014, 10:02 AM
Some rope binding should cover that up nicely. :o. ..I'm not going to put any binding on this one....when it's done it's going to be tested/played to destruction. :smileybounce:

Timbuck
08-08-2014, 03:32 AM
While waiting for some more fretwire and tuning pegs to arrive in the post...I decided to apply a thin coat of shellac to keep the wood clean and it's starting to look quite nice :) I'll make a bridge for it when I find a bit of time....I'm now considering making another one like it with a few minor improvements on the build method...Still not ready for a koa one yet.;)..Total weight so far 279g .
https://live.staticflickr.com/7848/32629093237_4a818fb137_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/RHjCD4)IMG_1850_zps745ca308 (https://flic.kr/p/RHjCD4) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
https://live.staticflickr.com/7809/46847738654_4b5d2f89cb_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2enLUxY)IMG_1857_zps016e33a3 (https://flic.kr/p/2enLUxY) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

DazW
08-08-2014, 04:41 AM
That looks really great, must be so good to have a talent like that. Based on what we've seen so far the koa one is going to be stunning. Cheers Timbuck

Sven
08-08-2014, 04:45 AM
Did you have that large chunk of wood to clamp the top, as seen in the vid?

Timbuck
08-08-2014, 05:38 AM
Did you have that large chunk of wood to clamp the top, as seen in the vid?
Yes Sven I did! It was made from some 50 mm counter top, I clamped it at the neck and the tailblock like in the film..The next bit was edited out in the film so I had to guess how to do it..So I bound it with string and a wedge here and there to close any nasty gaps..It wasn't an ideal method and I wasn't happy with it, as I had to get the hairdrier and clamps out afterwards and redo the joint in some areas...I'll have to rethink that method next time.

Sven
08-08-2014, 05:47 AM
I would guess that a very slight upward arch on the front braces would help in the clamping of the top.

Timbuck
08-08-2014, 05:57 AM
Or a thin layer of foam rubber ;)

ukantor
08-08-2014, 06:04 AM
If the body sides are dead flat, and the block is, too, of course, I would expect the binding technique to produce the desired results.

Timbuck
08-08-2014, 07:22 AM
If the body sides are dead flat, and the block is, too, of course, I would expect the binding technique to produce the desired results.

Yes! John you're right..but when the topless uke is removed from the jig the sides spring outwards a little due to the spring in the arched back :(..I hoped the linings and cross braces fitted and glued would pull them back straight again...They did a bit, but not perfectly all round the rim....I think I have a much better method planned for the next one.;) .. I'll start on it tomorrow If successful the results will be published in the "North of England ukulele Lancet" :)

ukantor
08-08-2014, 10:31 AM
Ah yes, I see, Ken. This is a fascinating project. Can't wait to see how you will overcome this latest challenge - but I know you will.

John C.

Titchtheclown
08-08-2014, 10:43 PM
How did you do the fret slots?

I wouldn't be able to fit a whole uke in my fret slotting jig which is about the width of a fretboard so I would be reduced to my old method of doing it by pencil mark and hand/side block. Tossing a fret board on top seems so much easier. Supergluing bamboo toothpicks would make it more like the Vanuatu style.

Timbuck
08-09-2014, 02:04 AM
How did you do the fret slots?

I wouldn't be able to fit a whole uke in my fret slotting jig which is about the width of a fretboard so I would be reduced to my old method of doing it by pencil mark and hand/side block. Tossing a fret board on top seems so much easier. Supergluing bamboo toothpicks would make it more like the Vanuatu style.

Did it the hard way..Mark out, cut with sharp blade, finish with Stewmac razor saw ;)

aquadan
08-09-2014, 04:41 AM
I'm curious why you cut the fret slots after instead of before attaching the next to the body.

Although I may never get around to trying to build something on my own, this forum on the board is by far the most interesting. Thanks to everyone here for sharing their work.

ukantor
08-09-2014, 05:37 AM
"why cut the fret slots after instead of before attaching the neck to the body."

If Ken will allow me to speculate here:- this is an experimental build, and it could go bad at an early stage. Cutting the frets first, might end up being a waste of effort, if the project had to be scrapped. When you are confident of every stage of the build, cutting the frets first would definitely make sense.

Sven
08-09-2014, 07:27 AM
Building with a Spanish neck joint would indeed allow trueing the face of the neck blank, then making fret slots, then making slots for the sides, then profiling and shaping the neck.

I make my piccolos without fretboard, but with bolt on necks. So I cut the fret slots after attaching the ready made necks. This is because I might alter the length when aligning and making the heel joint and I want the 12th fret exactly at the joint. To cut the slot I use a jig that I've shown numerous times before.

Timbuck
08-09-2014, 09:19 AM
I thought about slotting before attachment but it's no problem either way when you do e'm by hand with no jig ...I feel more comfortable to do them at the end when all the sanding and leveling is completed...I will drill the pilot holes for the tapered tuning pegs before I attach this time tho', co's I didn't like holding the completed uke in my hand when drilling them on the drill press ...I had visions of the whole uke wizzing around smashing itself to bits against the drill pillar :uhoh:..... another thing I've got to do is make myself a 30 : 1 tapered reamer . co's I aint got one that size yet :)

Timbuck
08-09-2014, 10:04 PM
I've made the bridge...A simple but slightly unusual design.

https://live.staticflickr.com/7855/32635525817_d8281f517f_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/RHTAPB)PICT0027_zps4e3bf7ce (https://flic.kr/p/RHTAPB) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

ProfChris
08-09-2014, 10:36 PM
For fret-in-necks I cut the slots (by hand) first, while the neck blank is square - much easier if you don't have a jig for slotting a tapered shape. Then I shape the neck and level the fretting surface before gluing up Spanish heel style. The final step is to recut the fret slots, because I've levelled some of them to the wrong depth, but this is easy because I just deepen the existing slot.

Timbuck
08-10-2014, 12:51 AM
For fret-in-necks I cut the slots (by hand) first, while the neck blank is square - much easier if you don't have a jig for slotting a tapered shape. Then I shape the neck and level the fretting surface before gluing up Spanish heel style. The final step is to recut the fret slots, because I've levelled some of them to the wrong depth, but this is easy because I just deepen the existing slot.Thats the way that I would do it... If i was going to do them first..Co's it's logical innit :)...The thing I don't like with building this way is "You can't start without the neck being made first" :(

Titchtheclown
08-10-2014, 02:34 AM
Here's a cunning plan
Use your regular fret slotting jig on a sacrificial 3mm MDF fretboard. Double sided tape it in place and cut all the way through with your dovetail saw, or stewmac razor thingy or harbour freight jap saw or whatever. Remove leftover 3mm MDF and job done.

Either that or use a table saw sled based thingy.

VampireWeekday
08-10-2014, 03:48 AM
Another fascinating build thread. I've been interested in a soprano in this style, but it's pretty difficult to find an affordable 100 year-old Hawaiian soprano that's still playable. I know from experience that your instruments have fantastic setup and playability. Sign me up for one when they're out of beta testing! :D

Timbuck
08-10-2014, 04:33 AM
Here's a cunning plan
Use your regular fret slotting jig on a sacrificial 3mm MDF fretboard. Double sided tape it in place and cut all the way through with your dovetail saw, or stewmac razor thingy or harbour freight jap saw or whatever. Remove leftover 3mm MDF and job done.

Either that or use a table saw sled based thingy.
Titch thats a brilliant idea and I have made a mental note of it for future use :D..Only my fret slotting jig is set up for a different scale length than this uke.:(

Timbuck
08-10-2014, 04:40 AM
The barometers at an all time low in the north of England today..and it's been raining heavily for the last 5 hours, so uke building is out for today ..Instead i did a bit of metal work and made myself a 30:1 taper reamer for fitting violin pegs to my ukes and it works fine :)..It still needs hardening and tempering and it should last for years...It's 120mm long...taper starts at 4mm and ends at 8mm.
https://live.staticflickr.com/7858/47577976601_b9ba203b28_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2fuiyRp)PICT0033_zps1cc2cde3 (https://flic.kr/p/2fuiyRp) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

ukantor
08-10-2014, 06:04 AM
69817A bolt through the neck, eh, Dr Frankenstein?

Just for a laugh, Ken, here's what I made to do the same job. It worked - just.

Timbuck
08-13-2014, 01:09 AM
Well it's completed ! and prototype ll is 75% done...It actually plays great and sounds good, in spite of all the things that went wrong building it..I can now understand why the old builders soon got rid of the inside mould method and went over to more modern methods of building like the solara and external moulds..fitting the sound board last this way gave me all sorts of gluing problems...the mistakes i made are as follows #1... the single back brace is 1" out of place...#2 I sanded too much and went through the side exposing a small piece (2mm) of linings...#3 I used 1/2 size violin pegs instead of 1/4 making tuning difficult...Some pics and a sound sample here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zDdVB3VjJ4&list=UUZy2EMxIuULsTGoMthfyFvw
https://live.staticflickr.com/7847/47578943731_8272055af3_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2fuowm4)BeFunky_IMG_1875jpg_zps6ba9b37b (https://flic.kr/p/2fuowm4) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
https://live.staticflickr.com/7817/40612871973_63381d8f07_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/24SPzUz)BeFunky_IMG_1900jpg_zpscaffaccf (https://flic.kr/p/24SPzUz) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
https://live.staticflickr.com/7861/46662435245_b69c51a97c_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2e6pbiB)IMG_1882_zpsdde9f146 (https://flic.kr/p/2e6pbiB) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
https://live.staticflickr.com/7886/47525068202_92f4e0f0d4_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2fpCp2C)IMG_1888_zpsff1f905d (https://flic.kr/p/2fpCp2C) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

we tigers
08-13-2014, 02:20 AM
But it looks terrific! How does it sound compared to your usual style O's?

ukantor
08-13-2014, 03:17 AM
It looks very good in the photos, Ken, and sounds just fine. A most promising prototype, I'd say.

Timbuck
08-13-2014, 04:42 AM
Because it's a shorter scale than Martin sopranos there is less tension in the strings resulting in a slightly deeper softer tone, but the volume is up there with the best of e'm :)... But i don't know if I'll make anymore for a while .... If I do! I'd like to tool up first with a few new modern type jigs co's if I carry on and make them this way with string and wedges there will be loads of flaws that the nit pickers will feast upon :(

pondweed
08-13-2014, 04:57 AM
Fabulous. Looks and sounds great.

Pete Howlett
08-13-2014, 06:06 AM
They would be authentic Ken... the originals weren't meant as masterpieces. The idea of a 'perfect' piece is a thoroughly 21st Century idea(l).

ukantor
08-13-2014, 07:46 AM
I second Pete's comment. The beauty of these two prototypes of yours, is that they were produced using (as much as possible) the original construction methods. Any small variations are simply individual characteristics, which most likely would have been present in all the originals.

aquadan
08-13-2014, 08:17 AM
Thirded, part of the attraction of an instrument like this is that it's hand built by a craftsman. Build quirks wouldn't bother me.

ukantor
08-13-2014, 08:35 AM
"Build quirks" - I like that phrase. I'm going to file it away for future use.

Trinimon
08-13-2014, 11:02 AM
Oh wow, that's a beauty!

ProfChris
08-13-2014, 11:28 PM
Pleased to see you're matching my build quality at last Ken - plenty of quirks!.

For this kind of non-precision building I find it best not to worry too much about the initial glue joint for back/sides and top/sides. Because I'm using hot hide glue I can simply fix any small gaps by brushing in a little fresh glue, warming that part of the joint and then clamping it. I suspect that's what the original builders did too.

Timbuck
08-13-2014, 11:56 PM
Pleased to see you're matching my build quality at last Ken - plenty of quirks!.

For this kind of non-precision building I find it best not to worry too much about the initial glue joint for back/sides and top/sides. Because I'm using hot hide glue I can simply fix any small gaps by brushing in a little fresh glue, warming that part of the joint and then clamping it. I suspect that's what the original builders did too.
I can't disagree with that ..Thats what I have been doing as well..but what did the Hawii builders in 1900 warm the joint with? ..Maybe sunshine, or on cold days a warm pipe filled with hot charcole cinders ;)

ukantor
08-14-2014, 01:37 AM
Sunshine and a lens?

PhilUSAFRet
08-15-2014, 04:56 AM
Similar build would produce an amazing "Martin Style" concert size Taropatch! :drool:

Timbuck
08-15-2014, 08:50 AM
I'm sure it would Phil :) ..Let us know when you are going to start one. ;)

phil_doleman
08-15-2014, 10:07 PM
It's absolutely beautiful Ken! I completely agree about it having more character for having its 'imperfections' (say he who could even put up a fence post straight!) Fabulous to see how it went together, too, great stuff!

Yknot
08-15-2014, 10:29 PM
Having built mandolins, octave mandolins and some attempts at fiddles with a similar technique, it's fun to see this evolution of your ukulele! Keep on keeping on, and I will watch the progress. Kudos!

Timbuck
08-16-2014, 05:16 AM
Prototype number II went together much better this time...I think I've got some idea how they used to do it now..The back went on first as per the film (easy bit) ...Then removed from jig, linings and two sound hole braces fitted flush to the side rim with a little trim with the plane here and there..then glue is applied at the neck block and tail block only..then the soundboard is fitted in position with the big chunk of wood on top..and clamped with C clamps at neck end and tail block end, the big chunk of wood ensures that the sound board is level with the neck ;)...when glue has set, the chunk of wood is now discarded...and glue is now applied with a spatula or a table knife (as i've seen violin builders do it, they dip it in the glue pot and slide it into the joint) I glued the two soundhole bracings first with the thin blade knife sliding it in from each side and clamping with a couple of small spring clamps at the sound hole...then starting at the waist area proceded with the spatula and glue clamping a 4 " section at at time with twine then worked my way outwards to glue the rest of the joint (I had the hairdryer on standby for any troublsome bits)..It takes longer to describe the method than actually do it..I'll try and document the next one I put together with pic's or a movie.;)
Number two prototype, progress so far
https://live.staticflickr.com/7850/33702114848_f736e4350d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Tm99zE)IMG_1924_zpsd01d990f (https://flic.kr/p/Tm99zE) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

Graham McDonald
08-17-2014, 12:23 PM
The Italian mandolin builder approach was/is a large spatula around 8" long and 1" wide and about 1/8" thick. This was kept hot under the glue pot and applied to the outside of the joint to rewarm the glue. There is an annoyingly lo-rez youtube clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erDKCUFru6o
which shows the builder wielding the spatula.

This whole thread has been really interesting and useful. It would be good to find the original of that Ford film. Somewhere there is the nitrate original film and it should not be impossible to get a better quality video... My day job is working for a film and sound archive, so I will put outsome enquiries.

cheers



I can't disagree with that ..Thats what I have been doing as well..but what did the Hawii builders in 1900 warm the joint with? ..Maybe sunshine, or on cold days a warm pipe filled with hot charcole cinders ;)

Timbuck
08-17-2014, 10:45 PM
Thanks for that link Graham..I've put it in my favourites box....I watched it all the way through stopping and starting, running back and relooking at the bits I didn't understand..I enjoyed every moment and my coffee went cold while i was engrossed :) The heating iron explains everthing and i'm going to have to make one just to try it out ;)...I'm also intrested in what the strips of material for pulling the joints together are made of ? maybe canvas, linen, calico, paper, any ideas ??...also I noticed how they took time in building and getting it right before moving on to the next stage and not rushing to impress like the 1917 film did.

Graham McDonald
08-18-2014, 02:02 AM
The Neapolitan builder usually used strips of paper soaked in glue as re-enforcement, laid along the line of the ribs. At the cheaper end it was bits of scrap paper, sometimes with writing on it. On more expensive instruments the paper was fancier. Cloth was rare as far as I know on mandolins, but I think more common with lute makers. On Roman built mandolins the usual lining was planed off strips of spruce, glued across the ribs and overlapping to form a continuous layer as cross grain re-enforcement. One of the few surviving Neapolitan builder, the Calace family business was still using the spatulas when I visited them on 09, and I can't imagine they have changed.

cheers

Michael N.
08-18-2014, 03:01 AM
Those old fashioned soldering irons (the type that was used to solder tinplate) are great for heating through when using Hide glue. I first saw one used for this purpose back in the early '90's by one of the Granada Guitar makers. The head is usually made of solid Copper, for good heat retention. I place mine in near boiling water.

Titchtheclown
08-18-2014, 03:57 AM
Have you tried snapping off the fret wire like they did in the video. It can give a surprisingly neat finish. A bit of practice to avoid finishing up with too bent an end and I found it quicker and neater than my slightly less than flush end cutters. Still sticking with my hard rubber mallet over my claw hammer but.

Timbuck
08-18-2014, 04:04 AM
Those old fashioned soldering irons (the type that was used to solder tinplate) are great for heating through when using Hide glue. I first saw one used for this purpose back in the early '90's by one of the Granada Guitar makers. The head is usually made of solid Copper, for good heat retention. I place mine in near boiling water.

I have some copper left over from an electrical job i did a couple of years ago i'll see what I can come up with :)

Timbuck
08-18-2014, 11:34 PM
I've been in my scrap box and sorted out some copper, and made my re-heating iron...While I was at it I made myself a copper fret hammer as well:)

https://live.staticflickr.com/7923/32636520377_070fd04bb3_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/RHYGtc)IMG_1972_zps068ca0d7 (https://flic.kr/p/RHYGtc) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

consitter
08-18-2014, 11:57 PM
So, making ukes again....

Giving up the bike riding to balance it out?

Timbuck
08-20-2014, 04:45 AM
Just put together number three..I'm starting to get the hang of it now :D
https://live.staticflickr.com/7911/47579040951_9899727fb3_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2fup2fg)IMG_1975_zps08b8c31e (https://flic.kr/p/2fup2fg) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
https://live.staticflickr.com/7881/46663511705_f2dcfd6b8b_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2e6uGig)IMG_1977_zps1541c13d (https://flic.kr/p/2e6uGig) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

Timbuck
08-21-2014, 05:52 AM
A short video of an old bloke,trying to build a ukulele like on that old film :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqRbjMqlWFs

RPA_Ukuleles
08-21-2014, 07:13 AM
Fantastic!! I've been waiting two weeks for this video :)

orangeena
08-21-2014, 10:03 AM
Where did you buy that Strongbow hot hide glue?

Lovely vid.

mketom
08-21-2014, 03:03 PM
A short video of an old bloke,trying to build a ukulele like on that old film.

Nice Ken, Thanks! Your classic Hawaiian ukes are looking good!

Timbuck
09-12-2014, 12:54 AM
Thats it experiment over and 5 Island style sopranos completed..All built on one of the group of sunny islands known as "The British Isles"....All slightly different to each other (or should I say individual ;)) while i've been building these I have also been building another batch of style O sopranos alongside...so thats why it's taken a bit of time to complete them.
https://live.staticflickr.com/7833/46663516595_825a290703_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2e6uHKz)IMG_2111_zpsd0fd0912 (https://flic.kr/p/2e6uHKz) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr
https://live.staticflickr.com/7841/46663519715_c430b08f94_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2e6uJFn)IMG_2118_zps1cedf1e6 (https://flic.kr/p/2e6uJFn) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

dismount
09-12-2014, 12:57 AM
excellent!!!!

ukantor
09-12-2014, 02:45 AM
British Island style! Proper lovely, they are.:D

John Colter.

DazW
09-15-2014, 04:43 AM
Fingers crossed I hope to buy one of these gorgeous ukes, I always seem to miss yours as they go so quickly! Saved in my favourite sellers and I've signed up for email alerts when you list new items. Surely this time I'll be lucky!:)

lauburu
09-15-2014, 10:24 AM
I always seem to miss yours as they go so quickly
If they sell too quickly, they are underpriced. This echoes another recent thread on UU.
Keep nudging up the price until your ability to supply new instruments is equal to the rate at which they sell.
It's not being greedy, it's about getting sufficient reward for the effort you put into your endeavour.
In this case, your endeavour is the building of the uke, the intellectual property you create (and share) making your jigs and the brand you are building in this and other online forums.... I could go on.
Miguel

DazW
09-15-2014, 10:57 AM
I don't think its really fair to criticize someone's pricing. These ukes sell quickly because Timbuck has a great reputation and his instruments are very, very highly regarded

lauburu
09-16-2014, 10:13 AM
I don't think its really fair to criticize someone's pricing.
This was not intended as a criticism. It is an observation backed up by many many years of advising businesses on how to grow.


These ukes sell quickly because Timbuck has a great reputation and his instruments are very, very highly regarded
Ken has a great reputation as do his instruments - agreed. That reputation is part of his brand. It is my belief they would sell just as quickly if the prices were slightly higher.

I'm pleased you picked up a Timms soprano. You got in just before the price rises.:)
Miguel

Timbuck
04-10-2019, 03:48 AM
I spent the last four hours replacing all the old Photobucket pic's
so this old thread can be viewed in full again.:) i'll start on the "Pallet uke" thread next

ukantor
04-10-2019, 05:53 AM
I've just re-read this whole thread, Ken - fascinating! Number 4 (extreme left in the group photos) is awaiting some touching-up of the French polish, following the crack repairs. Getting a bargee to stand on a uke is a rather extreme way to test the strength of the build!

John Colter.

leonel_elguti@hotmail.com
04-11-2019, 05:52 AM
Will you build new Island Style Ukes in the near future? íSaludos!

Paul Bouchard
04-11-2019, 12:19 PM
Thanks for bringing this back up to the top of the forum. I built this way on my first uke using that Henry Ford film from 100 years ago and the build video you posted on your YouTube channel. I wish I'd known this thread existed.

printer2
04-11-2019, 04:08 PM
I finally got a chance to skim through this thread glad you got it up again. I am going to bookmark it to steal the idea or two for some giveaway guitars I want to make.