Mold or solera?

sinus

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How do you guys build the ukulele? On a solera or with a mold? And what is the easiest way?
 

Bruce Sexauer

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My method is closer to a solera as I do not use any form for the shape. I did use molds for my guitars until about 15 years ago, but lost touch with their utility and they just seem to get in the way.
 

Habanera Hal

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I'm certainly no expert, but on the few I've built so far, I use a solara when building with a Spanish heel, and a mold when doing a bolt-on neck. Either way, I use the mold to hold the sides after bending to keep the shape. As far as ease, I think they're about the same. Each method has its' advantages and disadvantages.
 

Kent Chasson

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You certainly don't need a mold and I personally wouldn't bother with one unless I was going to build a bunch of the same shape.
 

Timbuck

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First six or so I built without the mold...But the symmetry was all to cock :(
 

Hms

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First six or so I built without the mold...But the symmetry was all to cock :(

I think what Timbuck is trying to say is:

First six or so I built without the mold... They were all unique.

h
 

sinus

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The ones I build so far where with the solera, but just like HMS said: the symmetry sucks... Planning to build a mold now...... :-]
 

ksquine

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I'd recommend a mold, especially for beginners. My molds are much simpler (cruder?) than Ken's. Key advantages are keeping symmetry and holding the sides square. Once you can bend sides well and see if they are square to the top all the way around, you can do more free-hand styles of building.

Ken...why are 4 of your clamps blue??
 

Sven

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The ones I build so far where with the solera, but just like HMS said: the symmetry sucks... Planning to build a mold now...... :-]

Don't build the mold too heavy. Do it like Pete and Ken, their molds are ace. But I still like my solera, because the inserts I use are symmetrical, the ukes are too.

Sven
 

Michael N.

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I think that technically a Solera is a dished work board and comes from the Spanish method of Guitar making. It doesn't automatically indicate that the sides and the instrument are built free form. In fact very few are built free form. The solera method nearly always incorporate a type of mould.
 

Sven

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You're right Michael. I called my device a work board with exchangeable soleras when I made it and that's a much better way of describing it than a solera with different inserts. The thin solera inserts are all dished of course.
 

ukuleleCraig

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My latest one is a combination of both types.;)

Ken - whatever you produce is very precise and always looks pleasing to the eye, be it a Uke, a SoleraMold, or a Nut spacing gauge! Every builder has there little tweaks - Id like to see you using this.
 

Timbuck

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