Seeking advice on resonator body construction

Gary Gill

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After having read nearly every thread here on resonator ukuleles, I am read to begin to build one of my pear shape tenors and add a resonator.

1) Would it beneficial to laminate the back with three pieces crossing the grain using the radius dish in the process?

2) Should the sides be stiffened or reinforced?

3) Rather than using "f" holes or similar on the top, I plan to use a side soundport. Any concerns with that idea?

4) Just below the top, I would use baltic birch plywood to create the surface and shoulder for the cone to rest in. The plywood would contact the tail block, heel block and two places on each side. Sound reasonable?

5) Any other suggestions or secrets you can share?

Thanks
For reference typical pear shape tenor pics
PT-30 Side Rotated.jpgPT-30 Rotated.jpg
 

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Sven

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Hi Gary, I've built eight resonators so far and will build many more. I can't recommend my way of doing it, but since it works so well for me I'm hesitant to change anything about it. I make a sturdy plywood skeleton and glue the body wood on the outside. You can see many pics of it if you visit my blog, via this here link.

http://www.argapa.blogspot.se/search/label/Resonator batch production

Maybe a search on Youtube with the words Argapa and Resonator will yield some demos. I'm very proud of them but making the skeletons takes a lot of effort. I have a lead on a cnc router, maybe I will get it to work for making the plywood parts. The result would be the same but hopefully it would be easier to get everything consistent and square.

But as I said, others make them differently and perhaps better.

Sven
 

Sven

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Me too! I'm sure Mya moe has some great methods worked out.
 

Pete Howlett

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The body has to be completely inert - however you do that is good. You don't need a sound port.
 

mzuch

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Hey, Sven, I took a close look at your blog and have some questions if you don't mind revealing a few secrets:

Does the cross on the skeleton back support the tone ring in any way, or is it just for rigidity?

Are the top and back flat, i.e., no radius, and does the body taper from tail to neck?

What kind of neck joint? Do you install the neck before top and back are on? If so, how to you determine neck angle for proper action?

Thanks,
Michael
 

Sven

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Hey, Sven, I took a close look at your blog and have some questions if you don't mind revealing a few secrets:

Does the cross on the skeleton back support the tone ring in any way, or is it just for rigidity?

Are the top and back flat, i.e., no radius, and does the body taper from tail to neck?

What kind of neck joint? Do you install the neck before top and back are on? If so, how to you determine neck angle for proper action?

Thanks,
Michael

I'll take it in order.
1. Nope, the sound well is only connected to the top piece. So the cross is only for strength. Or I guess you could say that the four holes around the cross are there to minimize weight.
2. I make them flat and parallel. No radius and no taper.
3. It's a bolt on neck, fastened after the top is glued on. The back then covers the heel. I do this on all my ukes, but on the resos it'd be a lot more fiddly to access the bolt from the sound holes or the well - it's pretty crammed in the skeleton. I reached the verdict on the neck angle after much experimenting, it depends a LOT on the cover plate you can get, the height of the cone (after settling under string pressure) and saddle height / break angle. The angle I use now is 1.5 degrees. Closer to 2 degrees and the strings are too close to the bracket over the biscuit and saddle.