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Thread: New Tenor build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    New Haven, MO
    Posts
    181

    Default New Tenor build

    I’ll soon be starting on a new design and will be posting the build progress. I’m not exactly sure where this build will lead, and will most likely make small changes along the way. This is made easier because I don’t do custom orders and there isn’t customer involvement to consider. My trend lately has been larger bodies and short, stiff upper bouts. This leaves little room for a sound hole, so I’ve moved it to the front of the body. The drawings are already made and here’s what they are:

    Sketch: The sketch is made on ” quad paper that allows for drawing to -scale, making it easy to know what the proportion and dimensions will be. This is an organic sketch, not copied from any other, but it’s still a pretty generic shape. I scan the sketch into my computer, and then import it into a vector drawing program.

    Tracing: I do a vector tracing of the sketch that is perfectly symmetrical and scaled to actual size.

    Drawing: All the details are then added. Some of the components--like the neck and head stock--can be copied from drawings of other designs and pasted-in to save time. I like to position my bridge 1/3 the total fan brace length from the waist brace; this puts the neck/body joint at the 16th fret. If the upper bout was more traditional in length it would probably land near 14.

    Template: The body portion of the drawing is printed out and pasted on to chip board. This will serve as a master template for tracing and checking dimensions. Other parts of the ukulele can also be printed and used as templates, or pasted directly on the wood for sawing and sanding profiles.

    sketch.jpg tracing.jpg drawing.jpg template.jpg
    Last edited by Hluth; 02-28-2015 at 04:31 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Yakima, WA
    Posts
    1,623

    Default

    Loprinzi ukes and guitars has been doing a similar design, might want to check it out. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    New Haven, MO
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Thanks. I couldn't find the ukulele you're talking about, but here's one I did about 5 years ago using a similar upper bout.
    kayak.jpg
    Last edited by Hluth; 02-28-2015 at 09:50 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Moline, IL
    Posts
    118

    Default

    Love that design, very organic. So the sound hole is on both sides of the neck joint? If so I would think finishing the inside of that area would be important. Can't wait to see how this build progresses.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    New Haven, MO
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Here's the kamagong ebony back and side wood for this ukulele. The other picture tells a little about its history. I bought the wood in a nearby town where it had been stored for years. It was originally used to make a very large all-ebony ox-drawn sled to move heavy objects in a Philippines jungle (no lie). The board in the picture is one of the sled runners and it measures 2.5" x 12" x 10 feet. In all, I must have at least 1000 lbs. of the stuff.

    ebony1.jpg ebony2.jpg
    Last edited by Hluth; 02-28-2015 at 12:36 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    12

    Default

    That wood is amazing. Can't wait to see the finished product!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    New Haven, MO
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Here's another drawing with color and more details added.

    Kstyle_illustration.jpg

    Just added purfling - big difference. I'll start the build and post every day this week.

    Kstyle3a.jpg
    Last edited by Hluth; 03-01-2015 at 01:10 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    New Haven, MO
    Posts
    181

    Default

    I'm about to put on my apron and start on this ukulele, but there are still some unresolved design preferences. This ukulele is going to replace my "kayak" model that I've been making since about day one. It featured sound holes on both sides of the fret board like the ones in my previous post. The photos here are of the Kayak and the heel block used with the sound holes. Now I'm thinking of using side ports instead. This will give me some easier to do trim options. The drawing shows what it will look like. A traditional sound hole isn't possible because of the way its braced. The last photo is a magnolia inlay I did for a customer last year, and it's an example of what I don't want to do. I'm working on some "organic" marquetry trim that I think I'll use on this one--more on that later.

    kayak1.jpg kayak2.jpg Kstyle4.jpg magnolia.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    1,372

    Default

    I've always liked your sound holes on the kayak models and think the tenor drawing in post #7 look really cool. With only side ports I think it looks a wee bit electrical, at least in the full frontal in your last post. If you were looking for input. Otherwise, continue your extremely clean and nice looking work!

    Cheers / Sven
    Building blog - http://www.argapa.blogspot.com
    Music and atrocities - http://www.goodcopbadcop.se

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    New Haven, MO
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Too late for the Kayak sound holes but I'm working on some other options other than sound ports.

    This ukulele starts with heel joint I haven't done before. A new pin router template had to be made, but other than that no special setup was required.

    Photo1: The Spanish cedar neck roughed to shape. I scrape the fret board surface concave with the lowest point being about .004”-.005” at the 5th fret. This builds in the amount of relief you would typically get with a truss rod.

    Photo2: Template of the heel block printed out and pasted to the wood before profiling.

    Photo3: the block roughed out to form the pocket.

    Photo4: the fret board glued on to the neck and fit to the heel block.

    Photo5: Completed heel joint.

    kstyle1a.jpg kstyle2a.jpg kstyle3a.jpg Kstyle4a.jpg kstyle5a.jpg

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