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Thread: eight string tenor specs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Stockton,California
    Posts
    145

    Default eight string tenor specs

    A friend of mine is wanting an eight string tenor. I am looking for information regarding the nut and bridge/saddle width. Also the minimum or average headstock length that is needed. I will most likely use Grover V97 tuners. But I am open to use other tuners to space space and weight. Also string spacing between the pairs and other sets. Any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by gspears; 04-13-2019 at 05:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Hawaii Island
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    156

    Default

    8-string ukes have kind of gone out of favor here in Hawaii. I used to make a number of them, but it's been a few years since the last one. Necks really are not any different in size between 4, 6, and 8 strings here in Hawaii. Neck widths are also not very standardized. At the nut, necks are often 36-38mm wide, with the strings 2mm or so inside of that. String spacing, outside to outside at the saddle is often around 45-46mm. Spacing between strings in the pair is 3.5-4mm. Closer and they will rattle against each other. Wider and they will be difficult to fret together. For tuners, most of us would use mandolin 4 on a plate ones. The more expensive Grove 309 sets work well. Don't use the V-97's. Get your tuners and case before you do your building and make sure your headstock will fit in the case.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cairns, Australia
    Posts
    2,353

    Default

    I build them with 40mm wide nuts instead of my standard 36mm for a 4 string instrument.

    I give the octave pairs 3mm on center spacing and the unision pairs 2.5mm on center spacing.

    Also you have to pay attention to the shape of your peg head and the string path. I prefer using a slotted head stock as it removes the possibility of the strings riding across the post of another. This is a possibility on the gG or aa sets.

    To get the most compact peg head you can us mandolin tuners, or the Gotoh Stealth tuners.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Stockton,California
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    Default

    Wow. Fantastic information. Thank you Bob and Allen for the details!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    I built a six string, tuned gCcEeA. Or was it gCcEEA. I can highly recommend that. Less faffing about but with a surprisingly wonderful sound.
    Building blog - http://www.argapa.blogspot.com
    Music and atrocities - http://www.goodcopbadcop.se

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Stockton,California
    Posts
    145

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    I'm ready to trim the neck. Before I do, does anyone have thoughts of the neck width at the 12 fret? I have taken the advise from Allen and Bob and increased the neck width at the nut. Just not sure if I should use the same dimensions down through the neck. I usually use the dimensions in the Hana Lima book for the width of my neck at 12th fret.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
    Posts
    2,132

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    I show 1 3/4" or ~ 45mm at the 12th fret. These dimensions are not written in stone. This is for a standard 4 string tenor, not necessarily for your 8 string. Use for reference.
    Last edited by sequoia; 08-04-2019 at 10:25 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Cairns, Australia
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    Draw out your string spacing at both nut and saddle at full size and add 4mm to each side. That will give you your dimensions.

    I do this with every variation of instrument I build.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    32

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    I'm curious to know if builders do anything different than a standard tenor in terms of bracing or soundboard thickness.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cairns, Australia
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    Default

    You've doubled the tension, so if you are building on the edge in terms of soundboard bracing, then you will want to compensate in either thickness or bracing.

    If you are familiar with the cube rule of doubling a materials thickness increasing it's stiffness 8 fold then you can see it wouldn't take much.

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