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Thread: Novices review: The Uke Book Illustrated

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    30

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    As a novice builder I built my first uke with a bolt on then switched to Spanish heel for my second and found it has a lot of advantages. Granted it does make carving the heel more difficult, and does require some hand cutting of binding and purfling channels around the neck and heel, but as mentioned by Graham it allows for much easier neck alignment and makes the fit between neck and body much cleaner (especially if the upper bout has any curvature) as on my first build I struggled to 'floss' without changing the neck angle and alignment.

    I would recommend novice builders try both methods early on to see what works for them.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Canberra, AU
    Posts
    62

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    My copy arrived this morning and I have spent the afternoon reading through it. It is a gorgeous concept and the drawings/paintings allow a focus in just that part of the procedure being shown. Essentially it is about making a little, four stringed, classical guitar and that is entirely fine if at times overly complicated. The one problem that I have is that there does not seem to be any information on locating or gluing the bridge, the making of which is covered in some detail.

    Cheers

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    France
    Posts
    50

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    My copy arrived few day ago, love it, with a lot of little tips that i will use on my project
    Very useful

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    GREDGWIN VIC 3537, AU
    Posts
    2

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    This book looks very useful for beginners like me. I have a good visual perception, so I guess I will learn faster and better by the illustrated book, maybe that is why I am not a bad painter.
    Last edited by JamesNolan; 05-31-2020 at 11:23 PM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    6,195

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    Thanks for that. I just ordered a copy, and it should arrive by June 10.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    6,195

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    If I may be allowed a moment a gratuitous self promotion, my book on building ukuleles is just about ready for the printer. It offers three different ways to attach necks (including the Spanish). The are a couple of chapters available as a pdf download at http://www.mcdonaldstrings.com/ukulelebook.html if you care to take a look. Prepublication ordering will be available soon and I am sure there will be lots of things about it for people to criticise .
    That looks like a very good book. Let us know when it is available.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    1,028

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    I struggle to understand why the slipper heel is the most common form of suggested construction in these books - and I had a master-class instruction on this 3 years ago and still couldn't get my head around why someone would use it. Apart from the challenge of carving the heel plus the added complications this causes for both binding and finishing it is not modern or in my view sensible point to start your making career. But, what do I know? I've only been making for 25years and must have had my head so far in the sand that I have missed something.... and yes if tried it, the spline joint, the dowel joint, dovetail construction, butt joint and screw settling on a bolted neck joint. My ghast is always being flabbered by books that suggest this neck joint.
    Your recommendation(s) for an alternative book suitable for the beginner using hand tools would be appreciated. Simple construction to produce a decent sounding instrument would be good. Obviously those that want the best sounding instruments will either have to become more skilled or pay a professional to build one for them. However a lot of players aspire to someday build something passable for themselves, please do recommend a better text to guide them on that first build ... and maybe some of the early subsequent builds that might well follow it.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    6,195

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    ...build something passable for themselves...
    Yes, that is a practical goal. I would never put one of my home-mades up against a Timms or a KoAloha. I like the satisfaction of putting something together that sounds like a ukulele.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Greenville, VA.
    Posts
    831

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    I don't read comic books. I was completely put off by the illustrations and text, though the neck joint by itself made me put the book away. Graham McDonald's book
    is far more useful.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    1,028

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Yes, that is a practical goal. I would never put one of my home-mades up against a Timms or a KoAloha. I like the satisfaction of putting something together that sounds like a ukulele.
    It might be ‘some time’ before Pete answers my original question seeking his recommendation for a more suitable and simple text. No book will ever satisfy all the people but constructive criticism and comment is nearly always helpful. Whilst we wait for Pete’s response would you please name the text(s) you have (already) found particularly helpful?

    That ‘perfect’ book - ideally just the one, two at a push - that has already enabled you to build something passable for yourself using simple tools and simple processes (passable: sounds good enough to play with friends, looks like it was built with some care and gives you pleasure to use).
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 06-02-2020 at 12:42 AM.

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