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Thread: All wood banjolele projects

  1. #11
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    Aug 2018
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    The fact that you are foregoing a top sound hole gives you a greater choice of bracing styles.
    I would encourage you to research similar builds to get an idea of other builders' experiences, as I have none to share with this style. Two or three, near to full length, light fan braces with an appropriately sized bridge plate could be considered. The length of the bridge plate depends on the width of the top at the level of the bridge. This length can be estimated by taking a sheet of A3 paper, tracing out your body and neck/fret board profiles, then plotting the scale length to reveal where the bridge will lie. I would not omit a bridge plate if you go with the WRC, in particular, as it is typically fairly limp across the grain. On the paper, you will also be able to plot the necessary spread and angle of the fan braces.
    The best advice that I can offer you is to research until you feel confident that you know what will have a better than fair chance of working, particularly with regard to top plate thickness and brace pattern and sizing.
    Last edited by bazuku; 08-11-2019 at 04:27 AM.

  2. #12
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    Aug 2019
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    Central Texas
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    I understand and I dry fit everything many times over looking for issues that could come up later in the process. I have used redwood and spruce on many guitar tops and this cedar has a similar look and feel. And I know how the wood like this can flex and split if not supported correctly by bracing. One benefit is that the wood is 3/16" thick and I usually go with 1/8" so it will be quite a bit firmer than what I usually use on classic guitar tops. That and a 10 or 8 inch circle that is supported well on all the edges will make for a fairly firm top all the way around except for the very middle and as you mentioned no sound hole allows more options such as 3 long trusses from bottom to top and maybe an X pattern radiating from the plate centered under the bridge. I'm thinking that might be a little overkill though.

    But then again after looking at the picture I posted several posts back.... I may just go with mahogany all the way around... That sure is a pretty camp uke.....
    Last edited by Log Dog; 08-11-2019 at 05:27 AM.

  3. #13
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    UK
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    Lyon and Healy beat Gretch to the camp uke by a decade or more!

    My camp ukes had 8 inch bodies and just two ladder braces, each about 1/3 in from neck and tail. I'll see if I can post pics once I'm on my laptop. Guitar style bracing would be far too heavy! And I'd use spruce rather than basswood for the braces, basswood isn't stiff enough.

  4. #14
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    Here are three of the four camp ukes I've made.

    Sapele, modelled on the early 1920s Lyon & Healy. Note the heavily curved back, which allowed me to build it very lightly so it's good and loud. The wood is less than 1.8mm thick on top, sides and back.

    Sapele camp uke (front).jpg

    Sapele camp uke (back).jpg

    Oak, made from a piece of the bartop which I obtained when my village pub closed. Phil Doleman owns this one.

    Oak camp uke.jpg

    Spruce top (with 1/16 inch plywood sides). The top on this one is at most 2mm thick. And I gave it a celluloid fretboard to tone with the pink (!) body.

    Spruce top camp uke.jpg

    And I misremembered - all these have a single brace only, running across the middle of the body, and no bridge patch at all! That's because I chose to copy the Lyon & Healey smile bridge, which has large footprint, so I reckoned I didn't need one. All these are holding up well, no signs of the top collapsing.

    Camp uke single brace.jpg

    I reckon that 3/16 inch is far too thick, and even 1/8 (3mm) is too much. For an 8 inch body using cedar I'd thickness the top to maybe 2.2 or 2.1mm. Maybe 2.4 for the 10 inch top. So I'd guess that's around 3/32 in imperial measurements, about half what you plan!

  5. #15
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    Aug 2019
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    Central Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfChris View Post
    Lyon and Healy beat Gretch to the camp uke by a decade or more!

    My camp ukes had 8 inch bodies and just two ladder braces, each about 1/3 in from neck and tail. I'll see if I can post pics once I'm on my laptop. Guitar style bracing would be far too heavy! And I'd use spruce rather than basswood for the braces, basswood isn't stiff enough.
    Actually I am only using basswood for the kerfing around the rim to glue the top and bottom onto the rim. I'll be using 1/4" elm strips I have laying around for the bracing. I have used them before and they work well. Thank you for the pix and the recommendations. All of what you said makes sense to me and will be incorporated into my projects.
    Last edited by Log Dog; 08-11-2019 at 09:04 AM.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfChris View Post
    Here are three of the four camp ukes I've made.

    Sapele, modelled on the early 1920s Lyon & Healy. Note the heavily curved back, which allowed me to build it very lightly so it's good and loud. The wood is less than 1.8mm thick on top, sides and back.

    Sapele camp uke (front).jpg

    Sapele camp uke (back).jpg

    Oak, made from a piece of the bartop which I obtained when my village pub closed. Phil Doleman owns this one.

    Oak camp uke.jpg

    Spruce top (with 1/16 inch plywood sides). The top on this one is at most 2mm thick. And I gave it a celluloid fretboard to tone with the pink (!) body.

    Spruce top camp uke.jpg

    And I misremembered - all these have a single brace only, running across the middle of the body, and no bridge patch at all! That's because I chose to copy the Lyon & Healey smile bridge, which has large footprint, so I reckoned I didn't need one. All these are holding up well, no signs of the top collapsing.

    Camp uke single brace.jpg

    I reckon that 3/16 inch is far too thick, and even 1/8 (3mm) is too much. For an 8 inch body using cedar I'd thickness the top to maybe 2.2 or 2.1mm. Maybe 2.4 for the 10 inch top. So I'd guess that's around 3/32 in imperial measurements, about half what you plan!
    Love them!

  7. #17
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    I was digging around in my wood stash and found a couple of matching redwood top remnants that would be large enough for both tops Maybe I will use that for the tops. Decisions decisions LOL!!!

  8. #18
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    Aug 2019
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    Central Texas
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    My wood and parts piles

    z1.jpg

    Decisions decisions LOL

    z2.jpg

    I'm just about ready to get started..... Just wish it was not so darned hot out.

  9. #19
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    Aug 2019
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    Central Texas
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    I am at the tong oil phase of my walnut 2 neck 2x6 string console grand steel guitar project. So I'm ready to dive in with both feet on the camp uke projects while the oil dries and cures. I am going to build two ukes to start with. Both will be concert size but one will be right handed (for me) and the other will be left (for my daughter). Both will have redwood tops-headstocks and zebra wood backs. The necks are going to be mahogany. One neck will be short and the other standard concert length. The short neck will attach to the larger rim and the longer neck will be on the smaller rim. The rims will be 10" Diameter X 2' x 1/8" and the other 8" Diameter X 2' x 1/8" beech. On one I will use an ebony 23" fretboard and the other I will use a maple 23" fretboard. the bridge on the one with the short neck will be a standard ebony uke style saddle w bone bridge and nut and the other will have an ebony tail piece, nut and a banjo style bridge (an experiment in sound to see which direction I will go when I build my tenor and soprano camp/banjo uke projects that are scheduled to come next.

    Ok I guess I have it all planned out now.... Tomorrow I start cutting.... Wish me luck..... L.D.

  10. #20
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    Port Hueneme, CA
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    Keep Strummin'

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