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Thread: New Super Soprano Building Thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    131

    Default New Super Soprano Building Thread

    I have not done one of these for quite some time now, so now that I am back in the saddle again so to speak, here it goes.

    The ukulele being built is a vintage model (Kumalae style) soprano with a concert scale, for a fellow UUer. The body is koa, top is Engelmann spruce with H. mahogany neck and E. Indian rosewood fretboard, bridge and bindings. The koa is from a billet I acquired many years ago and is as heavy and dense as rosewood. The Engelmann spruce for the top is from Idaho and was harvested in July, 1990.

    The sequence of events as shown by the pictures are as follows;
    The sides are profiled and thickness sanded to .070”.
    The sides are bent by hand and fitted into the mold and left overnight.
    The ends are trimmed, fitted into assembled mold and end blocks glued in.
    The top edge is shaped on the sanding disk, the solid, scalloped Alaska yellow cedar linings are glued in and everything shaped again on the sanding disk.

    This is being built in my Cannon Beach shop.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/8SPk8dY4QiSuW22B9

    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,317

    Default

    Wow! Thanks for showing the build. These are always a treat.

    Is this sop. for yourself or will it be for sale?
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    131

    Default

    This is a custom build for a fellow UU member. He gave me permission to post the thread and will hopefully participate at some point as feedback from the customer on all aspects of the process is invaluable to me.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    92

    Default

    I am very excited to see the pictures and descriptions of the build process for the mezzo soprano that Brad is building. Years ago, I was very keen in getting a ukulele built by Brad, but I never had the opportunity when he took a break. I was so happy to see that he's back his shop making his beautiful instruments. A while back, I came across this vintage inspired soprano and discovered it was one of Brad's—I reached out to him to see if I could commission one similar to this, but with a spruce soundboard. I am so psyched to see this take form. Donaldson_mezzo_soprano.jpg
    Currently playing: Martin Style 2 (c. 1940s)

    Once upon a time: Kinnard walnut concert; Kamaka koa soprano; Pohaku cedar/Cuban mahogany soprano; Collings UC1; Martin Style 0 1920s; Brüko long neck soprano; Martin 1-T 1940s;Pohaku cedar/mahogany concert

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    292

    Default

    Very cool to see this. I bet this uke is going to be very glamorous and LOUD! Hope to see images and hear audio of it when it's done.
    uke blog

    https://bennyukes.blogspot.com

    songs

    https://soundcloud.com/bennypaul

    videos (includes uke demos)

    http://youtube.com/user/theschumanity

    current ukes

    Wunderkammer "Boswell" Tenor, Keiki Kamaka Soprano, Johnson UK-200 baritone, Kiwaya Famous FLS-1G, Cordoba 24T

    former ukes

    Martin 1T, Martin Oliver Ditson Dreadnought Soprano, Martin Baritone, Ohana SK-28, Ohana SK-25S, Favilla Baritone, Kala KA-FMBG, Luna Great Wave Concert, Mainland Red Cedar Baritone, Mainland Classic Mahogany Tenor, Oscar Schmidt OU53, Oscar Schmidt OU57, Kiwaya Famous KTS-5 soprano, Ohana TK-38 tenor

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Next up, the top and backs are joined, cut out and thickness sanded.
    The top is nominally .075”, and the back is .070”.
    The top is then braced in preparation to glue to the sides.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/gmAmeWwgkTXxBWEt7

    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    538

    Default

    Lovely Koa!
    Happy just to be a Newbie +, Penny

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    277

    Default

    Very pretty. I'll be watching this build thread with interest.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Alaska yellow cedar linings added to the side assembly. The rosette added to the top. The back was braced and the box closed.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/xfVVeyse5H2Bfa3p8
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    92

    Default

    Wow, that is gorgeous figured/flamed koa is spectacular, Brad! It really jumps out from the spruce top. Very nice shape to the body and I love the rosette design as well!
    Currently playing: Martin Style 2 (c. 1940s)

    Once upon a time: Kinnard walnut concert; Kamaka koa soprano; Pohaku cedar/Cuban mahogany soprano; Collings UC1; Martin Style 0 1920s; Brüko long neck soprano; Martin 1-T 1940s;Pohaku cedar/mahogany concert

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