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Thread: Bowled over and reduced to a teardrop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Default Bowled over and reduced to a teardrop

    I recently found this large (teak?) pineapple bowl on Ebay. It was clearly suitable to use as a tenor soundbox.

    It was first reduced in depth and the top surface levelled with a 80 grit sanding board. Shaping of the outside with rasp and block plane reduced wall thickness and weight. Shaping is also about ensuring the box becomes symmetrical which is most noticeable if not correct when it comes to adding the soundboard.

    The soundboard is of WR cedar, a single piece with small wings added and with a patch and 5 fan braces. The rosette is Chinese made.

    The modified Chinese neck is attached at the 12th fret with a tenon. No neck block was necessary, nor were linings needed. The fretboard is also Chinese.

    Teak is said to cause problems with gluing on account of its oil content. As a precautionary measure all glued surfaces were wiped with acetone as recommended by many sources.

    The plastic purfling and binding were attached using Uhu Hard Plastic adhesive. The instrument is finished in True oil over shellac with spray can polyurethane varnish on the soundboard.

    pine1.jpgpine2.jpgpine3.jpgpine4.jpgpine5.jpg

  2. #2
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    This is probably the loudest uke I have made, no doubt due to the size of the soundboard. It also has a great deal of sustain. I consider it to be another successful instrument.

    I find it to be a pleasing shape and very tactile. Its tendency to slide off my knee is easily countered with a nonslip square on my lap. Iíve already found a similar bowl for a second shot.

    In my opinion, making a uke by repurposing a container has its challenges but is a far quicker way of producing an instrument than making a standard instrument from scratch.

    One of the photos shows this uke, my last fruit bowl uke and a standard tenor which I made about 5 yrs ago (it was my 5th uke).

    pine6.jpgpine 7.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    West Midlands GB
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    That is a beautiful instrument - as are the others. Congratulations!

    John Colter

  4. #4
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    Woodstock NY USA
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    That is awesome, would love to hear a sound sample.

  5. #5

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    Wow! Nice instrument.

  6. #6
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    Hudson, MA
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    Default

    Very Nice!! People will start to wonder why you're buying so many serving bowls

  7. #7
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    Nice fun build Alan, but what caught my attention is the mention of adding "wings" to the soundboard, presumably because the original wasn't wide enough.( hey! what other reason?)
    I was wondering whether such a practice was common in building instruments, and how it affects tone and structure. Unless matched well, I suppose sunburst finishes would hide a lot.
    Mike

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyb2 View Post
    Nice fun build Alan, but what caught my attention is the mention of adding "wings" to the soundboard, presumably because the original wasn't wide enough.( hey! what other reason?)
    I was wondering whether such a practice was common in building instruments, and how it affects tone and structure. Unless matched well, I suppose sunburst finishes would hide a lot.
    Mike
    Hi Mike. Since I'm only building for fun and not to sell, I use whatever materials I have to hand and my work doesnt have to be of the highest standard. You are correct-the piece wasnt wide enough and I had some cedar scraps to add.

    I'm not the first to add wings and wasnt too bothered about matching the grain pattern/colour. There are soundboards made of more than 2 pieces and even of different woods (eg Rebel Particle tenor ). In my world anything is worth a try.

    If I was making this for someone else I'd have bookmatched the soundboard and taken more care with the internals. It would have taken me considerably longer to build.

    Here's a link to the Rebel range:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk5dcyx1LQs&t=142s
    Last edited by greenscoe; 01-06-2020 at 12:10 PM.

  9. #9
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    Hi Alan, I was asking because I could find myself in a similar situation of having some top wood needing some extra width to enable me to build a mandolin I'm thinking about. I think you've possibly given me the solution. Interesting video, thanks.

  10. #10
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    I am not sure that any sound clip I supply tells anything about the instrument: it probably only shows that I can't play the uke very well. So for what it's worth heres are 2 short recordings:

    https://soundcloud.com/ukes-1/pineapple-fruitbowl-uke-1

    https://soundcloud.com/ukes-1/pineapple2

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