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Thread: Loosen top on Tenor uke

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    5

    Default Loosen top on Tenor uke

    Hello,

    Looking for some guidance from the experts.

    I just closed the box on a tenor uke. Tapping the plate beforehand it sounded good, but now that the box it closed it sounds very tight. It's a spruce top.

    I let the two horizontal braces into the lining, solid lining made of paulownia. The fans taper to nothing. I put a 2mm spruce bridge plate in it.

    With a guitar I would be reaching in there and solving the problem. That ainít happening with a uke soundhole.

    Anyone have creative ideas what to do? Iíll sand the lower bout around the rim to try to loosen it. Any other thoughts? Maybe lighter bridge or heavier bridge?

    Brad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    11

    Default

    To remove the top use your Wife’s iron and a pallet knife

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Australia.
    Posts
    208

    Default

    Just a few thoughts on this:
    You haven't mentioned the top thickness, so I'll assume that it is not excessively thick.
    Perimeter thickness reduction may help, but providing the bracing is not too stiff and the top is sub ~ 1.9mm, it is unlikely to be the complete solution.
    It is impossible to accurately assess final sound characteristics without string tension, so if the bracing and top thickness dimensions are reasonably light, the unmodified outcome may pleasantly surprise you.
    I do not advocate for heavy bridges on nylon stringed instruments, as I feel that only steel strings have the energy and power to drive any kind of 'dead' weight without adverse effects, … although some will dispute this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Except for sanding top or a more extreme measure (removing top or back), what can you do? Sounds like you have some experience, but are you sure it doesn't sound just as it should?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback!

    The top is at 2mm now, I'll try to sand the lower bout around the edges. I do want to avoid removing the top but it's on with fish glue so not the end of the world if I had to go that route. You guys are right though, I might just push forward and see how it sounds. My experience is in building acoustic guitars but I have built a handful of ukes. The B&S is Ziricote. I have a few nice sets for guitars but had never used it so I thought I would try on something smaller and see how it bends / works.

    Thanks for the input!

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