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Thread: Building the Youthalele

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    8,005

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    Quote Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
    I am thinking of trying one out of a door skin. I took some mahogany doors apart..
    Years ago, we had a piano delivered, and it arrived in a wooden crate made out of mahogany. I can't believe I didn't keep that wood.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
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    335

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    Mahalo everyone for all the ideas on how to bend the sides. I do feel that the ability to bend the sides simplifies the construction process. My go to simple side bender is a slightly compressed electric charcoal starter inside a 2.5” section of water pipe. Costs about $20-25 and takes minutes to make, i will include some pics soon. I spent some time today making a work board for a concert Youthalele and building the side assembly. Took pics of the process.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    335

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    Aloha everyone. The big challenge of this project is to keep the construction process as simple as possible, while making the finished product as desirable as I can. For me, slicing off a fretboard on my bandsaw is easy, but can be a challenge if you lack a power saw. Here is a glued up design that can be made with a hand saw out a 1x6 flatsawn board and a contrasting slice of wood. You just cut two 1/4” thick pieces from the edge of the 1x6, add the contrasting strip of hardwood and edge glue them together. Very easy to do, but the results are beautiful. A glued up bridge is another idea for those that lack an easy way to cut the saddle slot in the bridge blank.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/goZ65XNueULaNkRT6

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

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    How do you determine where to put the sound hole? I'm at that point now.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    17

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    Brad;
    I've followed the Youthalele build threads across several years and am preparing to build a Tenor version. I've scaled up the body length and width to approx 12" high x 9" wide at back. Just a couple of questions to extract some info based on your considerable knowledge and experience.
    Sides 3"? Should this be constant, or tapered toward neck. If so, how much? 1/4" to 1/2" ? Standard tenor soundhole is about 3" dia. Is this OK or should it be a little larger or smaller?
    Finally, on your original Youthalele plans, you put a radius on the Centre back brace, of about 1/8" (peak) above the top of the back at the centerline of the uke. Should this be made a little higher or not, because the tenor is a bigger instrument.
    I plan to use 1/16" Baltic birch ply fir top, and 1/8" for sides and back; premade neck and FB, bolt on, spruce linings and braces.
    I have enough BB ply for three such; one for me and 2 for my grand daughters. I'm making these to get some experience in building ukes as I have other projects in mind.
    Any advice and opinions concerning this build would be greatly appreciated. Thank you from Moncton, NB, Canada.
    Morfrost (Don)

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
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    335

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    Hey Jerry and Don, here is some sound hole info; location on body centerline, for sopranos 3.125”, concert 3.25” and tenor 3.625” from neck joint. Sound hole diameters are 1.75” for soprano, 2.063 for concert and 2.625” for tenor.

    Don, your sides may be tapered or straight in profile, if tapered, from 3” at heel to 2.5” at neck. Straight sides are 2.75”.
    A 3” sound hole is large to a tenor, I would go 2.625”.
    The arch in the back is simply for looks, not needed structurally for 1/8” ply, but anything between 1/8” to 1/4” sounds good.
    Please post your progress here guys and fire away if I can answer any other questions.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
    Posts
    2,759

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    All this is pretty subjective and varies builder to builder. Me I make the tenor sound hole 2.5 inches diameter, side taper 1/4 inch. A lot easier numbers to measure.

    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzBD View Post
    The arch in the back is simply for looks,
    I might argue with that one, but won't.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
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    335

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    Here are some pics of the latest build. I took some pics during the building process to help show how things go together. Started drawing up the plans, should be able to post them in a day or two.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/roRJ4M7667ZLDVwi9

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

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzBD View Post
    Here are some pics of the latest build. I took some pics during the building process to help show how things go together. Started drawing up the plans, should be able to post them in a day or two.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/roRJ4M7667ZLDVwi9

    Brad
    I like that body. but I know bending the side piece would leave me with a weird one.

    When you say you use a "water pipe," what exactly do you mean? And that charcoal starter has to be small enough to fit inside the pipe, so you need a small starter and a large pipe.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    335

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    Sorry Jerry, I had meant to post my side bender photos. You need an 8-10” long section of galvanized or black pipe, around 2.5 to 3.0” in diameter and a pipe strap to secure it to a section of 2x4. These are readily available at Home Depot or Lowe’s, as well as the electric charcoal starter. The charcoal starter will have to be compressed somewhat in a vise to fit inside the pipe. The 1/8” birch ply bends easily at about 250 F and the shape does not need to be terribly exact. The use of the workboard smooths out the shape.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/CRiUCpCeSnywGHpMA

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

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