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Thread: Tenor uke neck thickness?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Default Tenor uke neck thickness?

    Hi all, I'm drawing up plans for a tenor uke build and need some help with neck thicknesses. I'm a classical guitar builder and thought I'd start building ukes as a hobby (I might have a problem if my hobby is nearly identical to my job...).

    I don't have a tenor ukulele nor a published plan but the only information I need to complete my own is the thickness of a typical tenor ukulele neck at the first fret (including fretboard if possible) as well as the thickness of the neck at the 9th fret. This uke will have 12 frets to the body with a 35mm nut width so if anyone has/can take these measurements for a similar sized neck I would be very grateful!

  2. #2
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    Nov 2013
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    Trois-rivieres,Quebec
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    I make mine at 20-21 at the first fret and 22-23 at fret 10.
    The neck is quite narrow at 35 mm so the thickness is less important than on a guitar.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2019
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    Thanks Alain, I'm surprised by your figures as that's only 1mm thinner than I make my classical guitar necks. I seem to recall the tenors I've played having noticeably thinner necks than guitars, is that unique to the instruments I've played?

  4. #4
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    Jun 2020
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    I aim for 13-14 mm at the nut and 15mm right before the heel transition - that's just for the neck. Another 5-6mm for the fretboard.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianI View Post
    This uke will have 12 frets to the body
    Why 12 frets to the body? Not saying you can't and some do, but most are 14.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by sequoia View Post
    Why 12 frets to the body? Not saying you can't and some do, but most are 14.
    Aesthetically I'm working in the classical guitar realm (not building them identical to guitars, don't worry!), think Pepe Romero junior's ukuleles. I also am a big fan of Hive ukuleles and the two I've played and many that I've seen have been 12 fret. I know he makes 14 fret versions as well but for my aesthetic and musical sensibilities I prefer 12 fret instruments

  7. #7
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    Oct 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianI View Post
    Aesthetically I'm working in the classical guitar realm (not building them identical to guitars, don't worry!), think Pepe Romero junior's ukuleles. I also am a big fan of Hive ukuleles and the two I've played and many that I've seen have been 12 fret. I know he makes 14 fret versions as well but for my aesthetic and musical sensibilities I prefer 12 fret instruments
    That is absolutely fine and it works. The vast majority of uke players never play beyond the 5th fret anyway... You were surprised that the neck thickness wasn't that much different than a classical guitar. The reason is that the instrument may be much smaller, but the size of the human hand remains the same.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sequoia View Post
    You were surprised that the neck thickness wasn't that much different than a classical guitar. The reason is that the instrument may be much smaller, but the size of the human hand remains the same.
    More surprised due to different playing techniques of the instruments

  9. #9
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    Sep 2008
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    Conway, Arkansas
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    I make mine around .680" (17.27mm)at the first fret and .975" (24.77mm) at the tenth fret. That's including the fretboard.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2014
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    Cumbria, NW England
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    I make mine 17mm including the fretboard at the first fret and between 18 and 19mm at the 9th. I should add that the profile is as important as the actual thickness, but if you make guitars you should understand that. I think many beginners tend to make their necks too thick and too square in section.

    I have tried making necks with 18 or 19mm at the first fret but always end up reworking them: I find anything more than 17.5mm is uncomfortable.

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