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Thread: Making an Archtop Ukulele- Take Two

  1. #41
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Kekaha, Kauai
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    341

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    And here are some pictures of the finished ukulele. I am starting on #2 soon.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Xv7DoRc5ugnKFNTJ8

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

  2. #42
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    Jan 2010
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    Very attractive. Any sound clips?

  3. #43
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    Aug 2018
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    505

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    That is nice looking. I must have missed something . . . the neck bolts on from the back?

  4. #44
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    May 2018
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    Kekaha, Kauai
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    No sound clips yet, let it settle in for a couple of weeks and I will see what I can do. The neck does bolt on from the back and is a design idea I borrowed from Ken Parker, but modified to fit my design. Like Ken, I am not a fan of adjustable bridges, with their metal posts and wheels. Ken designed a adjustable neck to set the action height. In my design, you can use shims between the neck and body to adjust the action, or the bridge saddle can be modified for action adjustments. The bolt on neck is easily removable for travel.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  5. #45
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    May 2015
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    You are inspiring me to give it a try. Do you have any pictures of the neck joint? What are you using as a post?

  6. #46
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    Feb 2012
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    Bell Buckle, TN 37020
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    A traditional neck joint would look like this. Not sure what Brad used but anything that works is great.

    kw
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Kevin Waldron; 06-03-2021 at 02:06 PM.

  7. #47
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    May 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Waldron View Post
    A traditional neck joint would look like this. Not sure what Brad used but anything that works is great.

    kw
    Yes, thank you. I have used the dovetail joint as well as Spanish foot and various bolt on configurations. I was more interested in the adjustability of Brad's neck. I have seen variations of the theme and have not decided what to try yet. For some reason I am hesitant to use a neck on a post.

  8. #48
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    May 2018
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    Kekaha, Kauai
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    Post #19, 5/12/2021 of this thread shows some of the details of the neck joint. Keep in mind that the string tension on a tenor ukulele is 40#, compared to 150#+ on a steel string guitar. Thus I am not using any kind of post, just two 1/4”x 3” Allen head cap screws. The neck block is elongated and because the top and back are arched, two additional pieces of wood are glued to the top and back of the neck block. The top piece supplies the mating surface for the neck, and is cut parallel to the sides. The appropriate size slots are cut into the top and back when assembled. The leading edge of the top piece protrudes slightly above the top, while the back piece is sanded to match the shape of the back. With this design there is no need for a neck heel, allowing greater access to the higher frets, and making up for some of the extra mass of the neck block.

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

  9. #49
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    May 2015
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    Thank you for the reply. That does make sense with the tension of a uke. I am going to try it with a guitar yet. Probable when I do an archtop? That might be a plan.

  10. #50
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    May 2018
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    Kekaha, Kauai
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    Aloha everyone, Ken Parker recently added a new series on bracing the top in his Archtoppery videos. I found it to be very informative as it clearly shows his top and bracing. It does give the viewer a pretty good idea on how delicate his tops and braces are carved. The method of fitting the braces is quite ingenious and I will be adopting some of his ideas on the next build. The one departure from his method will be, I will use Titebond instead of the epoxy he uses. I understand that as thin as he carves things, a water based glue could cause some deformation when gluing on the braces. My work around for this is to take a page from D’Angelico and D’ Aquisto, and carve the interior of the top to its final shape, and then glue in the braces before carving away any of the outside surface. By gluing the braces to relative thick wood, there should not be any worries about using a water based glue. I will take and post some pictures of my method as I go.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

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