Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 50

Thread: Making an Archtop Ukulele- Take Two

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,230

    Default

    I like the oval sound hole. It is somewhat reminiscent of the old Selmer Maccaferri instruments or the round hole arch top Gibsons

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Jt_a1cHnV...40/gibl2-2.jpg

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    341

    Default

    Loar had Gibson switch to the F holes in the early twenties. Orville Gibson’s instruments had oval or round sound holes. The early A model mandolins from the late teens through the early twenties were killer instruments. I have worked on and played a lot of them. The big issue with them was the single transverse brace just below the sound hole was not enough to keep the top from collapsing under the string tension.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    341

    Default

    The standard procedure with f holes is to cut them smaller than needed, and gradually enlarge them when doing the final tuning of the body. That is more difficult to do with round or oval sound holes and maintain symmetry. In this case, I made the oval purposely small and added a side sound port that was gradually enlarged during the final tuning of the body.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    505

    Default

    This is interesting, Brad. With the falcate braces, how did you get them to conform to the curve of the top? I'm having trouble figuring it out by looking at your image. Were the braces pre-curved before gluing?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    341

    Default

    Each braces consists of three pieces of spruce, 3/4” x 9” x .080” thick. These pieces are bent to shape on the hot pipe and laminated together. The bottom contour that fits against the top is done by; shaving down the first couple of inches of both ends of the braces to get a very rough fit against the top. You use the washer- short piece of pencil trick to draw the bottom contour of the brace. The brace is held in position, the pencil inserted into the hole of the washer, holding the pencil/washer against the side of brace, roll the washer along the length of the brace and marking the contour with the pencil. A washer with a diameter of 3/4”-1” with a small center hole is ideal for this. The bottom of the brace is cut or sanded to shape. I then draw in the position of each brace on the top and cover the drawing with short pieces of self stick sandpaper. The brace is then rub fitted to the top, with the final fitting done using a chalk and scraper. Fitting braces to an archtop is tedious work, but must be done accurately for best results.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    505

    Default

    Thanks for the explanation. Tedious indeed.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    341

    Default

    Ken Parker related that the original workers at Gibson were European craftsman who could easily fit the braces to the L-5s, although it was time consuming. To cut costs during the depression, they went to kerfed braces, that were forced and clamped to fit, and then capped with a thin strip of wood on top. This did not work well, and the quality of the instruments went down.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    341

    Default

    Archtop instruments need a binding jig to cut the binding channels, unless you are going to cut them by hand. The pics show my setup. The router tower is from LMI, and the sled I made. If you wish to do a sunburst and are going to apply the stain directly to the wood, take a wet cloth and dampen the entire outside of the instrument with water. When dry, sand smooth. As I am pleased enough with the results so far, but the instrument is likely going to be a prototype, I am doing some decorative work. But I am not striving for perfection, it will have a certain wabi sabi so to speak.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/tWxGj6k6efDsDFsM8

    Brad
    Last edited by BuzzBD; 05-20-2021 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,230

    Default

    Very nice looking instrument!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Capital District, New York
    Posts
    3,889

    Default

    Gorgeous, Brad.

    But I know I don't need another ukulele.

    How much for the prototype?

    -Kurt

    (Not that I afford it, anyway...)
    Banjo Ukes: Southern Cross, Firefly, Stella
    Sopranos: Donaldson, Timms, Moku, Waterman, Bugsgear, Outdoor, Waverly Street, Harmony
    Concerts:Cocobolo #460 &#412, Ohana CK450QEL, CK-65D, Rosewood Vita, Mahogany Vita,
    Donaldson Custom, Epi Les Paul, National Triolian Reso, Republic
    Tenors: Kala KA-KTG-CY, KoAloha Sceptre, Fluke, Cordoba 20TM
    Bass: Fluke Timber

    Am I done?

    ...Maybe?...

    My YouTube Channel

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •