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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:21 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:44 am
Posts: 2180
Location: Newark, DE
First name: Jim
Last Name: Kirby
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I have gotten an order for a tenor Uke. It will be my first uke; I normally build classical/flamenco guitars.

My customer is quite taken with the weird, grafted pistachio on the Oregon Wild Wood site. It's not much to my taste but that's beside the point. What I'm looking for is info on:

(1) Is the grafted wood stable/ok to bend/etc?

(2) what would you pair with pistachio for a top wood?

Any other uke wisdom for a first timer would be welcome. I'm more confident bending on a form than a pipe if the wood is strange, so I will probably make a dedicated bender and use a fretboard blanket that I have for heat (if it is big enough - I haven't checked dimensions of the tenor yet.

Thanks.

Jim

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Jim Kirby
kirby@udel.edu


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:25 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:20 am
Posts: 283
Location: Kapolei HI
First name: Aaron
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
1) In looking at the sets on their site, I was hardpressed to find quartered pieces. Seems like a small tree.
Then again, I use Quilted Maple all the time. . .

2) My favorite top wood is Spruce, which works well on Tenors for me.

Other: I've heard that most guitar builders always overbuild `ukulele. Take that for what its worth, and put on that shoe if it fits.

Most `ukulele builders and players can tell when a guitar builder built the `ukulele, starting with the marker dots.

Not sure if you want to do this, but when I was asked to build a Tiple, I made a prototype first, before I did the build. I was very, very fortunate on the prototype. The internet is a wonderful thing to do research. Got #3 and #4 on the bench right now.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:28 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:44 am
Posts: 2180
Location: Newark, DE
First name: Jim
Last Name: Kirby
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks Aaron.

OK, spruce is good. I hear you about the overbuilding problem. After getting used to building flamencos, I think that most steel string guitars now feel like tanks to me - I was planning to build one again this winter just for the sake of not forgetting completely, but I don't know how I'm going to stop carving braces in time, or leave the top thick enough, etc. Guitars should float off the workbench in a light breeze [:Y:]

I do plan to build a prototype. A set of plane walnut is all ready to go - QS, straightgrained, probably way better wood than the weird stuff I'm going to pay money for online.

Luckily, my customer doesn't have enough experience to ID me as a guitar builder based on the resulting instrument, but I still want to build a nice one. What do you think the best internet resources are?

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Jim Kirby
kirby@udel.edu


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:00 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:20 am
Posts: 283
Location: Kapolei HI
First name: Aaron
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Jim Kirby wrote:
What do you think the best internet resources are?


There are way more guitar resources, this being one of them of course. My Tiple is X-braced, so there is no shortage of reference for that. There are some `ukulele builders on Flea Market Music, but I think most of them post of `Ukulele Underground, in the Luthier's Lounge (ask me how I know). Search is your friend for specific questions. I haven't been on MIMF for years, but I learned a few things there as well.

I think building Flamenco's and Classicals puts you in a better spot to build an `ukulele. Again this is based on what I've heard mostly, and very little of what I've seen (thought I have seem a few failed attempts, but that by no means is a trend). Of course, I've heard this from a small production guitar builder that also builds `ukulele.

What you'll find is that you may end up charging too little for the instrument, but put in just as much time to build. Material cost will be less than a guitar, maybe. Just because its a fraction of the size, doesn't mean its that much fractionally less in build time. I've not built a guitar, but from a labor standpoint, take your guitar cost, and minus out material cost and you'll be close to what could be your `ukulele cost. Then, minus out more for what the market will bear.

Yes, you won't do certain things like radius the fretboard (unless they want one), install and adjust truss rods (which you may not do right now anyway) and carve braces from the soundhole (if that's what you do) that you won't or can't do. Most other stuff is very similar.

Have fun with it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:33 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 12:45 pm
Posts: 644
First name: Lonnie
Last Name: Barber
City: Manchester
State: Tennessee
Zip/Postal Code: 37355
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I built a baritone Uke last summer for a little girl. I have an old one I bought of Ebay I just copied it. No problem.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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