Search found 427 matches

by Graham McDonald
Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:43 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Violins
Replies: 8
Views: 350

Re: Violins

I have long been a fan of the late Henry Strobel's book on violin making. Simple and step by step. For what it is worth he suggests the top resonance should be around F#, which I have found works well. The other important factor is the weight of the plates. H S Wake's violin building book is also a ...
by Graham McDonald
Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:30 am
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Truss rod Installation
Replies: 6
Views: 539

Re: Truss rod Installation

Depends on on neck attachment and style of truss rod, but essentially the installation is exactly the same. The adjusting nut wants to be close to the heel end of the neck and you will need to drill holes through the neck block and the upper transverse brace that line up with the adjusting nut. Putt...
by Graham McDonald
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:26 am
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: The Ukulele workshop manual
Replies: 23
Views: 3542

Re: The Ukulele workshop manual

If anyone has bought a copy through Amazon and found the book useful, any short reviews on the Amazon page would be greatly appreciated.

The Amazon page is:
https://www.amazon.com/Ukulele-Illustra ... 226&sr=8-1

Cheers
by Graham McDonald
Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:39 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: The Ukulele workshop manual
Replies: 23
Views: 3542

Re: The Ukulele workshop manual

Lillian,

Hopefully we can finally meet at the GAL convention next July. Looking forward to it.

Cheers
by Graham McDonald
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:45 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Bending Sides issue
Replies: 17
Views: 2018

Re: Bending Sides issue

The wood does not look very much like it is quartersawn, more back sawn with the grain is going across the thin piece of wood. As back sawn wood dries (and heating it with a hot air gun is drying it very quickly) it is going to cup in that way. With some timbers it does not matter very much. I suspe...
by Graham McDonald
Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:23 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Graham Caldersmith wood and memorial concert
Replies: 0
Views: 1650

Graham Caldersmith wood and memorial concert

Folks,

I have posted some info in the Buy, Sell, Swap forum about the availability of Graham's wood and there will be a memorial concert in Sydney at Linfield on November 23. Free, but bookings at eventbrite.com.au and search for Caldersmith.

Cheers

Graham
by Graham McDonald
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: The Ukulele workshop manual
Replies: 23
Views: 3542

Re: The Ukulele workshop manual

Thank you for the heads up on Windows10. That is useful. Installing pubs on iPads can be tedious. One workaround is to use Dropbox to get the file onto the iPad and open it in Apple Books from Dropbox.

Cheers
by Graham McDonald
Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:16 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: The Ukulele workshop manual
Replies: 23
Views: 3542

Re: The Ukulele workshop manual

Someone sent an email from the forum, which I can't see here on the forum, but the question was about plans. I have done drawings of each of the ukuleles which are included in the ePub downloads, but will need to be downloaded separately for the hard copy purchasers. I have done them as big plan-siz...
by Graham McDonald
Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:45 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: The Ukulele workshop manual
Replies: 23
Views: 3542

The Ukulele workshop manual

The first copies The Ukulele have arrived from the printer and are now available, at least in Australia, to anyone who would like to purchase a copy. Go to www.mcdonaldstrings.com/ukulelebook.html to order either a hard copy or an ePub version. It won't be available in the US or Canada for another f...
by Graham McDonald
Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:46 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: RIP Graham Caldersmith
Replies: 3
Views: 1207

RIP Graham Caldersmith

We have been away over the weekend and returned home to a phone message telling us that Graham Caldersmith died last Saturday. For those of you who didn't know him Graham was one of Australia's finest classical guitar and violin makers, a world renowned expert on how they worked in a acoustic scient...
by Graham McDonald
Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:14 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: A new book on building ukuleles
Replies: 9
Views: 3246

Re: A new book on building ukuleles

Lillian, I would be delighted to sign a copy for you, the only difficulty being that the copies ordered through Kickstarter for backers outside Australia will be mailed out from a mailing house in the US, probably in Los Angeles. That said, I am hopeful of getting the Guild of American Luthiers (GAL...
by Graham McDonald
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: A new book on building ukuleles
Replies: 9
Views: 3246

A new book on building ukuleles

Gentles, I have a new book on building ukuleles ready for the printers, titled The Ukulele- an Illustrated Workshop Manual . I am pre-selling copies through a Kickstarter project, with the hope of selling enough to pay for the print run. It is the first comprehensive book on ukulele building that wi...
by Graham McDonald
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:51 am
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: More mandolin thoughts
Replies: 12
Views: 3019

Re: More mandolin thoughts

Peter, I went back and looked at your recent comments of the perennial topic of tap tuning mandolins, and you certainly hinted at what you posted above, but only hinted. I think you should publish what you have above on the Cafe and see what happens. The 'cello will be oval hole and the mandolin yet...
by Graham McDonald
Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:59 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: More mandolin thoughts
Replies: 12
Views: 3019

Re: More mandolin thoughts

Peter, this is very interesting and really important information. You may have well found the Holy Grail of connection between the free plate modes and the assembled instruments. And it has only taken 20 years to work this out :D I have a blackwood/bunya mandolin just being started at the moment and...
by Graham McDonald
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: uke rope binding
Replies: 4
Views: 2303

Re: uke rope binding

There will be an article in a forthcoming American Lutherie on making rope binding (slightly adapted from my also forthcoming book on building ukuleles) The GAL asks that I don't publish it before it comes out in the journal, but I could I could make 'draft' versions available for comment if request...
by Graham McDonald
Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: RIP Jim Williams
Replies: 4
Views: 2915

RIP Jim Williams

I am sure many of you will know or at least know of Jim Williams whose book, A Guitar Makers Manual, has helped many a beginning guitar maker. Sad to report that Jim died last week near Murwillumbah on the north coast. Funeral early next week.
by Graham McDonald
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Stewmac Rosette soundhole cutter jig
Replies: 16
Views: 5926

Re: Stewmac Rosette soundhole cutter jig

Here are a couple of pics of the modified StewMac base.Should be self-explanatory. dremel_mod_1.jpg dremel_mod _2.jpg And one of the very simple piece of perspex with four holes (of which only two are visible) to cut four sizes of uke soundhole. The other two holes are behind the Dremel base. Otherw...
by Graham McDonald
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Stewmac Rosette soundhole cutter jig
Replies: 16
Views: 5926

Re: Stewmac Rosette soundhole cutter jig

A couple of ideas. Drill two more countersunk holes in the base plate further up towards the slidy bit and enlarge the wedge shape cutout so the Dremel holder part is closer to the slidy bit. Or if you just want something to cut the sound hole, get a piece of 3mm perspex, drill two countersunk to mo...
by Graham McDonald
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:52 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Graham's mandolin treatise in AL
Replies: 1
Views: 1391

Re: Graham's mandolin treatise in AL

Thank you for the kind words. It was written as a lecture I was due to present at last year’s GAL convention, but family illness meant I had to pull out a couple of weeks before the convention. It was written for a spoken presentation as a very condensed version of my mandolin history with some of t...
by Graham McDonald
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:27 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Wood identification?
Replies: 13
Views: 4594

Re: Wood identification?

I would be thinking blackwood or some other acacia as Bob suggested. Happy to have a look or you could take it down to the Woodworkers Guild in Kambah. Someone there would know. You should get on the local email list for the occasional luthiers Indian meal in Melba. Bruce McCulloch may well be in to...
by Graham McDonald
Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Tru Oil alternatives
Replies: 16
Views: 9262

Re: Tru Oil alternatives

I will disagree and suggest it is perfectly fine for acoustic instruments. It soaks in only a fraction of a mm and hardens up when it dries. I used to think it would have a noticeable deadening effect on the sound until I strung up a carved mandolin with no finish at all, pulled it all apart then wi...
by Graham McDonald
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:49 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Cedrela faults
Replies: 4
Views: 2505

Re: Cedrela faults

I have seen similar things in what is being sold here in Australia as Fijian Mahogany, which is supposedly Honduras mahogany plantation grown in Fiji. Planted in the 1940s/50s and now reaching harvesting size. Those marks in your board look very similar and it might be worthwhile enquiring about the...
by Graham McDonald
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Tru Oil alternatives
Replies: 16
Views: 9262

Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Not as yet :D
by Graham McDonald
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Tru Oil alternatives
Replies: 16
Views: 9262

Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Feast-Watson Scanindinavian Oli works just fine. Their Fine Buffing Oil is good as a last coat as well. I do tend to get a little curious, perhaps even suspicious, about all the claims around ingredients with all the various oil finishes. As far as I can tell the Feast Watson stuff only ever soak in...
by Graham McDonald
Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Instrument Builders Forum
Topic: Name of Fox bender part
Replies: 8
Views: 3754

Re: Name of Fox bender part

"sliding cauls'. I like that one. I did send an email off to Charles Fox, but no reply.

Thank you all. Appreciated.

Cheers