Ukelele build

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blackalex1952
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Ukelele build

Post by blackalex1952 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:38 pm

I have just come up with a tenor and a Baritone ukelele shape using the free software 'GTHANG'. I then printed the shape on large paper (Officeworks) and designed my own bracing. I wanted a shape which had a smaller upper bout and a larger lower bout, a similar look to a current build, a Gibson L-OO guitar.
So to my questions:
Is this a good idea? I think it is-I haven't perceived any problems so far as I haven't begun the builds. The aim is to make a uke which will have a nice bass and cut through in a uke session. I am considering a radiused soundboard.
I would like to put 6 strings on these ukes, so that a guitarist who doesn't think freely in four string blocks can easily transition to one.
I'm hoping that the bass strings will have some nice balance with the trebles, which I think can be achieved.
Opinions?
Are these two 6 string instruments guitars or ukes? if anyone wishes to try my shapes or assess them I can upload at least one of them to Dropbox and post a link.
I wanted to share the new shape here but can't attach a DXF file...?
Posted a photo of the shape. The other shape has an even smaller upper bout....I traced it onto some spruce offcuts for a very rough bandsawing....cheers!-Ross
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"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

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kiwigeo
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Re: Ukelele build

Post by kiwigeo » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:43 pm

Many people think if ukes as "small guitars" but my experience is this is not the case. The question is at what point does a small guitar start acting like a uke?

Allen?
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blackalex1952
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Re: Ukelele build

Post by blackalex1952 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:46 pm

"And the owl looked up to the stars above and sang to a small guitar,
Oh, Pussy oh,Pussy, oh, Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful pussy you are!".....
I guess with six strings it's a miniature guitar, by definition, but not the sound! Yes, the differences in scale and tension, the size and scaled up resonances etc...mmmmm....perhaps falcate bracing?!!!- I still haven't worked out a target body depth and sound hole diameter. I might experiment with a smallish soundhole and adjust the T1,1(1) in it by opening up the hole....I came up with the idea to utilise guitar soundboard offcuts. Two joined together make the soundboard size I have come up with. Ross
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

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kiwigeo
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Re: Ukelele build

Post by kiwigeo » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:58 pm

blackalex1952 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:46 pm
perhaps falcate bracing?!!!-
Trevor and Allen might have something to say on this one but with a soundboard the size it is on a uke what are the advantages of falcate bracing?
Martin

blackalex1952
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Re: Ukelele build

Post by blackalex1952 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:14 pm

but with a soundboard the size it is on a uke what are the advantages of falcate bracing
I was sort of joking and fishing for comments, Martin, not being a Falcater like you...but one of my ambitions of course is to try the design on a guitar at least. I'm too stuck on the Selmac experimenting...still! Such a simple bracing system, ladder bracing, but so much variation in tone between poor and excellent examples... -Cheers Ross
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kiwigeo
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Re: Ukelele build

Post by kiwigeo » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:02 pm

blackalex1952 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:14 pm
but with a soundboard the size it is on a uke what are the advantages of falcate bracing
I was sort of joking and fishing for comments, Martin, not being a Falcater like you...but one of my ambitions of course is to try the design on a guitar at least. I'm too stuck on the Selmac experimenting...still! Such a simple bracing system, ladder bracing, but so much variation in tone between poor and excellent examples... -Cheers Ross
I was actually planning to use falcate bracing on a uke build a few years back but after comments from Trevor (I think), decided it wasnt going to be of great benefit.
Martin

Bruce McC
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Re: Ukelele build

Post by Bruce McC » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:23 pm

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4312

Re ukes with falcate bracing please see the above post from Clancy.
Bruce Mc.

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kiwigeo
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Re: Ukelele build

Post by kiwigeo » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:52 pm

Thanks Bruce. I had a vague memory that falcate braced ukes had been discussed a while ago,
Martin

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Allen
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Re: Ukelele build

Post by Allen » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:17 am

Ukes aren't guitars and you will be well served to keep that in mind. Build a uke to be a uke.

You said 6 strings, but what is the configuration and what are you tuning them to? Is it going to be octave pairs on a couple of them or linear tuning with a couple extra bass strings.

There is a hybrid instrument called a Guitalele that is built on a 17" tenor scale, and sometimes on a 19" baritone. I've built a few of them over the years. On 17" I don't like them much at all. There isn't enough scale length or body volume to work. You can just sneak something that barely works at 19".

Much better is when you stretch the scale out to 21-23 inches and then use a Requinto sting set. But then you aren't building a uke. You are building a small guitar.
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GregL
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Re: Ukelele build

Post by GregL » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:09 am

Hi Ross,
Have you thought about a terz (Martin size 5) guitar? Ex-admin Bob Connor built one (see here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2867&p=35047&hilit=terz#p35047), I'm (slowly) building one from LMI plans. Scale length approx 21".
Thanks,
GregL.

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