Tenor uke pair

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Stray Feathers
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm

Tenor uke pair

Post by Stray Feathers »

I started a pair of tenor ukuleles recently, working on them when I had gaps between guitar projects. I keep my eyes open for interesting wood, and see what goes together. I was in Haida Gwaii last summer and bought a chance billet of Sitka Spruce for guitars, not outstanding wood, but interesting, and very reasonably priced. The fellow also gave me a smaller billet I could get ukulele tops out of. I cut seven top sets from this piece, and these are two of them. Interesting to see what they sound like, so close to each other in the same piece of wood. One has back and sides of Narra which came up at a local supplier, with a bright ringy tone, and the other is Black Walnut. The Narra uke has a rosewood rosette ring and will have rosewood binding and headplate, The other will be Black Walnut, maybe maple binding. The rosette ring is just a piece of delicately figured Bigleaf Maple from my firewood pile. Necks will be mahogany and walnut respectively, and I was given a piece of what I think is Ovangkol which may work for fretboards. Bruce W.
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jread
Posts: 461
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am
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Re: Tenor uke pair

Post by jread »

Really cool projects. i've been wanting to get a uke going w/ some of the extra guitar sides I have laying around. Or a flat top mandolin.
Stray Feathers
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm

Re: Tenor uke pair

Post by Stray Feathers »

I bent the sides for these ukes using a Fox-style bender I made for guitars, and modified to do ukuleles too. I am using a guitar heating blanket (from John Hall) for now, but as you can see it is a little cumbersome for ukes, so I am on the lookout for a ukulele blanket - in Canada if I can find one. A company called Omega has some, and even a web page on bending guitar sides, but I have not called them yet. The Black Walnut sides bent quite well (still tweaking my bending form) but the Narra sides were less willing. I had to do a little hand bending on a pipe to get them closer.
IMG_7764_resize.jpg
I decided to try reverse kerfing for the first time, and made some up from some basswood I had around. It's a little easier to make, and, as I had read in a couple of places, it seems to add more stiffness to the sides - good when there is a little more springback than I would like.
IMG_7769_resize.jpg
The two ukes are now closed up - it seems to take just as many clamps to close a little body as a big one.
IMG_7772_resize.jpg
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Stray Feathers
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm

Re: Tenor uke pair

Post by Stray Feathers »

I put these aside for a time so I could get two guitars ready for spraying - outside in good weather. Then I went back to building the necks, inlaying some MOP, and fitting them, fretboards from a piece of I think Ovangkol I was given (a lovely piece of wood, and really dense, just big enough for some ukulele fretboards, and guitar bridges). After position dots I was ready to join the necks to the bodies-Black Walnut neck for the Black Walnut back and sides, and Mahogany for the Narra uke. Glad to have these done so I can do the frets, and then start the sealing, pore filling, and lacquer while we still have some summer-like weather. Bruce W.
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Diane Kauffmds
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Tenor uke pair

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

These are really cool.
Diane Kauffmann
Country Roads Guitars
countryroadsguitars@gmail.com
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