Search found 164 matches

by Chris Reed
Fri Dec 11, 2020 6:21 am
Forum: Glues and Finishes
Topic: Finish for cheapie kit uke
Replies: 8
Views: 605

Re: Finish for cheapie kit uke

I make ukes from scratch, so I've not built any kits. All I know is from seeing kits that friends have built. The Stewmac kit has made some very decent instruments. I'd guess the solid wood kits from China might do the same, but they are probably on the heavy side - working down the soundboard and r...
by Chris Reed
Thu Dec 10, 2020 6:37 am
Forum: Glues and Finishes
Topic: Finish for cheapie kit uke
Replies: 8
Views: 605

Re: Finish for cheapie kit uke

I know those kits - the plywood isn't very pretty under a clear finish, so I'd go for cheerful colours from a motor accessories shop. Try to make the finish as thin as possible - these kits are a little dull sounding already, and thick finish will kill the sound more. You won't be able to get a smoo...
by Chris Reed
Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:56 am
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: high neck relief in an old Regal Parlor guitar
Replies: 7
Views: 1553

Re: high neck relief in an old Regal Parlor guitar

Wouldn't the traditional answer be a compression re-fret (installing frets with a wider tang at strategic intervals to reduce the bow and thus the relief)? Not something I've done myself, but I've read about the technique, and it seems that if you go slowly, checking regularly, it should be manageab...
by Chris Reed
Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:49 am
Forum: Ukuleles
Topic: bridge placement
Replies: 8
Views: 1909

Re: bridge placement

All the ukes I've made need some compensation on all strings. For a tenor, I'd estimate 1mm or a fraction more for the high A, probably 2mm for the low C. If you plan a low G, then maybe 2.5mm for that. But those last two numbers might be 1.5 and 2mm. I don't try to get the compensation exact in adv...
by Chris Reed
Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:34 am
Forum: String Instrument Repair: Practical and Political Issues
Topic: Sentimental violin repair.
Replies: 7
Views: 1588

Re: Sentimental violin repair.

I forgot about the button - told you I don't have experience with violins! It looks to me as if the neck joint is loose, and only held on by the button. Is that right? If so, I'd start by dribbling a tiny amount of water into the neck joint from the top (wipe it off the top immediately) and then gen...
by Chris Reed
Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:48 pm
Forum: String Instrument Repair: Practical and Political Issues
Topic: Sentimental violin repair.
Replies: 7
Views: 1588

Re: Sentimental violin repair.

Rather than working glue into the crack, I suggest you remove the neck. Gentle heat (hair dryer) plus a tiny amount of water dribbled into the joint - 1/4 teaspoon max - should make it come free. The wood needs to be warm right into the joint, so it might take 10 mins to warm it through. Keep feelin...
by Chris Reed
Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:42 am
Forum: String Instrument Repair: Practical and Political Issues
Topic: Sentimental violin repair.
Replies: 7
Views: 1588

Re: Sentimental violin repair.

I make simpler instruments than violins, so read this post accordingly. I'd suggest that if you do not already have quite a bit of experience making musical instruments, you will struggle with this even if you have fine woodworking experience. The risk is that your restoration will not play properly...
by Chris Reed
Fri May 29, 2020 4:31 am
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: Help w cracked to repair from drop
Replies: 17
Views: 3231

Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

This is what I'd consider in your position, i.e. I bought it for myself and want to get it stable and playable. The problem is the cross-grain crack in the spruce top, so that the top is no longer connected to the lining at that point. So I'd plan this (then ask advice and think about it some more b...
by Chris Reed
Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:18 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Banjo neck angle
Replies: 5
Views: 3760

Re: Banjo neck angle

I'm informed these were gut strung instruments with a much higher action than on modern banjos. There are experts on the Banjo Hangout site who could help.

Once you decide on bridge height and action height, you work out the neck angle from that. I doubt anyone can give you a number for this.
by Chris Reed
Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:52 pm
Forum: String Instrument Repair: Practical and Political Issues
Topic: Banjolele with holes in skin
Replies: 8
Views: 5299

Re: Banjolele with holes in skin

I'd patch those holes. Ideally with scraps of vellum, but if you can't get those then something like heavyweight art paper should work. If you use hide glue, you could easily remove your patches if you later found better material. I'd patch the underside without slackening the tension. Once glue is ...
by Chris Reed
Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:03 am
Forum: String Instrument Repair: Practical and Political Issues
Topic: Banjo Dowel Stick Angle Adjust?
Replies: 3
Views: 2502

Re: Banjo Dowel Stick Angle Adjust?

Are you sure you need to remove and reattach the dowel stick? I think it would be more normal to change the attachment position at the tailpiece end - assuming there is a screw from the tail into the dowel stick, drill a hole in the dowel stick end at the correct place for your desired neck angle an...
by Chris Reed
Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:24 pm
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: maple neck - use different finishing for neck and fretboard
Replies: 15
Views: 6814

Re: maple neck - use different finishing for neck and fretboard

Tru Oil has worked nicely on necks I have made. However, it is not very resistant to abrasion. On a fretboard, fingernails often dig into the surface, and I think Tru Oil would soon wear away there. So I'd choose a polyurethane varnish, and a hard one, for this fretboard. You could thin it to make w...
by Chris Reed
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: String Instrument Repair: Practical and Political Issues
Topic: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17
Replies: 201
Views: 59569

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Glad I got it right describing fixing gaps in HHG joints! I am a rank amateur by comparison with many on here. I've no experience using fish glue, but I've read a lot about how it softens with heat and moisture. So the same principle ought to work here. But it's not my own instrument, maybe I'd do a...
by Chris Reed
Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:30 am
Forum: String Instrument Repair: Practical and Political Issues
Topic: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17
Replies: 201
Views: 59569

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

... (Since there will be no binding on this guitar I am attempting to get a perfect joint on the plate to rim joints.) Glued the back on with the assembly sitting in the radius dish and with some 5/16" diameter, shortened, fiberglass go-bars. I have used this method quite a few times in the past bu...
by Chris Reed
Fri May 17, 2019 4:40 am
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: Tenor ukulele neck replacement
Replies: 5
Views: 3412

Re: Tenor ukulele neck replacement

Don't forget that you will need to change the bridge location to suit the new scale. Concert scale is around 15 inches, while tenor is around 17 inches. So your bridge will be approximately 1 inch nearer the tail than if you fitted concert necks. This is probably OK - you might lose some volume and ...
by Chris Reed
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:31 am
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: Please help: neck reshape: yes or no
Replies: 14
Views: 5204

Re: Please help: neck reshape: yes or no

I'd expect the neck wood to have changed colour because of light exposure, and so I'd remove all the finish on the neck shaft (a) to get a uniform colour, and (b) to avoid visible lines where new and old finish meet. However, I think you might get away with feathering new finish into old at the heel...
by Chris Reed
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:07 am
Forum: Ukuleles
Topic: Ukulele Intonation Mystery
Replies: 9
Views: 5212

Re: Ukulele Intonation Mystery

What kind of strings are you using? Before you run yourself in circles chasing measurements, try replacing the offending string. I recently installed a new set of Aquila brand Nylgut strings on a 5 string banjo. One of the brand new strings just would not play in tune. Checking the intonation, I fo...
by Chris Reed
Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:51 am
Forum: Ukuleles
Topic: Ukulele Intonation Mystery
Replies: 9
Views: 5212

Re: Ukulele Intonation Mystery

Something is wrong with your build, though I can't work out what from your description. On a soprano uke, C string total compensation is a little under 3mm (1/8) using Aquila Nylgut strings, and probably under 2.5mm using fluorocarbon strings. (calculated from 2 x nut-12th distance) For a concert th...
by Chris Reed
Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: Need a method for easy/reliable top/back removal
Replies: 30
Views: 11779

Re: Need a method for easy/reliable top/back removal

I'd use the paper shim and attach it with hide glue. When the top is removed, a warm damp cloth should pretty much wipe away the paper on the rims, and you don't need to clean all the hide glue off because it will reactivate with fresh glue. I suspect liquid hide glue would work for this, though I u...
by Chris Reed
Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:37 am
Forum: Ukuleles
Topic: Ukulele
Replies: 2
Views: 3382

Re: Ukulele

You'll have to decide what size you want to buy - soprano, concert or tenor (baritone is rather a different beast, more like a tenor guitar with nylon strings). And that will depend on what you want to play. If you're looking to do strumming (which can be quite complex), semi-percussive playing and ...