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Tenor ukulele neck replacement

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:52 am
by Lyndon Johansen
I’m building Stewmac concert ukulele kits for my grand kids. I would like to fit a tenor neck on a couple to make them super concert. Anybody have experience with the Asian suppliers on Amazon is Ebay? Is there a USA resource for inexpensive complete tenor ukulele necks?

Re: Tenor ukulele neck replacement

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 8:34 am
by Clay Schaeffer
Hi Lyndon,
Your inquiry prompted me to look into the Asian offerings for premade necks. Someone gave me a bunch of cigar boxes that I am turning into ukuleles and the necks on offer looked like an economical way (both money and time) to do this project. I can report I am happy with my $10 purchase.
I checked the fret spacing against the Stewmac calculator and the frets appear to be accurately spaced. The frets are well seated and the fret ends neatly finished off. The neck I believe to be luan and is reasonably well formed. Adding a neck stiffener might not be a bad idea, since a tenor is tuned to the same pitches as a soprano. The peghead is scarf joined and the predrilled tuner holes are over size for the tuners I have, so I will plug them and add a face veneer. The tuner plate should cover the plug in the back.

Re: Tenor ukulele neck replacement

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 4:40 am
by Chris Reed
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 fullness of sound because the bridge will no longer be in the middle of the lower bout, but I think it should work. If your kit has a bridge patch for the underside of the top, then you'll need to move that back to match.

The best way to get correct bridge position is to fit it after the neck is attached. Measure nut to 12th fret, double that distance and add 1.5mm (1/16 inch). That is the distance from the face of the but to the front of the saddle. The 1.5mm is for compensation - it should be about right for the G and A strings (if reentrant tuned), and the E will need the saddle peak taken back a little and the C quite a bit more (maybe 1mm back). If you are using linear tuning with a low G and a slanted saddle, then the point where the A string reaches the saddle should be at nut-12th x 2 + 1.5mm.

Re: Tenor ukulele neck replacement

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:32 am
by Clay Schaeffer
The neck I bought was a 14 fret neck, so if the concert was set up for a 12 fret neck the bridge location may not move too much. Definitely something to keep in mind.

Re: Tenor ukulele neck replacement

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:12 pm
by Clay Schaeffer
cigar 3.jpg
The neck was made so it joined the body at the 14th fret.

Re: Tenor ukulele neck replacement

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:55 am
by Clay Schaeffer
If you find a tenor scale doesn't fit with the bodies you have, you can shorten the fret board by two frets and make a concert scaled instrument. That is what I did for this cigar box uke. It throws the marker dots off a little, but that's not a big deal, and if it bugs you a black marker could eliminate them.