Hana Lima 'Ia
>> Ukulele Hints >> What is your experience with Kasha-Schnieder ?

Message started by unkabob on Jun 30th, 2009 at 3:19pm

Title: What is your experience with Kasha-Schnieder ?
Post by unkabob on Jun 30th, 2009 at 3:19pm
I am working on a Kasha baritone and am finding this system difficult to cut and fit. All my bracing is heavier than they appear on the drawing (3 mm vs 1.8-2.8 mm). My brace bars have no taper at present and I have no idea how I will cut the oval soundhole so it will look presentable.

Are there any secrets to this style of bracing?

Bob :'(

Title: Re: What is your experience with Kasha-Schnieder ?
Post by Matt Blacka on Jun 30th, 2009 at 4:39pm
Hi Bob,

The braces are fiddly. I stuck to the plan dimensions for my tenor, and it came out sounding very warm and clear. I was happy, and would recommend to stick to the plans as much as possible. I thought the soundboard deflection under the string load was about right, but wouldn't have wanted too much more sag in front of the bridge.

I used a flat sanding block to taper my braces. First I cut them to the right height and overall thickness (rectangle cross section and same thickness along the full brace length), then I put them on their side and rubbed them on the sanding block, with more pressure toward the tapered end, until I was happy with the taper. I then used a single edge razor as a scraper to turn the braces from a rectangular cross section to a trapezoidal cross section. I glued the braces on using a go-bar deck, and the scolloped the height of the braces as required. Fiddly and slow, but a significant improvement in tone compared to a fan braced uke.

For the oval hole, drill or rough cut some smaller holes inside it, then use a dowel or cylinder of some sort with some sandpaper wrapped around it to slowly sand out the shape of the whole until it matches your oval hole around the full perimeter. Again it is a little slow, but you will get a nice smooth oval.

The best thing about an oval hole is that no one can tell if you don't quite make it perfectly round!

Good luck,


Title: Re: What is your experience with Kasha-Schnieder ?
Post by unkabob on Jul 1st, 2009 at 10:18am
Thanks Matt:
I found that tapering these braces on a sanding block removes as much skin as wood. I use 80 grit glued on half inch thick glass.

I ended up cutting to shape and gluing and then sanding the taper in place. The results are more rounded than tapered. For regular braces, I run them past a dovetail bit on the router table for shape.

It takes some practice to fit the braces around the bridge patch.

Next time I will use your method,it makes sense.


Title: Re: What is your experience with Kasha-Schnieder ?
Post by Matt Blacka on Jul 1st, 2009 at 1:14pm
Hi Bob,

To do the notch for bridge patch, I put my dremel in its router base with a downcut bit, flip it upside down and clamp the base to a bench. You now have a mini router table thing going on. Adjust the height of the bit so that it sticks up above the base by the same thickness as your bridge patch. Then take your braces and use the dremel to cut the notch. You will get a precision depth of cut by using the fine threaded height adjustment on the router base. You will be able to get the notch pretty much the exact depth you want.

Yeah its a shame about the skin you lose when sanding the braces.

I think for the next one I will probably reduce the number of braces and make each one fractionally larger. I might also change the way the treble confinement bars go on. They are there to stiffen that part of the soundboard, so it probably doesn't matter if it gets over stiffened by larger than necesarry bars.


Title: Re: What is your experience with Kasha-Schnieder ?
Post by unkabob on Jul 2nd, 2009 at 9:18am
How did you curve the perimiter bars? Did you carve them curved or bend them on a side bender? I applied them straight as my frustration level was gettig a little high.

The next job is profiling the neck to match my Kala tenor neck. Itook profiles at specific fret locations to allow scaling up to baritone.

You don't know whether you made the right decisions until the very end.


Title: Re: What is your experience with Kasha-Schnieder ?
Post by Matt Blacka on Jul 2nd, 2009 at 1:19pm
The perimeter bars were so small on the tenor that I just bent them into the curved position and held them there during glue up with some go bars. They basically just levered their curvature off the two perpendicular stiffening braces that run into them.

The perimeter bars ore only there to add stiffness, so next time I think I would just cut the shape of them out of some patch material, and laminate a couple of layers together cross grain. Maybe even that whole treble confinement/perimeter bar area could just be stiffenned up with patches anyway? It would make the whole Kasha thing a whole heap easier if six bars could be substituted for two extra patches.

I don't think puting the perimeter bars on straight is going to change your sound very much, but yeah, you just can't tell until the strings are on.


Title: Re: What is your experience with Kasha-Schnieder ?
Post by jack on Jul 16th, 2009 at 12:51am
I just finished the Kasha cutaway baritone.  For the curved braces I just roughed them out rectangular, wrap them in wet paper towel and microwave for about 45 seconds, take them out and tape them to a curve cut in a scrap piece of wood and then the grain follows the curve!  For the sound hole, I went to msword and filled 2 pages with all different sizes, and shapes of ovals.  I then layed them on the plans, until I found one I liked.  Took a piece of 1/2" plywood glued shape on, drilled a hole cut out and then sanded to the lines with a spindle sander.  Then used a laminate trimmer to cut sound hole and patch at one time using the plywood template!

Hana Lima 'Ia » Powered by YaBB 2.4!
YaBB © 2000-2009. All Rights Reserved.