Hana Lima 'Ia
>> Ukulele Hints >> Soundhole patch or bracing

Message started by Beth M on Oct 29th, 2010 at 3:46pm

Title: Soundhole patch or bracing
Post by Beth M on Oct 29th, 2010 at 3:46pm
The HL plans for tenor call for a soundhole patch.  I was going to forgo this in favor of some lighter bracing (like I use on the acoustic guitar top), but then I over-thinned the top.  :-X Now I'm trying to figure out the best way to use the top.  One option I considered is just to put in a soundhole patch as I think the bracing will support this soundboard (koa - already at 0.06 and rosette is installed but rosette needs routing for abalone ring).
Another option I thought of is a double top, which is becoming all the rage in certain guitar luthiery circles.  However, I know nothing about doing this, or if it would work on a small surface like a uke top. 
I welcome ideas and suggestions.  For those of you that use a soundhole patch, what wood species do you use.  i don't have suitable spruce for that, but do have enough koa cutoffs to fashion one.  Also, I assume like the cross-braces that the grain on the patch should run perpendicular to the top grain when glued on.
Thanks, Beth

Title: Re: Soundhole patch or bracing
Post by unkabob on Oct 31st, 2010 at 8:56am
0.060 is getting rather thin. I have built a Hana Lima tenor with mahogany top at 0.074 and it is holding up well.
On ukuleles, I prefer to use veneer for the sound-hole patch, most people consider this too thin. The patch is to stop cracks from starting in the exposed endgrain.

Mike's preference for bracing would likely apply to the soundhole patch,mahogany to mahogany or spruce to spruce. The expansion with humidity changes will be similar but gets complicated with-the-grain versus crossgrain expansion.

A double top on a ukulele seems like more trouble than its worth. See Robbie Obrien"s video on double tops on youtube.

Not much help but a start.


Title: Re: Soundhole patch or bracing
Post by Quine on Nov 15th, 2010 at 8:23am
I think you'll need a sound hole patch if you plan to install abalone.  The abalone is usually 0.050 thick and you don't wand to sand it much...you might remove the pretty color layer.  You might find you rout through the top in places  :-/
I've used mahogany for my sound hole patches.  I used what a cut off the headstock part of the neck.  Perpendicular grain to the sound board.
0.06 is pretty thin for a top.  Depends on how stiff the koa is though.  You might want to enlarge the bridge patch too if the top is too floppy

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