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Engelmann Spruce Sound Board (Read 1389 times)

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Engelmann Spruce Sound Board
Jun 25th, 2006 at 7:38am
building my first uke with a Engelmann Spruce soundboard.  relative to a koa or mahogony soundboard its seems very fragile.  should the final thickness generally be thicker than one would have with a koa or mahogony soundboard?  any suggestions on approx. final thickness?  any insight helps.


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Re: Engelmann Spruce Sound Board
Reply #1 - Jun 25th, 2006 at 4:02pm
aloha kawaika....

for engleman and most spruces a good working thickness would be about .070 to .080...sand to .o80, flex and tap..and thin down to .o70 or .075..whichever feels right to you....I thickness tops after installation of rosettes or inlays that will appear on the soundboard surface...when pau I thickness to around .070 to .075  then add braces, contour braces and bars and thats it.

after boxed i thin uke perimeter surfaces to lower tap tone and create a bit more flex

Have at it   laters  ukeman
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Big Uke

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Re: Engelmann Spruce Sound Board
Reply #2 - Jun 30th, 2006 at 5:46pm
The softwoods like Englemann Spruce, Red Western Cedar, or Sitka Spruce make great soundboards, but they are easy to damage during the process.  A few tips would be to:

1.  Make sure your fingernails are trimmed before you start finish sanding!  One false stroke with your fingernail can leave a nice scratch or gouge.

2.  Check that your work surface is clean before you put the soundboard down to install or carve bracing.  Any little stray chip of wood or piece of dirt will imbed itself in the softwood.

3.  If you have inlayed a rosette or design.  As you sand it down flush to the soundboard, clean the dust away frequently.  The dust from the other wood or shell can be rubbed into the surrounding spruce if you let it build up.  (Ebony can be a problem)

4.  Be sure to install a bridge and soundhole patch.

Let us know how it goes!   Smiley
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