Happy New Year to All

December 30, 2012

This will be my last post of 2012.  Some things were accomplished in 2012, but all in all, the pace of this year’s building has ebbed in relation to previous years.  I could chalk that up to a new career teaching mathematics, but really it’s a case of shifting priorities.  I have endured a few crisis moments all around finishing with spray lacquer.  As reluctant as I was to put down the spray gun, it is for the better.  I cannot continue to subject my families health and my health to the lacquer fumes inherent with nitrocellulose lacquer application.  My options are twofold:  send guitars out for spray services ($500) or procure hard to find water based lacquer and spray with this less toxic alternative.  I’m still on the hunt for water based with mixed results.

I have been working diligently on my uke, Rachel’s parlor and Susan’s OM.  What follows is an except from recent work.

Rachel’s parlor has taken a step forward with neck shaping and fret dot design.

121230back

The fretboards for Rachel’s parlor and Susan’s OM are seen below the beautiful Myrtle back.

121230necks

The parlor neck is on top with the Cocobollo headplate.  The OM neck is shown with the rosewood headplate.

I’ve managed to shape bracing and install the back to the sides as well as lay down the top bracing for the OM.

121230beforetrim

121230aftertrim

The second picture shows the back after the scarf has been trimmed.

121230topbracing

Uke 1201 – Fretboard Installed

November 18, 2012

Uke 1201:  Frets were radiussed then cut to length and placed in a holder.  Except for fret 2 and 11, the frets were hammered into place.

121118fretlaying

The fretboard was dry fit to the neck, and index holes drilled into the 2nd and 11th fret slots to hold the board in place for gluing.

121118fretboarddryfit

Glue was applied to both the fretboard back and neck, then pressed into place using index pins.  The clamping is a big old rubber band wrapped around the neck several times.  The fretboard extention over the body is clamped down with a simple C clamp.

121118fretboardglued

Uke Products Received

November 17, 2012

I’ve got this publishing plugin which supposedly posts my blog entries to Facebook.  It craps out occasionally, so some of my posts go un-Facebooked.  Today, I received a shipment of Uke parts needed to finish the uke.  Bridge, tuners, nut, saddle and frets in the gift box, so I’m about to resume uke finishing.

121111headprefinish

121111ukeprefinish

Uke 1201 – Box constructed

August 28, 2012

The box is constructed, and we have an intact uke.  This morning I removed the kerf clamps.

120828kerf

The back was radiussed to 15′ in a sanding dish.  The back was trimmed to outside the side line and the braces were finish sanded.  Using the uke workboard, the back was glued on and held in place with spool clamps.  It was allowed to dry for 2 hours, then the scarf was removed using a laminate router.

120828backon

Before tackling the binding, I will install a butt graft.  Still pondering the binding options.  Remind self to bind before gluing on fretboard.

Uke 1201 – Dry fit fretboard

August 27, 2012

Finished attaching top and kerfing.  Back bracing is clamped in and glued and home made back reinforcement strips have been glued in.  I tapered the neck and profiled the soundhole end.

120827fretboarddryfit

120827frontview

120827topjoinedtosides

Update: Uke Parlor Hybrid

August 26, 2012

Yeah, Guitar Camp was awesome, and now I’m home counting the days before I start back teaching.  I took a uke and an OM to camp, and as usual garnered a lot of interest from fellow campers who claim they “must have one”.  On the last day of camp advice is given to those of us returning to the non-camp world.  One bit of proper advice was, “Wait three weeks before accepting a proposal of marriage from a fellow camper.”  Same goes for committing to a new uke or guitar.

I’ve resumed where I left off before camp.  The Hybrid for Jim has a first coat of pore filler (an epoxy resin) and is lined up for the spray booth.

120826sidefinishing

I’ve installed all binding on the Myrtle Parlor.

120826topbinding

I then did what all good builders should do, I burnished my cabinet scraper.  Ah, what a difference!  Several smooth strokes across the top, and the binding is trimmed flush with the top.

120826bindingscraped

I’m so in love with my first uke.  I played it at camp and caught the bug.  The uke I’m working on now is really for me (so I’m differently motivated).  The top is braced, the tonebars are installed and the neck and top have been joined.

120826neckstabilizer

The neck has been stabilized with a graphite rod which lives under the mahogany strip in the center of the neck.

120826topbracing

First the bracing and bridge plate were installed.

120826tonebars

Then the tone bars.

120826necktotopjoin

Finally, the neck and top can be joined.

Guitar 1201 – Box Constructed

July 31, 2012

Back and top braced, sanded and installed.  Between back and top install, added butt graft in cocobollo, which is also the binding wood.

120731buttgraft

The pattern on the Myrtle is stunning, and came together nicely after the back install.

120731insidethebox

120731backandsides

While the top gluing cured, purfling was added to the binding then bent in the “machine”.  Later this afternoon I should be able to install the binding.

120731topattached

Guitar 1002 – Ready for final sanding

July 11, 2012

Both guitar 1002 and the Girdis completion project are ready for final sanding.  This will be a 220 grit finish of every surface in preparation for the sanding sealer, pore filling, lacquer spraying.

120711readyfor220

In other news, I have been working inlays for Guitar 1202’s headstock and Uke 1201’s fretboard.

120711headplatewithshell

I spent a lot of time trying to place the fretboard shell in a random pattern.

120711neckandfretboard

Guitar 1202 – Headstock Shell

July 8, 2012

After careful removal of headstock material, the shell was epoxied in place.

120708epoxyshell

Uke 1201 – Sides Bent, Top and Back Joined

July 5, 2012

The top and back have been joined, and the rosette installed.

120705topandback

120705rosette

Sides have been bent (yes, koa burns easily), and installed into the holder.

120705sidebend

120705sideholder

Today, I expect to receive more graphite rods which will be inserted into the neck.

I also tackled routing out the channel for the shell for the headstock for Guitar 1202.  The yellow tempera was painted on to show the scoring of the edge for an easy visual of how far to rout out.

120705shellchannel

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