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

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

Uke 1001 – Wrapped Up and Ready to Play

January 18, 2012

It’s a snow day, a day before my son’s 19th birthday, and the birth of my second uke.  The finish is KTM9, a water based lacquer which I believe I will continue to use for future instrument finishes.  I took several months to apply, knockdown and buff the finish, and I believe it improved the results.  Also, 24 or more very thin coats proved to be the right approach.  I avoided drips and orange peel effect, and the knockdown was more straightforward.

120118finished

There’s nothing like a fire, dog and uke to complete a snow day at home.

Uke 1001 – Home Stretch

January 15, 2012

Tomorrow this uke will be making music.  The finish is all knocked down and polished, and today I mounted the bridge.  After setting overnight it will be a quick transition to get the strings installed.

120115bridgemount

Uke 1101 – Strings On

November 20, 2011

It was May when I added the label, which is why it’s dated May 2011.  Boy am I slow.  The strings are on.  It sounds lovely.  Monday and Tuesday I will:  Fill a few minor gaps with lacquer, remove the strings and tuning machines, lower the height of the nut and the saddle, clean up the fretboard, knockdown the sides and neck, wet sand the entire uke, buff it to a glorious sheen, glue in the nut, reinstall the tuning machines and strings, then play it until my fingers fall off.

111120strung

Stunning Myrtle and Koa Uke Nears Finish

November 19, 2011

After joining the myrtle back for Rachel’s parlor:

111119back

Yum.

Four more days before we load the dog in the car and trek to SLC for family Thanksgiving.  I’ve finished applying the lacquer and have started knockdown.

111119knockdown

The lacquer is still a wee rubbery, but hell, I can’t let that stop me.  440, then 800 grit on a sanding block, and I have the top and the headstock knocked down.  I finished with 1200 grit wet sanding, then buffed (top only) in preparation to mount the bridge.  I figure I can mount the bridge, and while it is clamped up, I can proceed to knockdown the rest, clean up the fretboard, and start to shape the nut and saddle.

111119bridge

I’m absolutely sure this will be a playable uke by Tuesday, and it will ride with us to SLC.

Uke Lacquer – Uke Cure – Myrtle Join

November 6, 2011

Devin dropped by today and we polished up his frets, nut, saddle, and installed a pickguard.  Looks like it’s really done.

I’ve been applying lacquer to the Bubinga Uke and the Koa Uke.  The Bubinga is fully lacquered and is sitting in cure mode for a couple of more weeks.

111106curing

The Koa uke has 16 coats, and I think 24 will be the cat’s pajamas.  I should be able to get the 24 applied by Tuesday evening.

111106coat16

Between lacquer applications (wait one hour please) I’ve been bracing the Myrtle Parlor (for Rachel) and I joined the back plates.

111106myrtlejoin

111106myrtlejoint

I’m liking this myrtle, and it seems like it will be nice to work on.  It planed easily while preparing the plate joint.

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