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Monday, September 1, 2014

Bracing and binding

Since I got back from the Middle East I've braced the concert soundboard, glued it to the sides and worked on binding both the concert and the tenor. 

I shape the braces with a large array of tiny planes. It's resting on a mouse mat that I bought on sale, and you might remember the Dust-E-Whacker. 

This concert will be slightly narrower than my other ones, the sides were a little shorter than I had wished. 

I routed the binding channel on the walut tenor. And it's an easy wood to work with, no surprises and no splinters or tear-outs. But I have to wear a dust mask. 

The last pic shows the binding installed and taped, and the concert has been routed as well. On both I bent a single piece of mahogany binding, but that is unnecessarily difficult really. You have to be really careful to avoid gaps which will appear if the distance between the two waist bends isn't exactly right. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Well I have pressed on with the acoustics. Since the humidity was a bit high in the shop (and everywhere else) I didn't wanna brace any tops. So I concentrated on the sides and put the blocks and the kerfed lining in. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Installing neck reinforcement rods

I know it's rarely needed, but I see other builders do it and argue for it so since I had some carbon fibre rods at home I wanted to give it a go. Five necks; three sopranos, a tenor and a concert.

I cut the rods to length, roughly from the heel end and back to the first fret. Then I sliced them diagonally to wedges, thinking the thinner end should go towards the headstock where the neck profile is slimmer. But why, you might wonder, strengthen the fatter part more - that'd be strong enough already. Well there's more wood there and my feeling is that a thicker piece could warp more if humidity and temperature would play up. 

In the pic there placed on the neck backwards. 

Then I was going to place a block of 12 mm thickness at the first fret location and run it across my mini table saw, to get the slot to even out to zero where the wedges end. But the table on the saw is tiny and the block wouldn't make contact at first. Bummer! I really did not fancy making special wedges for each neck size!

But wait..! Wedges? I had wedges already didn't I. After an unprecedented stroke of genius, this is what I came up with. 

I superglued the sliced rods on some wide masking tape and Bob was, indeed, your uncle. Or my uncle. 

After running it over the blade a couple of passes (blade is 1.5 mm and the rods 2) this was the result. 

And after 10 more minutes this was the result. 

Clever, huh? And the tape already in place in time for glueing! Out came the epoxy. 

You'll notice that not all pairs are centered, but they will be. I avoided some sapwood on one and a chip out on another.

I feel so good about myself I'm gonna publish this method on various fora.