Learning Ukulele 50 Sites Top 50 Ukulele Sites Argapa Ukuleles - one size louder: 3/1/09 - 4/1/09

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Finish 4

Three coats with sanding and a couple of attempts at pore filling in
between. This is boring, and my limited space doesn't allow me to
continue with Jukkas tenor right now.

So I've gone over the wood pile a few times making plans for future

And now I'm posting pics of oil drying. Sorry for being this boring.

Edit: Can you believe it? I'm still waiting for the last coat to cure. I know it will happen eventually but this is wearing me down. Should be dry enough though so I can probably go on planing the back for Jukkas tenor.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Preparing for tenor no. 3

Planing the mahogany for the back, still lacking a scrub plane, I use
a Stanley no. 5 and a Stanley no. 130 low angle.

Hard work but lots of fun. Seriously!

Finish 3

With the ubiquitous number 1 looming in the background, numbers 2 and
3 relax after the rub-down.

This feels so good, and I have a feeling the ukes are gonna turn out
really nice. Like nice in a good sounding, loud, and folk-arty way.

Finish 2

Look at the difference, the wood really transforms with the oil.

Finish 1

First uke, first coat...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bone parts roughly shaped

This is a post I promised Robban. Saddles are cut and sanded, still
too tall / high, but good enough to place the bridges with. The furry rainbow fabric might make a nice case.

Bridges, cont.

They're cut to length, and await the bone saddles. Of course no glue


Ok, this isn't a great picture. But I wanted to show the shavings from
my low angle block plane...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Family photo

Here's number 1, my uke, next to numbers 2 and 3.

Fretboards turned out a wee bit thicker than I aimed for - they were
next to impossible to run through the thickness sander as the paper
got totally clogged with resin and dust by the first pass. So next
time I'll do more planing before final sanding.

Don't tell Ronald and Robert by the way...

Next? Headstock veneer (easy), making bridge (easy), bone nut and
saddle (hard and smelly! (watch your associations)).

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Frets are cut to length. I'm gonna mess up their undersides a bit so
they get a good grip in the wood - tapping them lightly with a hammer
worked last time. I might glue them as well, I don't know yet.

And markers are there too.

Backs / necks

Here is how they look from behind today. Progress is somewhat erratic,
but there is progress.

And I started on Jukkas tenor as well. But so far no Kodak moment.


I decided to cover some really nasty mistakes with thin boards of dark
wood. They look quite cool with some slots set totally at random...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sanding bodies

With the ukes on top of the Dust-E-Whacker, the dust doesn't swirl
around and even stays out of my nose! I could use a mask, but my
experience is that masks trap dust around the edges, leaving an
irritated and less than beautiful red circle around my gob.

Sanding is the worst part of appartment style lutherie.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Back glued

Necks are shaped, sort of. And the backs are roughly cut to shape. So
I stood and stared for a while thinking about what to do, then
realised that it was time to glue the first back.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Back braces

Well I'm back after more than a few days. Had to work hard at home
with building a new wall with wardrobes and cupboards, and my day job
is sadly enough evolving into a day and night job... To many houses to
draw at the same time.

And my sweet kids. Every time they exhale they call "DAD!"

So when is a poor man gonna build his commissioned ukuleles? I don't
know. But tonight the back braces / ribs finally got in place. They're
a bit thicker than the soundboard braces, and they're notched into the
linings. Something ought to provide some structural integrity on these
ladies, and sides and back are really thin. So the braces should make
sure the domed back doesn't cave in, and also make sure the sides are
connected across the body.

I really want a scrub plane. Anyone wants to lose one?

And note the nice shavings on the pic. I love those. That makes me a
nut, I know.