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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Necks carved

I don't live in a mango tree, but there are worse surroundings than
this to build in. Final carving done with knife, can't rely on the
belt sander in the end stages.

The ash (neck on right) grew on this site, took it down 18 years ago.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Necks shaped!

Despite the old and beautiful japanese knife in the pic, most of the
shaping was made on a belt and drum sander. Three necks - one hour!
From the state seen in previous posts.

In the background my kids read Tintin with their grandmother.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shaping a neck

Still no small bandsaw at home. So I have to shape the neck with hand-
held saws, a small plane and a very sharp chisel. Ash is a tough wood.
But it works. And it's therapy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More new projects!

Almost forgot, an all ash uke is also in the making. Well sort of,
summer vacations has so far proved themselves quite worthless from a
building point of view. If only the kids were cool about going off by
themselves and giving me some time alone. But I do this as a hobby. I
shouldn't get my expectations up too far.

New projects!

Here's a pic of some wood for a walnut soprano, and a cherry soprano.
I was considering going for cedar soundboards, but I think I will make
them of only one species.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bridge and saddle

Ebony bridge and compensated bone saddle. And string through design as

Now I know all of you reading this deserve better pics. But this is
what I manage right know. Maybe I'll get some decent photos before
Jukka collects it. Maybe.


A very humble and somewhat plain tenor ukulele. With a loud and crisp
voice! I'm surprised actually since I'm still rather unexperienced,
but I've had some help from Pete Howlett who gave me advice about
bracing. I really like this tenor. I hope Jukka will too.

It has pretty good sustain up the neck too. I really wonder why...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oil finish 2

And here it is seen from the top. As you see, I never grew the balls
to try binding. It means the edges are going to be easily dented, and
I think as many others that spruce tops really benefit from a
contrasting edge.

The bridge turned out nice though. Jukka will have to settle with that
this time.

Oil finish 1

Two coats of oil, here's the back (obviously...).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Glueing bridge

This is the scariest part, as usual. A caul inside the uke takes the
pressure of the clamp, and neoprene pads press down the wings. I'll
clean up excess glue and reapply clamping pressure.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


The ebony bridge, nearly complete. Band aid on finger is from making
dinner, not building.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fretboard fitted

...and fretted. In the vise is a piece of ebony waiting to evolve into
a bridge. Damn hard wood that.