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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Third piccolo (Robban's) underway

I missed the perfect photo opportunity today when Robban was over to
try the half-ready piccolos in his fancy briefcase. We agreed on me
trying to build a shorter one so he wouldn't have to get a new bag.

Here is the beginning of the end result; sides bent and the length
shortened some 5 or 6 mm at the shoulders, and then the headstock will
be shorter (and wider for the pegs to fit).

This time it only took 25 minutes to bend the sides, with less water
and no cracking at all. Cherry is very nice to work with.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The first two cherry piccolos so far

As I've revealed before, one of them gets a fretboard. Both are boxed
up and the tops and backs have been cut flush with the enormous
chisel. I'll start a couple more before I continue too far, a bit of
overlap really helps.

Drawings would help as well, and I'm actually making drawings as the
work progresses. Some of my customers have let me know they're eagerly
awaiting these ukes, and one has to be adapted to an existing
briefcase. So length of headstock and body depth will be decided when
I see the briefcase.

Don't forget - if you want some proper work done, I am an accomplished
architect as well as an amateur luthier.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Back glued

First cherry piccolo boxed up. Like the cherry soprano I built for
Mange, this one also surprised me with the lengthwise rigidity of the
cherry. It was quite hard clamping it down and I hope it won't be a
problem this rather tight arching in the back. It will however pull
less hard after I trim the back down to the contour of the sides.

Fret slots with new jig

Crikey! I think it works!

Styrene strips (see post about side markers) will be fretboard
markers, and are in place already serving as positioning brads.

Fretting jig, cont.

It might be done. It might work.

Nothing is for certain.

Fretting jig for piccolo

Now what is going on here? I'm attempting to make a jig for cutting
fret slots in situ, after the neck has been attached. It's for making
sure the 12th fret comes in the right place. I do hope I'm not totally
wrong about this.

Jig will be in perspex and I'll most likely be using a hand saw for
cutting. The glue hardens in daylight, hence the position near the
window. And it smells really strong.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Side markers made simple

I found when playing the new tenor that it was harder to see the
fretboard markers. Something to do with body size and depth. So I
wanted to retro fit side markers, but had none.

But my local model and hobby shop sells styrene strips for model
building, and I found round section strips of 1.6 mm diameter, and
drill bits the same size. So, drill holes, add a drop of ca glue and
you're sorted.

The supply I got will last a lifetime. Or at least two hundred ukes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tenor no. 4 done

The presentation vid has been on YT a few hours, and this pic doesn't
really do it justice. But just to make the traditional "it's done"
entry - it's done!

Sounds good btw. Really good.

Arching sides on piccolo

I threw together a sanding jig for the arched back that will be on my
line of piccolos. The prototype had, as the original I saw, a
completely flat back. But I've decided an arch would be better. No
dome though, a smaller curve lengthwise will suffice.

But I am being harassed by the customers! They write snide remarks on
forums and nag about these toy ukuleles! I tell you, some people...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Walnut for Andy and Markus!

Finally, got hold of some decent wood for you guys. Stay tuned.

Edit! I am a sad git, completely oblivious to the fact that Andy ordered an alder ukulele. Excuses have been made and Markus will get a huuuge pineapple from all that walnut.

Friday, December 4, 2009

First coat of oil

It is far from done, Melker! But I'm trying a different approach to
the oil finish. Will try to make the bridge this weekend.

Robert. I will also do stuff on the piccolos.

Ronald. I will asses the material me and BaronK nicked to see if it
will suit our plans.

AndyF. I'll glue up a nice neck. The rest of the wood will be bought
during the week (hopefully).

Markus. I'll start on your pinapple mold.

Wife. I haven't forgotten about you. Or the kids.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Glueing fretboard

Finally got around to glueing the fretboard. It takes a while to get
the bar frets right, and even though I settle for less frets than
other builders it feels like there are sooo many of them.

Two hidden brads ensure the board doesn't slip during glueing (I
really hope).