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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Alder ukulele mock up

Braces and bridge patch are in place, sides and neck just lying next
to the soundboard.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Alder neck carved

The neck for Andy's alder soprano is shaped with the tools visible in
the pic. Alder is a wonderful wood to work with, carves like butter.
The stripe is both for looks and for strength.

Those of you reading this, send a happy thought to Andy, he's gonna be
a father!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A mess that defies belief...

In it can be seen, barely and left to right:
- Fourth piccolo sides, with end block glued in.
- Thick piece of basswood bent to be sliced and used as solid linings.
- Alder sides for Andy's soprano, with blocks glued.
- Two almost ready piccolos. The one with the strings awaits final
- Walnut sides for pineapple, blocks glued.
- Neck for pineapple, with maple stripe.
- Back and soundboard for pineapple, sanded to thickness in my sander.
- Alder neck with mahogany stripe.
- Soundboard and back of alder, sanded to thickness.
- Robert's piccolo with the back glued, ready for fret slotting with
the perspex jig.

I really ought to finish some of them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Piccolo progress report

The first one got tuners and was strung up, just to make sure the
whole idea wasn't flawed.

It sounds really good. So the project continues! Still need to sand
the sides properly and finish it. The one with the fretboard got it's
bridge today, significantly lower than the first which is in island
style and a slightly big neck angle. This one also needs sanding.

I put out a request for a helper (slave) to do my sanding, on the
swedish forum. But no one answered. The solution is, of course, to
build some machine or a multi-radii sanding block.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Session at the Baron's

Mange and Robin:

My soprano, Mange's cherry sop, and Robin's with the cedar top:

A couple of hours later, with the harps and some more beer cans:

Last night I got to see a couple of Argapas when me, Mange and Robin (BaronK of Youtube fame) got together to drink beer and jam a bit. You can see the result on Youtube, at


And this post is done from a computer, so it was possible to have more than one pic.

Maybe this works as well:

Yay, it seems to work! If only the font could work as well. Back to phone blogging after this experiment.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Walnut top, bracing piccolo

The day continues, lots of work gets done. I am joining the second set
of top and back halves for Markus' pineapple and while the glue dries
I'm bracing Robert's piccolo. The neck isn't attached, it is only
lying there to make the uke look like a uke.

I even made a jigsaw puzzle with Johan on the bandsaw.

Sides bent

Now they're done, so this is an update almost directly after the
operation. I'll have to check the blog later to know how long it took,
I lost track of time completely.

Bending sides for pinapple...

...and a cherry piccolo when the iron is hot. There won't be real time
blogging this time, maybe a post afterwards (if I'm successful).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Alder sides bent!

Ta-daa! Not cut to length yet, springback not at all bad. I'll let
them set in the form over night. Maybe they'll need some adjusting or
final setting on the bending iron. I'll put that to good use when I
bend the sides for the pineapple. I have no bending jig for those
(yet) so it will be done freehand on the iron.

Dark line on inside near waist is from a marker I foolishly used on
the foil to keep the side centered, it will be sanded and removed
Andy, I promise.

Bending alder sides, 4

First side in holding form, second under way!

Bending alder sides, 3

Lastly, the foil on the upper side is removed and the side is cooked
once more until dry. Hopefully springback will be minimal.

These posts are being made in real time, so you get the idea of how
long it takes me.

Alder - bends like butter, smells like a sauna! Wonderful!

Bending alder sides, 2

Waist first, then the bouts one at the time. Wood is wrapped in
aluminium foil to keep the moisture in. I apply some water a few
minutes before bending.

Bending alder sides, 1

First side in the bender.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mold cont.

Hopefully it isn't too big, some dodgy work with a sanding drum. Maybe
I'll line it with a thin layer of basswood but I have to measure a bit
and compare it with the neck. Maybe a 14th fret connection?


Found a block of wood left over from some project started about 20
years ago. Holes so that the blade can turn, it is a tad wide for the
radii I'm aiming for.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pineapple shape

As you can tell by the table cloth, I'm at my parents'. And I'm trying
to decide the shape of the new uke. It's gonna be the same length as
my regular sopranos, but without the waist the soundboard will be a
whole lot bigger.

What will it sound like..?

Wood resawn for Andy and Markus

Finally got the alder (for Andy) and the wanut (for Markus) sorted. I
am really happy the way things turned out - the planks were even
better than I thought.

Now I sort of need a pineapple mold for Markus' ukulele... but I'll
fix the necks first I think. I already made a neck of walnut, but this
is darker and prettier so I'll just have to make a new one from the
same board.

Johan's music box

My darling son made this from scraps lying around the workshop. We're
still trying out the best way to hold the pieces, but the fun thing is
the difference in sound between the various pieces.

Secret project

Late nights some effort is made to advance the secret Rockonald
Uckenbacker. Do NOT tell anyone...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back on track

I was gonna chuck my dead christmas tree, but instead I glued the top
on piccolo number 3 and started carving the neck of number 4.

Tomorrow I'm off to the big saws to resaw walnut, alder and some more
cherry. Oh and maybe some other wood as well.