Learning Ukulele 50 Sites Top 50 Ukulele Sites Argapa Ukuleles - one size louder: 8/1/10 - 9/1/10

Monday, August 30, 2010

Polished and strung up

At least the two new piccolos are strung up. They have a good sheen from the shellac finish, but getting a good surface near the bridge is damn hard. So the pineapple is finished without bridge, and I'll have to scrape it away before glueing the bridge.

This is standard procedure for most builders, but it's a first for me.

The hinoki soundboard has revealed cross grain curl, and it's gonna be beautiful.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Not bad for a first attempt I think. The contrasting edge did reveal a slight irregularity in the shape though, one I didn't see before. But you can't get it all at once. At least it seems I can't.

Routing for binding..!

A spitcoat of shellac around the edges, and away we go. I've already made the part at the neck since I mount the neck before the back. I could put the back on (as I planned) before routing, but it feels stable enough. And I want to tune the top a bit before boxing up.

This might be the last you see of this uke. Routing is scary.


My son Johan made a sketch and had me bend the rim for him. Apparently it will have five strings, one of which should have rattly beads. I'm not sure if it's going to have frets, or a neck. But he's enjoying the build immensly.

Tuners might be fitted on the block at the "end".

Sunday, August 22, 2010

But what of the piccolos?

They're done, almost. A final coat of thin shellac for gloss and then nuts, tuners and strings.

One is for Jyotix, the other one... Erm, wasn't I supposed to check the order book?

And tomorrow I'm getting a better camera for this blog! Hopefully.

A pineapple for Michelle

Michelle in California found me on the internetz, and ordered a pineapple from me. She's been on the waiting list a while but this morning I started. I had walnut and some Hinoki for the top, and I ran it through the thickness sander at 10 o'clock. Then I bent the one piece rim and braced the soundboard. Blocks were glued and linings installed. Then I roughly carved the laminated neck and glued the top. I have now profiled the rim and take a break for putting Li to bed. Four hours effective building so far, and drying time for the glue. As you gather by now, I amaze myself.

Friday, August 13, 2010

More progress

Well I'm back at work, but things happen none the less. The two are ready for finishing, and I will use shellac I think.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Boxed up...

...and roughly sanded! These are going to be brilliant.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rapid progress, finally!

I've been waiting for a chance to report some speedy progress, and right now I am pretty impressed with myself.

I started these two ukuleles on monday, that is the day before yesterday. And I'm alone with the kids (they get fed, don't call the police).

They are very good so far, straight and clean in joints. Tomorrow the backs get glued on, then some heavy sanding in the forest behind my house.

One is destined for Holland, the other one... London? I need to check the order book.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Two days, two piccolos

After Hollesley I have an even longer list of ordered piccolo ukuleles..!

Good thing I am faster than ever. But these are the last two of the old soundboard batch. I need to make more, and that means an intense weekend in the big workshop resawing and thickness sanding.

When am I gonna get time for that?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New soprano

It is said to be the best firewood in the world. This is swedish ash, I cut the tree down myself some 20 years ago.

This has been one of my fastest builds yet, but the neck was shaped about a year ago. It's the first with a domed soundboard, and I am pleased to say that it is a very clean build. Neck joint is perfect. Bookmatch and line up too.

I have about 72 hours to finish it, and by that I mean put a finish on. I'll decide upon method tomorrow, Danish oil is an option.

Soundhole shape is a secret so far.

Piccolos reunited

In Hollesley, where I had a grand time, some of my piccolos met Phil's original. That was what made me start building them!

Phil's uke is great. But mine stood the test of being played beside it!

(I was nervous as hell.)