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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Salvaged wood

My friend Jacob managed to salvage this log from an old barn that was collapsing close to his summer house. It might be spruce, but I think it's fir. It's at least 150 years old, probably lot older. Grain is tight and the log appears to be straight.

I'm gonna split it to wedges along the grain, there ought to be quite a few soprano tops in it. Jacob wants some kind of tenor I think, but we'll see about that.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


9 of 36 frets pressed in... I'm knackered. The uke in front has a cork block and a piece of scrap wood clamped to the neck, and I use the screw clamp to press the frets in.

I cut them to length first, then shape their ends to a near parabolic shape. The tang is cut back so it won't come out if the neck shrinks a bit. It is hard, slow, tedious work. But it's fun as well.

I really can't wait to string these three up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Start / finish

Heh. A witty title. I decided upon an oil finish since I have a bit of studying to do before next experiment with shellac. And the frets are not in place, in order to facilitate the first coats.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nut job

With my ancient, super sharp chisel I carefully cut away wood from where the nut goes. The slot for the front edge is cut at the same time as the fret slots.

Checking depth

Jig removed, I check the depth with the small Stewmac gauge I bought. That time. When I got feeding frenzy in their webshop.

The white styrene rods will be glued in the holes and cut flush, becoming tiny fretboard markers.

Right. The kids.

Slotting the neck

With the perspex jig in place (which means the neck is the correct width), fret slots are cut with one of the tiny saws that clutter the workshop. It has the set removed film the teeth and makes slots of the right dimension since.

I think I'm gonna cut slots in all three tonight. Just have to put the kids to bed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dust evacuation when sanding by hand

From left to right: my multi radiused sanding gizmo, a make-shift sanding stick, an abranet mesh, the abranet standard block with the hose connected, and a home made velcro-clad tube with holes in it. While the first two are completely fine for outdoor use, the abranet system really wins during winter. The drawback is of course the noise from the shopvac, but I have one that's quite silent.

This also saves my nostrils which have been acting a bit strangely. Ever since I sanded some black walnut, a wood famous for its toxic dust.

I am not sponsored by Mirka, who makes the system, this is to be regarded as a tip for others who build at home. And who are lazy enough not to use a mask while sanding.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bridges blank

My supply of piccolo bridges ran out, so I've made another meter. Each bridge is about 5 centimeters, and they're lowered individually after cutting off to suit the specific instrument. Height is dependent on neck angle, which in turn is dependent on, er, luck. And coincidence.