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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ron's tenor... and a couple of concerts?!

Fretboard is finished, and glued to the neck. I sanded the body outside, in the forest behind my house, with our new cordless sander (to the right in the pic). It works great, and everything that helps to keep the dust level down is hugely appreciated.

I also made a very neat bridge of ebony, and it gets sanded underneath to conform to the domed soundboard.

But the strangest news is... the Argapa concerts took a leap forward when I sanded all the flat parts today. I made the necks last weekend. Look out, Ben and Brian! The parts can be seen behind Johan's jelly-fish-ulele.

Now; supper.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ronald's tenor, back on

How come I never thought of this before? With a magical mirror, I can show both sides in one pic! Oh the joy of discoveries...

The back went on yesterday, and I cut the overhang tonight. With knives and a chisel. Laminate trimmers and flush cut routers are for non vikings. And wimps. And posers.

Anyway, you should be able to see the ash peghead veneer and the ash heel cap, the latter of which is integrated in the back. Both pieces come from the same tree that was used in Jukka's and Aya's wedding uke (see label called something along those lines).

This tenor has moved on quite fast. I'm used to mahogany and the new mold works great. For finish, I'm considering egg white pore filling and shellac.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bridge repair on a factory made uke

A friend of a friend asked me to repair her uke. It's a decent concert, sort of blinged and with a plastic lacquer. Bridge have come clean off together with the lacquer (yes it was glued on top).

But wait a minute... Glued? Look at the underside of the bridge. It's double stick tape! Complete with fiber reinforcement! Some industrial grade, not carpet tape. It has bonded with the finish and it worked for a couple of years. Now it's hard and brittle. I had to pause chipping it off to document this.

This bridge is going to get a wood to wood bond, as it should have been in the first place.

Grant's 'ook-oh lay-lee strung up

That's my new spelling, innit!

It was hard enough putting it down for the time it took to take the pic, so descriptions will be made in the upcoming video. Watch fb and the forums. I must try to record the sound with my Zoom, and then sync and... hm. Might actually be built in mic as usual.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011


It's hard to take a decent pic of something shiny. But here's an attempt. There are maybe 6 coats of Tru oil on it so far, with some careful sanding in between. One coat was applied with the oil on a sandpaper, to grain fill. That gives you a slurry that is very hard to get even. I ended up rubbing the surface with my palms. I reek of Tru oil.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Scale length

It's not always easy for me to get the distances right, and this new body shape tricked me a bit. But with the guitar sized template (and some luck) I could choose a new scale length that will give me the desired neck to body connection, neck length and neck block to bridge plate distance.

Phew. So it'll be 440.5 mm scale length plus compensation, and a 14th fret connection.

Now I just need to keep calm and remember which slots to use when sawing.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ronald's tenor, sides glued to top

Bracing pattern is sort of instinct based. I'll leave the back off for a bit so I can tap and feel after neck is bolted on, and the hole is cut. Then there's the issue of Rockonald's undersaddle pickup... I don't know anything about those yet, other than that they're lying in a heap somewhere.

The essence of Argapa bridge theory

The unfinished bridge on Grant's uke, here with a replaceable pao ferro saddle. Some touching up, then glueing. But first, bike excursion with Ann and the wee monsters.