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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thicknessing headstocks

I know, I have always said I prefer to do this with chisels and small hand planes. But these resonators will have metal friction tuners instead of the usual violin pegs and it is a great advantage if the front and back sides are parallel.

So I tore out ye olde shoppe made drum sander, the modified lathe. And that worked so well I'm tempted to forgive its shortcomings when it came to sanding soundboards.

I also spent some time with an RO sander so the bodies are more or less done.

Now where did I put those fretboards..?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Aligning necks

I've put the barrel bolts in place and made a dry fit on both resos. They're quite tricky to get straight and get the neck angle perfect. But they're getting there, both of them. The "plan" is to attach the necks and backs, then start the awful job of sanding the bodies.

I'll wait until I get back from Palestine and Austria before I start on the fretboards.

Resonators are so fiddly. After you've done all the hard work it's time to start improvising around the bought hardware.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Necks shaped, at last

Some of you know that last week, when I was carving the wenge neck, I cut my finger really bad. So I had to put it on hold a bit. (In the meantime I fixed and gave away two guitars that were taking up valuable space in the shop.)

But yesterday I had an hour to spare so I finished carving with a short two-handled knife. Kind of like those failsafe launch buttons in movies, which require two operators. Then I sanded, a lot more than I usually do. Wouldn't have been possible without the excellent dust mask I got for christmas from my wife - both wenge and walnut are awful to have in your nose.

You can also see on the wenge neck the recess I cut into the heel. Alignment and angle are crucial for these resos, and it's far easier to achieve a good fit if you make that recess.

Both necks will be bolted on with barrel bolts.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Shellac on cherry

I'm about halfway through the finish on this one. An injured finger makes it a bit cumbersome to apply the shellac with any force in the polishing. Also this time I use walnut oil instead of olive oil to see if it makes any difference, and the process seems to benefit from longer intervals between sessions. Walnut oil is said to work as a hardener in shellac but maybe I should hang on to this for a while to evaluate for myself.

And I'm in no hurry really, remember this uke is un-ordered since a while back. So this morning only the top got a coat. And the peghead.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New rosette / soundhole cutter

One of my mates from online, Allen of Baron River guitars, told me about this tool. His friend Micheal Connor made it and had a few for sale. With some help from Allen I secured one, and it arrived yesterday.

It's solid brass. That's right, solid. Brass. It's heavy, or as they say in tool porn; hefty.

In the pics I use it to cut a 150 mm diameter hole in a walnut top for a resonator uke, and I'm gonna use it for the small soundports as well.

And to boot, Micheal made me a special cutter steel for a narrow rosette channel, so I haven't any excuses left for not making my first rosette!

Fanx Micheal, and of course Allen.