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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Carving necks for the zero sanding ukes

Well the two piccolos I attempt to build with abrasives are coming along. The tops are braced and glued to the sides so it was time to start the necks. 

I started out with the drawknife, the on for a bit with the small contour plane (similar to a spokeshave) and then the large carving knife and the smaller whittling knife. 

All knives mentioned are Swedish. And dirt cheap. I say this because I am a bit disappointed with my more expensive knives. I have a few Hock violin knives and a Japanese very beautiful kiridashi, but much as I try to love them they are simply not as good as my cheapo Swedish knives. 

I started out today by sharpening the ones I was going to use on Japanese waterstones (and they are way, WAY better than any Swedish stones). Went through 1000, 4000 and 8000 grit before stropping them on leather charged with honing compound. They were sharp even before, but since I won't sand these necks I wanted not only scary sharp but mind boggling sharp. 

And off I went. Not even the heels with the end grain put up a fight - the knife went through like a ray of sunshine through a dark room. 

You may notice I hold the neck in my hand. The jig I usually have the neck clamped upon is very good but I needed to feel the grain more directly before and during every single cut here, to make sure the surface is as good as I can possibly get it. Remember, no sandpaper to cover the traces!

Then my mind wandered a bit (it's our wedding day after all) so I only sort of finished one of them. 

I'll leave you with this shavings picture. 

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