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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Quick report

I'm a bit too tired to make a proper blog entry, but I wanted to get this up before the end of the month. I've been to Vietnam and then Peru since my latest post, all in the last two weeks. But I have made some progress nonetheless. 

Both necks are carved and the one for the piccolo is attached. The soprano is bound, since it's a cedar top. It has a few wash coats of shellac but I plan to use lacquer to protect this insanely dentable wood. 

And a pic with everything flipped. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Progress on piccolo and soprano

I'm building a soprano of walnut and cedar. My customer has asked for cedar since he likes the sound of the one I built for BaronK, my friend Robin that is. I planed the soundboard to thickness instead of sanding it, and chose braces and bridge patch from reclaimed wood. The pieces come from an old piano and a hundred year old loom (that I cut up).

But on Robin's uke I put a single tone bar as well, so in order to replicate that I'll put one on this one as well. 

With a lamp behind it I can clearly see how to shape the brace. It needs to fit the dome I introduced when I glued in the bridge patch. 

And once it's curved I glue it in. 

Here's where we're at. Bridge blanks are planed and ready for carving. The soprano neck has an ebony reinforcement stripe and a headplate to match the back and sides. 

Closest to the camera is a bunch of fretboards I prepared. Laburnum, rosewood, mystery wood and lilac. 

No, wait - here's where we're really at. I glued the sides to the soundboard. And I glued the cross grain strip to the seam of the back as well. 

The rest of this month will suffer heavily from my day job. I'll visit Hanoi and just after that Lima so plenty of valuable building time will be lost. But I'm rather pleased so far, up to here I've been fast. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Making braces

The new year has seen me shipping two ukes already, and I am currently working on four more; a piccolo, two resos, and a soprano of walnut and cedar. I've done the rather tedious job of thickness sanding all the wood (plus a large number of fretboards) so it'll be the pleasant wind-in-the-back feeling of assembly for a while. I didn't sand the cedar though, that was hand planed to thickness. 

Yesterday I made the braces for the piccolo, and put the neck block and the kerfed linings in the bent sides. I made the braces from old wood reclaimed from a loom, lovely stuff. 

I split the wood with a knife to get the grain perfectly straight, then planed the braces with my Lie-Nielsen no.1, which is a great plane for small jobs. 

I make the profile with my knife, but I do use both hands off camera. 

Here they are, ready for glueing. And in the last pic they're glued.