Learning Ukulele 50 Sites Top 50 Ukulele Sites Argapa Ukuleles - one size louder: 8/1/17 - 9/1/17

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Last steps on 103

Yesterday it was finally time to cross the finish line. Gathered round the uke are tuners, fishing line, bone saddle blanks and glass beads. 

I bought guitar saddle blanks that I cut down for nuts and saddles. In the pic you see the half pencil I use to dial in the height of the nut, the line shows the level of the frets. 

Then I use a ruler to lay out the outside string positions, marking them on the bridge. 

I divide the distance and use an awl to mark before drilling holes for the strings. 

My tiny drill is often known as a pin vise. But I think of it as a drill. 

I countersink the holes with a round engraving bit...

... and feed the strings through, put a bead on and tie the knot. 

That's as far as I got, photo-wise. The uke turned out great and it has a very nice voice. I'll see if I can get more pics up, or a recording. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Finishing the koa soprano

Just a couple of pics showing tve progress. There are five or six coats on, all so far applied without oil. But the muneca starts to drag now so I'll continue using oil to lubricate. 

The figure has popped quite nicely. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017


I thought about not making the bridge until I got back to the workshop, the slot is very difficult to make without the mini table saw. But then I thought, nah I'll give it a whirl. 

I made two lines with a knife, and carefully sawed with the tiny Exacto saw down in each. 

Then with an equally tiny mortise chisel I removed the wood between the saw cuts. First bottle of beer can be seen in the background. 

After a good deal of faffing the bridge was done, the sourdough rye pot bread was as well, and the second bottle of beer was under way. 

Measuring and laying out as usual, we've covered this many times...

...and the bridge glued in place with my favourite clamps (from metmusic in New York).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Back braces, back and fretboard

Things are moving fast, I can't really keep up blogging at the same pace as I build the uke. Being at the no workshop cottage means I do everything by hand and that is a most welcome change from last year's batch building. 

In the first pic you can see the radius gauge I hastily made before going here, I couldn't bring the radius dish. So I shape the braces with a tiny plane. They're made from reclaimed wood from an old loom. 

I saw notches in the lining strips and then plane the ends of the brace to fit snugly. 

All three are done and glued in. Then I glued the back on, and by then the primitive conditions caught up with me - it went ok but was a bit stressful. I prefer my solera. 

And sitting on the porch I trimmed the edges and have sanded the body up to 600 grit. 

But I did forget something at home, my fretboard markers. So I rummaged through the cottage in search of something useful. Did I find a suitable replacement? You tell me. 

What's that I hear you grumble? Not enough saw action? Okay, have a look at the finished saws. More might follow.