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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Travel uke mark II

I have quite a lot to show you*, but to keep it relatively logical I’ll limit this post to one project. A project I foolhardily started today. 

I thought I should bring my Argapa Fugly Wanderer to the MUMF do in Wales, but if all I bring are ukes in my possession that means it would be prototypes of varying degree of success. For example, as I played my travel uke the other day it was obvious it’s too short at the nut end. So wanting to show a decent travel uke in May I have no option but to build another. 

I found a slab of cherry. 

I roughed it down with my no.4 Stanley, the one I’ve set up as a scrub plane. Maybe I should widen its mouth some, and let the transmogrification be permanent. 

In the pic you can see the characteristic undulating surface the heavily cambered blade leaves. 

After smoothing it out lengthwise with a no.5 jack plane I checked the surface with some makeshift winding sticks. 

Then I ripped it to width to get the outside contour in order. 

I took the neck down to its tapering width, checking it with the fret slotting template and a ruler to see where the bridge will end up. 

Through all this I protected the upper face with cork linings in the vise. It’s too easy to mar the surface. Don’t ask me how I know. 

Then I flipped it over and started hogging out the wood that’s not supposed to be there. It went slower than I remember from last time, but I didn’t want to faff around with a drill.  

Halfway down I started thinking about a drill. Here’s my Record router plane doing its best. 

* I’m not sure I have any readers but addressing a bunch, imaginary or not, makes me feel more sane. 

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