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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Piccolo progress

When the frets are in place and the nut ledge cut I turn my attention to the bridge. This setup in the first pic gives me the height, this time it was around 8 mm. 

I mark on a piece of tape the extended lines of the edge of the fretboard. This helps me place the bridge where it needs to be. 

Here’s the bridge with tape all around it. Before glueing, I drill the holes for the A and G strings. With brads through the holes the bridge won’t slip. 

The brads were replaced with sewing needles, remember this tiny house lacks most tools but is packed with sewing supplies. 

Then I use the divider to mark the location for the E and C strings. The divider is of course a Ken Timms tool. 

I drill the holes at an angle so it’s easier to feed the strings through to the soundhole. 

Ever wondered why Argapa headstocks have parallel sides? Then take one look at this pic and realize it’s the sensible choice. I need the tuner holes so I can hang the uke up during finishing, but I’ll ream them later. 

And here we are this morning. About halfway through the French polishing process. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

On the road again

Vacation continues, and so does the hard work. I’ve gone south to the next cottage and I brought a field kit of tools and a half finished piccolo. 

But there’s always something I forget to bring. Remember the button fret markers last summer? Well this year I forgot the 1.6 mm styrene rod I use to make fret marker dots on the piccolos. I searched around and found this plastic paper clip which will have to do. 

With the sourdough festering in the background I drilled and filled the holes. 

Then I used my fret slot cutting jig to make the slots. I need to make a new one soon, this one has been around for a fair bit of time now. 

The nut location is determined by the first slot. I use a sharp chisel to create a ledge for the nut. 

There has been more progress but I’ll put that in the next post. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Mock lute done

Well gosh darn and blimey, it’s done. The C and E strings are doubled and that is a revelation - I love the tuning and the six strings. 

Its geometry fought me during the build but I prevailed. 

I watched a video of a builder making bowl backed instruments and thought I understood it, but I had to use some force to get it together. The contrasting wood is walnut. 

My customer asked for one thing in the first email, that the peghead would have a less acute angle. Guess what, I forgot. So sorry David, there will be a discount!

I used a guitar bridge pin as an end pin to get the right scale. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Slow but unsteady

We’re having the worst heatwave I can remember. I have to stay in the shade and take it as easy as possible. But I made the bridge (twice) and glued it on (twice). I started finishing (twice) and stripped off the finish (once). 

And I made the six holes and reamed them for the set of Wittner Fein tuners I got from Germany. More about them later. 

And I took my Dobro tenor guitar apart to service it some. I wanted to make a bone nut and try different strings. Now it sounds better but I might change the strings to get a wee bit more tension on the cone. 

Here’s the saddle slot in the spider, it was super rough so I trued it up and recessed the screw. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Vacation time, continued

I’m back in Sweden, at the summer house with the best view. I brought the mock lute and a set of tools that’ll let me finish it. If all goes well..!