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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Neck making, continued, and a template

I had an hour this morning so I continued sawing those neck blanks. First pic shows the second of a nested pair getting its headstock defined with the Pax rip saw. The left over wedge will come in handy, I reach for wedges all the time. 

I have three sopranos on the bench so I stopped at four neck blanks. The last pair can wait a bit. They’re pretty rough so some (a lot of) planing is necessary. 

I chose my no.5 jack plane for the bulk of the work. Long enough to be precise but nimble enough to adjust the surfaces quickly. 

And here they are, really straight grained and pretty mahogany. They will be perfect for the ukes I’m working on. 

But that’s not all. Remember the Fugly Traveller? Sure you do. I wnt to make some more and I need a template. With a sheet of 5 mm plexi / perspex I laid out all the lines. 

And I cut it out on the band saw and cleaned it up with files. More to follow!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Neck making

I need some soprano necks. I have a chunk of mahogany that I took home from the cottage and the larger scale workshop, remember the bandsaw there is up shit creek with no sight of a paddle. I’ve thought of pestering the wood shop teacher at Li’s school - I can see their bandsaw through a window when I walk past - but never got around to it. So tonight as I stood with a so far rejected neck blank of Spanish cedar I thought, feck let’s just saw this to necks and be done with it. 

So I laid out six profiles, nested as they usually are. 

I need holes later, to let a narrow saw blade turn, I found easier to drill them while it was still a large piece. 

Then rip sawing between the pairs. I tried my other new old rip saw, the pointy one in the background, but it needs a bit of sharpening. So I let loose my trusty Pax saw which made short work of the task. 

Then I cut the blanks to length with my father’s old cross cut saw. Despite the plastic handle it’s a great tool. 

Then the only tricky cut so far, going between the blanks with a bow saw. I bought the blades and hardware from somewhere but went cheap and fitted them on an old frame I had. Li helped me take the pic. 

Not quite done but enough progress for tonight. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Resonator finished

Why not finish this one already, eh? Not much left and I’m back in Sweden. 

With the headstock clamped in the front vise I bevelled the fret ends with... wait for it... the fret end bevelling file. 

Go on and ask me why all Argapa headstocks have straight parallel sides. Anyone?

Then I rounded over the fret ends with the fret end file. Another excellent, albeit expensive, tool from Stewmac. If I wasn’t intent on taking ghis pic I’d have brushed the filings from bevelling off first. 

For reasons the nut had to be a wee bit thicker on this uke. I found a blank of buffalo horn that fit, and the dark colour goes well with the fretboard and the rest of the uke. Behold in the pic; the half pencil. 

I string all my instruments with fishing line leader. They’re solid fluorocarbon just like Worth strings. And having reels at hand really helps. 

And it’s strung up, set up, tweaked, stamped and completed. I like it. If the customer changes his mind I wouldn’t mind keeping this one, not at all. 

The blemish on the back of the headstock is from an insect bite. It appeared during carving and doesn’t matter. 

The headplate is made from the cut out disc of the sound well. To get rid of the hole I split it and glued it back together with the stripey strip in the middle. I’m sure I told you this when it happened. 

And the number to call if it gets too loud. 

And the last pic; when I tried it yesterday I found the corners on the stringholder a bit sharp. So I took them out with a sanding drum on my Proxxon. It now matches the end of the fretboard, and it’s a design by accident that I will use again. Very classy looking.