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Monday, September 21, 2020

Tops on resos and the soprano

First pic shows the epoxy goo holding the mesh in place. Not pretty, I know, but it is the mist effective way I’ve come up with. 

Glue goes on using the rubber roller. Titebond has a great open time but I could use a faster glue since I have the cleats around the perimeter to locate everything perfectly. 

I glue both at the same time so they act as the perfect cauls. In between is a thin layer of foam material to even out the pressure. 

Then I started with a rosette for Li’s new soprano. Once again I whip out the rosette cutter, you know how I feel about it by now. 

I chose black - wood - black, with the wood in the middle being mahogany just like the body. Turned out really nice and subtle. 

And cutting out the hole once the rosette is scraped down. 

The bridge patch, also mahogany, is glued on the solera to give the top the desired arch. 

More to come! Right now I’m building faster than I’m blogging.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Tops and rims on the twin resos

It was time to take the rims down to height. Especially the alder one was way too high, almost tricking me into reaching for a saw. But I went with the humongous chisel instead, paring it down with very satisfying results. 

Then I rubbed them on a sanding plate. I want all sides to be dead flat before glueing the tops and backs. 

I’ve made so many resos by now that I have jigs and templates for most steps. Here you see me marking the center of the sound ports, with a piece of perspex. Another one is in the big well for the cone, giving me the center spot for the 150 mm hole.  

And here I’m cutting out the large hole with my circle cutter. I love it so much. Look up Micheal Connor, master tool maker. But don’t do it if you’re worried about paying realistic prices for handmade, top-quality tools. Tip: it’s so worth it. 

I need cleats to hold everything in place, so I use the only short length of kerfed lining strip these ukes will ever see. One by one the segments are superglued in place around the perimeter. 

And here’s where we’re at. I’ve cut out the pieces of steel mesh which are going to be glued in place, but can’t mix the epoxy now. My wife does not like the smell and the workshop is right next to our bed room. I’ll do it tomorrow before shuffling to the day job with a heavy heart and a hunched back. 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Prögress on resos and a traveller

I found an alder blank at the cottage, and thought I might as well go ahead and start it up. Since brad point drill bits have a, well, brad point they tend to leave a bottom with a lot of holes. So I tried doing it with a plug drill. That left plugs and some wood in between so I chopped it out with chisels. 

I left the vice and used my sturdy workbench instead. 

And after the hole was cut I could mark out the contours and saw it out on the bandsaw. I made a new drive belt but I suspect it won’t last any longer than my previous one. 

Back home it was time to bend sides for the resos. I planed the dowels down while the iron was heating up. 

Often when I work I realize that I forget exactly how to do certain things, between builds. But this one I remembered - do not plane the dowels lengthwise. You will mess the plywood up at the last stroke. Instead, plane across the dowels. 

At the waist I needed one of my tiny planes. This won’t mess any plywood up. 

The bending went alright. The pine was trickier than the alder but I think both will turn out nicely.