Learning Ukulele 50 Sites Top 50 Ukulele Sites Argapa Ukuleles - one size louder

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Travel uke completed, while travelling

A few coats of shellac on the fretboard, and I noticed the shellac I brought is tinted red since the bass I made. Grr. It makes the alder look a bit like cherry. But let’s keep moving on. Holding the fret slotting jig with the styrene rod fret markers, I saw the slots. 

Then I press the frets in. Cut to length at with the ends rounded, because it would be impossible to shape them in situ like I would on a uke with a glued on fretboard. 

Ok. Not my proudest moment. Normally I’m quite good at securing the workpiece but this worked. 

Continuing with a chisel and planes to get the profile. These bridges are tiny. 

And compensating for the C-string. 

I put on masking tape in several layers to get some support that stops the bridge from sliding around. 

Drilling for the strings, the holes are angled the opposite way from the regular acoustic ukes where I want the strings to turn up in the soundhole. On these they must go around the carbon fibre tube below. 

Then I shaped the pegs in the Juzek peg shaper. 

The pegs are in place, cut to length and get holes for the strings. Note the wooden rod at the back, I forgot to bring the carbon tube so I made a rod of birch. I thought it would be strong enough. 

And here it is, after some more shellac. It turned out a bit rustic because of the limited selection of tools, but it is done. 

But the birch rod was a disgrace, look at it bending. I will change it to carbon as soon as I get back home. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Prögress as prömised

Before noon the front porch lies in shadow, which is perfect for me. I can’t stand the sun. 

I started out by planing the sides with my Veritas apron plane. When it’s sharp and well set up it’s a remarkable tool. 

The same plane handles the endgrain nicely. The clamping method was ok but the available bit of railing was a bit rickety. 

Taking down the edges of the neck with a sharp Mora carving knife…

… and smoothing out the back of the neck with an Ibex thumb plane. 

I check the width and taper with the fret slotting jig, in the pic it’s more or less ready for the next step which will be a few coats of shellac on the neck before slotting. 

I hope you catch the scenic backgrounds even though I try to keep my less industrious relatives out of focus. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The improbable resurrection of the Argapanator

Well Hell-o and welcöme back to the twitching corpse that is the Argapa blogspot! All avid readers know of my predicament with the packed and stored workshop and the family moving to a new apartment. We actually managed to sell the old place and have spent a furious week painting and assembling wardrobes and shelves at the new place, but this week we’re at the second cottage - the wee one in Småland. 

As I was packing stuff yesterday my eyes fell upon the alder traveller blank from earlier this year, and I thought to myself… what a wonderful (and size-wise appropriate) project to bring along. 

So I quickly chose the handtools I deemed necessary and chucked them in a bag. 

Hopefully I remembered all that I’ll need, and most likely I won’t even use all of them. I laid them all out on an old baking tray to keep them off of the dinner table. Have a look. 

I’ll keep you posted on the progress, sorry I mean prögress. Mustn’t skip on the evil heavy metal-esque Viking letters.