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sequoia
07-30-2016, 07:00 PM
I think I spend more time fiddling with this silly little piece than it deserves. It shouldn't be that hard. I have trouble getting that neck heal volute perfectly flat (it tends to round) and then gluing the cap on is slippery business. Then matching radiousing to fit flush to the the back. I spend way too much time on this piece. Should be a quick slam dunk. Does this give anyone else a slight pain?

Below a pic of the cap glued on. Everything will proceed quickly form here and all will be fine, fine. Just sand flush. But why did it take the better part of an afternoon to get here? I want my life back! Plus your average player never notices the silly thing!

93025

Allen
07-30-2016, 09:14 PM
;)

Wanna try one of mine?

Jim Hanks
07-31-2016, 04:09 AM
Timbuck already made this joke, but here it goes again. All I could find for decorative heal cap is stuff like this. ;)
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/b8/c9/52/b8c952aeb32f8f36a76eb481cb634d29.jpg

jcalkin
07-31-2016, 09:39 AM
Dry fit the over-size neck to the body. Fit the edge of the heel cap blank to the ribs and glue it onto the heel with neck in place. Mark the centerline and the shape of the heel cap you want, then carve the neck.

DPO
07-31-2016, 11:26 AM
When I build my banjo uke necks the heel cap is glued on when the neck is still a blank. From then on it's easy peasy, the heel cap is sanded when I radius the end of the neck, is bandsaw when I rough shape it, is rasped and sanded etc etc.

sequoia
07-31-2016, 06:08 PM
It really isn't that hard. I'm just a little annoyed at how long it takes. Then again, it can be a little tricky. At least for this amateur. Below the sand out which took about 2 minutes... It is the details that take time like anything else. The devil is in the details.

Actually I think the neck heal cap does fulfill a small function other than ornamental. That point on the uke does seem to take a lot of abuse and needs to be protected. However, let's face it; the neck heal cap is just bling.

93042

Rrgramps
08-01-2016, 03:34 AM
When I build my banjo uke necks the heel cap is glued on when the neck is still a blank. From then on it's easy peasy, the heel cap is sanded when I radius the end of the neck, is bandsaw when I rough shape it, is rasped and sanded etc etc.


It really isn't that hard. I'm just a little annoyed at how long it takes. Then again, it can be a little tricky. At least for this amateur. Below the sand out which took about 2 minutes... It is the details that take time like anything else. The devil is in the details.

Actually I think the neck heal cap does fulfill a small function other than ornamental. That point on the uke does seem to take a lot of abuse and needs to be protected. However, let's face it; the neck heal cap is just bling.

93042

You're getting closer! A little scraping and sanding and you've got it.

Next time, ya might try doing it first and carve it in one piece, like Dennis commented.

Timbuck
08-01-2016, 06:25 AM
Martin Guitars fit the heel caps last ..There is this video of a Factory Tour showing a talented young Lady fitting a heel cap you can see the operation here at approx: 17.07
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaLOsq1G_Bk

cml
08-01-2016, 06:41 AM
Martin Guitars fit the heel caps last ..There is this video of a Factory Tour showing a talented young Lady fitting a heel cap you can see the operation here at approx: 17.07
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaLOsq1G_Bk
THANK YOU for that link Ken, I'm now stuck watching :D!

Rrgramps
08-01-2016, 07:33 AM
Martin Guitars fit the heel caps last ..There is this video of a Factory Tour showing a talented young Lady fitting a heel cap you can see the operation here at approx: 17.07
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaLOsq1G_Bk
My internet provider is too limiting for me to watch it in its entirety, but the first two minutes was cool. Especially the commercial manufacturer's usage of aluminum in their mold forms.

I'm so glad though, that folks like Ken have brought the usage of aluminum into his shop, including the machining and invention of many tools and jigs, then share it with us. We are so privileged that we have those who are that advanced, yet are willing show us how, so that we can really benefit from this great forum.

ksquine
08-01-2016, 08:07 AM
Martin Guitars fit the heel caps last ..There is this video of a Factory Tour showing a talented young Lady fitting a heel cap you can see the operation here at approx: 17.07
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaLOsq1G_Bk

I can't imagine cutting a heel that way!! I wonder how many you have to cut before daring to bring a saw that close to the body.

sequoia
08-01-2016, 06:22 PM
Martin Guitars fit the heel caps last ..There is this video of a Factory Tour showing a talented young Lady fitting a heel cap you can see the operation here at approx: 17.07
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaLOsq1G_Bk

Great video Ken. Thanks... Walking that fine line between strength and tone on the top bracing. Amen. Where Martin has always excelled. Me? I just pray. It is a fine, fine line.

(Oops. It should be "heel" caps and not "heal" caps as pointed out by an English type person. I'm so mortified. I used to be an editor which makes it worse. We had a saying: Hey, like shit, typos happen. Thanks for pointing that out. I feal so much better. )

Michael N.
08-02-2016, 02:56 AM
I can't imagine cutting a heel that way!! I wonder how many you have to cut before daring to bring a saw that close to the body.

Probably quite a lot. There are ways to make this kind of thing a little easier and quicker. It's called cheap Pine and a quick mock up. You can make as many mistakes as you want. Do enough and you'll become proficient. I wouldn't do such a thing for a heel cap but I did for neck and heel carving. It's amazing how fast you can become when the neck is a bit of cheap throwaway pine and it's not going on a finished instrument. When you've carved 6 or 7, one after the other, you can easily half (if not more) the time that it takes. Sometimes it's worth experimenting with scrap wood, especially for aspects that are just taking much longer than you think that they should.

Timbuck
08-02-2016, 04:08 AM
I like the bit where She fits the brass shim underneath where the binding fits so the heel cap will will fit snug after the binding has been scraped clean of the build up of laquer...It took me a while to work out what that was all about ;)

Rrgramps
08-02-2016, 04:39 AM
There are ways to make this kind of thing a little easier and quicker. It's called cheap Pine and a quick mock up...

...it's worth experimenting with scrap wood, especially for aspects that are just taking much longer than you think that they should.
Haha. Scrap bin pine works for me. I've listened to Ken's pallet ukulele, heard some 2x4 ukuleles, took notice a few years ago when Taylor sold their pallet guitars for $2k, and am playing with the idea myself until I get properly tooled up.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff189/indianavaquero/music/59D86782-ACAA-48F4-A791-33CA93DBFF92.jpg

93052
StewMacs spruce tops are less than $10, although I have a kit from Hana Lima 'Ia waiting for me when I'm sure of my chops.
------------
Sequoia, I'm only worried that if you keep processing that heal, it will end up pointed. ;)

Michael N.
08-02-2016, 08:18 AM
I wouldn't use that Top commercially but I'd be perfectly happy to use it on my own personal instrument. In fact I kind of like wide (ish) grained wood with prominent growth rings. The very first guitar that I made (I was still at school, decades ago!) had a 3 piece pine Top made from an old door. I think the grain count was about 2 per inch. I had to resaw it using a hand saw. Those woodwork teachers could be cruel. I was young and energetic though, couldn't possibly do that kind of donkey work now. That first guitar went on the bonfire shortly after I completed my second. I've often thought that I might try and recreate it, if only for a bit of nostalgia. I know, it's a bit sad.

Rrgramps
08-02-2016, 01:36 PM
That's a 2x4 top from Lowes. Probably won't go into a build, but good practice for a rosette. In fact, its a cast off and I was using it to setup for resaw testing on my bandsaw. I threw it away again. But then made a shooting board, and used it for planing practice, and then, for glue-up, just to see how my jigs are working. The kerf on it was a bandsaw test to check the back of the blade vs front. I threw it away then too. LOL I may keep it for a conversation piece.

gspears
08-05-2016, 10:58 AM
Has anyone used MOP for a heel cap? have been thinking of trying it. I cant seem to find a piece I like in the cutoff bin for my current build. Never used mop for heel cap before. Just want to get some input before I try it.

sequoia
08-05-2016, 06:34 PM
Absolutely it would work. I've never done it myself, but why not? Just cut it, glue it and grind it down to shape... The one thought I would have would be if MOP would look good there against all that wood. The way I see it is that the heal cap does two jobs: It covers and disguises that ugly end grain on the neck and two, it protects the instrument when it gets banged and dropped.