PDA

View Full Version : Build-along, my first build!



cml
08-04-2016, 12:08 PM
EDIT:
Some hopefully useful links from my build so far:
DIY Dremel router base:
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?121895-DIY-Dremel-router-base

Well kind of, as some of you may know I built an electric uke earlier this year. Slippery slope from there...

Anyway, first off I want to thank all of you who hang out here in the lounge and share your knowledge. This is a truly wonderful place, this forum and the rest of forums as well.
I hope this could be a fun read for you lot, if only to see where I mess up ;).

Right now I'm in the planning stages, as is evident from my questions popping up here and there. I hope you'll bear with me, remember you gotta start somewhere! Without your help and knowledge, I'd be lost :).

Status so far is that I'm working on some simple jigs, building a router base for my dremel (which I probably wont need for the bindings as I've acquired a router). Will be good for inlay and rosette and sound hole cutting though, so I still need to finish it!
I'm also working on a simple mold, in the style of the suggested mold to build had one purchased a Stew-Mac kit. There's some other jigs etc to build, but it's nice because it allows me to keep momentum up while waiting the 2-3 weeks for my wood and supplies to arrive from the states!

cml
08-04-2016, 12:13 PM
Btw this is the set I plan to use, spalted curly maple:
http://adirondacktonewood.com/images/1468961977961-1994218968.jpeg
And the top, western red cedar:
http://adirondacktonewood.com/images/146422371366549663680.jpeg
I've also bought some extras should I mess things up so much that it isnt salvageable (a set of bird's eye maple), and also got some scrap side wood to practice on.

(Not my pictures but used with permission, from Adirondack Tonewood)

sequoia
08-04-2016, 06:34 PM
Interesting wood and pretty. However, a note of caution. Spalted wood is actually partially rotted wood. Those pretty veins are caused by bacteria or fungus and can be unstable. I love the look of spalted wood, but bending it can be problematic. Also curly maple is by definition one big grain run out. That said I have never had a problem bending unspalted curly maple (well maybe once or twice). Don't mean to be negative, just approach slowly and very carefully like you would a rabid wild cat and everything will be fine. Pretty wood. Look forward to seeing the result.

cml
08-04-2016, 09:03 PM
"Rabid wild cat" :D, love that description!

cml
08-05-2016, 09:02 AM
Some moderate progress today...
The mold is ready now, it's a simple design based on the stew-mac instructions for their tenor kit:
93178
While waiting for some stuff that was gluing I built a prototype thickness sander from a belt sander. The idea is to clamp the whole thing with the extension rig in a vise.
93182
As seen below it's at 2mm thickness, but it can go lower or higher as well. Didnt have the time to try it out so I dont know if it's gonna work or not, but everything is dead straight and at 90deg angles, so it SHOULD work. Reality is a different ball game though so we'll see. Biggest issue I see is that it can only take roughly 80mm at a time, so even if it does work out, I'd have to thickness sand before joining the two parts of the top or back so I could flip 'em over. Would that work or would I be better of using a cabinet maker I found? He's agreed to help me with a drum sander if I want it.
93181

I'll likely take a couple of days break from building stuff now, my ever patient wife is starting to get a little annoyed at tools on the kitchen table etc, so best break it off for a few days ;). Happy wife, happy life!

Booli
08-05-2016, 02:31 PM
Best of luck with the build!

I'll be following along, as I want to eventually build a chambered solid-body nylon-string electric uke with a cedar top, in a Les Paul shape, and this uke with also eventually have the GraphTech Ghost piezo saddles, related preamp and MIDI converter built-in. But this is going to be a long way off for me, because time, tools, and money will be lacking until after I move, so it may not be until a year or more from now that I can get started.

alas but to dream....

sequoia
08-05-2016, 06:53 PM
Interesting take on a homemade thickness sander. Really cool idea to the the perennial problem of making wood thinner. I think you are going to have fun with this ukulele making thing. Remember, you don't have to get final thickness with your contraption. Just get it close and you can take the final wood off with a sander or even by hand by sand paper. All you gotta do is get within spitting distance and you are good to go.

cml
08-06-2016, 05:12 AM
Cheers Sequoia, I look forward to trying it (tomorrow perhaps?). No building today, so I am in heavy withdrawal. Thank god for youtube, here's a very nice series I found.

Stephen McLean, building a ukulele in 19? parts.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAd1cd-JZNg
Another fantastic channel is Obrien Guitars, you can find almost anything here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvdnXN3z_66jPTJBXMD9QIA
Good for us new fledging builders :), I know there's some more of you lurking here in the lounge!

cml
08-07-2016, 10:43 AM
Some very moderate progress today as well, but progress is progress :D!
My new alu pipe arrived by mail today, I had been looking all over visiting 3 hardware stores, 2 plumbers, 1 mechanic and one boatyard and NONE had any scrap pipes with a diameter of roughly 2". So I ordered one from Germany on ebay, about 14$ with shipping. The little articulating vise was another 15$. I already had a heat gun so that totals up to about 29$ for a bending pipe, not too bad eh?
93201

Bonus today is a quick video from my home built prototype thickness sander....and it works! Not perfect yet, because if you bend the wood slightly up or down you get inconsistencies, so I need to add a guide for the wood to ride on. Then it should work just as intended. Note to self: "Dont try to sand off too much in one go, that will rip the sand paper band in pieces, keep it at around 0.5mm"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htkCj_6U9_4
Warning, some extremely bad video quality as I filmed with my cellphone and sent it in a text message to my mail.

cml
08-09-2016, 09:06 AM
Just a quick update today, my thickness sander is complete! I've posted a new thread about that so more newbies like me can perhaps benefit from it:
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?122027-DIY-Thickness-Contraption-(Isnt-it-nice-when-things-go-your-way-)
Other than that, I've only done a small turnbuckle clamp(?) that fits inside the mold and will hold the uke in place.
93298

cml
08-14-2016, 08:06 AM
Today was all about testing, I've tried my DIY Route (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?121895-DIY-Dremel-router-base)r base for cutting out the rosette channel and soundhole, and I tried my router for binding channels. Success on both fronts!
In the pic below, I dry fitted the abalone and just painted the channel black with a marker pen to get a feel for how it'd look. I'm either going with one wider black line as in the photo, or 3 thin lines BWB. What do you guys think?
934099341093411

lauburu
08-14-2016, 11:42 AM
My vote is for BWB
Miguel

Vespa Bob
08-14-2016, 12:14 PM
I second that! The thick black lines are too over powering.

Bob

cml
08-15-2016, 12:26 AM
Thanks Bob and Miguel!

cml
08-15-2016, 10:12 AM
Hmm...I'm considering using my other set first (bird's eye maple), rather than the spalted curly maple. The "wild rabid cat" comment makes me a bit wary (in a good way though), perhaps I ought to save the pretty spalted curly maple for #3 instead, so that I've done at least one acoustic first?

That's not to say that the bird's eye maple isnt pretty, because it is :).
http://www.adirondacktonewood.com/images/14672963933772135071392.jpeg

I have two western red cedar tops coming in as well and one spruce. I was planning on going with WRC as I've been curious about cedar as a tonewood, but with the bird's eye, I think a spruce top would match better aesthetically.

All these things spin round and round and round in my head right now, likely because I dont have the stuff here yet. At least my first shipment from stewmac cleared customs today and should be with me in a day or two tops. Mostly tools, some bits and bobs and one spruce sound board.
Still waiting for the majority of the wood to clear customs though, but it SHOULD come through this week.

To be determined later this week when the stuff is actually here...

sequoia
08-15-2016, 06:00 PM
All these things spin round and round and round in my head right now, likely because I dont have the stuff here yet

As a hobbyist builder, I find that all part of the fun. The challenge is making an instrument you see only in your mind a reality. I love seeing a package sitting next to my mailbox with some expensive piece of wood or some over priced tool I just have to have. It's like Christmas!

cml
08-15-2016, 10:54 PM
It is a bit like Christmas, isn't it?

EDIT:
VERY much like Christmas, I got my first delivery of two today! The stuff from Stew Mac arrived...tuners, fretwire, saddles, nuts etc etc and a spruce soundboard. It looks absolutely lovely :D! Going to run it through the contraption and hopefully join it today/tomorrow...

cml
08-21-2016, 01:46 AM
Alright, today was a really good day! I've finished my new thickness sander, courtesy of Pete's design (found here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?122166-Luthiery-on-a-shoestring-thickness-sander)) and I've been testing it out!

I've actually got a thicknessed spruce top now, even if it's my practice piece it feels good. Here's a video of it in action, it's dedicated to you Rrgramps :P.

https://youtu.be/m8gb_6RWiDc
It works great, albeit a bit slow. I can definetly see this a very very useful thing to have in your shop. I'd probably want to add a Safe-T-planer as well though, to get it down to roughly the right thickness first.

Will likely try to do a rosette cutout on it tonight when my daughter has fallen asleep, until then I have the conn while my wife rests ;).

cml
08-21-2016, 10:11 AM
Here's my practice top with the rosette dry fitted, with very thin black lines on the outside of the abalone.
93585

sequoia
08-21-2016, 05:54 PM
Looking pretty good. The thin black line is always a good look if you ask me. Nice ab. Did you get that in Sweden? Do they have abalone in Sweden? Here we have more abalone than we know what to do with but is illegal to sell (red abalone). The main use here is nailing the shells to trees to use as reflectors showing the entrance to your drive way. Kind of sad. I can't use a local resource and have to buy the stuff from half way around the world from Asia. On the other hand, we still have plenty of ab and it hasn't been fished out.

cml
08-21-2016, 07:44 PM
Looking pretty good. The thin black line is always a good look if you ask me. Nice ab. Did you get that in Sweden? Do they have abalone in Sweden? Here we have more abalone than we know what to do with but is illegal to sell (red abalone). The main use here is nailing the shells to trees to use as reflectors showing the entrance to your drive way. Kind of sad. I can't use a local resource and have to buy the stuff from half way around the world from Asia. On the other hand, we still have plenty of ab and it hasn't been fished out.
Unfortunately no, I had to go the same route as you and order from abroad. Some was from the UK I think and some from Asia.

cml
08-22-2016, 09:47 AM
93607
:D

(I need to add characters)

unrealdark
08-23-2016, 03:18 AM
Congrats, CML!!
Greetings

little timber
08-23-2016, 12:59 PM
looks like a big pile of fun!

cml
08-24-2016, 12:52 AM
Thanks little timber and unrealdark. Sure is going to be fun, well, it already is.
Got a second order from stew mac today, went with dhl over USPS this time. Took less than 48hrs from the US to Sweden, compared to over 3 weeks.

I ordered a safe t planer, in conjunction with my homemade safe t sander a la Howlett, I should have solved all thicknessing issues. Will report back, but the safe t planer sure looks very nice indeed :-).
93647

cml
08-24-2016, 10:36 AM
Sides, top and back are all thicknessed to 2mm now, the rest I'll finish by hand. The SafeTplaner works great, but my drillpress is a little on the weak side I think.

With the harder maple (EDIT: and after googling, it seems maples are notoriously prone to burns due to oils etc) and after a while with heat build up, the wood kind of got "stuck" a little bit. The key to avoid that was a slower feeding speed, but that in turn generated scorch marks. These run deep and were not possible to sand away fully, but fortunately they are all on the inside and not visible. Next time I'll let the planer cool between pieces, or get a better drillpress :cool:.

All in all I'm quite happy with today, it's been a rather productive day. I even managed to prep and join the top and back. Next step (tomorrow maybe?) will be practicing bending on my extra scrap sides (which I got for free with my order :)).

93663

sequoia
08-24-2016, 06:40 PM
You are going to want to join your top plates before you do your final thicknessing. You are already pretty close so time to joint and then take down to final thickness. Also, thin from your down side and leave the show or upside sanded nice and untouched. Do not thin from the show side. Good luck! Same with the sides. Attack the down sides. Scorch marks? Well, not a big issue.

cml
08-25-2016, 12:27 AM
You are going to want to join your top plates before you do your final thicknessing. You are already pretty close so time to joint and then take down to final thickness. Also, thin from your down side and leave the show or upside sanded nice and untouched. Do not thin from the show side. Good luck! Same with the sides. Attack the down sides. Scorch marks? Well, not a big issue.
Good advice! I joined them yesterday but trying to be smart and double stacking them, I botched the job. Cut them apart again with an exacto knife, trimmed edges. Now gluing the back, the top will be done this afternoon.

Here's my bending rig, worked like a charm. Did a couple of practice runs and it wasn't too difficult. Some tear on the first piece of unidentified wood with long grains, second piece of maple without any issues :)!
93672

cml
08-25-2016, 10:00 AM
I figured out why our drill press doesnt work so well. It's because the crappy thing is broken beyond repair. One of the wheels inside is just spinning and is missing its fastener, that's what caused the slowing down or getting stuck. When it hit resistance the motor would keep spinning, but the wheel would not. I have spent 2hrs on better things in my life than trying to fix old junk like that.

cml
08-27-2016, 02:55 AM
Progress!
937169371793718
The sides were NOT cooperative.

greenscoe
08-27-2016, 08:16 AM
I don't want to dampen your obvious enthusiasm but I have two observations to make.

You may later regret not having spent more time on making an accurate mould and cauls. Some of the pros make instruments freeform but for most of us an accurate mould is what gives us symmetry. The human eye is very good at seeing any asymmetry, and an instrument that's off by only a small amount will be very apparent.

Your sides appear to be way too wide: my tenors are in the range 70-80 mm wide. I cut them to the correct width (including the taper) before bending.

cml
08-27-2016, 09:17 AM
I don't want to dampen your obvious enthusiasm but I have two observations to make.

You may later regret not having spent more time on making an accurate mould and cauls. Some of the pros make instruments freeform but for most of us an accurate mould is what gives us symmetry. The human eye is very good at seeing any asymmetry, and an instrument that's off by only a small amount will be very apparent.

Your sides appear to be way too wide: my tenors are in the range 70-80 mm wide. I cut them to the correct width (including the taper) before bending.
Thanks for your comments Greenscoe :)! I'll try to adress them here.

I know the sides are wide atm, currently they are 90mm. My intention is to cut and hand plane down to the curve I want, roughly 70 at the neck, 80 a bit down on the lower bout and 75ish at the end graft. You think that'll work?

As to the symmetry and the mould, I get that a full mould would be better (EDIT: but I couldnt really make one in a good way, I dont have a bandsaw, so any full mould would be inexact anyway), but I dont necessarily agree fully with you. The human eye actually is GREAT at spotting symmetry, as well as asymmetry, which you can use while working. I also have drawn the shape at the bottom of the mould, so I can see exactly where I'm off! Just a little more fine tuning tomorrow then it'll be there, or pretty darn close anyway :)!

Regarding the caul(s) is the problem that you'd prefer to add more cauls, or do you think my design isnt good enough? If so, what do you suggest as an upgrade for it?

EDIT2: See here for the mould by itself:
93723

sequoia
08-27-2016, 07:22 PM
Looks like good progress to me... By the way, how high are you making those sides? Deep bodied ukes are kinda going out of style. Not that they are bad...

sequoia
08-27-2016, 08:30 PM
I use a very similar device which I would call a "fixture" and not a "mold". The reason I use such a device is for two reasons: It is what I learned on and it is simple. It works. You can build a very nice ukulele using this method. However that being said, the fixture has two important and significant drawbacks: First, when you put your neck/heal turnbuckle in there to pin your sides, the turnbuckle tends to push the ends ever so slightly out of alignment. In other words, things go out of square. Not good. To counter this, don't get over zealous with your turnbuckle pressure. The second problem is more problematic. The two lower bouts will tend to deform slightly which will give your lower bout sides slight off perpendicular. This can tend to come back and bight you when you rout out you binding channels because your routing guide varies and can go thin and thick.

A fixture like this can be used to construct a perfect ukulele if you watch out for the pitfalls. Also for your first uke, you might want to skip the binding step and make an unbound ukeulele. This way, your slightly off sides will not be an issue.

greenscoe
08-27-2016, 09:31 PM
There are many ways of doing things. We learn better techniques and tricks with each build. We can pick and choose the methods that we like from other builders. My post was simply to alert you to the fact that symmetry is a big issue often underestimated by those new to building.

It's not just getting side to side symmetry but also back to front symmetry. When the bent sides are not perfect, a mould and accurate cauls can help achieve this. If your simple method is used, the bending needs to be more accurate (especially at the waist) and attention is required throughout the build (as Sequoia points out). The edge on the board needs to retain the box shape (as marked) and the sides need to remain perpendicular at all times. I think that if you added more cauls, it would help you achieve this.

cml
08-27-2016, 10:01 PM
There are many ways of doing things. We learn better techniques and tricks with each build. We can pick and choose the methods that we like from other builders. My post was simply to alert you to the fact that symmetry is a big issue often underestimated by those new to building.

It's not just getting side to side symmetry but also back to front symmetry. When the bent sides are not perfect, a mould and accurate cauls can help achieve this. If your simple method is used, the bending needs to be more accurate (especially at the waist) and attention is required throughout the build (as Sequoia points out). The edge on the board needs to retain the box shape (as marked) and the sides need to remain perpendicular at all times. I think that if you added more cauls, it would help you achieve this.
I get the feeling that you thought I was defensive, that wasnt my intention at all and if I came off that way, I'm sorry. I'm genuinely thankful for our discussions so far and your feedback. It's how we learn :).

Have a nice day!
Carl-Michael

cml
08-27-2016, 10:05 PM
I use a very similar device which I would call a "fixture" and not a "mold". The reason I use such a device is for two reasons: It is what I learned on and it is simple. It works. You can build a very nice ukulele using this method. However that being said, the fixture has two important and significant drawbacks: First, when you put your neck/heal turnbuckle in there to pin your sides, the turnbuckle tends to push the ends ever so slightly out of alignment. In other words, things go out of square. Not good. To counter this, don't get over zealous with your turnbuckle pressure. The second problem is more problematic. The two lower bouts will tend to deform slightly which will give your lower bout sides slight off perpendicular. This can tend to come back and bight you when you rout out you binding channels because your routing guide varies and can go thin and thick.

A fixture like this can be used to construct a perfect ukulele if you watch out for the pitfalls. Also for your first uke, you might want to skip the binding step and make an unbound ukeulele. This way, your slightly off sides will not be an issue.
Thanks! Good advice here.

cml
08-29-2016, 10:50 AM
Great progress today! I felt I was on a roll and managed to get tons of work done.

I've glued the neck and end blocks and carved the sides down to 3" (~77mm). This was done with a SHARP knife, I just love carving with a knife when it's sharp and you dont get stuck. Sometimes the old fashioned way is the best, it didnt take long and I'm within 0.5ish mm tolerance now, the rest I'll do on a sanding table to get it perfectly flat.
93776

I also completed all the braces (thicknessed them yesterday with the safe-t-planer), and glued them on the back. After that I thicknessed the top and routed the rosette and soundhole, and finished with gluing the rosette.
93778937799378093777
All in all, a very good day so far, it's starting to look like an ukulele! :D

(PS, even though you cant see the back's visible side, is just BEAUTIFUL, I look forward to applying the finish :D! DS)

sequoia
08-29-2016, 07:44 PM
I really like that semi-spalted maple look. Very understated and interesting looking.... Did you radius the back?...

cml
08-29-2016, 09:05 PM
I really like that semi-spalted maple look. Very understated and interesting looking.... Did you radius the back?...
I'm still undecided on that, if I do it will be on the long axis only. But I'm not sure how I would go about making sure it's spot on symmetrical...

Is a radius on the back very much preferred? I can only relate to my own ukes and the Koaloha actually has a flat back and it sounds truly great!

cml
08-29-2016, 11:52 PM
I'm still undecided on that, if I do it will be on the long axis only. But I'm not sure how I would go about making sure it's spot on symmetrical...

Scratch that, I have an idea and I will make it with a radius. More to come.

Dan Gleibitz
08-30-2016, 12:08 AM
It's looking great, cml. I'm enjoying following your progress. The way you explain issues then create solutions is inspiring.

Timbuck
08-30-2016, 02:46 AM
Carl now you've sorted out that drill press..I think it's time you made your radius dish on it ;) http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?27976-Radius-Dish-on-a-Pedestal-drill-experiment

cml
08-30-2016, 03:14 AM
Thank you Dan! I enjoy writing but it's even more fun if someone reads it, hah ;).

Today during my baby daughters midday nap I finished the top. When gluing in the rosette, I didn't press the purfling down long enough so after carving down almost flush with a knife, I then sanded that final bit and the purfling disappeared in two spots, exposing glue. I had to carve that out and inlay two new small strips but it turned out very well I think!
93802

To make this flush I much prefer the knife over the scraper, more precise and less chance to dent the top. At least for me...
93803

All that's missing on the top now are the braces. We'll see if I can get that done tonight or not. Btw, as some of you may have guessed, I'm on parental leave atm (since december actually) but I'm going back to work on Thursday, as my daughter is now starting preschool. I'm guessing that's gonna slow down my progress somewhat, right now I've used the nap times for working on the uke :)!

//Carl-Michael

Yankulele
08-30-2016, 03:39 AM
Looking good, Carl. I'm enjoying the thread as well.
One observation I'd make is I see you oriented your head and tail blocks with the grain running front to back. I built my first two ukes that way, as that is how the Hana Lima plans show to do it. And I'm quite sure that others build this way without problem. In my case, though, I have large swings in relative humidity through the seasons, and I suspect I built in relatively high humidity, so that when the sides shrank in the winter (I used birdseye maple, which moves a lot with changes in humidity) the tail block caused a bulge to form in the sound board, and eventually cracked both tops. When I replaced the cracked tops, I replaced the tail blocks with maple blocks with grain oriented parallel to that of the sides. No problems since that change. I have seen Beau Hannam and others comment that the top and bottom of the tail block should be beveled to reduce the amount of block wood which makes contact with the top and the back. I think that would help as well. I'm just a hobbiest, and I suspect my problems came more from building with the wrong humidity than anything else, but I thought I would share my experience. I don't think I have read of other builders having this problem.



Nelson

Vespa Bob
08-30-2016, 05:35 AM
I'm enjoying watching your uke construction progressing and how you're managing with minimal tools, much like I did when I started building. Your comment about preferring to use a knife over a scraper prompts me to mention that a scraper requires a different method of sharpening to that of a knife blade. A properly sharpened scraper will do a far better job leveling wood than a curved knife blade. If you already know how to sharpen a scraper, ignore my comment, otherwise you might want to do a Google search on how to perform this task! I love my scraper!:)

Bob

cml
08-30-2016, 06:15 AM
I'm enjoying watching your uke construction progressing and how you're managing with minimal tools, much like I did when I started building. Your comment about preferring to use a knife over a scraper prompts me to mention that a scraper requires a different method of sharpening to that of a knife blade. A properly sharpened scraper will do a far better job leveling wood than a curved knife blade. If you already know how to sharpen a scraper, ignore my comment, otherwise you might want to do a Google search on how to perform this task! I love my scraper!:)

Bob
I don't, so I'll try to find a good video on it. Thanks for the suggestion :).

However, I'm not using the knife to flatten surfaces, just to scrape off the excess of purfling sticking up, trimming the sides etc. It was much faster than the scraper, which is brand new. Perhaps the scraper needs to be sharpened despite being new? I have very limited experience with scrapers tbh. At least I have stuff too sharpen it with :)!

Vespa Bob
08-30-2016, 09:29 AM
Here is not only a video on how to sharpen a scraper, but a tool that makes the job easy!
http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Scraper_Burnisher.html


Bob

cml
08-30-2016, 10:44 AM
Looking good, Carl. I'm enjoying the thread as well.
One observation I'd make is I see you oriented your head and tail blocks with the grain running front to back. I built my first two ukes that way, as that is how the Hana Lima plans show to do it. And I'm quite sure that others build this way without problem. In my case, though, I have large swings in relative humidity through the seasons, and I suspect I built in relatively high humidity, so that when the sides shrank in the winter (I used birdseye maple, which moves a lot with changes in humidity) the tail block caused a bulge to form in the sound board, and eventually cracked both tops. When I replaced the cracked tops, I replaced the tail blocks with maple blocks with grain oriented parallel to that of the sides. No problems since that change. I have seen Beau Hannam and others comment that the top and bottom of the tail block should be beveled to reduce the amount of block wood which makes contact with the top and the back. I think that would help as well. I'm just a hobbiest, and I suspect my problems came more from building with the wrong humidity than anything else, but I thought I would share my experience. I don't think I have read of other builders having this problem.

Nelson
Thanks Nelson!

Lets say that's why I did a beveled edge on the blocks and..ehm..not because I glued the sides and blocks to the fixture or anything and ehm...had to pry everything lose with screw drivers...or anything. Right :)?
93824
Btw, what are these 'plans' you talk of? I make things up as I go ;)!

//Carl-Michael

cml
08-30-2016, 10:54 AM
Carl now you've sorted out that drill press..I think it's time you made your radius dish on it ;) http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?27976-Radius-Dish-on-a-Pedestal-drill-experiment
Thanks Ken! I'm working on a simpler solution that I think will do for me, not as good as yours though. More tomorrow!

sequoia
08-30-2016, 07:39 PM
Is a radius on the back very much preferred?!

Yes, yes and yes. Just radius your back braces and the back will conform. Easy, easy. In my humble opinion, flat backs make for boxy sounding ukes. Boxy is not a good sound. If you are going to go to all this work, why not make a great sounding as well as great looking ukulele. Radiused backs are the only way to go. The amount of radius is not absolutely critical, but that curve needs to be there. I'm going out on a limb here, but I think this was established about 11,000 years ago during the early bronze ukulele age when Timbuck first started building ukuleles.

cml
08-31-2016, 06:07 AM
Thanks Ken! I'm working on a simpler solution that I think will do for me, not as good as yours though. More tomorrow!
And here it is! One radius board, and a sanding table. I think this'll do for me. Gluing in the kerfings now, more actual build progress to follow later tonight.
93846

EDIT:
Here it is, all radiused and done :)!
93855

Sven
08-31-2016, 08:48 AM
I have posted this before, it's a simple way to build a radius dish.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=48252&d=1359550555

cml
08-31-2016, 08:49 AM
I have posted this before, it's a simple way to build a radius dish.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=48252&d=1359550555
I actually used your measurements fir this board Sven, found them in the thread Ken linked :). Thanks!

cml
08-31-2016, 09:50 AM
Today was the last day that I could go on full steam ahead, tomorrow it's back to reality and work. No more uke building during the days, it'll have to be on some weekday evenings and weekends from now on.

BUT, I feel I made the most of it today. I finished the radius board, glued in kerfings, finished the top bracing and attached the label to the back. Finally I leveled the top side of the sides+end blocks, and radiused the bottom. It's really starting to come together. Unfortunately the humidity is way up, roughly 65%rh today so that threw a spanner into the works a little bit, I was hoping to glue on the top but it'll have to wait for humidity to drop back down.
BTW, any hints on kerfings for the future? I felt they break really easily...actually pre-bended the bottom side after having issues with the top side.

Here's some pics :)!
93856938579385893859
PS. On the braces, you can sort of see a shadow line under them, that's because I rounded the edges ever so slightly, not because they're not glued in properly ;). DS.

BlackBearUkes
08-31-2016, 04:37 PM
As a casual observer, IMO opinion the top fan braces need to be about half the height of what you show in the photos. Maybe its just the photos but they look huge and bulky. Not too late to shave them down.


Today was the last day that I could go on full steam ahead, tomorrow it's back to reality and work. No more uke building during the days, it'll have to be on some weekday evenings and weekends from now on.

BUT, I feel I made the most of it today. I finished the radius board, glued in kerfings, finished the top bracing and attached the label to the back. Finally I leveled the top side of the sides+end blocks, and radiused the bottom. It's really starting to come together. Unfortunately the humidity is way up, roughly 65%rh today so that threw a spanner into the works a little bit, I was hoping to glue on the top but it'll have to wait for humidity to drop back down.
BTW, any hints on kerfings for the future? I felt they break really easily...actually pre-bended the bottom side after having issues with the top side.

Here's some pics :)!
93856938579385893859
PS. On the braces, you can sort of see a shadow line under them, that's because I rounded the edges ever so slightly, not because they're not glued in properly ;). DS.

RPA_Ukuleles
08-31-2016, 04:50 PM
Most builders make a radius dish, not a radius trough. Did you sand a radius both top to bottom, and side to side? I can't tell from the picture if your back braces are radiused.?

sequoia
08-31-2016, 06:13 PM
As a casual observer, IMO opinion the top fan braces need to be about half the height of what you show in the photos. Maybe its just the photos but they look huge and bulky. Not too late to shave then down.

Agreed. At least half the height and mass.... Important step here.

cml
08-31-2016, 09:29 PM
As a casual observer, IMO opinion the top fan braces need to be about half the height of what you show in the photos. Maybe its just the photos but they look huge and bulky. Not too late to shave them down.

Thanks! I'll correct and adjust :)!

cml
09-01-2016, 06:31 AM
Most builders make a radius dish, not a radius trough. Did you sand a radius both top to bottom, and side to side? I can't tell from the picture if your back braces are radiused.?
Hello Rpa! It's radiused only top to bottom, not side to side. I had originally planned to do a flat back but fell for the peer pressure from googling and asking here. A radius trough seemed simpler to do with limited tools, and since the cross braces were already glued in flat, one direction was enough. I reckon it could do side to side as well, even if it's a bit more cumbersome than a dish...

cml
09-01-2016, 09:14 AM
93871
Better eh?

BlackBearUkes
09-01-2016, 04:22 PM
Difficult to tell from the photos. What are the dimensions?

cml
09-01-2016, 08:01 PM
About 5mm high at the highest point, down from 11m. 4mm wide

BlackBearUkes
09-02-2016, 06:47 AM
That should do it, give a go.


About 5mm high at the highest point, down from 11m. 4mm wide

cml
09-02-2016, 09:11 AM
That should do it, give a go.
Thank you BlackBear! Exciting to hear how it'll sound when done isnt it?

cml
09-02-2016, 09:16 AM
I've been thinking a bit about fretboard thickness lately, and done some searches on the forums here. There are plenty of threads on the subject and it seems between 4-5.5mm (0.16"-0.22") are most common on tenors.

I thought this thread discussed it in a good way with a nice picture:
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?104175-ukulele-neck-angle

Not sure however which is best of case one and two?
Could someone help me by explaining the benefits or downsides of a thicker or thinner fretboard? I didnt feel I got a good understanding on how the fretboard thickness contribute to playability and/or the neck angle.

My blank is accurately flat and square at 5.4mm atm (0.21"), and it would be nice, but not critical, to keep it at that.

Thanks
//Carl-Michael

RPA_Ukuleles
09-02-2016, 01:02 PM
For many builders fretboard thickness is more of a preference than build parameter. For some, they just consider the appearance of a thick vs. thin, some think of added stiffness to the neck, some don't give it much thought at all. One topic that is not often discussed here is the height of the strings above the soundboard. Not to be confused with the action, or height above the 12th fret. Playability would be one consideration for how high the strings are above the soundboard. A players preference.

For example a uke with a thin fretboard and low frets can be quite difficult to play claw hammer on. Or harder for some finger pickers to play. But you don't want to go too far in the other direction either because it can cause a real change in how the tension from the strings affects the top. Thick fretboards cause the bridge and or saddle to be taller. Taller bridge/saddle combinations can create more rotational torque on the bridge. Is that good or bad? Well, only your design can determine that. i.e. your bracing, bridge patch, top thickness, etc., etc. Remember the uke is a whole system and it's best to know how it all works together so you can make informed decisions about these matters. If you are currently following a set of plans, go ahead and follow the recommendation for fretboard thickness. If not, your uke will be a learning experience. Not necessarily a bad thing. And happy accidents do happen. Just don't start selling them until you have a good grasp on these issues. ;)

cml
09-02-2016, 09:01 PM
For many builders fretboard thickness is more of a preference than build parameter. For some, they just consider the appearance of a thick vs. thin, some think of added stiffness to the neck, some don't give it much thought at all. One topic that is not often discussed here is the height of the strings above the soundboard. Not to be confused with the action, or height above the 12th fret. Playability would be one consideration for how high the strings are above the soundboard. A players preference.

For example a uke with a thin fretboard and low frets can be quite difficult to play claw hammer on. Or harder for some finger pickers to play. But you don't want to go too far in the other direction either because it can cause a real change in how the tension from the strings affects the top. Thick fretboards cause the bridge and or saddle to be taller. Taller bridge/saddle combinations can create more rotational torque on the bridge. Is that good or bad? Well, only your design can determine that. i.e. your bracing, bridge patch, top thickness, etc., etc. Remember the uke is a whole system and it's best to know how it all works together so you can make informed decisions about these matters. If you are currently following a set of plans, go ahead and follow the recommendation for fretboard thickness. If not, your uke will be a learning experience. Not necessarily a bad thing. And happy accidents do happen. Just don't start selling them until you have a good grasp on these issues. ;)
Thank you Rodney! I don't have any plans, I'm making it up as I go by common sense (I hope :)), by asking here and by watching youtube, especially Robert O'brien who has a most excellent channel!
Do you think 0.21" will work or should I take it down?

PS. I have no intention of selling ukes, this one is for myself and I build because it's fun :). Ds

cml
09-03-2016, 08:05 AM
Made a neck blank today, but much more exciting is that I'm closing the box :)! Tomorrow bindings!
9390293901

Timbuck
09-03-2016, 09:22 AM
Carl go back and edit thos Imperial measurements and put another zero after the decimal point ;)

cml
09-03-2016, 09:51 AM
Carl go back and edit thos Imperial measurements and put another zero after the decimal point ;)
Huh?

1"=25,4mm, 0.21*25,4mm=5.334mm
Am I missing something here or are you having a laugh Ken suggesting I should do a 0.5mm thick fretboard haha ;)? I'm converting for the sake of our american unit impaired friends :), personally I do everything in metric.

Timbuck
09-03-2016, 10:30 AM
Huh?

1"=25,4mm, 0.21*25,4mm=5.334mm
Am I missing something here or are you having a laugh Ken suggesting I should do a 0.5mm thick fretboard haha ;)? I'm converting for the sake of our american unit impaired friends :), personally I do everything in metric.

Sorry about that Carl...I read it as sound board thickness.....my latest Concert was .120" thick..and sopranos at .090"

Tommy Jimmy
09-03-2016, 02:55 PM
Thanks for starting this thread cml. I'm planning a build and most of my questions are being answered here.

sequoia
09-03-2016, 06:35 PM
my latest Concert was .120" thick..and sopranos at .090"

Seems a bit thick to me Ken, but whatever works. On my tenors I start out at about .125 and thin down to 0.080 and then thin slightly from there depending on hardwood or softwood soundboard and stiffness. Don't know anything about soprano thickness...

cml
09-03-2016, 08:16 PM
Seems a bit thick to me Ken, but whatever works. On my tenors I start out at about .125 and thin down to 0.080 and then thin slightly from there depending on hardwood or softwood soundboard and stiffness. Don't know anything about soprano thickness...
I'm pretty sure Ken means his fretboards here...it matches the fretboard on my soprano anyway :).

cml
09-03-2016, 08:17 PM
Thanks for starting this thread cml. I'm planning a build and most of my questions are being answered here.

You're welcome! Glad to hear that you are enjoying the thread.

cml
09-04-2016, 02:20 AM
Ukulele pre-bindings.
9391893919
Observations made so far:
Peruvian walnut breaks easily, soak well and keep dabbing during the process. I broke two strips before I figured this wood out.
Routing channels isnt as scary as it's made out to be. I used a plunge router and standard router bits and it worked perfectly. A laminate router would likely be easier to move around, but I didnt have one, and the plunge router works.
Needle files are awesome to clean up the channel (not that much was needed), learned this from O'brien.

Any hints for gluing? Titebond 1 right? I was considering titebond 3 due to the longer open time but...

cml
09-04-2016, 10:21 AM
Overkill? Maybe :).
93939
Tonight's fun was inlaying the headstock veneer...did anyone catch my decal? The inlay on the headstock is connected to that.
939419394293943
Pretty darned pleased for a first attempt!

sequoia
09-04-2016, 06:52 PM
Love it! The bird drawing is great... Yes, that is one bound up ukulele. It ain't gettin' away. Ukuleles in bondage anyone? Kinky.

cml
09-05-2016, 10:14 AM
Love it! The bird drawing is great... Yes, that is one bound up ukulele. It ain't gettin' away. Ukuleles in bondage anyone? Kinky.
Well I let it loose today and the results were great. Scraped and rough sanded it today, fine sanding will be tomorrow and then I should have the soundbox ready...:)

cml
09-07-2016, 12:39 AM
I forgot to add these photos...but I'll be darned, we have a completed sound box. Just the final touches left, like radiusing the edges.
9400394004

Timbuck
09-07-2016, 12:49 AM
I'm pretty sure Ken means his fretboards here :).

Yes "Fretboards"..If I see any uke fretboards above .150" I think Geetar :rolleyes:..My Fender P bass has a fretboard thickness of .250" and ive seen ukuleles with the same thickness C/W radius and binding.

orangeena
09-07-2016, 03:09 AM
I think in the local parlance here that is 'andsome cml. Good job. It will look lovely with some finish on

cml
09-07-2016, 08:31 AM
Thanks Orangeena!
I too think it'll look great with the finish on, it's gonna up the contrast on the spalted parts alot and also make the curly maple pop :).

Good progress today as well, the fretboard is prepped, tapered and bound. Rosewood and peruvian walnut blend together perfectly. Next up is drilling and inserting position markers, both on the front and side. They'll be abalone to match the rosette.
94017

Im contemplating adding a 2mm eye of abalone for the parrot...but I dunno.

Sven
09-08-2016, 03:11 AM
Only guessing from an ounce of experience*. Don't do the 2 mm eye, it'll look too round.


*I did it on a skull inlay once. Went from evil to cute in seconds. Had to scrap it.

Rrgramps
09-08-2016, 03:44 AM
Really ingenious of you, CML, to start an undertaking like this with bare minimal tools, and no experience of building one before. (Maybe a couple of guitars)?

Your end result is fantastic and much better than to be expected from a "first build". Can't wait to see what you do next.

cml
09-08-2016, 05:31 AM
Only guessing from an ounce of experience*. Don't do the 2 mm eye, it'll look too round.


*I did it on a skull inlay once. Went from evil to cute in seconds. Had to scrap it.
Good advice Sven. I agree, it'll probably ruin the design.

cml
09-08-2016, 05:41 AM
Really ingenious of you, CML, to start an undertaking like this with bare minimal tools, and no experience of building one before. (Maybe a couple of guitars)?

Your end result is fantastic and much better than to be expected from a "first build". Can't wait to see what you do next.
Thanks gramps, I really appreciate the kind words. I've not done anything like this before, except a few months ago when I built an electric uke. I really dont have any specific wood working experience prior to that, but Im a tinkerer and an engineer so creating solutions is what I do :)...

My most trusted tools are a jigsaw, a knife, a hand plane, and some sand paper. The safe t planer helps as well. But other than that, you really dont NEED anything.

cml
09-08-2016, 10:58 AM
Delivery from strings by mail :)!
94043

Timbuck
09-08-2016, 11:30 AM
Steel Guitar strings ?..I thought it was a ukulele ?.:confused:

cml
09-08-2016, 07:19 PM
Steel Guitar strings ?..I thought it was a ukulele ?.:confused:
Ask Chuck, these are what he recommends:). It's wound strings for g and c, this one is gonna be low g.

Timbuck
09-08-2016, 10:53 PM
Ask Chuck, these are what he recommends:). It's wound strings for g and c, this one is gonna be low g.
Yes but! Nylon Wound strings these are multi strand Nylon wound with a fine nickel or copper wire like this one http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Aquila-Ukulele-String-16U-Nylgut-Tenor-Low-G-with-Wound-Single-4th-String-/152225101980?hash=item237152b89c:g:ztEAAOSwgQ9Vo7t G ..I use a Clasical Guitar D string for the G

cml
09-09-2016, 12:09 AM
Maybe I bought the wrong ones but I don't think so? CF27 and 30 for g and c, oasis flourcarbons for e and a. I wrote that down some while ago in a discussion on uke talk in which Chuck recommended these. But if they're wrong, I got a set of worth browns :).

Timbuck
09-09-2016, 10:34 PM
Maybe I bought the wrong ones but I don't think so? CF27 and 30 for g and c, oasis flourcarbons for e and a. I wrote that down some while ago in a discussion on uke talk in which Chuck recommended these. But if they're wrong, I got a set of worth browns :). Maybe im wrong cos i dont know what CF 27's are I just saw Chrome steel flat wound Guitar string on the Packet.

cml
09-09-2016, 11:13 PM
Maybe im wrong cos i dont know what CF 27's are I just saw Chrome steel flat wound Guitar string on the Packet.
:) Let's see if Chuck will chime in, or I'll dig the thread up when I'm home again. Currently on a weekend trip to London :)!

cml
09-13-2016, 09:35 AM
Working on the neck but not much progress yet. Just the frets left for the fretboard, the rest is done. Front and side markers of abalone.

Doing the neck is the hardest part yet to manage without workshop tools. A band saw would have made this so much easier.
94185
Sorry for the sideway photo, I usually flip them around but on my phone right now.

cml
09-16-2016, 10:17 AM
WIP, but I hope to have the neck complete this weekend!
94276

EDIT:
I'd like to clarify my statement in the post above (#96), it's not shaping the neck that was hard without a bandsaw, but rather creating the blank. My hacksaw did it, but it was tough going and not very precise, I had to fix alot with my hand plane later on.

cml
09-17-2016, 09:43 AM
I've set the neck angle, this step wasn't as difficult as I thought. Did a really simple jig that worked like a charm, the angle is dead on now. Currently gluing the fretboard to the neck, final shaping to begin tomorrow. With a little luck I'll have it attached to the sound box tomorrow as well but we'll see, I have some work stuff I need to do as well which I think will take half of the day.
94314

cml
09-17-2016, 11:58 AM
I couldn't help myself and worked late with the uke tonight...
9432094321

Vespa Bob
09-17-2016, 01:59 PM
Yep, uke building can get you that way! Looks like it's coming along nicely, I bet you can't wait to see and hear it finished!

Bob

sequoia
09-17-2016, 06:31 PM
Looking good cml. On my first build that neck to body connection was...well... an adventure. Once the neck is attached, I call it an ukulele. What kind of finish are you thinking of? So many choices, so many traps.

cml
09-17-2016, 08:31 PM
Thanks fellas!

I did a dry fit first, everything looked perfect, but of course when I had the glue on things started to go wrong. First the screw didnt want to bite into the threads which made me panic and after gluing I noticed the neck had rotated ever so slightly when I tightened the screw. Probably because I lost focus when the screw wasn't cooperating. It's maybe 0.1-0.2mm higher on one side. I managed to cover it up but I need to remember it for the saddle. Adventure indeed.

The finish will be tru-oil.

Dan Gleibitz
09-17-2016, 10:40 PM
Looks great! How thick is your fretboard? The last photo makes it look pretty chunky, but I love how that looks against the binding and headstock plate.

Can't wait to see it with a coat of oil; it's going to be a stunner.

cml
09-17-2016, 11:58 PM
Looks great! How thick is your fretboard? The last photo makes it look pretty chunky, but I love how that looks against the binding and headstock plate.

Can't wait to see it with a coat of oil; it's going to be a stunner.
It's mostly the angle I think Dan, it's 5mm. A compromise from reading lots of threads on the subject here, everyone seems to have their own preference. The overall neck thickness is the same as a KoAloha, ie quite thin.
Here's another picture for reference:
94348
Thank you for your kind words :)!

cml
09-18-2016, 03:49 AM
Last update before finishing starts, I've leveled, recrowed and polished the frets. Finishing will take a while since I'm back at work again. Will only be able to do one coat a day, so looking at 10-12 days now for finishing. No point in rushing it, I want this to look good!
94352
94353

//CML

breitling
09-19-2016, 06:53 PM
Can you post another picture of the back? It looks asymmetric in the picture you posted. Is it just the picture or is the back slightly out of alignment?

cml
09-19-2016, 07:53 PM
Can you post another picture of the back? It looks asymmetric in the picture you posted. Is it just the picture or is the back slightly out of alignment?
I'll see what I can do when I get home from work. It may be a little asymmetrical, as I didn't use a mold, but it's not much. Looks worse in the picture than in reality though so I'll take another one later.

sequoia
09-19-2016, 08:17 PM
Can you post another picture of the back? It looks asymmetric in the picture you posted. Is it just the picture or is the back slightly out of alignment?

Looks pretty symmetrical to me from the picture. It can be hard to get absolute "perfect" symmetry when using a form instead of a mold, but you can get it very close and slight asymmetry might not be all that bad as far as how the uke sounds. Perhaps you are looking at the asymmetry of the sides which is fine since this uke is supposed to have a tapered body.

cml
09-20-2016, 07:31 AM
9444794448
Pretty darn symmetrical, it was mainly the first pic. Perhaps there is some slight asymmetry there but nothing you notice unless you look for it ;). I'm happy with it!

Wasn't going to post before the finish was done, but above is slurry sanded with 400grit and one coat of oil.

cml
09-21-2016, 09:10 AM
I've learned something very important during finishing, keep your nails SHORT when working with a softwood top. Common sense really, but I forgot and I now have a few "maker's marks" or scratches on the top from my nail, about 3 of them and roughly 1-2cm long, maybe 0.5mm wide. They are deeper than the finish so far and a bit down in the wood. Feels crap to get them at this very end when everything else is looking so neat so far.

What's your advice? Leave them or sand down through all coats now and then see if I can sand 'em down? That'll affect thickness of the top as well, and it's already quite thin. My wife thinks I shouldnt be so hard on myself and leave them, it's not something that's really jumping out at you screaming "HERE I AM", but I know they are there. I always set the bar high and while this may be my first build, I dont want it to actually show that it is a first build :)...

Yankulele
09-21-2016, 10:19 AM
The Horror! I feel your pain. Seems like the last second is when the worst happens. I would be inclined to try a slight wet sand with tru-oil and 400 grit to see if that helped. If your top is already thin, you probably don't want to try to sand them out.

But my experience level is low.

Good luck,

Nelson

Michael N.
09-21-2016, 10:48 AM
Try steaming them out. Won't do much good for the finish but it may help the marks. The finish can always be redone. Failing that just leave them. You can fill them with the finish itself, although it does take time. They may not vanish entirely but they shouldn't be as obvious.
You can also do grafts but that's very advanced restoration and I wouldn't advise doing that without lot's of practice.
Finally. Don't worry about it. It's going to be joined by a lot more friends if it gets played on a regular basis.

lauburu
09-21-2016, 11:33 AM
+1 on what Michael says
Miguel

Wildestcat
09-21-2016, 12:16 PM
Comiserations! Been there, done that (several times) and finally (hopefully) learned my lesson. I now wear nitrile gloves and remove my watch during all finishing operations! Even then a fingernail mark can mysteriously appear. :(

sequoia
09-21-2016, 08:13 PM
Another ditto on been there done that. Fingernails can be lethal weapons on ukes. I'm a finger picker and have a fingernail on my right hand like a stiletto. The worst damage seems to happen when I am taping down binding tape and streeeeeaaattttchhing it and it releases and I scrape the top. Ouch. What I've found is that the damage is not really fixable, but initially appears worse than it really is. We become so focused sometimes that small flaws become REALLY BIG DEALS!. I would follow your wife's advice and move along. Forget it. A month after you build the thing you won't even notice it. Or not. To prevent this fingernail problem I tried using bandaids on my fingers. Works great! Except when I forget to put on the bandaids. Oops!

I'm an amateur, but I know a few pros who have horror stories of fingernail damage. One guy was putting the final shellac finish touches on a very expensive custom guitar when he slammed a thumbnail (he was a flamenco player) and completely went through the finish into the top denting it deeply. The client was driving across the country to pick up his guitar and about three days out to take personal delivery. My friend then spent the next 72 hours refinishing the guitar top and had it perfectly done just as the client pulled into his driveway. He had hardly slept in three days getting up every three or four hours to apply shellac coats. The client loved it. This is when he used the California polish method instead of the French polish method.

cml
09-21-2016, 09:12 PM
Glad to hear I'm in good company!

From what I understand steaming works best before the finish is applied no? Or is it possible after it's been applied as well?
I think I'll back down to a 400 slurry sand again as you suggested Nelson, and then work my way up. It'll have to do even if the scratches dont disappear completely. It's still beautiful but like many of you I'm a perfectionist sometimes...

Michael Smith
09-21-2016, 09:26 PM
If you really muck up a softwood top you can alway spread a 1/16" layer of pyrodex on top and set it off with a match. Poof you have a Michi Matsuda gunpowder finish. But do it outside of your shop. Looks cool and covers a massive amoount of sin.

Dan Gleibitz
09-22-2016, 04:40 AM
Michael Smith, I thought you were kidding. Then I googled it, and found a great video and a pretty unique finish. Interesting.


Also probably got myself on a terrorist watch list. :rolleyes:

cml
09-22-2016, 08:54 AM
Good news I hope. Stepping back to 400grit and slurry sanding removed the scratches almost entirely. There's a couple of faint lines left but it's heaps better:). I'm set back about two days but what's the rush?

cml
09-25-2016, 05:38 AM
Second to last coat is applied, all that remains now is the final glaze coat.

So far I've:
Soak coat with plenty of oil, removed excess
Slurry sanded with 400grit and oil
Slurry sanded with 600grit and oil
Slurry sanded with 1000grit and oil
Slurry sanded with 1200grit and oil
Three coats of oil

Remaining is just the final glaze coat which is 50% mineral spirits and 50% tru-oil. This will be done in a few hours, so after that I "only" need to glue the bridge, make a nut and saddle, and install tuners.
Then we're ready to roll...Maybe in a few days I'm ready with it?

A high gloss is pretty achievable with tru-oil, but takes some work :).
94558
94560

cml
09-25-2016, 09:53 AM
And here it is with the final glaze coat on. It's dry, so this is the end result, but it will need to harden until tomorrow before I touch the uke.

https://youtu.be/JDrgZKmbi3M

Steve in Kent
09-25-2016, 10:08 AM
Wow, the wait is like having the waters just break.....

Rrgramps
09-25-2016, 12:59 PM
Good job, CML!
Love that Tru-oil finnish!

sequoia
09-25-2016, 07:07 PM
That spalted maple looks really great. Looking forward to seeing the final product.

cml
09-27-2016, 07:48 AM
It's finished :D! And yes, the saddle is a tad high, I need to take it down a bit after warming up to the wound strings...they are difficult to handle for me!

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?122955-Nbud&p=1896239#post1896239

greenscoe
09-27-2016, 10:04 AM
Congratulations on completing your first uke which looks good. Glad you are happy with the result of all your efforts and especially the way it sounds.

sequoia
09-27-2016, 07:11 PM
It's finished :D! And yes, the saddle is a tad high, I need to take it down a bit after warming up to the wound strings...they are difficult to handle for me!

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?122955-Nbud&p=1896239#post1896239

Yes, the final set-up of the string height is so important. Also, to me it is so BORING, but SO important. Getting that string action right is in some ways is everything to the build. This final work determines how the instrument sounds and plays and that is important to say the least. A little clue that might make things little easier: The ratio to nut height and saddle height is approximately 1:1. For example, a good height for me is a nut at 30 mil and a saddle at 30 mil. In other words the slope of the equation is 1:1 if the bridge height has been designed correctly. Anyway, I've ruined more than a few nuts and a couple of saddles by trying to go too low.

cml
09-28-2016, 09:07 AM
Thanks fellas, both for your kind words but also for your advice along the way!