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cml
01-06-2017, 07:05 AM
By popular demand, well at least Dan asked for it, here's a new build-along thread.

This will be my second acoustic uke, third uke in total. It'll be another tenor, because my last one has deformed a little due to being under-braced. It's now got a nice little pot belly. The sound's still there, but it annoys the crap out of me.

Likely specs will be,
Bird's eye maple sides and back
Spruce top
Mahogny neck
Groover tuners.

I'm leaning towards a low-g build, since my KoAloha is fantastic with high-g.

Fair warning, this will be a sloooow build and log. I simply dont have much time these days. But I figure, if I can get one task done every week, I'll be happy and sooner or later I'll have a new uke!

Today's task was making a better mold. Last time I used a fixture, and while it worked, I wanted something a little more accurate this time. Inspired by Dan, this is done in layers. I dont have a bandsaw, or laser cutter, so this is done with my trusted hacksaw. Who needs a bandsaw anway...?! (how I wish I had a bandsaw)

Here's the results, pretty happy with it. Full length cauls were made as well.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/578/31303966624_e636039161.jpg
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/341/31996780292_64e34cc056.jpg

//CML

Dan Gleibitz
01-08-2017, 07:54 PM
I'm looking forward to this, even if it takes all year!

The form looks nice and solid. Did you use blocks of ply between the layers to space them out?


I dont have a bandsaw, or laser cutter, so this is done with my trusted hacksaw. Who needs a bandsaw anway...?!

Reminds me of Monty Python's four Yorkshiremen.

"A hacksaw? Lucky! When I started building I lived in a dust extractor and spent seventeen hours a day cutting forms out of plate steel and all I had was a piece of wet string and a ball of wax to do it with." Or something.

Tell you what, if I can't get my bandsaw working this week, I swear I'm going to drop it off a cliff. So there's a chance (however slim) that a bandsaw might wash up on a beach in Sweden. Keep an eye out. :D

sequoia
01-09-2017, 03:56 PM
I dont have a bandsaw, or laser cutter, so this is done with my trusted hacksaw. Who needs a bandsaw anway...?! (how I wish I had a bandsaw)


I'm impressed. You did that with a hacksaw??? I'll bet your arm got really tired. I'm pretty patient sometimes with hand tools, but I'm pretty sure I'm not that patient... Keep us posted.

cml
01-09-2017, 05:47 PM
Nah, this was fairly easy work for the hacksaw, plywood cuts easily even triplestacked to 36mm. It was actually easier than I thought!

The mold is 60mm, 3 layers stacked with plywood blocks in between just as you wrote Dan. Aiming at about 75mm height for the build.

sequoia
01-09-2017, 06:53 PM
Actual picture of cml's arm after hacksawing his molds. Do not piss this man off.

96842

Booli
01-09-2017, 07:32 PM
I really enjoyed your #1 and #2 builds and you've got me subscribed now to this one too...

Sounds like you've got an eye for incremental improvements.

Maybe the application and execution could be the sticky bits, but I think you've got this and will turn out another work of musical art regardless of the obstacles. :rock:

Your build logs are cool to watch/read. Thanks for sharing! :bowdown: :worship:

cml
01-14-2017, 07:45 AM
No good news Im afraid. I managed to completely obliterate a top today, all work goes down into the bin. Messed up when trying to fix a mistake with the rosette, and got black color bleed out from the rosette, into the surrounding area.

Well. At least I got some braces done that I hadn't glued on yet...

Dan Gleibitz
01-14-2017, 01:28 PM
Commiserations cml. I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Booli
01-14-2017, 02:14 PM
Sorry it did not work out brother. Just remember, in the words of BamBam from The Flintstones:

"Winners never lose, and quitters never win..."

and also 'If at first you don't succeed, try and try again (until you DO succeed)'

Please dont give up. You are inspiring many folks here on UU who are reading this thread.

We are all rooting for you, however long and whatever it takes. :)

sequoia
01-14-2017, 07:48 PM
and got black color bleed out from the rosette, into the surrounding area.
t...

Seal your wood by brushing a couple coats of a 1/2 lb cut of shellac before putting any glue. No bleed. Ever. Guaranteed. Shellac is your friend. Let it set about 10 minutes. Sealed. I love shellac. Oh... also can prevent the dreaded "glue wash" look on joints where finish won't stick quite right and leaves a lighter line because of squeeze out. Brush on a little shellac, glue, sand out any squeeze out and sand through the shellac to virgin wood. Finish with no line.

Of course if you are good there won't ever be any squeeze out to worry about.

cml
01-14-2017, 09:37 PM
Of course Seqouia ;)...

Shellac is quite hard to find in Sweden, it's not widely used. I've found a couple of places that sell it, but only in 10lbs buckets. Will make a stop at a painter's shop sometime soon, they might have some.

Btw, of course I'm not giving up, it's a set back, that's all. It also made me realise that some stuff is better bought from StewMac than home made, such as my rosette/sound hole cutting jig. My version is not precise enough, which was why I needed to do some filling in the gaps.

Braces, while not sounding like a big deal, are actually quite nice to be done with. With no bandsaw, I mill and cut them with the safetplaner.

Sven
01-15-2017, 06:44 PM
Nah, shellac is easy to find. Try artists' stores, in Stockholm I get flakes from Kreatima or ABC Färgekonomi. Recto solvent most often from Masters on Södermalm but both previous mentioned stores sell that as well. If you can't find it drop me an email and I'll send you some flakes. In a pinch you can use T-röd to dissolve them.

cml
01-15-2017, 06:47 PM
Nah, shellac is easy to find. Try artists' stores, in Stockholm I get flakes from Kreatima or ABC Färgekonomi. Recto solvent most often from Masters on Södermalm but both previous mentioned stores sell that as well. If you can't find it drop me an email and I'll send you some flakes. In a pinch you can use T-röd to dissolve them.

Thank you Sven!

sequoia
01-16-2017, 07:50 PM
You know I read these emails from England and Sweden and where ever and I think: What is up with that? Is it possible that you can't even buy fricking shellac? Is it a shipping problem? Is it a currency problem? A tariff problem? I mean really. IIt brakes my heart. You can get the stuff directly from India in a matter of days. They ship it by aero-plane I believe. Quite fast. I think they take credit cards. Do you guys in Sweden and England not have credit cards? I mean... really. I don't get it. Disconnect here. Everyone should have access to shellac!

cml
01-16-2017, 10:10 PM
Hah, of course we got credit cards ;)' I think I saw a study recently that Sweden's use of cash is the lowest in the world. But we have a smaller market than the US, 10 million people to your 320 million. Less room for niche products, but fear not, we can always order from abroad.

cml
01-20-2017, 11:54 PM
I can find orange shellac, but will that give a too sharp tint? Or will it sand off as easily as clear shellac?

sequoia
01-21-2017, 04:58 PM
You should be able to get shellac in a grade of colors all the way from almost clear (light blond) to dark brown. Not sure about "orange". Be aware this could make a spruce top look "orange" which to my eye is not a good look but to each his own. I use number one clear so as to let the wood be itself. Can't go wrong with that. I'm experimenting with "amber" and different layers of clear and amber.... There will be no difference in the way the shellac sands depending on color. It is just a tint due to impurities in the shellac and how it was refined. The basic shellac is the same regardless of color.

Don't forget to experiment first on scraps!

Sven
01-21-2017, 07:04 PM
Shellac that is called blonde comes in flakes that are light orange. Amber flakes are brown. To seal your spruce top, make sure your first coat is thin, as in dilluted. Coat the whole top in one go and don't let it overlap too much. Some alcohol based stains flow out better if you first go over the wood with just the pure alcohol, then the stain. I've considered testing that method for the first wash coat of shellac when I'm working on spruce. But haven't, I'm shit at testing on scrap. That doesn't stop me from telling others though, so make sure you test on scrap. Any problems call me at nollsjutreniosjuåttasexsjusexsju.

cml
01-21-2017, 07:57 PM
Thanks Sven, I think this is something inbetween blonde and amber, it's also described as gold. Like you I'm crap at testing stuff on scrap, but I'll try to in this instance. It'll take a while for the flakes to come though, about a week.

Also, internet spiders beware :D!

cml
01-22-2017, 08:00 AM
My wife gave me the whole day to build today, so I got loads done :)!

Before starting building, I wanted to try out a new tool I bought. Turns out this cuts PERFECT cuts, much better than a dremel and a jig. It will be used for the rosette channel and soundhole. For the channel I'll cut multiple passes and then use a chisel to remove the excess.
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I then thicknessed the sides, back and top. Careful setup is key here, and let me tell you, it still isnt easy with the hardwoods. Cedar cuts like butter though.
97170
After that I jumped straight onto bending the sides, the first wasnt super cooperative, but when it was time for the second I'd got the knack in again for it and it went easy. Into the mold with the sides, and then it's time for kerfings. I actually pre-bent these a bit for the waist, as I had them snap last time.
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To finish up, I'm gluedthe braces on the back, the top will have to wait till I get my shellac delivery, I want a protective layer before starting with the rosette.
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All in all, great progress today I think.

sequoia
01-22-2017, 06:20 PM
I'm shit at testing on scrap. That doesn't stop me from telling others though, so make sure you test on scrap.

Ha! I hear you Sven. Who has the time? Everything is gonna be fine. fine. Usually is... This is one of those things where we say, "Do as I say, not as I do". However, before using stain I always check first. Results with stain can be... nasty and there is no going back on stain. Or at least hard. Shellac is more forgiving. Don't like it? Just sand off and start again.

Dan Gleibitz
01-22-2017, 07:33 PM
All in all, great progress today I think.

Indeed! That's a lot of progress for one day. What's the hole cutting tool called?

cml
01-22-2017, 07:58 PM
Indeed! That's a lot of progress for one day. What's the hole cutting tool called?
Just that, hole cutter :).
http://www.jula.se/catalog/verktyg-och-maskiner/elverktyg-och-maskiner/halsagar-och-dosfrasar/haltagare/stallbar-haltagare-181252/
10 dollars

Spokeshave
01-23-2017, 12:37 AM
Will the hole cutter cut a sharp sided groove for a rosette?

orangeena
01-23-2017, 03:46 AM
I just found that exact same hole cutting tool in a UK shop called The Range for a few quid. I too planned to use only one cutter and flip the other upside down as a counter weight. I was also thinking about making a cutter for rosette trenches out of some hardened steel blanks. Good to see it in action.
Max

cml
01-23-2017, 03:50 AM
Will the hole cutter cut a sharp sided groove for a rosette?

Yes, perfectly so, with no fuzz. At least on my scrap spruce top piece.

cml
01-23-2017, 06:59 AM
I just found that exact same hole cutting tool in a UK shop called The Range for a few quid. I too planned to use only one cutter and flip the other upside down as a counter weight. I was also thinking about making a cutter for rosette trenches out of some hardened steel blanks. Good to see it in action.
Max
I was thinking the same Max, or possibly reshape the blade I'm not using. I dont have any blanks ;).

Here's the body after setting over the night, perfect symmetry due to the new mold! And, ahem, disregard the awful butt joint, I'm removing it for an endgraft anyway so didnt pay any attention to the cuts here.
97196
Next up, reinforcing the top upper bout for a side port!

orangeena
01-24-2017, 01:40 AM
I dont have any blanks ;).

I think I read somewhere that you can use an old alan/hex key as it is pretty tough steel. Just cut/grind it to make the width of rosette trench you need. Also the hex shaft would be easier to grip in the cutting device.
Max

Spokeshave
01-24-2017, 03:50 AM
I just found that exact same hole cutting tool in a UK shop called The Range for a few quid. I too planned to use only one cutter and flip the other upside down as a counter weight. I was also thinking about making a cutter for rosette trenches out of some hardened steel blanks. Good to see it in action.
Max
There's a range close to me.......where in the shop did you see it?

Andyk
01-24-2017, 04:55 AM
There's a range close to me.......where in the shop did you see it?

If you can't find these in Range then look on Amazon and you'll find them delivered from around 5 quid upwards.

orangeena
01-24-2017, 06:04 AM
There's a range close to me.......where in the shop did you see it?

They were in the tools section where you'd imagine they'd be. Up the end where all the tools for watchmakers are. It was the Bracknell branch if that helps

cml
01-24-2017, 07:17 AM
I forgot to show a pic of the joined back. The back and sides are bird's eye maple, but not very figured (though more on the sides than the back). With some finish on, I think it's going to look lovely. Some gold shellac might actually be pretty nice here.
97259

cml
01-27-2017, 07:02 AM
Back or top first? I seem to recall it's best to do the top first, but I cant remember why...

Long story short, the shellac hasnt arrived yet, so I dont want to work with the cedar top as it's too easily dented. Right now it's covered with cardboard and will stay that way until I can do the rosette.

The back on the other hand, I could glue on after finishing the side port. Bad idea or not?

Dan Gleibitz
01-27-2017, 11:13 PM
Top!

I went back first this time around, and the tension from the curved back wanted to pull the sides out of square in bad places. The most important geometry is the square between the top and sides at the neck, and putting the back on first makes squaring this in the mold much more difficult.

If you glue the top first, that angle will naturally try to get to 90 degrees, and you can add as many clamps as you need to get the dang thing symmetrical.

cml
01-27-2017, 11:47 PM
Thanks Dan! I knew there was a reason I did the top first last time.
Ah well, I can start with the neck blank or I could finish the fretboard I guess. Im debating with myself on the the design scheme, I want to keep this one simple...so perhaps no front position markers?

greenscoe
01-28-2017, 01:13 AM
If you make the box as you are doing, inside an external mould, then I don't think it makes any difference whether you glue on the back or front first. Its a matter of personal preference and reasons for doing it either way can be found.

I've now made about 25 instruments, sopranos, concerts, tenors and several guitars and on every one I glued the back on first. The simple reason I do it this way is that its the way I did my first instrument and there's never been an issue doing it this way.

If the sides are bent correctly either by hand or with a Fox type bender there's no problem. If they are not bent so accurately, the mould and a few cauls/clamps can help in getting the box symmetrical (provided the mould was accurately made). However once the endblocks and linings/kerfings are added, the box should sit comfortably in the mould and no force should be needed to maintain the shape. Many builders simply use one internal expander/clamp at the waist when gluing on the top or back. There's no reason why gluing on a back should distort the sides. If it does, then there must be a reason: perhaps the side profile is incorrect for the curved back.

I used to glue on both back and top in the mould. Now I generally find that I can remove the box from the mould once the back is on and glue on the top without the use of the mould. The sides are square to the top and symmetrical because they were bent/fitted the mould correctly. The box is rigid and won't distort when the top is glued on.

There are many ways of doing most steps in building an instrument. Youtube helps in showing the different ways employed. As hobby makers we find our own way by seeing/hearing about the way others work and adopting those methods that seem to make sense to us.

Dan Gleibitz
01-28-2017, 01:40 AM
There's no reason why gluing on a back should distort the sides. If it does, then there must be a reason: perhaps the side profile is incorrect for the curved back

Sounds right. Mostly. No doubt my profile was a bit rough. But the left to right radius is set (mainly) by the braces, the top to bottom radius is imparted (mainly) when gluing the back in isn't it? In which case anything less than a perfect fit to the mold leaves stresses on the sides that makes them want to spread (font side, top to bottom).

Maybe I should have prefaced my comment with "if your build is a bit dodgy like mine, then..." :D

greenscoe
01-28-2017, 02:45 AM
Dan, without seeing what you do, its difficult to know quite why the sides distort on your build. You have put a lot of effort into your present set of concerts. Its been interesting watching your approach to uke making.

Your mould is clearly accurate, so if the sides fit the mould well, they are supported by the mould and cant go anywhere when the back is glued on. Its true that the top to bottom curve is achieved when the back is glued to the sides but my experience is that this does not generate enough force to cause any distortion. You mentioned needing clamps to prevent the sides being pulled out of shape: this is not something I have experienced. The endblocks and kerfing usually make the box fairly rigid and the support of the mould ensures all will be well.

My purpose in posting was simply to tell present and future readers of this thread that its OK to glue the back on first, its always worked for me.

cml
01-28-2017, 07:03 AM
Cheers fellas.

I think I'll give it a go then, since it fits really snug in the mould.
After I radiused the back of it, it's ready for the back piece tomorrow.

But before all that, I finished the side sound port :). Didnt turn out too bad did it :D? Some slight cover up is gonna be necessary, but I'll wait until a coat of shellac is on, then add some CA mixed with black.
97372
EDIT: I'm not known for waiting. Masking tape works as well ;)...
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Dan Gleibitz
01-30-2017, 07:44 PM
Nice work on the sound port. What are you shaping the back radius with? I think last time you made a radius trough?

cml
01-31-2017, 01:17 AM
Nice work on the sound port. What are you shaping the back radius with? I think last time you made a radius trough?
Thanks Dan! Yes, I used the trough this time as well. Things go a little bit quicker when you have your tools made already. So far the mould is the only new jig or tool built for this build, the rest I'm reusing.
97441

cml
02-04-2017, 08:13 AM
My shellac flakes seems lost in transit :/...the ebay seller will send new ones if they do not arrive by wednesday, but that means it'll be at LEAST the 15th of feb before I see any flakes. Sigh :(.
Thus my top is still unfinished, no rosette cut out etc. I was really hoping to have it finished before this weekend, so I could do the bindings and finish up the soundbox. But, I guess this is good for my zen, I said this would take longer to finish so a little waiting wont hurt.

But, I couldnt let the weekend go to waste without doing anything so I glued together the neck blank today and finished the fretboard shaping/cutting. I hope to have the neck roughed out tomorrow!
97582

sequoia
02-04-2017, 06:30 PM
I think you might have a shipping/transportation problem thing going on there in Sweden CML. Not surprising since you have to deal with the Baltic sea to say nothing of polar bears... Sometimes waiting is part of the building process. Just keep saying: Ommmmmm....Om....Ommmmmm. It will come. It will come.

cml
02-05-2017, 12:14 AM
I think you might have a shipping/transportation problem thing going on there in Sweden CML. Not surprising since you have to deal with the Baltic sea to say nothing of polar bears... Sometimes waiting is part of the building process. Just keep saying: Ommmmmm....Om....Ommmmmm. It will come. It will come.
Yes it's a real nuisance with all the polar bears. We lose a postman at least 4-5 times a year to the damn creatures.

cml
02-06-2017, 08:35 AM
Progress.

I have a love/hate relationship with my hacksaw. Some days I love it, some days I really, really, truly hate it. Like when it decides to utterly destroy my neckblank by sawing the headstock crooked.
Think from the side here, it was 1cm on one side and 5mm on the other. Ready for the bin - or so I thought to start with.
A little thinking made me realise I could try a scarf joint so I chopped off the ugly crooked headstock and did a new one which turned out really well :). Will make all blanks like that if I'm to build more ukes.

Pictures below, it's roughly formed as it should, some finetuning after I've attached the fretboard is necessary though...
97653976549765597656
PS. Anyone has a trick up their sleeve on how to make that heel to neck area super smooth? I find it's a pain to sand that area...DS

gabefranco
02-06-2017, 11:56 AM
PS. Anyone has a trick up their sleeve on how to make that heel to neck area super smooth? I find it's a pain to sand that area...DS

I use a long thin strip of sandpaper in a motion similar to polishing a shoe. It's mostly endgrain there, but it sands it in the same direction of the exposed side grain on either side of the heel.

A scraper could probably do a fairly good job too.

Rrgramps
02-06-2017, 12:15 PM
But before all that, I finished the side sound port :). Didnt turn out too bad did it :D? Some slight cover up is gonna be necessary, but I'll wait until a coat of shellac is on, then add some CA mixed with black.
97372
EDIT: I'm not known for waiting. Masking tape works as well ;)...
97376

I like the sound soundport. What did you cut it with? Also, what is the black port liner made of?

cml
02-07-2017, 12:12 AM
I use a long thin strip of sandpaper in a motion similar to polishing a shoe. It's mostly endgrain there, but it sands it in the same direction of the exposed side grain on either side of the heel.

A scraper could probably do a fairly good job too.


Excellent suggestion, I'll try it out :). Thank you!

cml
02-07-2017, 12:20 AM
I like the sound soundport. What did you cut it with? Also, what is the black port liner made of?

A regular drill, finished with a dremel. It's lined with black abs plastic.

Wildestcat
02-07-2017, 05:11 AM
No good news Im afraid. I managed to completely obliterate a top today, all work goes down into the bin. Messed up when trying to fix a mistake with the rosette, and got black color bleed out from the rosette, into the surrounding area.

Hi - Sorry I'm a bit late to this thread, but why not use epoxy to fix your rosette? Advantages are there is no bleed into surrounding wood, you can mix it with matching wood dust to act as a gap filler if you need to, and it doesn't cause wood to swell like titebond can, so no problems inserting a tight fitting rosette. Finally you get plenty of open time to make sure everything is nicely bedded in. Disadvantage - it takes maybe 24 hours before hard enough to sand effectively. CA glue doesn't offer any advantages for fixing a rosette that I can perceive, other than speed - and that can so easily be its downfall! No need to use shellac with epoxy either - though to be fair I would always use it to protect a spruce top through the build process.

FWIW I use Bill Smith Industries 15 minute cure epoxy.

cml
02-07-2017, 08:42 AM
Hi - Sorry I'm a bit late to this thread, but why not use epoxy to fix your rosette? Advantages are there is no bleed into surrounding wood, you can mix it with matching wood dust to act as a gap filler if you need to, and it doesn't cause wood to swell like titebond can, so no problems inserting a tight fitting rosette. Finally you get plenty of open time to make sure everything is nicely bedded in. Disadvantage - it takes maybe 24 hours before hard enough to sand effectively. CA glue doesn't offer any advantages for fixing a rosette that I can perceive, other than speed - and that can so easily be its downfall! No need to use shellac with epoxy either - though to be fair I would always use it to protect a spruce top through the build process.

FWIW I use Bill Smith Industries 15 minute cure epoxy.

I have an aversion to epoxy, perhaps irrationally so. I just have a bad feeling about it. But thanks for your suggestion Paul :)!

cml
02-12-2017, 07:52 AM
Some very moderate progress today. I kinda got distracted...
977719777097769

cml
02-13-2017, 07:00 AM
Trying out rosette options. I'll use my original idea with the wood inlay, it works best for the minimalistic design I'm shooting for.
No front position markers on the fretboard either. The logo on the head stock will be the same wood as the rosette.
97785

sequoia
02-13-2017, 05:51 PM
I say go for the abalone(?) and ditch the wooden rosette, but whatever catches your fancy and aligns with your design idea. I like flash. However, I really do like position markers on the fretboard. When I play I do like to know where the four and five positions are to say nothing of the seventh and octave positions. Missing these positions in the heat of action can be... ugly. I find instruments without these reference points annoying to play. Playable for sure but annoying. Much discussion on this subject and I do understand those that think they are superfluous and unnecessary adornment. But I believe they serve a real purpose for the player. Especially in the dark on stage. Or even in the dark in the living room.

cml
02-14-2017, 02:58 AM
Yes, it's abalone to the right, black pearl? on the left. I bought from a new seller, these are very thin shells laminated onto pvc. I figured I'd give it a go.
The abalone will surely look great and I kinda want that as well...but worried it'll look too similar to my last build maybe ? On the other hand, it'll have different bindings, different body sides, different neck and a different headplate...

sequoia
02-14-2017, 08:04 PM
I hear you on doing something different every build. But ultimately instead of making something look different we should be striving for making something sound different. After all it is not how they look but how they sound that is the ultimate goal. That is the real fun goal of building ukes. Make them sound good, Not so easy.

I'm still learning. I can make a great looking ukulele but making a great sounding uke is a bit hit and miss. I'm still a bit confused. Consistency of sound from one uke to another baffles me at times. If I figured this out I might call myself a luthier. In the meantime I just call myself a builder. Someday I might call myself a luthier. In the meantime I am humbled. This shit is hard.

cml
02-15-2017, 08:29 AM
Aye, that's the most important quality, and actually why I intended to do a simple and minimalistic design. My last build developed a pot belly (much less pronounced with Bb-tuning though), but sounds great. I hope to get the sound that good again, but without the pot belly. Difficult shit to be sure ;).

Lessons learned from the last build:
While shaving the braces down is essential, dont overdo it either.
Make sure your fretboard isnt too thick, and that your bridge matches the fretboard. Thus avoiding a too high saddle and too much rotational force.

What I hope is that I dont overshoot the otherway on the braces either. The fretboard I managed to get down to a very nice thickness, 3.5mm now as opposed to 5mm on my last build.

I think I'll cut out all three rosettes and see how it matches up. Pictures to follow, probably come the weekend.

tattwo
02-15-2017, 10:37 AM
Some very moderate progress today. I kinda got distracted...
977719777097769

alcohol stove?

cml
02-17-2017, 07:28 AM
alcohol stove?
Indeed! More to follow :), this was fun!

cml
02-18-2017, 09:04 AM
Finally!!!
97905

cml
02-25-2017, 08:42 AM
After a lot of waiting, the shellac finally arrived. Thus my build could continue but I've been feeling a little out of game. Lots of small mistakes, cockups and general sloppiness meant that I for a while thought I wouldnt get this uke together. I managed to destroy two rosettes in the process of finishing the top. Finally got one together, which goes well with my intended design scheme.

Well, now the top is on, I routed the channels this morning and did the bindings during the afternoon! So good progress again, finally :)!

Oh, and all the good things you fellas say about shellac is totally true.
98110

Rrgramps
02-26-2017, 01:51 AM
It will work out, and all the barnacles will be overlooked. I'm still impressed that you're incorporating a port; and without using templates or routers. I enjoy ported instruments because the sound flows out and is directed to the person playing. It's like having a passive monitor.

cml
02-26-2017, 05:37 AM
It will work out, and all the barnacles will be overlooked. I'm still impressed that you're incorporating a port; and without using templates or routers. I enjoy ported instruments because the sound flows out and is directed to the person playing. It's like having a passive monitor.
Thanks Trent! One can start to get a feel for how the uke will look. The neck has some more work before it's done but the soundbox is ready for finishing, which will be done when the uke is assembled.
98137
Next step, prepare and do the last on the neck, then aligning it with the body. Wont be done until next weekend though, as I leave for Germany in the morning. Got business there with my day job.

Rrgramps
02-26-2017, 05:59 AM
I like to see neck connection methods, since they are so varied. My plan for the current build is to use one cross-bolt furniture connector vertically, located about 1/2" from the body joint. No tenon, no glue (maybe no more than a light coat of water-soluble white or Elmer's school glue). Just in case it needs taken apart. Mostly a flat face to face, except for contour matching the heel to body.

The hole will be covered up by the fretboard.

Now how about your trade secret neck joint? ;)

cml
02-26-2017, 07:12 AM
I like to see neck connection methods, since they are so varied. My plan for the current build is to use one cross-bolt furniture connector vertically, located about 1/2" from the body joint. No tenon, no glue (maybe no more than a light coat of water-soluble white or Elmer's school glue). Just in case it needs taken apart. Mostly a flat face to face, except for contour matching the heel to body.

The hole will be covered up by the fretboard.

Now how about your trade secret neck joint? ;)
Sure, but I'm using the same method as you're describing. The furniture connector is a bit further down though, about 30mm. I used the same method last time with good results, but rather than just a little glue I used a normal amount of titebond. Might go with just white glue as you´re suggesting this time around.
The horizontal hole is yet to be drilled, but you get the idea:
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Here's the neck from my last build for reference.
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I'm using a much slimmer heel on this one, and also slightly thinner headstock (11mm on my current build, 12.5ish mm on my last). Here's this pic again for comparison.
98147

Dan Gleibitz
02-28-2017, 09:55 PM
Well, now the top is on, I routed the channels this morning and did the bindings during the afternoon! So good progress again, finally :)!
98110

That looks great!

cml
03-05-2017, 06:41 AM
Good progress, I finished shaping the neck today and set the neck angle. After that I glued the fretboard to the neck and finally, the whole thing to the soundbox. Screw joint and some whiteglue mixed with 'hog dust to fill in any potential gaps. Still got some cleaning up to do around the joint, there's glue squeeze out, but that's easier to get rid of when it's hardened some more.

98324
98325

Rrgramps
03-05-2017, 08:59 AM
Nice work! I missed your glue-up method for closing the box. How did you do yours? (Clamps, spools, Jig).

--------------
Edit: I checked back on your earlier build, and saw you used the SM method from their PDF -- rubber bands.

UkulelesRcooL
03-05-2017, 09:06 AM
(Sequoia said), I say go for the abalone(?) and ditch the wooden rosette, but whatever catches your fancy and aligns with your design idea. I like flash. However, I really do like position markers on the fretboard. When I play I do like to know where the four and five positions are to say nothing of the seventh and octave positions. Missing these positions in the heat of action can be... ugly. I find instruments without these reference points annoying to play. Playable for sure but annoying. Much discussion on this subject and I do understand those that think they are superfluous and unnecessary adornment. But I believe they serve a real purpose for the player. Especially in the dark on stage. Or even in the dark in the living room.

Not to mention the bling, beauty,aesthetic appeal, just plain eye draw that nice abalone rosettes and position markers add to a Ukulele. It makes it a piece of jewelry.

sequoia
03-05-2017, 05:32 PM
Screw joint and some whiteglue mixed with 'hog dust to fill in any potential gaps. Still got some cleaning up to do around the joint, there's glue squeeze out, but that's easier to get rid of when it's hardened some more.

Being an amateur myself I hear your pain. I still struggle with this join. It is a pretty complex joint if it is radioused. I can spend hours getting that thing right. One thing I have learned is that glue squeeze out is not easy to clean up on this joint. And if you try to clean it out early you can get the dreaded "glue wash" around the joint which will show when you apply finish. Ideally your joint should be so good and tight you can avoid putting glue along the edge and leave the edges slightly dry. Or use Pete's method and let things set a bit before joining. When I first look at any instrument now my eye goes right to the neck/body joint and I check out how good it is. Anyway, your uke looks great. Looking forward to seeing the final product.

cml
03-05-2017, 06:01 PM
Nice work! I missed your glue-up method for closing the box. How did you do yours? (Clamps, spools, Jig).

--------------
Edit: I checked back on your earlier build, and saw you used the SM method from their PDF -- rubber bands.
This time I used alot of clamps instead, about 8 of them around the box. But the rubberband method works great too.

cml
03-10-2017, 08:10 PM
Getting ready to start finishing soon. I'll be leveling the frets today and will likely get the first soak coat on today. It might be that a soak coat isn't necessary due to the layer of shellac though, but we'll see.

Nickie
03-11-2017, 04:41 PM
No good news Im afraid. I managed to completely obliterate a top today, all work goes down into the bin. Messed up when trying to fix a mistake with the rosette, and got black color bleed out from the rosette, into the surrounding area.

Well. At least I got some braces done that I hadn't glued on yet...

When this happens, is it ever possible to turn the pieces over and use the other side s the front of the top?

cml
03-11-2017, 07:39 PM
When this happens, is it ever possible to turn the pieces over and use the other side s the front of the top?
Maybe, but not in this case. I had handplaned the thickness on that top.

When doing the final cleaning up on the top before finishing, I messed up the rosette again. Luckily I was able to do a fix, but the looks are quite different. More like David's rosettes at Ono, though not as clean. Still, it turned out acceptable and the wood is looking great with the tru oil on.

cml
03-14-2017, 08:29 AM
Finally, it's done :D!

The philosophy of this uke has been, keep it simple but elegant and focus on playability. It's early and the strings are settling in, but soundwise I think I succeeded. Fretboard width, neck shape etc to my personal taste.

Specs:
Western Red Cedar top
Bird's eye maple sides and back (low figure)
Sapele neck
Rosewood bridge and fretboard
Satin finish
Groover tuners
Worth brown low G strings
Strap buttons on lower bout and heel.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3719/33058145100_c2f9f47dd2.jpg

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3806/33058145620_55c7d95cd5.jpg

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3949/33058145370_cbe1e9e781.jpg

cml
03-14-2017, 08:31 AM
https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3730/33058146050_9a92c52869.jpg

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3797/33058290890_28d21ee76c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/782/33058145880_67ddd3cd7f.jpg

Andyk
03-14-2017, 09:41 AM
That definitely looks like a uke to be proud of and if it plays how you like it then mission accomplished.... But... This is finished so you now have to decide what to build next ;)

Rrgramps
03-14-2017, 03:13 PM
What a nice job!

sequoia
03-14-2017, 05:59 PM
Very nice looking uke. I really like the peghead shape and the fret work looks beautiful. You really took some time here and it shows. I know because fret work can be BORING. But oh so important. The question is: Are you happy with it and what would you do different next time? And you know... how does it....sound?

cml
03-14-2017, 07:36 PM
Thanks guys!

RPA_Ukuleles
03-15-2017, 04:56 AM
Looks pretty fantastic for a 3rd build!

Vespa Bob
03-16-2017, 03:50 AM
Great job! All that blood, sweat and tears certainly paid off.

Bob

cml
03-16-2017, 06:33 AM
Thanks Bob and Rodney!