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ChuckBarnett
11-18-2017, 05:51 PM
Sequoia suggested I keep photos coming of this adventure so I am picking up with where I am at this point. I glued the top onto the sides and am researching attaching the neck (yet to be made). If I look closely I see that the radiused heel end also has a bend to it from top to bottom. I'll need to figure out what that means as well as why it is there.
Bless you all!

sequoia
11-18-2017, 07:22 PM
If I look closely I see that the radiused heel end also has a bend to it from top to bottom.

Not really sure what you mean by the word "bend" but I think you mean it isn't square or is slightly cupped. To me this is not ideal but isn't really that big a deal. It happens. The biggest potential problem is when you get around to routing in your binding and an off plumb heel can change the depth of the binding channel. No real biggy and can be fussed in. The place where you don't want a "bend" is on the neck end of the body. This place needs to be straight plumb and 90 degrees to the deck. Everything depends on it. If it isn't, there are things that can be done, but best not to go there if you know what I mean. Sleepless nights. Knashing of teeth. etc.

Otherwise, things looks great. Nice work there.

photoshooter
11-19-2017, 03:15 AM
Looks great so far. Im eager to see the finished product.

nic579
11-19-2017, 05:41 AM
I have some nice old growth Redwood much like that just quite a bit darker and only large enough for a few sopranos. Have not heard a redwood sound board yet myself.

ChuckBarnett
11-21-2017, 05:31 AM
Here are photos that perhaps show what I am seeing. The imperfections are actually more 'visible' to the hand than the eye.

I am working on how to flatten the area where the neck will sit. I thought about resting it top down on the table of a vertical belt sander figuring out a way to keep it square to the belt and doing my best to ensure the belt and table are vertical.

The other issue evident in the photos is the radius at the neck end of the uke. I won't be able to change that and will have to form the neck heel to match. (prayers are welcome!).

And it is evident as well that I actually put a router to the top to bring it flush to the sides. :)

ChuckBarnett
11-21-2017, 06:00 AM
As I gear up to attack the neck join I am confronted once again with the dreaded 'get it 90 degrees' monster that has gnashed its teeth at me over all these years. (Indeed, when my son glibly said, "Dad, lets build guitars!" I thought, 'right... It's a good day for Chuck if he can run a skill saw across a board at a right angle give or take a couple degrees!'
I have in these past 5 years gathered together a nice old Powermatic 65 tablesaw (I went through it, bearings, belts, set it up, etc.) I think it cuts square. I've a nice 17" bandsaw I believe cuts square. My 1949 Craftsman drill press (I do like the British term 'pillar drill' :)) seems to do okay in that area.
But I do feel challenged if not down right fearful when somebody whispers, "90 degrees".
So I'm at it again... overthink mode. Look at this crude drawing if you will and walk me through my question. The top was radiused on a 20' radius dish. Thus the sides if vertical hit the top at something slightly greater than 90 degrees. So if the angle between the neck heel and where the fretboard will sit on the neck is 90 degrees, the fretboard will be actually going uphill once it contacts the body. NO? Is this over think or...?

Sven
11-21-2017, 06:53 AM
Get that surface flat by dragging the use sideways (along the grain) on a stable slab with 120 grit sandpaper on it. If you need a neck angle to ensure the string hit the saddle at the right height you see to that as you're fine tuning the heel. Relieve the centre of the heel face with a gouge or whatever so you're only working on the edges, otherwise the end grain will cause it to rock and you get a convex surface. Check for alignment from side to side, you can never rescue a fault there by making the bridge and saddle higher or lower. As for the neck angle, I guess you need zero or .5 degrees and once you add the fretted fretboard you'll see what you really needed.

Sven
11-21-2017, 06:54 AM
I'm a bit fast because I don't have much time. Don't take my words on the neck angle too seriously, but the ones about the centre line alignment are true.

Wildestcat
11-21-2017, 10:26 AM
As Sven says.

I'd be very wary of trying to flatten the body with a powered sander of any description. Therein lurks potential disaster ...

sequoia
11-21-2017, 06:34 PM
As Sven says. I'd be very wary of trying to flatten the body with a powered sander of any description. Therein lurks potential disaster ...

Totally agree on that. Things could happen fast and get nasty in a hurry. ... In my experience, if you are going to do something disastrous at least do it slowly so you can back out before it goes completely south which usually means hand tools and patience.

By the looks of the picture, you are not that far out of 90 degrees. You are close and should be able to dial it in... This is a problematic area for me too as well as many others I'll bet. It seems they never come out spot on at 90 degrees across the radius. What I did was create a sanding fixture made of melamine that I salvaged from some discarded kitchen cabinets. Very simple. Cut two 14 inch by 8 inch rectangles. Then attach them (with the true factory edge butted on one piece so that you create a perfect 90 degree angle). Reinforce so the fixture will not move. I just used metal brackets screwed into the ends after I glued and screwed the two pieces at a perfect 90 angle. Then stick down some 100 grit sandpaper to the down side. Take the ukulele and place in the fixture with the top against the back piece of the fixture and sand back and forth (tilting to follow your radius) until the body is perfectly square where the neck is gonna attach. Works if things are not too far off. 2 or 3 degrees off no problem. More and you got a problem.

I just read the above description and it isn't totally clear, but this is just a simple 90 degree sanding fixture... Now since your top is radiused this presents a problem since you can't use the top as a register reference. This is why I do flat tops. Is your back radiused too? If not you could use your back as the reference on the fixture. Anyway, I feel for you cause I been there and it ain't easy. But it is also so, so important to get right. Good luck.

ChuckBarnett
11-22-2017, 05:39 AM
Yeah, back is radiused at 12'. I am going to try some form of your idea and then get to the neck. I've made a blank of a lumber store 2 x 4 and will use that to learn on. My question is: when fiddling with getting the heel right at the body joint, what happens to the distance back to the nut? In other words, where do I start, on the heel end or on the nut end.

Sven
11-22-2017, 06:00 AM
I cheat when I do this. First my neck is a wee bit long, and as I fix the neck joint it does get that wee bit shorter. Then I glue the fretboard on, making sure it ends up where I want it. In my case that's a 13th fret join at the body. If there is too much flat real estate above the nut end I blend that into the slanting headstock area with a chisel (or, if nobody's watching, sometimes even sandpaper).

sequoia
11-22-2017, 07:24 PM
Yeah, back is radiused at 12'. I am going to try some form of your idea and then get to the neck. I've made a blank of a lumber store 2 x 4 and will use that to learn on. My question is: when fiddling with getting the heel right at the body joint, what happens to the distance back to the nut? In other words, where do I start, on the heel end or on the nut end.

The answer is: As you fiddle and sand the neck heal, the distance to the nut gets shorter. I also do what Sven does and make the neck longer than it theoretically measures out (my case 14th fret to the body) and then I grind away on the neck heel until the joint is square and flush to the body. In other words I give me self some extra wood to play with. A 1/4 inch or even more. If I get it right after not too much sanding, this leaves me with extra space at the nut end (a too large nut ledge). I then sand down the peghead. As the peghead thins it moves the line toward the perfect line on the neck leaving just enough for the nut. I can compensate for the thinning of the peghead by increasing the thickness of the peghead vaneer to dial in the correct peghead thickness. Also, I don't believe the 14th fret (or whatever your design calculation was) has to fall exactly at the body so a little wiggle room there. But it needs to be close because that is my reference point on where the bridge plate was placed. I want the bridge to be close to perfectly centered over the plate when I measure for final scale length (plus compensation).

I realize that this might seem confusing and my explanation as clear as mud. I am also not a real lutheir but self taught. In short, give yourself some extra wood so that you can sand away and still have a proper ledge for your nut. Dial it in by thinning your peghead or as Sven does (scandalous!) blend the headstock in by slanting it (shocking!) to hit your marks.

Timbuck
11-22-2017, 09:54 PM
Just bolt the neck on loosly..shim it with tiny wedges till you are happy with the position tighten it up and you can see where adjustment needs to be.

Sven
11-22-2017, 11:48 PM
... or as Sven does (scandalous!) blend the headstock in by slanting it (shocking!) to hit your marks.
Yes! Simply do not do anything as I do it because I wing it. Works great for me but as I describe the methods involved to someone else it often comes across as if I do blindfolded work in a dark room.

sequoia
11-23-2017, 06:00 PM
Yes! Simply do not do anything as I do it because I wing it. Works great for me but as I describe the methods involved to someone else it often comes across as if I do blindfolded work in a dark room.

Ah yes. The Blind Luthier! ... I'm sure you know I was kidding Sven. Your idea isn't bad and would work (within reason) and I've done a variation on it myself. In a perfect world we would hit our marks perfectly everytime. Sometimes the subtle recovery is almost as satisfying as hitting the mark perfectly. Almost.

ChuckBarnett
11-27-2017, 04:00 PM
I think I'm there regarding getting the heel end of the Uke 90 degrees with the top. I made a jig as was mentioned to register the top against and stuck down some 80 grit sandpaper. Spent a fair amount of time sanding that quilted maple. I won't make that mistake again!
I should follow this up with 100 grit. Even though the top has been radiused I'm going to go with that 90 degrees and then work on the neck heel when I get there. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Learning more every step. :-)

DPO
11-27-2017, 07:43 PM
The answer is: As you fiddle and sand the neck heal, the distance to the nut gets shorter. I also do what Sven does and make the neck longer than it theoretically measures out (my case 14th fret to the body) and then I grind away on the neck heel until the joint is square and flush to the body. In other words I give me self some extra wood to play with. A 1/4 inch or even more. If I get it right after not too much sanding, this leaves me with extra space at the nut end (a too large nut ledge). I then sand down the peghead. As the peghead thins it moves the line toward the perfect line on the neck leaving just enough for the nut. I can compensate for the thinning of the peghead by increasing the thickness of the peghead vaneer to dial in the correct peghead thickness. Also, I don't believe the 14th fret (or whatever your design calculation was) has to fall exactly at the body so a little wiggle room there. But it needs to be close because that is my reference point on where the bridge plate was placed. I want the bridge to be close to perfectly centered over the plate when I measure for final scale length (plus compensation).

I realize that this might seem confusing and my explanation as clear as mud. I am also not a real lutheir but self taught. In short, give yourself some extra wood so that you can sand away and still have a proper ledge for your nut. Dial it in by thinning your peghead or as Sven does (scandalous!) blend the headstock in by slanting it (shocking!) to hit your marks.

Why not keep the neck blank as a total blank until the neck to body joint is correct , then the rest is easy peasy.

sequoia
11-28-2017, 06:21 PM
Why not keep the neck blank as a total blank until the neck to body joint is correct , then the rest is easy peasy.

Exactly. The first thing I do is get the neck to body profile done first and then carve and cut and shape the neck blank from there. I used to do it opposite; I would carve out my neck and then do the radiused heel part last. I now realize that everything (doh!) comes off that joint. This is the bad part of being self taught is that you make mistakes and make it harder on yourself than it needs to be. The good thing is that lessons learned the hard way are lessons that stick in the mind. Won't do that again....

ChuckBarnett
11-29-2017, 02:05 PM
This is just the sort of thing that I need to hear: the order of construction, i.e. where to start, on which end, etc. Bless you all!!

ChuckBarnett
11-29-2017, 02:06 PM
'cuz I've no intention of being "self taught" at this. That would be a HUGE mistake. I consider you folks my mentors and coaches. -Gratefully!

sequoia
11-29-2017, 07:00 PM
But keep in mind that there are many approaches to building ukes and most of them work just fine. It is finding what works for you that is important... Yeah, the fundamental lesson that I learned is that while just about everything on an ukulele is rounded and radiused, it still all comes off from the square. An interesting concept if you think about it; arcs gotta be square. Oh and arcs drove the ancient Greeks crazy. They never did really figure it out because an arc contains an infinite amount of tiny squares. It wasn't until Newton invented calculus that the problem was solved. I never did get calculus and you don't need to know calculus to build an ukulele. Happy strumming!

ChuckBarnett
11-30-2017, 07:08 AM
...you don't need to know calculus to build an ukulele.

Well, I'm certainly glad for that! My calculus grades would qualify me to sweep the shop floor... maybe!

At this point in my 'career' as luthier-wanna-be I am looking for any ol' approach that I can accomplish. So gratitude is my best color!

ChuckBarnett
12-29-2017, 06:08 AM
Working on headstock shape, or peghead head shape. I welcome your opinions about what I've come up with. Gratefully!

ChuckBarnett
12-30-2017, 03:53 PM
I fiddled with the outline some more. Broadened the top corners and rounded them. I think I like it better.

EDW
12-30-2017, 05:52 PM
I like the look. It is tough to tell as it may look different once it is cut out, but perhaps try making the shape and the curves even a little more pronounced.

ChuckBarnett
12-31-2017, 07:42 PM
Thanks for the help! I'll look at it some more. I used carbon paper to transfer the outline onto 1/4" plywood and had planned to transfer it again onto Plexiglas. There's likely a better way to do this though.

Kekani
01-05-2018, 10:46 PM
This is just the sort of thing that I need to hear: the order of construction, i.e. where to start, on which end, etc. Bless you all!!

Not for nothing, but I usually square up the neck joint after the back is on. Gluing the back on may throw your current 90 degrees off to something else. Since I do a M&T off a neck angle jig, 90 degrees is somewhat irrelevant. For me, square is relevant, in all directions of the neck joint. Since you've squared it up, I'd say double check once the back goes on, and go from there.

ChuckBarnett
04-09-2018, 02:46 PM
Been away from ukulele building for some time. Trying to get back into it now. Working on that neck and wondering if there is variation in tuner sizes. Both the diameter of holes to drill and thickness of the peghead ( including veneer). Anybody know quick answer for that? Along with that not sure what a better set of tuners would be? What do y'all use? Thanks once again. :-)

Titchtheclown
04-09-2018, 03:41 PM
Simple answer yes.
On open back tuners post diameter is usually to fit either a 6mm or 1/4 inch hole.
Post length varies but will generally be made to fit a 1/2 inch thick headstock.
Sealed planetary and friction tuners are different again. I almost always do my final thickness with the tuners I am going to use in my hand. This may be a function of the fact that I use cheap asian tuners. I have even had the odd mixed bunch where two sets of tuners in the same delivery had different shaft lengths.

Titchtheclown
04-10-2018, 07:55 PM
The other fitting issue with tuners is the sise of the back plate. If you have back plates that are one inch long and you put your holes 25 mm apart they will almost perfectly not quite fit just enough for you to have to resort to just the tiniest bit of filing to make them fit. Bastard imperial measures.... 6mm shafts though....

frianm
04-16-2018, 04:18 PM
I fiddled with the outline some more. Broadened the top corners and rounded them. I think I like it better.

NICE - I see the TELEO is vertical. I was thinking horizontal and this is so much better. Nice shape headstock.

ChuckBarnett
04-27-2018, 05:20 PM
Thank you.

Question on the distance between the nut and the 14th fret, which the plan says is at the body. The plan calls for a very detailed 9.4274 in. Seriously? How do you do that? How does one measure anything close to that?

Titchtheclown
04-27-2018, 06:25 PM
9.4274 inches is 239.45596 millimetres. For those working in wood, 239 and a half is close enough.
,

sequoia
04-29-2018, 06:46 PM
Thank you.

Question on the distance between the nut and the 14th fret, which the plan says is at the body. The plan calls for a very detailed 9.4274 in. Seriously? How do you do that? How does one measure anything close to that?

These are theoretical measurements and not really real world. They are based on the ideal, perfect mathematical scale length. Given all the other variables that the real world imposes, they are meaningless, but all those fractions look cool. Just get it as close as you can. If I hit a +/- 1/64th of an inch tolerance I'm happy. Musical instrument are not precision tools. That is why it is called an art.

ChuckBarnett
05-01-2018, 02:58 PM
Okay, I feel like I've accomplished something! As you can see from the photo with the red straight edge, I have to straighten the neck out a little bit. I assume that maybe done incrementally, checking and rechecking the lineup?

ChuckBarnett
05-04-2018, 08:36 AM
Education... So I used double stick tape to put the plexiglass template on top of the inlaid veneer that is glued onto the peghead. Set that upside down on the router table and started in. You can see the results in the photos. One friend says that's why he prefers hand tools. I'm listening. What do you all do? And are there tools at work better than others?

As always, very grateful for this forum!

ChuckBarnett
05-04-2018, 12:45 PM
Probably a more challenging fix...

I welcome any wisdom you may have. I thought perhaps if all else fails I could bevel the edge around the peg head veneer.

ChuckBarnett
05-05-2018, 09:40 AM
Thank you. Experience to doing what needs to be precise mean what does not will come in time I hope. Meantime, plodding along...

sequoia
05-06-2018, 02:28 PM
Education... So I used double stick tape to put the plexiglass template on top of the inlaid veneer that is glued onto the peghead. Set that upside down on the router table and started in. You can see the results in the photos. One friend says that's why he prefers hand tools. I'm listening. What do you all do? And are there tools at work better than others?

As always, very grateful for this forum!

Absolutely some tools are better for a job than others. The "right tool for the job" makes things go so much easier. On the other hand, sometimes you have to use the tool that is available and there is more than one way to do a job... What I do: I make the peghead slightly oversized and then cut out the profile with a band saw and use files and a spindle sander to finish.

Titchtheclown
05-07-2018, 01:41 AM
Probably a more challenging fix...

I welcome any wisdom you may have. I thought perhaps if all else fails I could bevel the edge around the peg head veneer.

Binding. I'm sure that's why it was invented.

Matt Clara
05-07-2018, 05:08 AM
These are theoretical measurements and not really real world. They are based on the ideal, perfect mathematical scale length. Given all the other variables that the real world imposes, they are meaningless, but all those fractions look cool. Just get it as close as you can.

And if you have a cnc router you can tell it to cut the slots at exactly that decimal point, which, unless you have a very expensive precision machine used to mill surgical parts and the like, is only slightly less meaningless!

ChuckBarnett
05-07-2018, 08:39 AM
Ah!!! ����

ChuckBarnett
05-07-2018, 08:43 AM
Gotcha!

Well after studying this, reading a number of posts, I ordered the LMI slotting template for soprano and tenor ukuleles. It seems to me that you can use a longer scale and simply start with the correct slot and get fairly close to what you need. But that's beyond my pay grade. So I will spend the money for the right scale template.

And no, don't anticipate having a CNC machine soon. :-) :-)

frianm
05-14-2018, 10:00 AM
Probably a more challenging fix...

I welcome any wisdom you may have. I thought perhaps if all else fails I could bevel the edge around the peg head veneer.

I see the name is now vertical - nice.
As to the issue in the photo - you could try a bevel all round. I have a Koaloha Opio and the top side is all nicely beveled.
Be blessed.

ChuckBarnett
05-18-2018, 12:23 PM
Recall that I had several chips to fix because of my poor router skill. I fixed a couple in the blond Alaskan yellow cedar and I'm happy with that. Finally tackled the chip in the doubled up peghead veneer. I've got a little ear glued on but I am concerned about how to bring that down to size. There's not a lot holding that peace to the peghead. I thought about sanders, band saws, etc. I welcome any tips you might offer. :-)

sequoia
05-18-2018, 06:43 PM
Just cut or sand your peghead smaller. Still have plenty of meat there. Instead of fixing, just make it disappear? Don't obsess too much on the original design? Zip, zip and gone?

Sven
05-18-2018, 08:29 PM
A coping saw will take that off for you.

ChuckBarnett
05-19-2018, 03:54 AM
I thought about that but decided this route would be a good opportunity for me to learn a skill or three. If this doesn't work out, 1. I'll know why/why not and 2. I can always shrink it a tad. 😊

Sven
05-19-2018, 07:55 PM
Oh, I meant for cutting the excess off. Not reducing the size of the entire headstock.

ChuckBarnett
05-20-2018, 04:18 AM
Oh, I meant for cutting the excess off. Not reducing the size of the entire headstock.

Sorry, Sven, my forum skills are almost as poor as my woodworking skills!

I meant that reply for Sequoia's suggestion to trim the whole peghead down to absorb the chipped edge.

Here is a not-well-lit pic of my progress. I was surprised that the glue held; my fears were simply unfounded.

BTW: I checked out your GoodCop... stuff! That is pretty nice!!!