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Dusepo
06-18-2010, 09:01 AM
This post has been deleted.

Bradford
06-18-2010, 10:05 AM
Even when you are using the right tool for the job, it does not happen automatically, getting the tool to do what you want takes practice. The tools also have to be sharp and set up properly. Without seeing you work, I of course can't tell you what is wrong. Have you considered taking a woodworking class? Everyone learns differently, you need to find what works best for you. Maybe take one of Pete's extreme building courses, you would learn an awful lot. As for wasting wood, that is part of the learning experience, the secret is to learn on cheap wood. If you are having trouble bending, try Oregon myrtle, it is a dream to bend. Trust me we all get frustrated sometimes, witness Pete's execution!

Brad

Steve vanPelt
06-18-2010, 10:12 AM
Hi Desepo,
When you say stuff goes wrong, do you mean like this?


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Like when you crack the sides because the pipe is too cold so you heat it up and burn them? Or like when you glue on the top and save the back for the next day and it rains overnight? How about buy a whole log of snakewood (from which I got very little usable bindings) and then crack them all... But my favorite so far is using the most beautiful set of curly blonde koa I could get my hands on and use it on my 4th build.....them strings need a ladder to get to the top of the saddle!!

I can't speak for every one, but I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one that has a pile of oops. The only one not making mistakes is the one not doing anything. 'Ukulele building is fascinating, frustrating and addicting. Just keep on keeping on and it will get better.


Steve

fahrner
06-18-2010, 11:59 AM
Stuff going wrong? Let me tell you.......
My first attempt at bending dry with an iron actually went fairly well. So well that I went ahead and glued on a tail block then decided I needed to trim down the sides a bit. Well, as soon as I turned on the band saw I knew I was doing the wrong thing. The result ;some nicely bent trash.
I've cut and glued several neck blanks in the rough. Again, inspired by one of Petes videos, proceeded to carve the necks with spoke shave, draw knife and a sanding belt cut to be used shoe-shine fashion. The first one (on the left) turned out pretty good. With number two on the right things were going so well I nearly turned it into a couple of tooth picks with weird handles.
It takes lots of practice to develop the skill. Then you always have to go slow and think through each step. The important thing is not to let it get you down.

Pete Howlett
06-18-2010, 12:03 PM
Several things:

You have yet to acquire the skills to do what you are doing
We all make mistakes - I cremated a uke this month
Form making is a separate skill and requires a steady hand and ability to work to a line
Ukuleles are small therefore they are hard to work on

Don't be discouraged by my comments - I am always pretty up front. However I was thinking what an abysmal job I did on the toolbox I had to built in my inadequate shed with useless tools before I went to college. One lad, who had done woodwork had a beautifully dovetailed box. On the other hand, he wasn't particularly good as a teacher (I trained to be a 'craft and design' teacher), struggled with the other disciplines we had to study - silver smithing and art metalwork, engineering and plastics and he failed his basic skills tests each year...

Fortunately for me, I did rather well at college because I didn't know anything, followed instructions, read books and to the detriment of my grades and my second major which funnily enough was English, spent all of my time in the workshop.

It takes time and understanding. You need to look and learn. I spend each night trawling through the posts in this and other fora, looking at youtube clips and researching - there is always something new to learn (look at my latest post) so you are in good company... I regularly pm other builders looking for answers to the problems that daily confront me at the bench. This truly is a never ending journey :)

Allen
06-18-2010, 11:29 PM
All good points Pete. There have been damn few interments that went together from start to finish with out some sort of hitch. And I actually look forward to them because it gives me an opportunity to learn something new.

My 4th guitar was all done it's second spray session and only needing a buff, when I had a brain freeze and instead of haningig it up on a hook, I missed and dropped it on a cement floor. Bounced nearly as high as it fell, but totally shattered the back. Learn't how to rout off the bindings, remove the back and luckily I had a sister set that I could replace it with.

Didn't make it any easier at the time, but now I get repair jobs coming in for similar things, and I have total confidence that I can pull the repair off without a problem.

Vic D
06-19-2010, 08:38 PM
I came to this forum stating that I'd never done a wood working project and that I was doing my first uke. Well that was truthful but really I've worked a lot of jobs, actually just about every job i've had and I've had a lot of jobs required working with my hands. Still, my first uke, a stewmac kit, turned out really bad. The thing is severely mishapen. Just like everyone here has said, it takes time, slow down, get used to how the tools behave, take your time and above all read about the safety procedures on all tools. My first scratch build is so far my favorite, a rainbow poplar soprano, and it was because I took like 3 months to build it, going very slowly. I sold it for 100 bucks... in my opinion it was worth more but that's ebay. It had a very nice tone and I'm making more hopefully just like it. You're an artist, it's in ya. Just take some time and study. The speed will come in time.

Side note: I'm currently looking into purchasing some land in Ohio and creating an intentional community where everyone who is able shares the workload and everyone is equal. No discrimination. We would grow our own food, build homes that use very little resources such as straw bale, rammed earth etc. and create our own brand of musical instruments and basically be one with nature. If anyone is interested send me a message. Peace.

maclay
06-19-2010, 09:47 PM
Depending on how serious you are, you might want to try attending a luthier school. There are a lot of different programs out there. Some last a week, and some last six months or more. I went to the Roberto Venn School of Luthiery, which is a 5 month program.....880 hours.
I doubt you looking for something that comprehensive, but there are classes offered at all levels. I even saw one offering a 1 hour class for $30.

Jake Maclay
http://www.hiveukuleles.com/

Vic D
06-19-2010, 10:00 PM
Depending on how serious you are, you might want to try attending a luthier school. There are a lot of different programs out there. Some last a week, and some last six months or more. I went to the Roberto Venn School of Luthiery, which is a 5 month program.....880 hours.
I doubt you looking for something that comprehensive, but there are classes offered at all levels. I even saw one offering a 1 hour class for $30.

Jake Maclay
http://www.hiveukuleles.com/

Right on. I aim, in the future, to take a class or two myself.

maclay
06-19-2010, 10:26 PM
Go for it Vic. Reading about luthiery is always great, but being physically walked through the process takes comprehension to another level.

thistle3585
06-21-2010, 05:48 AM
We should talk Mike into letting us host a builders summit at the World Congress next year. Maybe have a few people demonstrate how they carve necks, bend sides etc.

Vic, you can come over to my place anytime but I'm no expert by any means but we could probably spend an afternoon at Dave Gill's shop. He's got some pretty impressive tools and jigs for building ukes.