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byzkarl
08-20-2010, 04:00 AM
I've ordered a Grizzly uke kit, and can't wait to get started. I gave my Lanikai soprano to my daughter, and so need another soprano.I've never really built anything out of wood before, and am a bit nervous.

I have a question on the directions: Is it really necessary to do the finishing of the body _before_ attaching the bridge? Can't you just glue the bridge down, and then apply the stain and finish?

I'm worried about the finish leaking onto the bridge location, as it warns in the directions. It seems to me it would be simpler just to put the bridge on first.

tattwo
08-20-2010, 05:01 AM
I used a bit of painters tape cut the the same shape as the bridge but a bit smaller. I put 4 cans of laquer over it with no trouble with leaks under it. Y ou will have to cut the laquer before you pull the tape.

lindydanny
08-20-2010, 06:10 AM
You can seal the painters tape with a layer (equally cut to size) of electrical tape. That will probably do the trick and keep it from bleeding through. For the most part, I think you will be good if you don't use overly thick coats of lacquer.

~DB

tattwo
08-20-2010, 07:35 AM
You can seal the painters tape with a layer (equally cut to size) of electrical tape. That will probably do the trick and keep it from bleeding through. For the most part, I think you will be good if you don't use overly thick coats of lacquer.

~DB

Have you done any builing? If so I would love to see some pictures.

ksquine
08-20-2010, 08:44 AM
I don't mask the bridge area before finishing. Just scrape off the finish before gluing.
1. Finish and polish
2. tape the bridge area and position the bridge on the tape
3. LIGHTLY trace the bridge with a pencil on the tape. (don't press hard or it will leave a mark in the finish)
4. Cut the bridge area out of the tape with a sharp knife. Stay inside the line
5. Scrape or sand off the finish under the bridge
6. Glue the bridge in place
7. Remove left over tape after 20min or so. Clean any squeeze out. (easier to do before the glue really hardens)

tattwo
08-20-2010, 08:57 AM
Thanks ksquine ;)

lindydanny
08-20-2010, 09:07 AM
No, no building as of yet when it comes to instruments. I do a lot of wood work in other areas. Though, I have a lot of resources on lutheir work and that would have been my approach. I like ksquine's too.

~DB

Mission Guitars
08-20-2010, 11:05 AM
This is how mine played out:

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b43/missionguitars/Uke%20Build/MayandSBtrip2010100.jpg

The tape covered about 90% of the gluing area under the bridge, so yes, there is a little lacquer under there...not the end of the world...I would have wet sanded BEFORE I mounted the bridge if I were to do it again...

Here it is during glue-up...

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b43/missionguitars/Uke%20Build/MayandSBtrip2010190.jpg

And after...http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b43/missionguitars/Uke%20Build/June2010JeepSiennaUkepics017.jpg

byzkarl
08-26-2010, 09:28 AM
Success! I finished the kit today. It's not the prettiest--I think I could have chosen better finish than I used, but it is done and _plays in tune_! Hooray!

I've been playing John King's "Famous Solos and Duets for Ukulele" with it all morning. It has a nice, cheery tone with the Aquilas I put on it.

tattwo
08-26-2010, 11:40 AM
Great! post some pictures we would all love to see it.

mailman
08-26-2010, 03:43 PM
As we say here on the forums.....

Pics, or it didn't happen! :D

byzkarl
08-26-2010, 07:24 PM
Okay, here's a video of the ukulele. I'm pleased that it was succesful. My wife thinks I'm a little crazy, though, since this is ukulele number 3 for me.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTZy708-yQE

Chris Tarman
08-26-2010, 07:50 PM
Only number 3??? lol
It looks good! Very nice playing, too. BTW, is that a trumpet mute on the bookcase next to your left shoulder? Wait... what IS that thing? It seems familiar, but not a trumpet mute, is it? I don't play trumpet but used to be in a band with a trumpeter....

byzkarl
08-26-2010, 07:54 PM
Yes. I've got lots of trumpets too, although I don't get to play much anymore. Children and work get in the way, not that I'm complaining.

Chris Tarman
08-26-2010, 08:04 PM
Okay... whew! My first thought was "That is a trumpet mute", but then the more I thought about it the more I thought I was nuts!

UkeforJC
08-27-2010, 03:26 PM
Dear byzkari

Very nice job on building it and nice ukulele playing as well.
Could you please share with me which kind of finish did you use and where did you get it?

I also just ordered a grizzly kit and I am trying to gather all the necessary tools or materials to build this kit.
Thank you a lot.

byzkarl
08-27-2010, 08:00 PM
Dear byzkari

Very nice job on building it and nice ukulele playing as well.
Could you please share with me which kind of finish did you use and where did you get it?



Sure. Minwax Polyshades Stain and Polyurethane in 1 step, Classic Oak Gloss 470. It was easy, since it contains stain and polyurethane, but I must have done something wrong because I have drips. I'm not too upset, because my woodworking experience is close to zero.

You need some clamps, and some way to strap the neck to the body. I used a 24" flat bungy cord.

UkeforJC
08-28-2010, 06:08 AM
thank you very much for the information.

tattwo
08-28-2010, 07:41 AM
Nice job..........Nice playing as well

UkeforJC
09-05-2010, 05:50 PM
Hi! Byzkari, did you use any grain filler?
Thank you

byzkarl
09-05-2010, 06:19 PM
No grain filler. I'm just a rookie, and wanted to keep it simple.

Although I just ordered a Tusq bridge and saddle. I want it to be a little louder.

TCK
09-05-2010, 08:05 PM
Just finished a Grizzly hybrid (I used a cigar box and made a bird feeder out of the body)...was pretty stoked on how it all went together. I chose to modify the Grizzly neck to bolt on (bullet proof kid and camping machine)- planning on ordering another kit today after hearing yours, SOUNDS GREAT!

mm stan
09-05-2010, 09:49 PM
Aloha ByzKarl,
Those kits look like alot of fun...and you did a good job and even though the tuning went off
I think it sounded sweet...Your wife must be so proud of you...does she play??? and your
playing was sweet. Have Fun and Keep Stumming them strings....MM Stan....

UkeforJC
09-07-2010, 09:34 AM
Hi! Byzkari,
do you mind if I ask where you buy the Tusq saddle? I am also interested in geting those.
Thanks

byzkarl
09-07-2010, 10:46 AM
Hi! Byzkari,
do you mind if I ask where you buy the Tusq saddle? I am also interested in geting those.
Thanks

http://myworld.ebay.com/guitarsplususa/

I was hoping it would arrive today. Alas! Actually, I screwed up the factory nut trying to lower the action (short-term solution: piece of an index card under the nut), and I took the opportunity to upgrade. I will try to post a before and after video.

sukie
09-07-2010, 11:57 AM
Only number 3??? lol


Dang you Chris. You beat me.

UkeforJC
09-09-2010, 08:17 PM
Hi! Could you please share with me how did you find the position for the bridge? How exactly did you mark the center of the body?
I felt that I couldn't really find a good way to do that.
Thanks Karl.

byzkarl
09-09-2010, 08:39 PM
Hi! Could you please share with me how did you find the position for the bridge? How exactly did you mark the center of the body?
I felt that I couldn't really find a good way to do that.
Thanks Karl.

The exact center doesn't really matter. What matters is that the bridge is in the correct position relative to the fretboard, since that determines intonation. So, don't overthink it. I think I measured a bit and made a light pencil line to determine the center, but it really doesn't matter too much.

For the bridge, I got a good ruler and measured the center and both sides to make sure that I was at exactly 170mm. A surveyor's trick: if you move the ruler back and forth, the _lowest_ number you get will be the true distance between two points.

Good luck!

UkeforJC
09-10-2010, 06:38 AM
The exact center doesn't really matter. What matters is that the bridge is in the correct position relative to the fretboard, since that determines intonation. So, don't overthink it. I think I measured a bit and made a light pencil line to determine the center, but it really doesn't matter too much.

For the bridge, I got a good ruler and measured the center and both sides to make sure that I was at exactly 170mm. A surveyor's trick: if you move the ruler back and forth, the _lowest_ number you get will be the true distance between two points.

Good luck!

Wow, thanks for sharing.
But I couldn't understand the surveyor's trick you mentioned.
Could you please explain a little bit more? Thank you ..

byzkarl
09-10-2010, 06:59 AM
Sure. You want to find the distance between a point and a line, say the midpoint of the 12th fret, and the line of the front of the bridge. But you aren't sure if your ruler is 90 degrees to the fret. So, you gently move the ruler back and forth, holding the zero directly on the point. The shortest reading you get at the line of the front of the bridge is the actual distance.

Hmm. This would be easier if I could show you. It's a simple concept, but not so simple to write in words.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-10-2010, 08:24 AM
Where you position the bridge is primarily a function of how the neck is set. If the neck is set true to the body, it's centerline will also follow the centerline of the sound board seam (if you don't have a sound board seam, draw one in with a pencil). Hopefully, you have the sound hole centered and that your body is true to your mold. With the neck attached to the body, lay a straight edge on the neck and determine where the two outside strings will lay, follow those lines down to the bridge area and mark the locations. Hopefully, the marks will show the same distance to the edges of the lower bout. If not, you need to reset the neck.
Hmmm, you're right byzkari. It's easier to demonstrate than explain!

Doug W
09-10-2010, 01:49 PM
you're right byzkari. It's easier to demonstrate than explain!

Then we should wait for a Moore Bettah Ukuleles Grizzly building kit video. :rock:

UkeforJC
09-11-2010, 09:23 PM
Thanks. I understand completely now.

UkeforJC
09-13-2010, 07:34 AM
Hi! Chuck,
thank you for the help.
I have tried my best to located the bridge using very similar method and found that my bridge is not centered. So, that probably means that the neck is not centered either.
Looks like, I have to reset the neck and detach the bridge too. (i have glued both of those parts before I saw your post)

I did put on strings (worth BM) to see whether the intonation is good or not. Sadly, the intonation is only accurate on the A string all the way to 12th fret, but the other three strings are not accurate at all. So, byzkarl, did you encounter this issue? or the intonation on your uke is great?

SO, i guess my question is, how do I take the bridge and neck off the body? I glued them on with titebond original wood glue.
I think this might be challenging, but it should be fun to fix this, since I felt a little bit empty after I finish the build and I doubt that my wife will let me buy another kit to start again. haha...
Thanks in advance.

PS, sorry byzkarl, i didn't mean to steal your thread. My own thread didn't have too much traffic there.
I hope you don't mind.

byzkarl
09-13-2010, 10:44 AM
No worries on thread-stealing.

Does it matter to you if it is perfectly centered or not? As long as it plays, who cares? That's my opinion, of course. If it bothers you, then try to fix it. I

I don't know how you are going to unglue the stuff. Before you do that, try it with different strings; sometimes irregularities in the strings make them play out of tune. If the A is in tune, do they get more out of tune the further from the A string you get? Then the bridge might be crooked. Try measuring accurately from the twelfth fret to each side of the bridge. Do you get the same number?

I'm really pleased with my Grizzly, especially with the Tusq saddle I installed.

UkeforJC
09-13-2010, 12:30 PM
Hi! byzkarl,
So, for your Grizzly uke, are all four strings in tune all the way to 12th fret?

I am going to so some more measuring on mine as soon as get off work.

Thanks man.

PhilUSAFRet
02-19-2011, 04:33 AM
Just got my Grizzly kit. I've done some gunstocks and plan on finishin my uke with caseys tru oil gunstock finish. Takes a few days to apply thin coats with fingertips, dry, repeat, etc. etc., but easiest way I've seen to get a great finish "easily." (assuming you've done a good prep job.)