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Hobo
11-08-2011, 12:29 PM
The Grizzly Soprano Kit is one heck of a bargain and easy entry into Ukulele building. With this first Ukulele build I did my first French Polish and added a bone nut and Aquila strings. It was a lot of fun building the Grizzly Kit I learned a lot and have already started a Stew-Mac Tenor Ukulele Kit. I know many of you are professionals and I admire your work... so please be gentle on a new guy.

gnordenstam
11-08-2011, 01:44 PM
Very nice!
--G

Michael Smith
11-08-2011, 02:40 PM
Good Work Man!!!! Your on the road now.

PelicanUkuleles
11-08-2011, 02:47 PM
Beautiful!
Nice finish..:cool:

joejeweler
11-08-2011, 06:19 PM
Looks nice,....but i would want a bit more saddle height to get a better break angle. You'll get more tone & volume for sure. Maybe the pics are making it look different, but there doesn't seem to be much break angle behind the saddle.

Also hard to tell the current string height over the fretboard, so maybe you don't have the ability to raise the saddle height without producing an uncomfortably high action. But i prefer a higher action anyway,......so just comparing it
to my setups.

Hobo
11-08-2011, 06:52 PM
That's a beautiful finish. I'm doing my first mahogany scratch build and right now it looks like I'm going for round four on the grain fill. What did you use to grain fill? Looks slick.

Thanks. I tried the pumice/shellac method and didn't work out too well – poor technique on my part, I'm sure. On the next build I'll try epoxy.

Hobo
11-08-2011, 06:55 PM
Looks nice,....but i would want a bit more saddle height to get a better break angle. You'll get more tone & volume for sure. Maybe the pics are making it look different, but there doesn't seem to be much break angle behind the saddle.

Also hard to tell the current string height over the fretboard, so maybe you don't have the ability to raise the saddle height without producing an uncomfortably high action. But i prefer a higher action anyway,......so just comparing it
to my setups.

You have a good eye... yes, the saddle is a bit low. I needed to adjust it to get the string height at the 12 fret down to 2.5 mm. It seems to fret OK and the action seems to be comfortable for me. Thanks for your comment!

joejeweler
11-08-2011, 07:59 PM
You have a good eye... yes, the saddle is a bit low. I needed to adjust it to get the string height at the 12 fret down to 2.5 mm. It seems to fret OK and the action seems to be comfortable for me. Thanks for your comment!

Thanks,.....35 years as a bench jeweler and i'm keen eyed. lol

For shts and giggles you might make a 2nd saddle up 1mm higher. It'll raise you to 3mm at the 12th fret, but it's playable there and you might like the overall benefits once you adjust to the higher action.

Before you lowered the saddle, did you play it at pitch? If so i'm wondering what you noticed.

I think if i ever make one of these kits up, i'll take the barbs off one of the frets and place it loose in the 12th fret to
check the height over the fretboard and string break angle at the saddle. If i can't get the saddle up where it needs to be, maybe installing higher frets than supplied in the kit would allow a higher saddle to be used?

For me with your situation currently, i might try using a string thru the bridge/top method and drill your holes in closer to the saddle. This should increase your break angle without changing the string height over the fretboard. It's hidden near the slots anyway,.....so no harm done visually but might boost the output substantially. Possibly extent the top of the slots toward the saddle slightly if you want to hide the strings in the slots.

Dominator
11-08-2011, 08:20 PM
That FP finish looks great. Congrats. Your hooked now. There's no turning back :o.

ChrisRCovington
11-10-2011, 08:59 AM
Wow it looks a lot better than the one I built. I just used an oil finish. To be honest if you did a fingerboard upgrade and maybe some better tuners your kit would look better than a lot of stuff coming out of Asia for $200!

Best regards,
Chris

PhilUSAFRet
11-11-2011, 06:24 AM
Wow, don't need to be too gentle.....this baby looks better than 99% of the Grizzly kit builds I've seen. Great job and it sounds like you are learning enough to make that Stew Mac kit turn out great. Good luck.

Allen
11-11-2011, 10:03 AM
When I see anything with "Grizzly Kit" I usually just pass by, but thought I'd have a peek at this one. It's by far the best looking result I've seen from one of their kits. Well done.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with something better to start with.

Hobo
11-11-2011, 12:49 PM
Again... thank you everyone for your comments. Your encouragement is very appreciated!!

dave g
11-12-2011, 03:41 AM
Best looking Grizzly kit I've ever seen!

Mission Guitars
11-18-2011, 10:14 PM
Looks nicer than mine! <- :)

Is that a veneer on the headstock and faux binding I see too? Looks awesome!!!

Hobo
11-19-2011, 05:46 PM
Looks nicer than mine! <- :)

Is that a veneer on the headstock and faux binding I see too? Looks awesome!!!

Thank you for the nice comment. Yes, I used a curly maple veneer on the headstock. The faux binding look is probably just the edges appearing lighter during the finishing process.

gyosh
11-19-2011, 05:58 PM
Thanks. I tried the pumice/shellac method and didn't work out too well poor technique on my part, I'm sure. On the next build I'll try epoxy.

How many coats of shellac did it take to look this good? Did you hand polish? I have a uke I need to finish and I'm looking for ideas, information and inspiration :). You really did a wonderful job on this, can't wait to see the next one.

PelicanUkuleles
11-19-2011, 06:06 PM
Very nice job! Beautiful finish! Best Grizzly I've ever seen, Your new nickname will be Grizzly Adams because you're the first to build such a nice one!

Hobo
11-20-2011, 04:53 PM
How many coats of shellac did it take to look this good? Did you hand polish? I have a uke I need to finish and I'm looking for ideas, information and inspiration :). You really did a wonderful job on this, can't wait to see the next one.

Thanks!! This was my first attempt at French Polishing. It took many sessions (I lost count) over two weeks to build up the finish. Then an additional 10 days or so to let it cure before polishing it. It was a learning experience for sure.

Pete Howlett
11-20-2011, 05:06 PM
I followed that FP link and was amazed at how detailed and, in places, innacurate it was. A true FP finish is off the rubber in a process called 'spiriting off' which aims at removing the oil and amalgamating the finish to a gloss. The process as described in the link is more akin to the way luthiers' get a gloss finish. Is there a difference in US and British terminology - what are mineral spirits? Anything with the word 'spirit' in would suggest it is a FP solvent so wet sanding with a solvent wouldn't work.