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bert
12-20-2011, 04:45 PM
i play the ukulele as a hobby and figured out i want to build my own since there are no luthiers here in luzon,philippines that do ukulele and there are tons of mango and mahogany lumbers at the back of our house

i just wnt to ask what handtool is used to make the thin topboard (is this term correct?) of the ukulele out from a 2.5x2.5x2 (ft) piece of lumber

powrtools not an option i cant buy them and i dont care if it takes me a year to cut that topboard

also, can papertree be used for ukuleles/guitars?

p.s. im totally new to this luthier-ing, and the lumber has been air-dryed already

Dougf
12-20-2011, 05:22 PM
I've been using a japanese kataba pull saw to cut 1/8" slices from stock that is about 4" thick. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I've gotten a few decent pieces. I then sand these pieces to make them thinner. Make sure you get as close to quarter sawn as possible.

Tarhead
12-20-2011, 06:18 PM
What's a Papertree? An instrument can be made with Mahogany, Koa, Rosewood, pallet wood, cigar box Spanish Cedar, or just about any medium density hardwood. You can also use softwood (Spruce, Cedar, etc) for the Top but it's not traditional.
In addition to the saw the simplest and least expensive hand tool you need is a Card Scraper for smoothing. Other tools I would use are Handplanes if you aren't sucessful getting a smooth surfice with the saw. A Stanley #5 for inital leveling work, #4 for finish work and a Block plane for end grain. A way to sharpen them will also come in handy.
Good luck!

bert
12-20-2011, 06:25 PM
thank you so much for the replies

about the paper tree, my mom always called them papertrees but i think they are asian paperbark birch or something close to that. The lumber of the "papertree" is white and as equally heavy as a same sized mahogany lumber

Dougf
12-21-2011, 03:29 AM
Definitely check out this video. He is using a push saw, but the same principle works with a pull saw. The kerf is thinner with a pull saw.

http://flash.unctv.org/woodwrightss/2800/wws_2810.html

Here's a link to the saw that I use:

http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/Kataba-Z-Saw-Precision-Rip-Cut/productinfo/406%2D15009/

Pete Howlett
12-21-2011, 07:16 AM
That video is so depressing - he is a master craftsman working with a custom made saw that is razor sharp. The saw, most importantly, has no set so you see him set up the cut very carefully. It also took him a fair amount of time just to cut that one veneer! He has also done it many times and like me and my videos, makes it look easy. Handsawing any timber is a very high order skill. I suggest you try and find someone with a bandsaw....

Dougf
12-21-2011, 09:29 AM
I found the video inspiring, what was depressing was when I tried it myself.

I agree, if you can get access to a bandsaw, take advantage of it. However, it certainly is possible to do it by hand, it just takes some practice and patience. And for me, because I still get some variation in width, I've been aiming for 1/8", and then sand down thinner. This wastes a lot more wood than with a bandsaw.

ProfChris
12-21-2011, 10:41 AM
That video is so depressing - he is a master craftsman working with a custom made saw that is razor sharp. The saw, most importantly, has no set so you see him set up the cut very carefully. It also took him a fair amount of time just to cut that one veneer! He has also done it many times and like me and my videos, makes it look easy. Handsawing any timber is a very high order skill. I suggest you try and find someone with a bandsaw....

It's not as bad as Pete says, honestly. I followed that video, using a cheap panel saw, and I can manage it. Less efficiently, much more waste, and more cleaning up afterwards. But it's doable.

The magic trick is getting one flat surface to mark from. Then take your first slice, flatten the cut surface and take the second. You can get a very fair bookmatch (by amateur standards).

It is a lot of work - it takes me over an hour to cut a soprano top and back.

If I'd paid a fortune for the wood I'd want a skilled bandsaw artist to cut it for me to reduce the waste (2-3mm per cut after cleanup). But I'm using reclaimed wood, so for me it's just time.

I reckon it took me two or three attempts to make clean(ish) cuts, so don't use your best wood for your first tries. And go slow - whenever I rush I make ugly cuts.

bert
12-21-2011, 02:57 PM
wood is not problem for me I guess it all comes down to practice and patience but hey itll be worth it

nic579
12-22-2011, 11:12 AM
Low angle block plane will work in a pinch for flattening. You will also want a water stone with medium and fine water stone to sharpen the block plane blade. A good japanese rip saw.

http://www.amazon.com/King-Combination-Waterstone-1000-6000/dp/B0037MCLLO

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=low+angle+block+plane&hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1C1TSND_enUS406US406&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&biw=1138&bih=535&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=12305804122555919132&sa=X&ei=86nzTs2qDeHm0QGkqtnPAg&ved=0CIABEPMCMAI

dustartist
12-23-2011, 09:56 PM
Mango and mahogany in your own backyard. How cool is that?

mrhandy
12-24-2011, 02:23 AM
If you want to talk to the man who made the saw used to cut the veneer on that episode of the woodright shop, his name is George Wilson, and he hangs out over on sawmillcreek.org in the neanderthal forum.