View Full Version : Tidying up the ends of the sides

Paul Henneberry
07-19-2014, 09:53 PM
I came up with this method of finishing the ends of the sides with the aim of getting a tight and level joint when the two halves are glued together. The body moulds that I made are hinged at one end and have toggle clamps at the other. I also made some nylon covered steel clamp cawls to snug all of the bends into the mould when the sides are fresh from the fox bender. When Iím ready to tidy up the ends prior to gluing on the end blocks I split the mould in half by removing the hinge and then use a block and clamp to hold the ends tight into the mould. I sand the rough sawn ends back to the cheeks on the mould with a long piece of MDF which has 180grit abrasive glued to the end of one face. By alternately sanding each end the tails get dressed back to be exactly clean and flush to the mould and ready for the end blocks.
When all four ends are sanded, I reassemble the halves of the mould and get ready to glue in the end blocks. I slide a small sheet of 0.002Ēstainless shim between the mould and the sides to exactly level the finished glue joint and to keep the glue off of the mould. I end up with a level and tight joint and there isnít any risk of things slipping out of alignment during the glue up.
How do you guys do this?

Paul Henneberry
07-19-2014, 09:59 PM
and the last two pictures

07-19-2014, 11:52 PM
Nice clamping method you've got there ..I like it ;)
I find that a clean cut from the bandsaw gives me the the best butt joint..I now do this joint in one cut by clamping/taping the two halves together before sawing as recommended by Chuck Moore...I don't use end grafts on my Soprano's so I try and get the best butt joint I can..In the past I've tried all sorts of methods ,Sanding, Planing, Shooting boards, Table saw,...But this is the one that suits my style best ;) here is the Video.

Paul Henneberry
07-20-2014, 12:45 AM
Hi Timbuck, interesting to know how you do it. I've come to uke making from boxmaking and have always regarded bandsaws as unpredictable and inaccurate but I'm slowly coming around especially since I fitted some decent Carter guides. I know the bandsaw / tablesaw debate has had a fair going over here and I would have been firmly in the round blade camp but now I'm probably in the middle.



07-20-2014, 10:18 AM
Interesting take on the body mold. I've not seen that one before.

I find that a cut on the bandsaw and then a few passes with a very sharp low angle block plane and a well set up shooting board work a treat.

And here's a tip. I use some binding tape to pull the two sides together by stretching the tape from one side to the other.

07-20-2014, 12:10 PM
After marking the location for the cut using the mold, I scribe a line referenced off the top edge using a combination square, then cut it close with a fine Japanese pull saw (Dozuki) Then I bring the cut flush to the scribed line on a belt sander. (mine is a 6" x 108" oscillating edge sander) I have not messed any joints up yet, this works very well, and fast. I am using tail grafts, but every one has come out good enough that I would have no problem with the quality of the seam if it were left visible. This works well for me. I dislike changing bandsaw blades. Much of the time I would have an inappropriate blade on the saw.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
07-20-2014, 12:42 PM
As i bind and put and end graft in all my instruments, i usually have a 1/4 cap at the butt!