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  1. K

    Scarf Joint

    Just thought I'd share these two jigs that I cobbled together for the neck scarf joint. The table saw sled (no...I don't want to stir up the "table saw v. bandsaw" debate. I use them both.) is similar to what others have done. The simple gluing press makes it easy to accurately pull the joint...
  2. K

    Hemlock Soundboard?

    There are many old hemlock bleacher seats available as schools in our area replace their old wooden gym bleachers with newer aluminum ones. Many of the old bleachers are 10 inches wide, 10-12 feet long, and perfectly quarter sawn. Have any of you used hemlock for uke soundboards with good...
  3. K

    Free to a good home

    Up until now, I have done all of my thickness sanding on a drum sander that I made to fit my older Shopsmith 10er. This sander (shown in the picture) includes a 12 inch drum made from plywood discs, an adjustable table that securely mounts on the ways of the Shopsmith, and a dust hood with a 4"...
  4. K

    Fret work clamping

    It seems like I'm always looking for new/better ways to hold stuff in the shop. This is an adaptation of a friend's set-up for holding instruments when doing fretwork. It clamps in my bench vise and rotates on the column to make it easier to work from both sides of the fretboard. Pictured is a...
  5. K

    Dyeing bone

    Is there a way to dye bone? I love the sound of bone saddles and nuts but my latest build would look best if the saddle and nut were black instead of white. I was searching around the shop for some pieces of ebony when it hit me...I wonder if bone could be dyed.
  6. K

    Useful vise

    I recently visited a local gentleman who specializes in fret work. He has built many instruments, but now focuses on refretting and fret dressing for a lot of big-name artists. We spent a couple of hours in his shop going over his process. This vise served all of his instrument holding needs in...
  7. K

    Top, bottom, front, back?

    Maybe its the sunshine outside today or maybe its the heated but passionate and thoughtful posts that have dominated the forum in the past couple of weeks, but I feel that it might be time for a more light hearted, but serious question. Here goes: Most things that have a top also have a bottom...
  8. K

    Another way to drill for bolt-on necks

    I made this fixture to align the holes in the neck for the barrel connector. It's pretty simple but it does the job. I've dedicated these two drill bits to this operation, so the stop collars stay on and there is very little setup involved. Just clamp the squared-up neck blank into the fixture...
  9. K

    Drum sander abrasive loading up

    I recently changed the abrasive on my drum sander after getting a lot of mileage from the 80 grit that had been on for quite some time. Just a few passes with some spruce that was salvaged from an old piano and I have the mess that you see in the pictures below. This is the first spruce that...
  10. K

    Number 3

    This is my third build. Cherry Soprano with a cherry neck, cedar linings and bracing, lacewood peghead veneer, GHS strings, bone nut and saddle, and Grover friction tuners. The "in the raw" picture shows #3 along with #2. Number 2 was a prototype, of sorts, because it was the first to go through...
  11. K

    Seems too easy...

    The first pair of sides that came out of my newly-made side bender were not perfect so they went into the scrap bucket. When it came time to add the lining to the second pair (they turned out fine) I took one of the reject sides to the bandsaw and sliced off a few pieces to make solid linings...
  12. K

    Cross Banding

    Three quick questions about cross banding... Do you always cross band a two piece back? What is the width of the cross banding? Does the answer to either of these questions vary according to the size of the uke (soprano, tenor, etc.)?
  13. K

    Sandpaper on radius dish?

    I have noticed from pictures in other posts that most radius dishes are coverd with sandpaper. I'm getting ready to use mine for the first time and would like to get some input on this practice. What do grit do you use, how is it attached, anything else I need to know?
  14. K

    To scarf or not to scarf?

    Just now starting my next build and I'm curious about various viewpoints on neck construction. Specifically, do you scarf-joint the peg head or build the neck from a solid block? I have always scarfed because it seems that less wood is wasted and I don't have to buy or glue up the larger block...
  15. K

    Curly, ambrosia, spalted, wormy Maple

    I know that there is no such thing, but these pieces do show signs of all of these. The curl is hard to see in the picture but shows up a bit on the right board. These came out of a board about 8 feet long and 16 inches wide that a friend was discarding because it "looked rotten." I cut some of...
  16. K

    Saprano Radius Top

    I know that top radiusing has been covered in other posts but I haven't seen the answer to this question. I'm working from a Martin saprano plan and it does not indicate any radius to the top or the back, though the back is arched fore and aft. Should the top be radiused and if so, how? The only...
  17. K

    Purple Heart

    So...have any of you made a uke (or any uke parts) from Purple Heart? The manager at a local import place is a woodworker and noticed years ago that some of their products from around the world are shipped on pallets made of some pretty exotic species of wood. He breaks these down and sets them...
  18. K

    Another Thickness Sander

    Inspired by Timbuck's post several months ago and Sven's improved thickness sander, I finally got around to making a sander that mounts on my Shopsmith. It works great and the cost was practically nothing.
  19. K

    Relative Humidity

    I've been watching the relative humidity rise in my shop over the past few days as we've been pounded with some heavy rain and I'm wondering how (or if) you all monitor or regulate the humidity in your shop. I've heard that building at 50% would be ideal because it would limit the wood movement...
  20. K

    First Uke

    I've learned a lot reading the threads in this forum and decided to jump in with some pictures of my first build. I'm still in the process of finishing it, but here are a few early pictures with just a couple coats of Tru-Oil. The back and sides are walnut cut from a friend's farm. The top and...