Now that preliminary tapering of the neck and shaping of the heel have been done, it's time to add the "ears" to the headstock to prepare for further thinning and shaping. With overlays to be added both back and front, the glue seam will be invisible.
Last couple of days I've been working on the peghead: shaping and thinning it to the proper dimensions, gluing and trimming the spalted Sycamore rear overlay, and using my CNC machine to cut the pocket for the logo on the front overlay. I still need to cut out the Black Walnut logo insert, which I will do before gluing the front overlay in place.
The spalted Sycamore overlays have both been glued in place and trimmed to shape, and the tuner holes drilled. This morning I completed installation of the Black Walnut logo inlay. Next is using the CNC peghead routing template to cut the tuner slots. After that, installing the frets and final shaping of the neck to prepare it for finishing and attaching to the body.
It's been some time since I've posted about the kiku's progress. Even though I had made a CNC cutting template, I dithered and fussed about with other projects as I considered how best to cut the peghead slots. Finally I ginned up the nerve to tackle the peghead. I used a couple of different methods to remove wood from inside the slots, finishing up the cuts with my laminate router and the 1/4" pattern bit shown in the image. I needn't have worried; the cuts came out as well as I'd hoped, and just need a small dowel wrapped in sandpaper to clean up the rounded ends of the slots. Now I can finish the neck and proceed to the finishing stage.
Nice work so far. You might like to think about ramps at the end of the slots closer to the nut. Otherwise the strings might bind on the edge of the ramp and create a stress point. And it looks nicer.
Thanks. Indeed it has been. I had some new processes on this one I had to learn, such as cutting a slotted head with a template and router pattern bit, plus accurately shaping a bridge with a split saddle.
I've been distracted from the kiku project the past week or so while I worked on other uke projects. Here I'm working on refining the heel shape and sanding out some blemishes I found while inspecting the neck. I also needed to clean up around the tenon to get a better fit to the body.
The kiku build is still alive and well, though slowed a bit as I've added other projects to the work flow. Last night I was working on pore filling, and this morning I steamed out a couple of small dings I discovered in the Redwood top. This week I plan to continue the pore filling on the Mahogany neck. Not long now.
With the long process of surface prep completed, the finishing phase begins with several wash coats of dilute shellac, followed by pore fill with shellac and pumice on the neck and soundboard. The Walnut back is already filled and sanded. Top coat is going to be Tung Oil Finish, aka wiping varnish.
I've lagged a bit on the kiku project, letting some other non-musical woodcraft projects divert my attention, but it's inching toward completion. I'd hoped to have it done by the end of October, but it's looking like that date is pushed back a bit.