New video- universal side caul

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I don't usually watch videos and I don't think I have ever watched one all the way through. Just don't have the patience and there is rarely anything new. However, this was a good one. I suspect that many builders, like myself, have already tried making these cauls today. The idea is obviously also easily adaptable to the turnbuckle spreader cauls that can be removed through the sound hole. I'll make some of those first chance that I need them. For ripping dowels down the center in a straight line, I hot melt glue them to a scrap straightedge. Makes it easy to cut them straight. A little lacquer thinner loosens the glue and the residue comes off easily with a knife. I used the same glue for sticking the dowel halves to the backing. Needs no dry time and no mess. Thanks for posting the caul idea.-Bob
 

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Beau Hannam Ukuleles

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I don't usually watch videos and I don't think I have ever watched one all the way through. Just don't have the patience and there is rarely anything new. However, this was a good one. I suspect that many builders, like myself, have already tried making these cauls today. The idea is obviously also easily adaptable to the turnbuckle spreader cauls that can be removed through the sound hole. I'll make some of those first chance that I need them. For ripping dowels down the center in a straight line, I hot melt glue them to a scrap straightedge. Makes it easy to cut them straight. A little lacquer thinner loosens the glue and the residue comes off easily with a knife. I used the same glue for sticking the dowel halves to the backing. Needs no dry time and no mess. Thanks for posting the caul idea.-Bob

I'm glad I got you to watch it Bob :)
I haven't made any for ukes yet, but id expect 1-2 inch center to center would be about perfect (with a 1" dowel). I just band sawed my dowel then gave it a quick sand on the machine.
As i used laminated sides, after I put in the head and tail blocks then the solid linings, I don't need to use any spreaders anymore.
 
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I made a couple of these cauls with Beau's dowel idea. Worked great. I needed more, and in different sizes, but did not have more of the right size dowels. I had some cork (unnecessary, but nice), so I glued it to a length of scrap wood with contact cement, and dadoed out the center. That left me with a length of prepared caul stock that I can chop to any length to fit inside the kerfing or longer lengths for clamping the side into the mold without kerfing. I made the caul stock in 2 sizes, 1 for ukes and 1 for guitars. Easy to glue a block to the caul to use as an internal spreader with the usual turnbuckle. Just gotta remember that it has to fit through thre soundhole for removal. That was easy to do for a tenor uke.
 

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sequoia

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This is great and all, and probably a dumb question but I'm still a little fuzzy on how this works. When I use spreader cauls I use them when I glue on the top but I can't use them when I glue on the back because... I can't get them out of course. Then there was the poster years ago that entombed his spreaders in the uke and had to remove the back to get them out. A short explanation on how you can remove them through the sound hole would be nice. I envision strings and such. Thanks.
 

Timbuck

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This is great and all, and probably a dumb question but I'm still a little fuzzy on how this works. When I use spreader cauls I use them when I glue on the top but I can't use them when I glue on the back because... I can't get them out of course. Then there was the poster years ago that entombed his spreaders in the uke and had to remove the back to get them out. A short explanation on how you can remove them through the sound hole would be nice. I envision strings and such. Thanks.
some years back we discussed this ..and some bright spark came up with the idea of a trained hamster on steroids to hold the sides in position while the glue set then it would crawl out through the sound hole. :rolleyes:
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When I was a kid, my hamster fell down into the floor furnace, turned off luckily. My mom sucked him up with the vacuum and he survived, so I guess you could get them out of a uke that way too. If you prefer a more traditional approach to spreaders, it is really simple. Pictures should show the system. You just have to put a little thought into sizing the wood parts so that they will fit out the soundhole after the top is glued on. You need to account for the size of the bracing too. Not hard to do. Turnbuckles come in all sizes. Most of them come with an eye on 1 end and a hook on the other. You need 2 eyes, so either bend the hook closed or switch it out with an eyelet. Pin, or bolt the cauls onto the eyelet ends. They should swivel easily.The wood cauls get a loose slot for the turnbuckle to attach. You design the clamp so that the turnbuckle adjustment leaves you lots of room to loosen it through the soundhole. When you loosen the turnbuckle, the end cauls will fold up and allow you to easily remove them.
 

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Timbuck

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My sides usually fit the mould quit well…but I use cauls when fitting the back to keep them straight .. nowadays I use a couple of these simple ones. Easy to remove afterwards.
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Beau Hannam Ukuleles

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Just make the cauls less then the soundhold (tenor has 2.5" sound hole so 2" would be good.
As i do laminated sides, once the end blocks are glued in and the linings installed, I dont have to use any spreaders.