This is how I profile ukulele sides and then bend them.

Gary Gill

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These videos show how I profile ukulele sides and then bend them with something similar to a Doolin style bender and a household iron. It is time I switched to a heating blanket method. Please watch and offer positive feedback. Thanks

Side profiling

Bending

Update: I made a new side bender and purchased a blanket and controller. So far so good.
IMG_20150818_113956083.jpgIMG_20150818_113945311.jpg
 
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jcalkin

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Hi Gary---I didn't watch the whole profiling video, but your setup looks reasonable. Lately I've made my sides rectangular and the depth of the tail block. Then I bend them and load them in the mold. The neck block is flush with the top edge of the sides and only as deep on the sides as I intend it to end up. Then I grind the back contour of the ribs on a spinning radiused dish (drill press powered) and clean up the top edges with a flat dish. It takes about 5 minutes, but I know they are dead on.

If you are happy with your bending rig I wouldn't invest more money into it. But I think you'll get more set to your sides if you heat them until they are dry. You could use a heat gun for this after the bending is accomplished. Your sides seem to make a fine fit in your mold. You could also iron your sides while they are flat to get them really steamy, then hold them together with alligator clamps and move rapidly to the bender. If you change to a shape with more severe bends a thermal blanket would be a nice idea, but I think your pear shape is unique and quite graceful looking.
 

Gary Gill

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Thanks John for the advise. I have made templates for a concert size body. I suspect the tighter shoulder radii will work best with more heat.
 

sequoia

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Enjoyed the videos Gary. Well done. Love the looks of the shop too. Very clean and orderly. Is that a Jet drum sander in the background? Lucky man...

Maybe an easier way to profile sides for a body taper: Just cut your neck block 1/4 inch shorter than your tail block. Attach rectangular sides to the blocks as usual in your form. To get a perfect taper, mark a line at the upper bout 3/16 below the side, 1/8 below at the waist and 1/16 below at the widest part of the lower bout. Attach kerfed linings hitting your marks on the side and flush to the neck and tail blocks. Plane off the excess sides down to the linings and sand everything flush on a sanding board. Viola! You have a perfect 1/4 inch taper over 12 inches (Tenor). No bandsaw or router needed. Plus everything is perfectly flush and flat and level. Just another way to skin the cat...

The bending looks like it works for you. I think I would probably just use a heat gun instead of the wife's iron if only for the sake of marital bliss.
 

Pete Howlett

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I'd rout my sides in pairs. Have you heard of a 'dead man's finger'? Would make bandsawing to shape a no brainer. I'd invest in a heat blanket. Give it full blast for 4 minutes as there is no need for a timer.
 

Gary Gill

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I'd rout my sides in pairs. Have you heard of a 'dead man's finger'? Would make bandsawing to shape a no brainer. I'd invest in a heat blanket. Give it full blast for 4 minutes as there is no need for a timer.

Yes Pete, I use a deadman's finger for rough sizing some parts. A heat blanket is in the works.
 

Gary Gill

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Enjoyed the videos Gary. Well done. Love the looks of the shop too. Very clean and orderly. Is that a Jet drum sander in the background? Lucky man...

Maybe an easier way to profile sides for a body taper: Just cut your neck block 1/4 inch shorter than your tail block. Attach rectangular sides to the blocks as usual in your form. To get a perfect taper, mark a line at the upper bout 3/16 below the side, 1/8 below at the waist and 1/16 below at the widest part of the lower bout. Attach kerfed linings hitting your marks on the side and flush to the neck and tail blocks. Plane off the excess sides down to the linings and sand everything flush on a sanding board. Viola! You have a perfect 1/4 inch taper over 12 inches (Tenor). No bandsaw or router needed. Plus everything is perfectly flush and flat and level. Just another way to skin the cat...

The bending looks like it works for you. I think I would probably just use a heat gun instead of the wife's iron if only for the sake of marital bliss.[/QUOTE

I have two 10-20 sanders. I bought a used one originally and then acquired my uncle's when he died earlier this year.
 

Timbuck

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I profile the sides on the bandsaw...I tape a bunch of 2-8 together mark the shape with a template and cut close to the line ..any saw marks are erased when I sand on the rad dish.