What's happening in your shed?

dsorlien

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My Stewmac Baritone kit does not want to cooperate. To make a long story short, I messed up the original build. Neck angle was way off. I sawed the neck off and am rebuilding it as a bolt-on neck. To hide all my mistakes, I am painting it surf green nitro. Well, trying to paint it surf green.

The body was sanded to bare wood after removing the neck. I used Zpoxy as pore filler and applied a very thin coat of shellac as a barrier between epoxy and nitro.

As you can see in the pics below, the color coats cracked, probably because the big temperature swings here, where it drops to 60degF at night and up to 100degF during the day at this time of year.

So the next challenge is to figure out how I recover from this disaster and how to avoid the problem next time. I wanted this build to be a learning experience. Gotta be more careful what I wish for.

ACtC-3dKHu8GZvjv3lriZPBuqJev6TZpAcTbb3GzkiVgtO9tNvvIxVx67KruaY__acwG0kH-w5l9V-wTj_2cPG-6_zSyns-pZGyzucEJjxWAC546GGbQ_QIpXXo8JyrgPKK-vFR0N1AUzzE0o70GiU2DSNJO=w932
 

Jerryc41

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My Stewmac Baritone kit does not want to cooperate. To make a long story short, I messed up the original build. Neck angle was way off. I sawed the neck off and am rebuilding it as a bolt-on neck. To hide all my mistakes, I am painting it surf green nitro. Well, trying to paint it surf green.

The body was sanded to bare wood after removing the neck. I used Zpoxy as pore filler and applied a very thin coat of shellac as a barrier between epoxy and nitro.

As you can see in the pics below, the color coats cracked, probably because the big temperature swings here, where it drops to 60degF at night and up to 100degF during the day at this time of year.

So the next challenge is to figure out how I recover from this disaster and how to avoid the problem next time. I wanted this build to be a learning experience. Gotta be more careful what I wish for.

ACtC-3dKHu8GZvjv3lriZPBuqJev6TZpAcTbb3GzkiVgtO9tNvvIxVx67KruaY__acwG0kH-w5l9V-wTj_2cPG-6_zSyns-pZGyzucEJjxWAC546GGbQ_QIpXXo8JyrgPKK-vFR0N1AUzzE0o70GiU2DSNJO=w932

More sanding? Avoiding it next time should be easy. I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions here. Taking a wild guess, I'd say the green doesn't like what's under it.
 

dwizum

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What did you use for shellac? If it wasn't dewaxed, that could cause the topoat to separate.
 

dsorlien

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What did you use for shellac? If it wasn't dewaxed, that could cause the topoat to separate.
Zinzer spray shellac. The label says it is 100% dewaxed. I just tried lacquer thinner on a rag and the green nitro wipes off easily.
 

Beau Hannam Ukuleles

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This is perhaps somewhat of a stupid question, but how are you all posting large photos???

This 2meg pic is how all mine are posted but some of yours are full screen????-

What am i doing wrong? Thanks

Flower inlay Beau Hannam.jpg
 

Jim Hanks

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This is perhaps somewhat of a stupid question, but how are you all posting large photos???
Hosting on an external server like imgur.com or Google Photos. If you click "Reply with Quote" on a post you want to emulate, you can see the IMG "code" and where the image is coming from
 

dwizum

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Or - if you go ahead and attach the photo the "normal" way, which inserts it as a little thumbnail. Then highlight the image in the reply box and click the "remove formatting" button above the reply box (it's the little box with a black A and a blue A with a red X next to them - second button from the left). That removes the thumbnail tag and posts the image full size. I've just found that out myself. The other thing I'm trying to figure out is how to keep the forum software from seemingly randomly rotating images when they attach... My phone and laptop will show images in the correct orientation but once attached they get rotated. The fix I've been doing for this is to open each image on my laptop and edit it, then rotate it once to the left and once to the right and save it. This seems to "force" the correct rotation but it's a bit of a pain. Would love to hear if anyone has solved that.

Speaking of, here's some images I came here to share! I've just finished a pair of tenors. One with ziricote fretboard and bridge and a curly redwood top with an inlay, which was a birthday gift for my wife. And one for me with a spruce top and curly maple fretboard and bridge. Both have walnut backs and sides. For the backs, instead of using a bookmatched set on each instrument, I took four plates cut in order from the billet and shuffled them between the two such that each instrument is "imperfect" on it's own but they form a matched pair together, if that makes sense. I'm really happy with the results.

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Jerryc41

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This is perhaps somewhat of a stupid question, but how are you all posting large photos???

This 2meg pic is how all mine are posted but some of yours are full screen????-

What am i doing wrong? Thanks

View attachment 129749

The problem is that it's a very small picture. I make all of mine 1500 pixels on the long side. That seems to be a good size for posting. Yours is just 280 on the long side. Irfanview is a free photo program that can do an awful lot, including resizing photos.

TESTING.jpg
 

greenscoe

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dwizum: Its always good to see the work of others on this forum. These two look good to me, the inlay looks great and I like your laminated neck. Your box shape is also very different to any of my tenors, quite distinctive. Is this your own idea of the ideal uke box or is it something you have taken from elsewhere?
 

dwizum

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greenscoe - it is my own shape but as with many things, the shape is built on the shoulders of giants - I started with a mainstream shape and made a handful of changes trying to target specific results in tone and appearance. I mentioned some of these in another recent thread about soundhole size. Basically, I'm trying to stay within the overall footprint and scale length of a tenor (I don't want to switch to a teardrop or pineapple body or something odd sized or shaped). But I am trying to focus on getting more of a punchy midrange tone, and trying to do that separately from wood selection. So the overall length of the body and width of the bouts are fairly typical. But I've made three changes. My upper bouts are smaller than most - kind of "higher and tighter" and more squared off if that makes sense. I'll post a photo of my wife's sitting in it's case which makes that obvious since you can see the difference in these bouts versus the case shape. Second, my bodies are a little thinner than seems typical, and third my soundholes are a little larger than typical.

I did these changes to try to shift the resonant frequency higher in the tenor uke's typical frequency range, and based on playing ukes I've built to this shape back to back with "normal" tenors built with the same wood and bracing, I think I got what I wanted. And besides the tonal aspect, I do like to have design elements that make my instruments "mine" when sitting next to mainstream brands versus just blending in...

There are still slight tonal differences depending on wood choice (i.e. the redwood tops sound a little darker and warmer than the spruce tops) but overall the difference between this shape and a typical shape is probably the bigger contributor to my instrument's tone than the wood choices.

Other than uke building I have focused mostly on solid body electric basses (and some guitars), and it seems that laminated necks are much more popular there so I just do them as a matter of course. I love the look of figured maple with the cherry and walnut stripes down the middle! My very first ukulele had a one piece mahogany neck but that was 20-ish years ago. I can't remember the last time I made a neck from one piece of wood other than that.

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greenscoe

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greenscoe - it is my own shape but as with many things, the shape is built on the shoulders of giants - I started with a mainstream shape and made a handful of changes trying to target specific results in tone and appearance. I mentioned some of these in another recent thread about soundhole size. Basically, I'm trying to stay within the overall footprint and scale length of a tenor (I don't want to switch to a teardrop or pineapple body or something odd sized or shaped). But I am trying to focus on getting more of a punchy midrange tone, and trying to do that separately from wood selection. So the overall length of the body and width of the bouts are fairly typical. But I've made three changes. My upper bouts are smaller than most - kind of "higher and tighter" and more squared off if that makes sense. I'll post a photo of my wife's sitting in it's case which makes that obvious since you can see the difference in these bouts versus the case shape. Second, my bodies are a little thinner than seems typical, and third my soundholes are a little larger than typical.

I did these changes to try to shift the resonant frequency higher in the tenor uke's typical frequency range, and based on playing ukes I've built to this shape back to back with "normal" tenors built with the same wood and bracing, I think I got what I wanted. And besides the tonal aspect, I do like to have design elements that make my instruments "mine" when sitting next to mainstream brands versus just blending in...

There are still slight tonal differences depending on wood choice (i.e. the redwood tops sound a little darker and warmer than the spruce tops) but overall the difference between this shape and a typical shape is probably the bigger contributor to my instrument's tone than the wood choices.

Other than uke building I have focused mostly on solid body electric basses (and some guitars), and it seems that laminated necks are much more popular there so I just do them as a matter of course. I love the look of figured maple with the cherry and walnut stripes down the middle! My very first ukulele had a one piece mahogany neck but that was 20-ish years ago. I can't remember the last time I made a neck from one piece of wood other than that.

Thanks for your reply. I noted the small upper bout, the square shoulders and the larger soundhole. I was also aware of your other postings about the soundhole size and depth of the box. I'm always interested to hear why builders make the choices they do and to hear specifically what you consider you have achieved with this shaped box. I have played with increasing the size of the lower bout and the depth but for me bracing patterns and bracing dimensions and the use of solid/laminated linings have been the principal focus of experimentation with conventional tenors.

What constitutes a good looking soundbox aesthetically is of course a matter of taste and yours is certainly distinctive and so perhaps can be considered your own.

Over the years we have discussed many elements which contribute to the sound of an instrument. I think the conclusion reached is that every maker finds his/her own path and what works for one may not work for another: what one considers important is not so for another.

Thanks for the additional photo: I think this makes the instrument look even better.
 

dwizum

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I agree with everything you're saying - above all, I think there are so many variables on instruments that it's very possible to get to a similar goal through many paths. Or to focus on one specific process or option and end up in a different place than other people. But in essence I think that variety is what makes it all so interesting. Looking at someone's work is like getting a peek inside their head. I'm fairly new to the forum and still digging through old material, there's certainly a wealth of information here. Such a great and practical resource and so many creative people sharing with each other.

I've thought about trying to record sound samples of my instruments to help in discussions like this but honestly I'm so bad at the technology involved I don't trust myself to produce something accurate or meaningful. The few times over the years that I've recorded an instrument I've made I've found myself thinking "that doesn't sound at all like the real thing." Maybe I'll get some help from a better-equipped friend at some point.

Getting back to the ukes - I'm happy enough with this design as-is that I've just finished making rough parts for many more of them versus doing each one start to finish as I've been doing. But in parallel with that, I do have an itch to try different bracing and lining techniques, since I've been dead-on 100% consistent with that so far. One thing that's stuck with me from back in my school days studying industrial engineering has been to focus on one factor at a time!
 

jupiteruke

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Philadelphia tenor

My daughter, who plays and sings really well, has a very early one of my instruments (#5) She deserved an upgrade. She is living in Philadelphia, really likes the city, and suggested 'Philadelphia' inlays. I had a real nice piece of spalted tamarind (cut from a tree planted and taken down many years later by a mango grower in Boynton Beach Florida). So, just completed the 'Philadelphia' tenor, (#75). Spalted tamarind back and sides, Port Orford cedar top, blue paua abalone asymmetric rosette, Philadelphia skyline on the headstock in multiple colors of pearl. Down the fingerboard are Philly symbols: the liberty bell, the Love sculpture, the Declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin, the famous Philadelphia pretzel, and "Philly" written in man-made opal (Philly at night). My daughter's initials are on the heel plate. Arm bevel in redwood burl.
 

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Andyk

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That's really nice. Have you got a picture of #5 so we can see what difference 70 ukes looks like?
 

jupiteruke

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That's really nice. Have you got a picture of #5 so we can see what difference 70 ukes looks like?

#5 was "Over the Rainbow", because my daughter was Dorothy in her senior high school year play. Rosewood, curly maple binding, Kasha braced sitka spruce top with bluebirds over the rainbow. The musical notes down the fretboard are the first notes to "Over the Rainbow"
 

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Andyk

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Damit! I was hoping #5 was going to be obviously bad but that looks good. Please tell me #1 was pile of poo (like my first attempt is looking like it will be). :)
 

Larry Usselman

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My daughter, who plays and sings really well, has a very early one of my instruments (#5) She deserved an upgrade. She is living in Philadelphia, really likes the city, and suggested 'Philadelphia' inlays. I had a real nice piece of spalted tamarind (cut from a tree planted and taken down many years later by a mango grower in Boynton Beach Florida). So, just completed the 'Philadelphia' tenor, (#75). Spalted tamarind back and sides, Port Orford cedar top, blue paua abalone asymmetric rosette, Philadelphia skyline on the headstock in multiple colors of pearl. Down the fingerboard are Philly symbols: the liberty bell, the Love sculpture, the Declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin, the famous Philadelphia pretzel, and "Philly" written in man-made opal (Philly at night). My daughter's initials are on the heel plate. Arm bevel in redwood burl.

That looks fantastic, Jon! Absolutely beautiful inlay work. :drool: