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    Starting the final shaping of the neck. 134662

    Starting the final shaping of the neck.

    134662
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    Gluing the fretboard in place. I'll wait 24 hours...

    Gluing the fretboard in place. I'll wait 24 hours before removing the clamps to ensure glue is fully cured.

    134640
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    The spalted Sycamore overlays have both been...

    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...
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    Last couple of days I've been working on the...

    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...
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    Now that preliminary tapering of the neck and...

    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...
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    Still a long way to go, but it's really beginning...

    Still a long way to go, but it's really beginning to look like a musical instrument.

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    The best kind of mess: carving the neck on a...

    The best kind of mess: carving the neck on a musical instrument. There's just something satisfying about the hiss of the spokeshave or carving knife as they peel away curls of wood.

    134443
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    Using a table saw sled and a stop block to do...

    Using a table saw sled and a stop block to do some preliminary shaping of the neck heel. A technique I learned through a video featuring luthier Heidi Litke of Red Sands Ukuleles.

    134396
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    Added some new accessories this morning. One can...

    Added some new accessories this morning. One can never have enough clamps, and these will help when I'm laminating neck stock.

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    Scraping the excess finishing resin from the back...

    Scraping the excess finishing resin from the back after the second coat of pore fill.

    134369
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    Waiting for the glue to cure on the replacement...

    Waiting for the glue to cure on the replacement top bindings. The rear bindings are mostly scraped flush. Good place to stop for the weekend.

    134271
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    Cutting the rear binding channels on a tapered...

    Cutting the rear binding channels on a tapered body is always tense. Although I've done this on half a dozen instruments now and "think" I have it down pretty good, in the back of my mind is the...
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    I didn't like the way the bindings looked when I...

    I didn't like the way the bindings looked when I was finished, so I routed them out and made a new set from un-spalted Sycamore. No cracks or splits, and they bent very easily. I have them taped in...
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    Just to show things don't always go as planned in...

    Just to show things don't always go as planned in the shop, I just came in from cleaning the garage after routing out the set of spalted Sycamore bindings I had installed on my kiku body over the...
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    Bindings are in place, leveled with the...

    Bindings are in place, leveled with the soundboard and sanded. I was reminded again how things can go awry in instrument building. Spalted Sycamore is the most unforgiving wood I've ever tried to...
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    The kiku top and back are attached, the binding...

    The kiku top and back are attached, the binding channels cut, and the body sanded with 120 grit. I'll eventually sand to 320 grit. Next is installing the spalted Sycamore bindings.
    ...
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    That is true. Here's an image of Heidi working on...

    That is true. Here's an image of Heidi working on one of her ukes: https://www.redsandsukuleles.com/bi0.html
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    Thanks. LMII has some ukulele molds, but at $100,...

    Thanks. LMII has some ukulele molds, but at $100, I'd rather build my own. My current kiku project is being built on an open form, using blocks at the tail and heel, and 1" dowels bolted into slots...
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    Finished my Kasha baritone building form. It's a...

    Finished my Kasha baritone building form. It's a slightly upscale version of the one used by Heidi Litke in Robert O'Brien's video tenor uke building course. It allows a Spanish heel build while...
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    Spending a rainy morning in the garage making a...

    Spending a rainy morning in the garage making a building form and spreader bars for my baritone ukulele project. The bandsaw was a Christmas gift from my wife over 25 years ago, and it still works...
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    That is nice looking. I must have missed...

    That is nice looking. I must have missed something . . . the neck bolts on from the back?
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    I might need some more clamps . . . 134150

    I might need some more clamps . . .

    134150
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    A good place to stop for the day. 134148134149

    A good place to stop for the day.

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    I took a few days off from building the kiku to...

    I took a few days off from building the kiku to work on some other projects, but now I'm back to the braces and tone bars.

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    Yes it does. I decided to go ahead and resaw the...

    Yes it does. I decided to go ahead and resaw the rest of the Sycamore slab into a tenor-sized back and side set, and the resulting pieces fit my bandsaw. The resaw took about a minute per pass,...
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