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  1. Matt Clara

    The elusive sharpening unicorn

    Haven't tried it yet, but I'm going to.
  2. Matt Clara

    How flammable is nitrocellulose lacquer?

    (Better clean the spray booth!)
  3. Matt Clara

    Getting rid of light over spray

    Almost done with my current build, I decided I didn't like the finish on the peg head, so I loosely wrapped the uke in butcher's paper and resprayed the peg head. I find that on one side of the uke on the waist it's a little bit bumpy now from over spray. I plan on just polishing it out when I...
  4. Matt Clara

    Absolutely hate installing frets

    Just ruined a lovely fretboard when one of the frets turned sideways on the first tap with a hammer and a big chip came out of the top of the board. Out of all the frustrating steps to building a ukulele, none is more frustrating than installing fretwire. I even have the stewmac press for my...
  5. Matt Clara

    Chuck Moore's tang nipper

    I want to nip my tangs, and remembered that Chuck did his with a dremel at one time, so found his post on it and took a shot at it myself. Had to order some thicker cut off wheels, 'cause currently I'm just slitting the ends of the fretwire. The discs are bigger in diameter, too, which is why...
  6. Matt Clara

    Little bit of tearout in back--repair with purfling, or cut a matched piece?

    So in routing my binding channels last night I got the tiniest bit of tear out, right over where my kerfed lining didn't quite make it to the tail block (have no idea if that was the cause, but there it is!). It's small enough that I could just add purfling, which I'm adding to the front...
  7. Matt Clara

    Desert Ironwood Fretboard

    Anyone use desert ironwood for a fretboard? Someone gave me a stick of it a couple of years ago and the wood database says it's extremely stable. It's tough as nails and heavy, so, just like other fretboards. Honestly, this might be heavier. I've got some Texas ebony I've used before and...
  8. Matt Clara

    What tuners are popular these days?

    Years back, when I frequented the site more, some people on here got excited about some tuners from Taisamlu, a Taiwanese seller of ukes and uke parts on ebay, and I bought a bunch at the time and I have only one set left, and it's gold and I don't want to put it on my current build and I was...
  9. Matt Clara

    Should have patented it, Timbuck!
  10. Matt Clara

    Ukulele Abomination!

    It's my, I don't know, 8th ukulele build? I wanted to keep this simple, but give it a longer neck. Ended up with a 19" scale length--that's the abomination part. Uke is Engelmann spruce soundboard from Simeon Chambers (says it's from old growth), curly claro walnut back and sides, Port Orford...
  11. Matt Clara

    Take 3 months off and become a luthier If I didn't have a 12 year old to look after, I'd try to make it happen. Then I'd bug Chuck Moore all the time. :)
  12. Matt Clara

    Check out this non-electric "table saw"

    Very cool contraption, would have one in a second if A) they were still in production, and B) didn't cost over $1500 when they were! Very much like Pete's sliding table fret saw system. Only with a myriad of adjustable parts. In case the above doesn't work, here's the link...
  13. Matt Clara

    Flattening the upper bout of an arched top...

    I remember Chuck Moore saying that to flatten the upper bout of his tops (which he puts an arch to rather than a dome) he simply made a few passes on a flat surface with sandpaper mounted to the surface. This before gluing the top on. Easy enough, but I'm curious about the upper bout brace...
  14. Matt Clara

    Why not Sitka spruce for a neck?

    I've a bunch of the stuff on the rack, mostly for sound boards and bracing. It's heavier than Spanish cedar, but not by a lot, and I can't source Spanish cedar locally and so costs a good deal more. I was thinking Sitka spruce might very well be stronger. Nobody ever made a monstrous big plane...
  15. Matt Clara

    Tenor neck joined at 14th or 16th fret?

    I typically join my concert uke neck to body at the 14th fret. I'm trying my hand at my first tenor uke. Seems like I should make the neck a bit longer and join at a lower fret, like the 16th. Or I could continue to join at the 14th and just position the bridge further south on the lower...
  16. Matt Clara

    Highland Woodworking Wood Slicer Resawing Band Saw Blade

    I've been using Timberwolf's 3/4" thin kerf blade for resawing for several years now, and honestly haven't tried anything else since I bought my big Grizzly band saw. I've been satisfied for the most part, the only issue is it leaves some marks, like, every time, so that I can't resaw as thin...
  17. Matt Clara

    #6 Western red cedar, curly claro walnut, with padauk binding and fretboard

    First time with a rosette inlay, first time with an arched top (25' radius) and domed back (15' radius), first time with perfling, second time binding. Also, first time with a slotted bridge, where you tie a knot in the string and slide it in a hole in the backside of the bridge? Yeah, I need...
  18. Matt Clara

    When designing a new uke shape, do you consider volume, as in, internal space?

    I'm designing a new shape for my ukes, all in a cad program that allows me to easily select the uke body and click measure>volume. I was wondering if anyone else thought about volume when coming up with a new design, as in, a soprano should have a volume of X, plus/minus Y, etc.,?
  19. Matt Clara

    What's your favored method for attaching the neck?

    Bolt on, spline, mortise and tenon, dovetail? I've been doing bolt on, but there are things about it I don't like. My earliest builds are now three years old, and I notice that there's a little separation at the base of the heel, due to the string tension. My latest build placed the bolt and...
  20. Matt Clara

    Source for Port Orford Cedar (and other woods from the western US)

    I apologize in advance if this reads like a plug for this one man mill I found online, and I'm hoping people will offer up some other sources for woods like Port Orford Cedar, as I'd rather have several to choose from than be at the supply mercy of just one. Recently I was looking for some Port...