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Thread: First Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Pleasant View, Utah
    Posts
    28

    Default First Build

    Hi, I am starting a build thread here as I am embarking on my first ever instrument build and I am going to rely heavily on this forum for your expertise and guidance. I have some woodworking ability and have built a few wooden ship models so I have a fairly good supply of hardwoods and a few nice wood working tools although they are small and suited for model shipbuilding. I also have a friend that owns a cabinet shop and is gracious to let me use his extensive line of tooling. I thought about acquiring a book or two but I also am a member of a model ship building forum and there is more information and willing people to help throughout a model build and I am confident that UU is the same way... so I am hoping my thread will be a venue for instruction.......
    I really wanted to build a guitar but thought a uke might be a bit easier and my wood supply is more suited to a uke build and I feel that most of the processes will transfer over well.
    I am going to build a tenor ukulele using the plans set from UltimateGuitar.com but with a few deviations where my research so far has led me. One example is the plans show a radius on the neck block to match the body outline but I am planning on squaring the neck area off (like the Mya Moe videos) so that the neck joint,neck block and neck areas are all square.
    I will be using makore for the back and sides and anigre for the top and neck, haven't decided on the fretboard and bridge wood yet.... I re sawed the back and sides and top wood and thicknessed them to .100 + or - .005, I am taking them to my friends shop to use the jointer and will then glue them up, install a rossette and return to use his digital thickness sander to bring the top to .080 and the back and sides to .090 please advise if I am in error so far and feel free throughout the build to set me straight or provide a better technique or improve any process. I look forward to a great relationship with you guys and this forum.... Pics to follow.....

    Lou
    Last edited by ASAT; 11-19-2015 at 10:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Pleasant View, Utah
    Posts
    28

    Default

    So here are some pics as promised, the first is a shot of my back, sides and top wood, next are some close ups of the top and back - the top color is more tan/creamy than the pic, the color balance is off but I wanted to show some of the grain and figuring of the wood. The last shot is a piece of 5/8" baltic birch my friend gave me to make the mold with after he ran the uke wood through the jointer. I need some advise on the best way to glue the book matched pieces up - I was thinking using some triangle shims to wedge the sides tight against a straight edge and weight the joint with some steel.....? Also a good way to cut the relief for the rosette without using expensive tooling? Any help greatly appreciated Attachment 85544Attachment 85545Attachment 85546Attachment 85547
    Last edited by ASAT; 11-19-2015 at 01:07 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Looks good so far, Lou.
    You might find a build tip or two that you can use on my uke construction tips page:
    http://www.bluestemstrings.com/pageUke1.html
    The only thing better than playing is building!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Pleasant View, Utah
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Rudy, I have been perusing your site and plan on using quite a few of your tips - Thanks for the many free drawings as well, especially the radius plans and the nut and bridge drawings !!

    Lou

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
    Posts
    2,022

    Default

    Sounds like you have done your homework and you will produce a fine ukulele Lou... Squaring off your neck block and neck connection rather than doing a radius is going to make your life a lot easier...Gluing up your back and top plates can be done very easily using the "tape method" and elaborate jointing apparatuses are unnecessary IMHO. There are a lot of different ways of doing things and expect to get a lot of conflicting advice. When in doubt stick with the KISS principle... As to putting in a rosette, I've always used elaborate circle cutting router type tools, but I'm told it can be done with a Popsicle stick and razor blade. Good luck with that. Consider doing your uke without a rosette. Very traditional and they can look great. Rosette not absolutely necessary.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Stockport, Cheshire.
    Posts
    348

    Default

    Lou, I'm like you in attempting my first build(s) although most of my time so far has been spent building jigs, dishes etc. As for joining the top pieces, I used the method you describe with wedges but just lightly clamped a piece of mdf over the joint to prevent it rising. It worked very well indeed and is simple enough. Just remember to place waxed paper over the glued area to prevent the top sticking to the boards. Mike
    Last edited by mikeyb2; 11-19-2015 at 10:26 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    London
    Posts
    561

    Default

    Mya Moe has a video up of how they join tops, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCSj...ature=youtu.be
    h

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Berkshire
    Posts
    394

    Default

    Thanks for sharing that Hms, it is a clever and inexpensive method. I have generally used the stretched masking tape method in the past
    Max

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Here's how I did it. Two drill bits same diameter as (very thin) rosette. Grind one to a cutting edge, and one to a chisel wedge. I honed them on a diamond sharpening stone. Drilled a hole in a piece of scrap acrylic for the pivot point, and another at a distance from the first equal to the radius of the rosette. With the cutting bit oriented to the outside of the hole, score the outside. Turn the bit 180 and score the inside. Then use the chisel bit to excavate the channel. Go slowly, and it works great.IMG_0021.jpgIMG_0025.jpgIMG_0028.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    521

    Default

    As my daddy always said, there's more than one way to skin a cat! Although I use Stewmac's circle cutter, it always makes me nervous. Your way seems more controllable.

    Bob

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