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Thread: Totally new builder already in trouble

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Big Island, Hawaii
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kekani View Post
    Mike Chock once told me early on its not how good you can make an instrument (anybody can do that), its how good you cover up the mistakes.
    Or knowing when to leave things alone!
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  2. #12
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    Oct 2014
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    Little River, California
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    Yes, glue can act as a sort of lubricant that makes things skate away to an alarming and disastrous degree. Been there. My thought though: 1/4 is pretty big slippage, however, taking the patch out isn't going to be an easy thing. It might want to pull tear-out pieces of the top out as you remove and that ain't gonna be good. Definitely, you have to true it up for your bracing, but maybe you could square it up by just cutting it down and chisel out the pieces? The patch would have a smaller foot print and the braces closer (not really a good thing). Another thought: just sand the thing out and start over assuming you have not put in any more braces. An orbital sander will take that thing off in mere seconds. If you are using Titebond, I've found that being patient and letting the tack take hold helps alot (about 2 minutes) with skating.

    Yes, recovery from disaster is all part of the fun. The biggest trap is thinking, oh well, it's probably going to be ok. Sometimes it is and sometimes it definitely isn't.

  3. #13
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    Apr 2008
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    Kapolei, Hawaii
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moore Bettah Ukuleles View Post
    Or knowing when to leave things alone!
    Or just throwing it away.

    A recent one was a dropped neck, no inlay, but fully fretted and bound fretboard and headstock. Dropped it and cracked the heel. Tried to fix it, but I could see the crack line, even if no one else could, until I told them. That was enough confirmation. I was almost done finishing it! Gave it to a friend; he'll use it, but won't sell the instrument (was better than anything he can make right now).

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Wales, UK
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    Mistakes are one of the keys to learning. Recovering them unlocks the door to skill and judgment. As a new builder you are not going to make a first perfect piece - in fact, most of us still building are waiting for that Great Day! I never, unless it is absolutely critical, allow my students to correct mistakes. They need to have a reminder that there is world of difference between the work of a master and that of a novice... replacing the patch is a good exercise. Replacing a slightly off brace is an unnecessary but good exercise. I remember my first build... I ended up binning it If you want to know the story of my first ukulele builds ask Bob Gleason - he fitted the bridge patches I left out

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Maryland
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    Thanks all for each of your inputs. I'm glad that I fixed (re-did the bridge patch) it was easier than I thought and gave me a valuable lesson.....fix mistakes and learn. I used a Multimaster vibrating tool and sliced the bridge patch off pretty cleanly without damage to the sound board, sanded a bit, cut a new patch from scrap bloodwood, glued it up and proceeded with sound bars and braces. See the attached. again thanks for the support!!!!IMG_2852.jpg

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    i am a career building tradesman and cabinetmaker. the best thing about the situation is that while most things go well, some inevitably do not. we laugh at the situation, have plenty of expertise, yeah, we effed it up, we would be glad to fix it.
    it's an inherently spiritually superior situation to be in than, say, being a doctor and having done the same.

    ...when gluing fiddly pieces. have the base, substrate, clearly marked out with the correct position. you can put the block on with yellow glue or another choice, rub it around for a minute or two, and wait for another minute or two. practice this on scraps to get the rhythm and feel. you wait for the piece to tighten up a bit before applying the clamp so it doesn't skate.
    Last edited by chuck in ny; 12-03-2015 at 03:56 PM.

  7. #17
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    Oct 2014
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    Just one thing: your fan braces look way too thick there in that picture. Probably too late and the top is on, but I think you could severely whittle a lot off there. Like maybe half. Things kinda want to be delicate there. Just saying...

  8. #18
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    Feb 2015
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    Maryland
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    Hey Sequoia, thanks! It's not too late, I haven't even bent the sides yet (or decided how I'm going to do that). When you say 'too thick' do you mean width or height? I'll spend more time on them. Thanks!

  9. #19
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    It is hard to say width or height by just looking at a small picture. My feeling is that you have made a structurally strong top perhaps at the expense of acoustics? Hard to say without the piece in hand and there are other far more experienced builders in tuning braces than me. Also it looks like you have tied off your fan braces to the transverse brace. While structurally sound, I think the fan braces need to move independent of that transverse brace. ...By the way, your work is extremely neat and tidy and scalloping is first rate.

  10. #20
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    Feb 2015
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    Maryland
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    So I'm still moving slowly on my first build of a Hana Lima mahogany tenor and with my first attempt at side bending hit a snag. I built a Fox bender and assembled the 10mm spring steel slats (2) and silicon heat blanket. The sides were sanded to .065" thickness. I sprayed the sides with H2O, liked up the waist with the slat / blanket sandwich, brought the temperature up to 240 degrees and let it sit for 5 minutes at 240 degrees, lowered to 212 degrees and slowly bent the sides. I then turned the blanket off and let everything cool for eight hours. When i removed the bent sides from the jig the sides sprung back a considerable amount probably half way to straight. I then tried to force them into a mold and in doing that crack the sides at the waist. So I'm trying to figure out why the sides did not hold the shape of the bending jig. My thoughts tell me that I cooked the wood too long at too high a temperature or eight hours of cooling time was not enough.

    So it's back to slicing up some sides and try again...and maybe again and again until I get it right. I had no fantasy that first attempt at bending would go perfectly so while disappointed i'm now more determined.
    Any insight will be appreciated.IMG_2917.jpg

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