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Thread: First build -quilted maple and redwood

  1. #1
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    Default First build -quilted maple and redwood

    Sequoia suggested I keep photos coming of this adventure so I am picking up with where I am at this point. I glued the top onto the sides and am researching attaching the neck (yet to be made). If I look closely I see that the radiused heel end also has a bend to it from top to bottom. I'll need to figure out what that means as well as why it is there.
    Bless you all!
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckBarnett View Post
    If I look closely I see that the radiused heel end also has a bend to it from top to bottom.
    Not really sure what you mean by the word "bend" but I think you mean it isn't square or is slightly cupped. To me this is not ideal but isn't really that big a deal. It happens. The biggest potential problem is when you get around to routing in your binding and an off plumb heel can change the depth of the binding channel. No real biggy and can be fussed in. The place where you don't want a "bend" is on the neck end of the body. This place needs to be straight plumb and 90 degrees to the deck. Everything depends on it. If it isn't, there are things that can be done, but best not to go there if you know what I mean. Sleepless nights. Knashing of teeth. etc.

    Otherwise, things looks great. Nice work there.

  3. #3
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    Looks great so far. Im eager to see the finished product.

  4. #4
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    I have some nice old growth Redwood much like that just quite a bit darker and only large enough for a few sopranos. Have not heard a redwood sound board yet myself.

  5. #5
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    Here are photos that perhaps show what I am seeing. The imperfections are actually more 'visible' to the hand than the eye.

    I am working on how to flatten the area where the neck will sit. I thought about resting it top down on the table of a vertical belt sander figuring out a way to keep it square to the belt and doing my best to ensure the belt and table are vertical.

    The other issue evident in the photos is the radius at the neck end of the uke. I won't be able to change that and will have to form the neck heel to match. (prayers are welcome!).

    And it is evident as well that I actually put a router to the top to bring it flush to the sides.
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  6. #6
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    As I gear up to attack the neck join I am confronted once again with the dreaded 'get it 90 degrees' monster that has gnashed its teeth at me over all these years. (Indeed, when my son glibly said, "Dad, lets build guitars!" I thought, 'right... It's a good day for Chuck if he can run a skill saw across a board at a right angle give or take a couple degrees!'
    I have in these past 5 years gathered together a nice old Powermatic 65 tablesaw (I went through it, bearings, belts, set it up, etc.) I think it cuts square. I've a nice 17" bandsaw I believe cuts square. My 1949 Craftsman drill press (I do like the British term 'pillar drill' ) seems to do okay in that area.
    But I do feel challenged if not down right fearful when somebody whispers, "90 degrees".
    So I'm at it again... overthink mode. Look at this crude drawing if you will and walk me through my question. The top was radiused on a 20' radius dish. Thus the sides if vertical hit the top at something slightly greater than 90 degrees. So if the angle between the neck heel and where the fretboard will sit on the neck is 90 degrees, the fretboard will be actually going uphill once it contacts the body. NO? Is this over think or...?
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  7. #7
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    Get that surface flat by dragging the use sideways (along the grain) on a stable slab with 120 grit sandpaper on it. If you need a neck angle to ensure the string hit the saddle at the right height you see to that as you're fine tuning the heel. Relieve the centre of the heel face with a gouge or whatever so you're only working on the edges, otherwise the end grain will cause it to rock and you get a convex surface. Check for alignment from side to side, you can never rescue a fault there by making the bridge and saddle higher or lower. As for the neck angle, I guess you need zero or .5 degrees and once you add the fretted fretboard you'll see what you really needed.
    Building blog - http://www.argapa.blogspot.com
    Music and atrocities - http://www.goodcopbadcop.se

  8. #8
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    I'm a bit fast because I don't have much time. Don't take my words on the neck angle too seriously, but the ones about the centre line alignment are true.
    Building blog - http://www.argapa.blogspot.com
    Music and atrocities - http://www.goodcopbadcop.se

  9. #9
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    As Sven says.

    I'd be very wary of trying to flatten the body with a powered sander of any description. Therein lurks potential disaster ...
    Cheers
    Paul

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildestcat View Post
    As Sven says. I'd be very wary of trying to flatten the body with a powered sander of any description. Therein lurks potential disaster ...
    Totally agree on that. Things could happen fast and get nasty in a hurry. ... In my experience, if you are going to do something disastrous at least do it slowly so you can back out before it goes completely south which usually means hand tools and patience.

    By the looks of the picture, you are not that far out of 90 degrees. You are close and should be able to dial it in... This is a problematic area for me too as well as many others I'll bet. It seems they never come out spot on at 90 degrees across the radius. What I did was create a sanding fixture made of melamine that I salvaged from some discarded kitchen cabinets. Very simple. Cut two 14 inch by 8 inch rectangles. Then attach them (with the true factory edge butted on one piece so that you create a perfect 90 degree angle). Reinforce so the fixture will not move. I just used metal brackets screwed into the ends after I glued and screwed the two pieces at a perfect 90 angle. Then stick down some 100 grit sandpaper to the down side. Take the ukulele and place in the fixture with the top against the back piece of the fixture and sand back and forth (tilting to follow your radius) until the body is perfectly square where the neck is gonna attach. Works if things are not too far off. 2 or 3 degrees off no problem. More and you got a problem.

    I just read the above description and it isn't totally clear, but this is just a simple 90 degree sanding fixture... Now since your top is radiused this presents a problem since you can't use the top as a register reference. This is why I do flat tops. Is your back radiused too? If not you could use your back as the reference on the fixture. Anyway, I feel for you cause I been there and it ain't easy. But it is also so, so important to get right. Good luck.

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