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Thread: Neck carving in the 21st century

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Default Neck carving in the 21st century

    Parkinson's has robbed me of a lot of upper body strength - after 3 minutes of hand sanding a ukulele back, it feels like I've been at it all day! Like all artisan craftsman I am constantly reviewing techniques and after 4 attempts have a dead-head sander to help in the preliminary profiling of the back of the neck.vI also use a carver's angle grinder to preliminarily shape the back of the neck. Oddly enough, the skill levels required to handle these tools are much more subtle than using a rasp, spokeshave and knife. What it does is conserve my energy for 'flossing' the final shape and detailing the neck in preparation for the finish.

    The whole process is in the video: If you have my carving video you will see the 'progression' of technique and craft that marks someone who has not found yet the perfect way to do something, but is very near it! Enjoy and comment please.

    Last edited by Pete Howlett; 04-26-2018 at 10:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
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    Good video Pete ..Get the dust problem sorted and you'll be getting there
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000

  3. #3
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    Oct 2012
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    Canberra, Australia
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    Arbortech make a range of grinder attachments that make short work of turning wood into sawdust. I use my mini turbo quite a bit.
    A 40grit flapwheel is dustier but does the job.
    I find my $2 y handled potato peeler from Kmart quieter, less dusty and just as quick for shaping necks but. Kiwi brand and Ikea ones work just as well. Not so good around the cross grain work around the heel though. The biggest disadvantage is the damage it does to your street cred. Luckily I didn't have any to start with and what you don't have you can't lose.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    I like your cradle, I have a jig that I shim up for different angles of the headstock, I will have to rethink that one. As much as I like carving a neck I am thinking of mechanizing it. I had some tendon surgery in my wrist and also lost a muscle that was responsible for certain thumb movements so I have to conserve my abilities for more important operations. I am thinking of making a neck routing jig similar to this one. While it is designed for a bolt on neck I think I should have enough reach with a long bit. It should be no problem with a uke sized neck. Maybe consider something like this to get some of the bulk material removal out of the way and save your energy for the finer details.




  5. #5

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    Pete-Are you using the King Arthur carbide wheel on your mini-grinder? The rough red one or the medium yellow one?-Thanks, Bob

  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
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    Great video Pete! Your cradle is very well thought out.
    Stephen Beauregard
    www.snowshoeuke.com

  7. #7
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    I am supplying the cradles... and yes I use the red 'mushroom' head one.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
    I like your cradle, I have a jig that I shim up for different angles of the headstock, I will have to rethink that one. As much as I like carving a neck I am thinking of mechanizing it. I had some tendon surgery in my wrist and also lost a muscle that was responsible for certain thumb movements so I have to conserve my abilities for more important operations. I am thinking of making a neck routing jig similar to this one. While it is designed for a bolt on neck I think I should have enough reach with a long bit. It should be no problem with a uke sized neck. Maybe consider something like this to get some of the bulk material removal out of the way and save your energy for the finer details.



    Been doing em like that for years in the lathe ...Two at a time . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IpxnDFEeBM&t=44s
    Last edited by Timbuck; 04-27-2018 at 10:20 AM.
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000

  9. #9
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    If Pete added a 4th axis to Boris ...he could program it to do just that without having to stand at the wheel.
    Just a thought
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000

  10. #10

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    I love it wooden machines.
    Michael Smith
    Goat Rock Ukulele
    www.goatrockukulele.com

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