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Thread: StewMac ukulele kit build

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Kent "The Garden of England"
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    286

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    That mahogany is looking fantastic, nice build.
    Pono ETSHC-PC

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    Headcorn Ukulele Group http://www.headcornukulelegroup.org/

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Portland OR
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    78

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    Well, I'm learning a few things about brush-on finishes, in particular Arm-R-Seal. I used a cotton ball inside a clean cotton cloth for the first application, which soaked in quickly. I let it dry 24 hours, then scuffed with 320 and applied a second coat with a foam brush. It went on WAY too heavy, resulting in runs that magically appeared overnight; it appears that the foam brush holds way more material than it looks like.

    So I waited another 24 hours and sanded it flat with 320, then applied a coat using the cotton ball/cloth technique. MUCH better; a thinner, smoother coat that won't require much scuffing at all. I think one more coat should be enough, then I'll buff with 0000 steel wool for a satiny finish.
    Last edited by beerbelly; 11-18-2019 at 07:20 AM.

  3. #53

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    Wow it looks great
    K
    Sopranos, Concerts, and Tenors including Baritone body at a Tenor Scale - 4 String, 5 String and 8 String :-)
    For Sale: Seagull Nylon String
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  4. #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Palm Beach County FL
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    481

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    Wonderful, I read the thread and studied the pictures, a lot of work.

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    78

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    Getting a nice satiny reflection after 4 coats of Arm-R-Seal sanded with 400 between coats, and buffed with 0000 steel wool. Bridge will be glued on later today.
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  6. #56
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Portland OR
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    78

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    Glueing bridge:
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  7. #57
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Portland OR
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    78

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    Almost done. Bridge is on and strung with Martin flourocarbons. Sounds pretty good, but I'll know more after the strings settle in.
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  8. #58
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Midlands GB
    Posts
    1,934

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    That looks mighty fine! When you first put strings on a newly built uke, they sound OK, but some strange and wonderful magic happens in the first twenty four hours. You'll see!

    John Colter

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    78

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    Well it's done, and I'm VERY happy with the construction. It has a silky smooth satin finish, nice action, no buzzes, and projects sound well. I'm less happy with the intonation, since I'm used to fully adjustable bridges on my electric guitars. The high G and A strings intonate fine at the 12th, but the C and E are sharp. The scale is set at exactly 17-1/32", so I'm sure the bridge is in the proper spot. If the bridge was placed incorrectly, wouldn't all the strings be sharp?

    So please school me on strings. I'm using Martin M620 flourocarbons, mainly because I've heard they stretch less & stay in tune longer. My bigger question is can different brands and string material affect intonation?
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  10. #60
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Redmond, WA
    Posts
    359

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    Looks gorgeous!

    Not an expert, but throwing out my understanding for somebody else to correct

    Different strings will intonate slightly differently. Thicker (lower) strings often need to be slightly longer the the higher strings. You might be able to file the bridge so the C and E strings cross at the back instead of the middle to slightly flatten them.

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