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Thread: StewMac ukulele kit build

  1. #41
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    Sep 2019
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    Portland OR
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    97

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    Another finish question: Tung oil; I have some I've used on other wood projects. It's 100% pure; is that a good finish material?

  2. #42
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    Aug 2018
    Location
    Australia.
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    Tung Oil is very nice finish for decorative woodwork that will be infrequently handled. It enhances the grain and gives a lovely natural look. I found it slow to dry and too soft for the rigours of musical instrument handling. The Tung Oil finish available commercially is a brew of quite a few ingredients blended to compensate for the shortcomings of the natural nut extract.
    Many years ago, I naively applied the pure oil to a classical guitar, but ended up scraping it off when finger nail scratches showed after minimal careful handling. I then blended a few other ingredients into it, as suggested in woodworking magazine articles, but found the results were not much improved over the pure oil.
    My bottle of pure oil is still as fluid and clear as when I bought it ~ 30 years ago. The only sign of age is a thin crystallised ring around the top.
    I like the idea of using natural oils, but all that I have tried have come up short for the requirements of musical instrument making.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
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    2,285

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    Quote Originally Posted by beerbelly View Post
    is that a good finish material?
    I used to use tung oil on some dulcimers I built and 30 years later the things still look and sound pretty good. Caveat: Not all "tung oils" are created equal. And they long ago became a synthetic product. Witches brews. I used Formby's. But as far as "fool proof" you can hardly muck up a tung oil finish. Probably the easiest finish to apply. One big problem is that it is hard to go back once an instrument is oiled and do a different finish. More ominously, there are those that point to a "damping effect" from oiled finishes. I'm not sure I buy into that one, but it is a consideration. Welcome to the murky world of instrument finishing!

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Portland OR
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    97

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    Before glueing the neck, I mocked up bridge placement and final heel fit; everything looks good.

    Question about scale length: The instructions say 16-31/32" from body side of nut to center of saddle. I've heard 17" and beyond. Any recommendations?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #45
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    Oct 2014
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    Little River, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerbelly View Post
    Question about scale length: The instructions say 16-31/32" from body side of nut to center of saddle. I've heard 17" and beyond. Any recommendations?
    I address this question in a previous post. There is an error there.

    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...=stewmac+tenor

  6. #46
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    Sep 2019
    Location
    Portland OR
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    Thanks for saving my bacon Sequoia! It would be tragic to have an un-adjustable bridge in the wrong spot.

  7. #47
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    Sep 2019
    Location
    Portland OR
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    I can confirm the 8.47" measurement to the 12th fret in this kit, so I'm going to set my bridge at 17-1/32".

    Just glued the neck on, another major step, and I just remembered to breathe!
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  8. #48
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    Oct 2014
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    Little River, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerbelly View Post
    I'm going to set my bridge at 17-1/32".
    Perfect. That is the number to the saddle giving you 3/32 compensation.

  9. #49
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    Sep 2019
    Location
    Portland OR
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    Neck is on! I'll be adding a personal touch, a piece of Mother of Pearl at the bottom of the neck heel:
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  10. #50
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    Sep 2019
    Location
    Portland OR
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    First coat of finish; I went with Arm-R-Seal, a wipe-on oil/poly.
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