Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Stewmac Koa Tenor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    51

    Default Stewmac Koa Tenor

    Here is my fourth build, still in progress. A Stewmac solid koa tenor.

    Problems started right when I opened the box. The neck had a terrible twist. Sides did not match. The bent sides did not match the plan. I sent an email to Stewmac.

    SM immediately sent a replacement kit, and told me to pick and choose parts from the 2 kits, and return the parts I don't use. So all is good at this point other than the sides which are bent into a shape not matching the plans.

    I struggled with the sides, trying to figure out how to make them work with the top and back, without sacrificing too much body volume. It eventually worked out OK, but it is not exactly the body shape shown in the plans. I adjusted the mold so upper bout is narrower than shown in the plan.

    This build continues my learning process. I am building skills to eventually build a few fine guitars. This koa ukulele is my first attempt at binding and inlay. It has tortoise binding on top and back, with w/b/w purfling on the top. No binding on neck or headstock.

    I made sure the sides are perpendicular to the base of the form when gluing sides to neck and tail blocks:


    Using all my clothes pins for kerfing glue-up:
    My ukuleles:
    Locals concert, Fluke concert, Gretsch G9126 guitulele, Kala KA-SSTU soprano, Kala-SSTU-TE tenor, Kala UBass EM-FS
    Build #1 Cheap plywood soprano kit
    Build #2 Stewmac soprano
    Build #3 Stewmac baritone (I messed up the neck angle so rebuilding it)
    Build #4 Stewmac solid koa tenor (in progress)
    Build #5 Stewmac concert (in progress)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Kerfing installed.


    Top braces glued:


    Gluing back braces:


    Dry fit top:
    My ukuleles:
    Locals concert, Fluke concert, Gretsch G9126 guitulele, Kala KA-SSTU soprano, Kala-SSTU-TE tenor, Kala UBass EM-FS
    Build #1 Cheap plywood soprano kit
    Build #2 Stewmac soprano
    Build #3 Stewmac baritone (I messed up the neck angle so rebuilding it)
    Build #4 Stewmac solid koa tenor (in progress)
    Build #5 Stewmac concert (in progress)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Sanding sides level before gluing back & top:


    Almost ready to close the box:


    I added reinforcement to back center joint:


    I carved the top braces. First effort at top tuning. I have no reference so do not know if I did a good job.
    My ukuleles:
    Locals concert, Fluke concert, Gretsch G9126 guitulele, Kala KA-SSTU soprano, Kala-SSTU-TE tenor, Kala UBass EM-FS
    Build #1 Cheap plywood soprano kit
    Build #2 Stewmac soprano
    Build #3 Stewmac baritone (I messed up the neck angle so rebuilding it)
    Build #4 Stewmac solid koa tenor (in progress)
    Build #5 Stewmac concert (in progress)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    51

    Default

    I added side reinforcement to minimize side cracks.


    Gluing the back to sides:


    Trying out my new tool:


    Ready to close the box:
    My ukuleles:
    Locals concert, Fluke concert, Gretsch G9126 guitulele, Kala KA-SSTU soprano, Kala-SSTU-TE tenor, Kala UBass EM-FS
    Build #1 Cheap plywood soprano kit
    Build #2 Stewmac soprano
    Build #3 Stewmac baritone (I messed up the neck angle so rebuilding it)
    Build #4 Stewmac solid koa tenor (in progress)
    Build #5 Stewmac concert (in progress)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Closing the box!


    After applying a coat of shellac to avoid grain tear out when I tape the binding. It is looking good:


    My ukuleles:
    Locals concert, Fluke concert, Gretsch G9126 guitulele, Kala KA-SSTU soprano, Kala-SSTU-TE tenor, Kala UBass EM-FS
    Build #1 Cheap plywood soprano kit
    Build #2 Stewmac soprano
    Build #3 Stewmac baritone (I messed up the neck angle so rebuilding it)
    Build #4 Stewmac solid koa tenor (in progress)
    Build #5 Stewmac concert (in progress)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Here we go. My first attempt at binding.

    I installed the binding dry, then used water thin super glue to wick into the gaps. After removing the tape it looked like I had ruined the build. Super glue everywhere. I was happy that it came off easily with a cabinet scraper.





    I'm extremely happy with the result. It looks beautiful.
    My ukuleles:
    Locals concert, Fluke concert, Gretsch G9126 guitulele, Kala KA-SSTU soprano, Kala-SSTU-TE tenor, Kala UBass EM-FS
    Build #1 Cheap plywood soprano kit
    Build #2 Stewmac soprano
    Build #3 Stewmac baritone (I messed up the neck angle so rebuilding it)
    Build #4 Stewmac solid koa tenor (in progress)
    Build #5 Stewmac concert (in progress)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    51

    Default

    More pics:




    My ukuleles:
    Locals concert, Fluke concert, Gretsch G9126 guitulele, Kala KA-SSTU soprano, Kala-SSTU-TE tenor, Kala UBass EM-FS
    Build #1 Cheap plywood soprano kit
    Build #2 Stewmac soprano
    Build #3 Stewmac baritone (I messed up the neck angle so rebuilding it)
    Build #4 Stewmac solid koa tenor (in progress)
    Build #5 Stewmac concert (in progress)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Believe it or not, this is the first piece of pearl that I tried to cut. I thought cutting pearl would be hard, but it is really easy with the right tools. The hardest part is getting files into the tight spaces to make the lines smooth.

    I have not yet routed the headstock to accept this inlay. I plan to practice on a scrap piece of ebony.

    My ukuleles:
    Locals concert, Fluke concert, Gretsch G9126 guitulele, Kala KA-SSTU soprano, Kala-SSTU-TE tenor, Kala UBass EM-FS
    Build #1 Cheap plywood soprano kit
    Build #2 Stewmac soprano
    Build #3 Stewmac baritone (I messed up the neck angle so rebuilding it)
    Build #4 Stewmac solid koa tenor (in progress)
    Build #5 Stewmac concert (in progress)

  9. #9

    Default

    That's going to be a beauty.

    Thanks for posting the pics.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
    Posts
    2,740

    Default

    Yes, looking good. By the way, the wood looks nice but it is not "real" koa (Acacia koa) but another type of acacia (Acacia confusa) also called Formosan koa... I did a build thread on the same kit last year you might want to read here:

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

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •