Nail Biting Time

Clever layout. Would leave you with some interesting "remnants" for headstock faceplates. Maybe an opportunity to book match on the headstock as well.
Nicely done.
 
I've been laminating tricky sides for some time now. Much easier and less stressful. Why don't you talk to Beau about this stuff? He's used it. I had some highly figured mahogany that could have come from The Tree and it was sweet to bend. I've found that the South American-grown wood is so much easier to bend than the African varieties.

Anyway - praying for you buddy :) (don't believe Robert Plant)
 
Thanks for the Prayers Pete ...in the next couple of hours we'll find out if they have worked ... I've done a few tests with one of the off cuts and found a thickness that I think will work ok 🫣... I'll report back later but first a nice dinner of Haggis and mash followed by jam sponge pudding with custard, then back to the workshop.🙏
 
Well! that was touch and go, I actually felt nervous .... started the 1 inch radius waist bends on the hot pipe , then transferred both ribs wetted side by side in the Foxy bender wrapped in an aluminium foil envelope. for a minute or so I heard cracking and popping sounds :eek:but that was caused by the hot steam.... the bending has fortunately gone well, but there are the facets that Chuck mentioned so I will have to spend some time tomorrow sanding them out.🥂
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A couple of observations with this "Tree Wood " after bending and fitting the end blocks and linings. ... first off when you receive the wood it has a rich red colour but after thickness sanding it just becomes like any other mahogany with the grain barely visible ...do the timber merchants treat the sets with some chemical to enhance the grain as a sales gimmick ? also I found it was not easy to bend, mostly down to "grain runout" my first attempt (on a sample off cut) at 0.075" just broke in two cleanly (see attached pic) it only bent ok when I reduced the thickness to 0.0625", I also tried soaking it in veneer softener only to find out that it received a lot of staining from the bending iron, so I gave up on that ....Then after fitting the end blocks I found while sanding on the radius dish ready to fit the linings that the edges were very brittle and easily splinted so I had to take a lot of care and sand it gently... I am now waiting for the glue to set on the linings and I'll get back and report later today on the progress.

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A couple of observations with this "Tree Wood " after bending and fitting the end blocks and linings. ... first off when you receive the wood it has a rich red colour but after thickness sanding it just becomes like any other mahogany with the grain barely visible ...do the timber merchants treat the sets with some chemical to enhance the grain as a sales gimmick ? also I found it was not easy to bend, mostly down to "grain runout" my first attempt (on a sample off cut) at 0.075" just broke in two cleanly it only bent ok when I reduced the thickness to 0.0625", I also tried soaking it in veneer softener only to find out that it received a lot of staining from the bending iron, so I gave up on that ....Then after fitting the end blocks I found while sanding on the radius dish ready to fit the linings that the edges were very brittle and easily splinted so I had to take a lot of care and sand it gently... I am now waiting for the glue to set on the linings and I'll get back and report later today on the progress.
I wonder the same, how does someone know it is the tree...
 
Well done Ken. I have always been totally impressed by your level of determination and grit :) All my sides are laminated now or 'layered' a sa well-known manufacturer says in their snake oil blurb.
 
Well done Ken. I have always been totally impressed by your level of determination and grit :) All my sides are laminated now or 'layered' a sa well-known manufacturer says in their snake oil blurb.
One of my pet moans is "how much valuable exotic wood is wasted with routing sawing and sanding and ends up as dust "the thinner the plates the more is wasted ...you can now see why Gibson and others are now laminating a photographic image of the grain on top of less expensive wood... I'm told that the latest examples use a 3D image method that's very hard to distinguish from the real thing.
 
A few more comments on this Tree wood ... it's very porous! ... it's so porous that when I glued the bridge plate and braces on the soundboard , tiny beads of Titebond bled right through to the other side ... luckily it didn't bond to the mould...also it is brittle has a tendency to split across the grain "as I found out" but managed to do an invisible repair. :)
I've got to admit that I'm way out of my comfort zone with this soprano but I'll see the job to the end and I've decided I don't want to do another.(To much stress)
I have looked at lots of ways to decorate this uke and decided that bling such as MOP and purfling are really not my style so I'll try and make it simple Mrs T says "it's fancy enough without all that" but it will have binding and a tree type headstock...... After this one I'll stick to my favourite timber "Reclaimed Honduran Mahogany"
More to follow shortly.
 
That would be very scary for me to take a router to that top, I might have a shot of whiskey before I tried that!
 
Progressing at a steady rate ..had two days away from the workshop at a funeral now back to work.
Mrs T puts on a coat of shellac prior to cutting the binding channel cos this wood can be a little unstable and prone to chipping and splinters.
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The amount of pop post-initial coat is amazing! The wood looked barely capable of the pop.
 
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