What's happening in your shed?

This little guy arrived in my mailbox today, to be used in shaving the many tiny tone bars in the two kasha ukes I'm building. My Ibex palm plane is a bit too cumbersome for that task.

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I'll be spending much of this gloomy Friday cleaning my little basement shop. I've been working on several concurrent projects, and the room is in a bit of a state, to say the least.

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One of the projects I've been working on this week is a portable Moxon vise for my shop. All of the wood came from scraps I've had in storage for the better part of two decades.

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A short scale (11"), wide nut, soprano. Custom order with all the wood I could find: Birdseye Maple, Honduran Mahogany, Ribbon Mahogany, Claro Walnut, Rosewood, Spalted Sycamore, and Quilted Cherry.
 

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Here's a little 14" Scale length cigar box ukulele I just put strings on. It'll need some more fretwork but I wanted to hear it. This was a completely hand-tool build, but next time I'll print a template of the frets/neck taper instead of trying to do it by hand.
 
That's a good looking box uke, Sam. How does it sound?
 
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Here's a little 14" Scale length cigar box ukulele I just put strings on. It'll need some more fretwork but I wanted to hear it. This was a completely hand-tool build, but next time I'll print a template of the frets/neck taper instead of trying to do it by hand.

A lovely looking instrument. Please tell us some more about it.
 
Here's a little 14" Scale length cigar box ukulele I just put strings on. It'll need some more fretwork but I wanted to hear it. This was a completely hand-tool build, but next time I'll print a template of the frets/neck taper instead of trying to do it by hand
Nice work Sam. Looks good. I just started on a cigar box Ukulele for my son-in-law. I just built him a Tenor uku, and wanted to make him a cigar box uke that he can take when they travel. I'm using a cigar box I bought on ebay. I have a 13.5" fret board for it. Seeing your fine job has got me itchy to start. Thanks for sharing.
Ed
 
Thanks everyone, I'm very happy with how it turned out. It's been strung up for about a day and its sounded better every time I've picked it up. My inspiration for the build was the Kamaka cigar box ukuleles and the book written about them. I only loosely followed that book. Since I can only use hand tools, I decided it would be easier to do a scarfed headstock and stacked heel which I think turned out pretty good. I really wanted to try using violin tuning pegs and a Hawaiian style fret-wire bridge, both of which I'm happy with. Next time I'll use a template for the frets and neck taper, drill a smaller soundhole, thin the top more, and change the bracing (as a through bridge was an afterthought).
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I see what you mean about needing to use a template for the fret positions, Sam. Some of the fret spacing looks a little - shall we say - non-standard?

I find a newly made uke always sounds appreciably better the next day. It's not just the strings stretching and settling. The uke seems to find it's voice after a day or so.
 
I see what you mean about needing to use a template for the fret positions, Sam. Some of the fret spacing looks a little - shall we say - non-standard?

I find a newly made uke always sounds appreciably better the next day. It's not just the strings stretching and settling. The uke seems to find it's voice after a day or so.
Yup, I tried laying the frets out using by hand using the rule of 18, definitely not going to try it again. A printer is really worth its weight in gold for fretting templates. And as much as I like the simplicity of the frets directly set into the neck, I much prefer having a separate fingerboard.
 
The 'Rule of Eighteen' will give you accurate fret positions. The only difference between that and using 17.82 as your divisor is that, with 17.82, you will have to give the bridge/saddle about 1/8" compensation. Dividing by 18 puts the frets where they need to be without any compensation.

I find I can get the frets positioned to an accuracy of about 1/3mm, working by hand and eye. That is close enough, but it needs very focussed concentration.

I prefer a separate fingerboard, too. For one thing, it requires a slightly higher saddle, and that helps the volume.
 
Mostly round 16" concert in curly mango....maybe I'll call it the "Mangoround"small Mango.JPG
 
More progress on the MangoRound. The sound hole will have a very distinctive triangular shape. The design is the work of Jeffrey Weitzel of Weitzel Banjos (used with his permission).DSCI0002.JPGDSCI0005.JPG
 
I have enjoyed reading and lurking on this forum very much all the information that everyone has shared and fine work has been really nice.

I thought it was time to share. So this is my latest effort with canary wood back, sides and fretboard with cedar and carbon neck. Red cedar front.

Happy playing and crafting
Bryan Keener
 

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