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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Vacation is here

I'm around 18 hours in so far and vacation is goooood (said in Darth Sidious voice). First a couple of pics showing where I left the body of the koa soprano, backside is contoured and fitted with kerfed lining strips.

It's gonna be a beauty. Look at the figure. 

Then we went out to the cottage, I brought tools to work on a cedar neck. (Remember the last time I worked on necks at a cottage..? http://argapa.blogspot.se/2016/07/dead-in-water.html?m=0 )

At the cottage is my larger workshop, with a big ass vise, chilly temperature and zero sea view. So I thought I'd upgrade the banjo porch with a vise to work in style. 

To attach the vise securely I put four threaded insert nuts in the deck. Three are of brass, one steel but all have the same thread. 

It's easy to think the slot at one end is for a screwdriver, but don't make that mistake - it will maul the insert and make parts snap off. Instead you should use a screw with a nut halfway up, as in the pic. 

The slot actually cuts into the wood, making the insert go down into a tight fitting hole. 

And then we use the specially enhanced hex key to screw the vise in place. What, you don't own one?

At the cottage I found some alder neck blanks as well so I'll start by planing them flat and square. Dad's no.7 will do. Or will it, he must have used it himself. Probably on some epoxy residue because the blade is shot. My Japanese whetstone is soaking as I write this.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Demo video of the Argapa Fugly Wanderer

Just made a quick vid with some comparisons between the travel uke and a couple of real ones. You know that hard to get telephone effect you sometimes want on a recording? Well it is hard to get no more.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Travel uke ready for travel

After stringing up, tweaking, re-stringing and a rudimentary finish, it is done - Argapa 102.

Is it the boiled down essence of a four course cordophone? Is it a rip off of the Risa stick uke? Or is it just plain fugly? I'd say yes to all three questions. 

But it's kind of cute too don't you think. Almost exactly as I envisioned it, and made in little over one day. 

The small ramps were needed to get a better angle for the strings. The ferrules alone were not enough and the A string snapped a couple of times. So if I were to make another I'd incorporate something with the same effect in the underside of the soundboard. Or maybe in the bridge on top. 

And here's me with it in my pocket. I'll make a demo vid as soon as my sore throat permits.