Learning Ukulele 50 Sites Top 50 Ukulele Sites Argapa Ukuleles - one size louder: 10/1/09 - 11/1/09

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thickness sander pushed to limit

With a stack of 23 tops / backs that need to reach the desired
thickness, the lack of a proper motor becomes obvious. But that also
means the setup is portable enough to bring to my dad's yard and let
the dust hood be off.

A bit risky without cover, but easier to feed the wood through.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Piccolo frenzy

Enjoying a few days off work, I manage to bookmatch a few tops and
backs for my growing first batch of piccolo ukes. It would be neat to
have one-piece tops but my resawing capbilities are limited to
approximately half the necessary width, so bookmatch it is.

They gonna be mighty purdy tho'.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Table saw for slot cutting

My miniature saw that I cut fret slots with. On top you can see two
blades, one millimeter and a half millimeter. The thicker is for
cutting slots for bar frets, the thinner is for regular fretwire.

I do other cutting as well on it, kerfed lining, resawing of really
small pieces etc.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Setup and ready to go

Robin was by today, and we both agreed it needed a much higher string
action - his manner of playing is much more forceful than mine. So he
reluctantly left it and I've made a higher saddle and also a higher
nut with deeper slots.

So now, finally, it's gonna be his.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's done.

The finish needs to cure a bit longer, but the ukulele is done. I am
very pleased with it, in the pic you can see the screen showing the
demo vid I put up on Youtube. With any luck it also appears to the
right on this page.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First coat of oil

This part of the process doesn't cease to amaze me. The first coat of
oil really makes the wood come alive with a rich dark set of nuances
and also brings out the shimmering streaks that give all kinds of
illusive effects.

And to share this magic moment with you lot, I give you the usual: a
pic of oil drying.

These last few days have taken this uke from half done to almost
finished, and I know Robin is impatiently awaiting the result of my

To the left in the picture you can see Thomas' soprano and compare the
raw wood with the oiled.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Robin! Look!

How come the busiest weekends are the most fruitful building-wise?
Today I suffered the ancient swedish (and most likely heathen) ritual
called "höststädning med bostadsrättsföreningen", and then managed
to play for a few hours with some pals before it was time to head home
to put the kids to bed. Not a free minute.

But..! After the smoke had cleared I still had managed to finish the
fretboard, glue it without it slipping away, AND get started on the

I am really pleased with myself. Still fighting a week-old migraine-
ish headache and a workshop so cluttered I have to stand bent sideways
at the hip to reach the bench. But things could be a lot worse.

So could this uke. I have this feeling it's gonna turn out awesome.
Robin, you might have to host a glöggfest this winter. That could also
be a good time for the prémière of the Good Cop / Bad Cop ukulele

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fretboard sides tapered

For some insane reason this post refused to go onto the blog for quite some time. So here it is with the sides tapered. I did the taper with a low angle block plane.

And the bridge got done as well!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Shiny spot at end is superglue. Caliper came off unharmed. Slots are
cut with modified miniature hacksaws, a wooden block clamped square
guides the blade.

This is a task that is hard to start, but it's fairly easy once you
get going.


Poor, poor Robin..! No posting for a looong time. So tonight I'll
attempt some slot cutting. Still waiting for my new thinner saw blade,
so I'll make the slots with a hand saw. When I made my last tenor I
clamped this caliper to the board, it was hard work stopping it from
readjusting itself. So. This time I simply superglued it to the wood,
and I'm ready to measure and mark.

Hopefully I can get it off.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fretboards planed

Next to a couple of ukuleles, my minuscule planer looks quite massive.
It's not, but did a fine job planing the fingerboards today. The long
one is rosewood and the shorter one is African walnut. Both are really
goodlooking and would go nicely on both the mahogany uke and Robin's
with the cedar top. But as I suspect Robin wants rosewood I've more or
less come to the conclusion that the more neutral look would balance
the fact that three woods are visible already (mahogany, cedar and the
ash stripe).

It's not a wild mixture really, and the rosewood is quite lively as
well, but, you know, enough is enough.

Robin; we're definitely going somewhere with this one.

(Also, check out ShapeWriter app for your new iPhone. It kicks butt
when you're writing in English. You have to copy and paste and stuff,
but it's faster than doing this with the typepad. Use free version.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thomas' soprano

It's one step behind Robin's uke, but progress is steady. They're
similar but not identical, so it's not as nerve wrecking as when I
built the pair for Rawbert and Rockonald.

Robin's soprano boxed up

Back is on, heel cap is being glued.