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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Morning bender

Me and the kids took it a bit easy this morning. They played with their stuff and I played with mine, and bent the sides for a tenor, a piccolo and the miniature which will get the neck from yesterday's post.

It took me about 40 minutes and everything turned out really well. There might be a few spots that need a touch up but I've found that easier to do after the wood has relaxed a bit in its new shape.

All three will be cherry by the way. I think cherry is an excellent wood.

The two (almost) circular shapes will be a couple of (absolutely circular) bowls that Ann and I are making.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Neck from waste

That last cherry soprano I made, with the pinstripe neck, this is the chunk of wood I got left after sawing the neck blank to rough shape.

It nearly went into the pile of firewood I carried over to my friend's house last weekend. But I saved it just because it was so pretty.

And look, there was at least one neck left in there! A small one anyway, I'm making another miniature uke. Scale length will be around 200 mm. It'll probably go to the raffle at Hollesley this summer.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Partially censored frontal pic

I know they look strange with the paper covering the secret inlays. But other than that, they look quite good I think. And what's even better, they sound really good.

I didn't have to use a ring under the coverplate like I did on Brian's reso, I made the neck angle different this time.

(On Brian's, I made the neck angle to suit the coverplates I paid for but never got from Delta Resonator Cones. So I bought these and they turned out to be lower.)

But that ring looked great. Maybe slightly better than without one. If I were to start production for real, or send drawings somewhere I'd consider including a ring like that.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Big bottoms

The first coat of shellac went on this morning.

Btw, I still haven't the faintest about whether or not these'll work.

My first reso was successful thanks to a great deal of dumb luck. My second was successful thanks to a lot of hard work and improvisation. These are number three and four. So far, no obvious signs of luck and no hard work whatsoever.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cherry soprano done

After playing it for a few days I can finally say it's done. It plays very well and is both loud and sweet sounding. The neck has a pin stripe lamination and a carbon fibre reinforcement, probably making it my stiffest yet, unnecessarily strong.

It has its small share of dings and nicks from building of course, as does all of my ukes. A minor discount will be made I think. But I am very pleased with it - if it hadn't been re-ordered I'd have kept it myself. It's the first one in quite a while that I enjoy playing as much as my own mahogany soprano (I honestly don't know if anyone else would think this to be a good thing though).

Kids permitting I'll do a video tonight.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fretboard caul

After a few shady jobs when glueing the fretboards onto the necks, I finally made the caul I told myself to make ages ago. Easy peasy and a lot better.

(It has large grooves where the frets are so the pressure goes on the wood instead of on the [highest] frets.)

These two resos are getting ready. I'll have no idea until they're done of whether they work or not.

Monday, February 4, 2013

DIY router base

The only thing those Dremels have going for them are the accessories you can buy from Stewmac. But I soldier on with my excellent Proxxon.

The other day I really needed a small router base for an attempt at inlay, so I built one from high grade plywood. The collar of the Proxxon is 20 mm without any threads, so I made a very clever locking mechanisms.

The depth of cut is adjusted by setting the router bit.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bridge glued on, on cherry soprano

I made a really clean looking bridge today, of the same rosewood as the fretboard. I scraped away the finish and glued it on.

The uke was un-ordered for a while, but now it has a good future home once more. The extra weeks I got to work on the shellac finish really paid off - it's the best one yet.

And the midget uke beside it, it's just there because I'm considering making a couple more for the raffle in Hollesley.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Good Cop / Bad Cop - 2nd album

At last, the new album from my band, the most dangerous ukulele duo in the world, is completed. Go to Soundcloud at give it a listen! The rhythm tracks are recorded with the cedar top soprano I built in... was it September? Then you can hear the custom Bad Cop koa soprano play lead, and also other stuff that the multi-instrumentalist Bad Cop uses.