- Nik selected this maple binding and I think it is looking good.
I got the back on in good order, Now to trim the edges, The trim router guide rides on the blue tape leaving a edge overlap the width of the tapes thickness. that is then easily sanded off.
Now it is all trimmed with no damage to the sides and it is time to cut the groove for the binding. I bent the binding a couple of days ago
The binding is all on and the glue is drying.
And here are the results after a little work with a small plane, scraper and sandpaper,
This afternoon I got the heel plate attached and shaped. Next task, the fretboard.
When the French Polish hits this wood it is going to really jump.
Here is Nik trying to decide which bindings works best with the wild grain, design, and color of his Fountain District spalted maple.
Rick stepped in to offer his opinion and finally Nik made his choice of the several bundles of binding that I had proposed. Watch for the results.
Nik is the guy who brought just the incredible spalted maple from the Fountain District tree. We are making good progress with it. Here is the report to date,
The sides are glued to the Cedar soundboard and held in place with these clamps. We had a perfect bend so the fitting was very easy.
Glue was placed just on the bottom edge of the sides. That is a very small gluing surface and so Tentalones, or linings must be installed to give the instrument strength.
Now the tentalones are installed and a secure and strong connection is made.
The back has received its three braces and stands ready to attach
Nik will have a pretty amazing looking ukulele
He alighted today, along with all his friends, It must be approaching Christmas time.
Every Christmas the Partridge and his friends adorn this faux pear tree. It all started years ago at our prior home where we had a real espaliered pear tree on the garage wall just outside the back door. Over the years I carved all these guys and hung them on the pear tree.
THEY ARE ALL HERE WISHING YOU A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON
This old Big Leaf Maple stood for many years in the triangular fountain plaza in a Bellingham small business district. Old and ill, the City cut it down. Nik Seifter and a friend secured the trunk and sawed it into many slabs discovering that that old trunk harbored beautiful spalted wood. They have shared that wood hoping that it could be used to make ukuleles.
This Google image shows the dead branches and the ill health of the old tree.
But the old tree will live on. It's beautiful wood will be used for furniture by Nik and his friend and I think I have enough of it to build eight tenor ukuleles. I inventoried my stash today.
The first experimental uke is being built for Nik, an accomplished ukulele player.
He selected this wood and a Western Red Cedar soundboard. It ought to be outstanding
I took two ukes to the FedEx office to send them off to Canada. The lovely Maple/Spruce to Paul Raines in Ontario and the Stu Fuchs model of East Indian Rosewood and Redwood to Margaret in far off Nova Scotia. Lets hope they get there quickly and safely. It always is a nervous time sending delicate instruments great distances.
An unusual opportunity
this excellent and brand new ukulele is available for purchase. If you are interested go to the "Available Instruments" page on my website for further information.
Meanwhile, back in the workshop I am whittling the tone bars for the three new ukes we have started. This will take me awhile, but whittling is a pleasant pastime.
'these took me about 45 minutes. Another hour and they ought to be ready.
Nik Seifter and a friend saved the trunk of the old maple tree that had lived so long in the Fountain triangle in Bellingham's Fountain District. The City cut it down in order to install a new fountain but were wise enough to save the wood and give it to Nik for artistic purposes. He has shared some of it with me for ukuleles. The wood is quite spalted, making it very beautiful but difficult to bend.
I am delighted to report that by using Supersoft the night before, and by soaking the wood with water before bending I was able to bend it and get it into the mold without breaking it. After two days of drying in the mold, I took it out today to find a perfect shape and no spring back.
This will make a beautiful tenor ukulele. What it will sound like remains unknown.
This will be its Western Red Cedar soundboard. Hopefully it's punch will make up for what I expect to be a bit muted spalted body. If this uke is successful, we have enough of this amazing wood to make several other ukuleles. Exciting.
I always enjoy visitors to the workshop and today was no exception. A pleasant meet with a new ukulele player. And yes she put her name on the build list for ukulele #202.
LOOK INTO THE CAMERA BRIAN
The tall guy on the left is a regular sized tenor, my 178th uke. To the right is a long necked concert,#179. They just got their fret boards attached and are now getting their necks shaped. Never made a long necked concert before. It's string length will be longer than a concert but shorter than a tenor. Eager to hear its song.
Marya and I dined at the Hearthfire restaurant tonight and enjoyed this spectacular sunset over Bellingham Bay.
I also enjoyed stringing up this pretty tenor for Margaret Connor. It sounds wonderful and that makes me very happy.
East Indian Rosewood body with Koa binding
And a redwood top from that old New York City water tank. It sounds just like Stuart Fuchs's uke
Now Margaret's challenge will be to play it like Stuart does. A difficult challenge