And ready to be shipped to Australia- but not before I get to play it for a few days, This is really a sweet sounding ukulele. Among the best that I have made. I will hate to see it leave.
I am thinking that Redwood and East Indian Rosewood is a hard combination to beat for a rich warm yet vibrant sound. This is an exceptional sounding instrument.
More snow last night, nasty conditions outside-so we stayed in the house today. I worked on my book all morning, and on ukuleles all afternoon- Nice progress on both, but I am ready to get out of the house. pray for warm rain tomorrow.
Tim in Australia-here is your ukulele getting it's bridge glued on.
And this is the next generation, Two Redwood/East Indian Rosewood ukes for Seattle and California gals. Got them both boxed up now. Next project- cutting the slots for their bindings. #130 seen in the background is now finished. Leveled the frets, made a new bridge and completed its set up today. Beautiful uke. let me know if you are interested.
I got the strings on this beauty this evening. Been playing it ever since. It is a fine instrument!
locating the proper spot for the bridge before scraping off the French Polish before gluing.
'This homemade clamping system works fine.
It's snowing again, about five inches out there, but here by the fire inspecting 129 and 130 it is very pleasant. The French Polish is done and it is time to install the bridge and saddle, the tuners, and string these babies up. I am loving them both and look forward to hearing their song.
For a while that is!
I have a book in the works that I simply must finish. I have decided to not start any more instruments until the book is finished. I have two ukuleles in the final stages of French Polish, and these two in an earlier stage. When they are done I become a writer again, not a luthier. I have a couple of ukes available for sale, and will take orders for ukes to be built in the future, but I will finish the book before starting another ukulele. I have the book about 2/3rds done. Should take a couple more months to finish it. I will be back in the workshop after that, eager to build.
The French Polish process is about completed on these two. another day or two and I will attach the bridge, the tuning machines, the strings and be playing these beauties. Always exciting to hear what they will sound like.
The dark uke is headed to Australia. The Blonde bubinga is an orphan, Connie, who selected the wood has decided she prefers a dark uke, so hers is now being built, This beauty is an orphan. If you want it let me know.
The other side.
And the tops.
here is the lovely Sitka Spruce "bear claw" soundboard. I am very excited to hear this one.
Luthiers are fond of telling folks how much time they spend correcting their mistakes. I made a big goof the other day on a pretty Redwood tone board-heres the story.
Installing the decorative ring around the oval sound hole begins with cutting a larger oval groove with a router. The router guide follows around an oval hole cut in a heavy piece of lucite seen here. Notice that there are three different sized holes for a variety of instruments and purposes. I got careless and chose the wrong one.
With the groove cut successfully I heated up the Hot Pipe and bent the purfling called "Rope" and carefully put it in the groove, glueing it down securely with super glue. Then I sanded the soundboard down to its final thin .080 thickness, and pleased with myself, cut the sound hole out and sanded it into an oval. BUT SOMETHING DIDNT LOOK RIGHT. THE HOLE SEEMED TOO SMALL. Then it dawned on me- I had used the wrong hole in the template. the hole was too small.
The only choice was to try to cut the larger groove in the now very thin wood hoping it was still thick enough to accept the new rosette. The next morning I did it, Cut the groove, bent and installed the new Rosette, glued it in with super glue and hand sanded it level. Now all there was to do was cut away the first rosette and fair the hole to the larger rosette.
The vertical sander proved its worth as i began to grind away the unwanted Rope.
Carefully sanding it away and back to the proper sized hole.
And finally it is done, An excellent recovery from a careless error. The stain is caused by a coating of french polish shellac used to seal the wood. It will disappear with a bit of sanding and the final finish. SUCCESS!!!
Made a good start on the next ukulele. A Kasha tenor for Teri in California. This will be my 131st instrument, an East Indian Rosewood, and Redwood with 'ebony fret board and bridge.
The sides are really fancy East Indian and I was worried that I could not bend such wild grained wood. I was delighted to find that they bent on the pipe like rubber. They should be very interesting when finished,
I also joined the book matched back. you can just see a little of the exotic figure. This too will be outstanding when finished.
The beautiful resting volcano in our backyard decided to vent a little steam in celebration of Christmas Day. Mt Baker frequency puffs a bit of steam from its vent but a perfect clear day is required to see it . This was the view from Whidbey Island yesterday afternoon.
And today it was fun to be back in the workshop putting finish on these ukuleles.
The "Bear Claw" is beginning to pop on Connie's Spruce soundboard.
And the gold leaf is being applied to the ball to top the kiosk at Fairhaven Village Green. This is fun stuff to use.
The French Polish process began today. Each uke got a different beginning because of differences in the wood of the bodies.
Tim's tenor has a body of East Indian Rosewood, a wood with lots of pores that must be filled. It hangs here as the Z-poxy, a very thin epoxy, hardens. The epoxy will fill the pores. I will then sand it down and apply the French Polish over its now perfectly smooth surface. A modern primer for an ancient finish method.
Connie's tenor has a body of Bubinga which does not have many pores. It has received two wash coats of dilute Shellac and The polish process will continue after Christmas.
The soundboards of both instruments are not porous woods, The Spruce and Redwood tops have both received wash coats of dilute shellac and need no further sanding. so the work will begin again after Christmas Day.
SO A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL, MAY YOUR HOLIDAY BE FILLED WITH JOY AND BEAUTIFUL MUSIC.