First comes the black/white/black borders, glued in with super glue.
Then the challenge is patiently fitting in the selected end piece. Here it is getting closer but will require more sanding on the edges to fit it in.
Getting closer now
Finally it fits and is glued in. Now for lots of sanding.
The binding are on both ukes and they fit nicely and I think accent the instruments well. Tiger stripe maple on the left and curly koa on the right. A little scraping and sanding and they will look very nice.
'while I am at it, here are a couple more shots of these two, Still in the rough stage, but beginning to look like ukes.
Torsten is getting a prime piece of Bearclaw Sitka Spruce. This will be quite distinctive when finished.
this morning's project was preparing for the end piece. It will be cut from the scrap of curly maple shown. Always pays to save these little pieces.
I have just glued in two pieces of black white black purfling using super glue. Now I will fit the piece and glue it in.
I was eager this morning to get the bindings on these two tenors. It is an enjoyable process and makes the ukes look so much better.
One side was on each uke, the tapes were waiting for the second side-- when suddenly I realized I had forgotten about cutting the slot for the end piece.
So I set up my jig, adjusted the router for this process and cut as close as I dared to the glued on binding, knowing i would have to complete the cut with hand tools.
Here is the router set up.
And here is the final result, No harm done, Mission accomplished, Just wasted a lot of time recovering from my mistake. I will finish those bindings tomorrow.
This uke gets shipped off tomorrow to its new owner, a Equine Veterinarian in California. It is a duplicate of the one I built for Stu Fuchs last fall except that instead of Stu's Yin Yang inlay at the first fret, this one has a horse head.
But the day also included the scariest part of Uke building, cutting the deep groove for the binding. So much can go wrong, yet never seems to. Once again-success on two new tenors.
Here is the finished result. Ready for the bindings in the morning.
Here they wait, ugly and mutilated But tomorrow they will have received their beautiful bindings and they will feel so much better. Lovely and secure, those bindings serve several purposes. They seal the end grain from humidity. They protect against bumps and they surely add to the beauty of an instrument
Both ukes are boxed up now complete with side sound ports.
Now it is time to prepare for cutting the binding grooves and trimming off the overlap here.
Once cut, then the curve is faired with this big flat bastard file.
and then the foot is lowered with the old Sheffield chisel.
Dos"ent look like we will be planting the peas anytime soon.
So I guess that means another day in the workshop.
Time to install the side sound ports.
Mark the place you want it, cut out the hole and shape it with a Dremel grinder.
Slip the oval ring into the hole
and apply the super glue. Job Done!
It snowed gently all night and this morning this was the scene.
And so it is back to the workshop.
The upper tentalones are all glued and clamped on by these reinforced clothes pins.
Now Beth has a back on her tenor.
the tentalones are glued to the Bubinga uke, and the fretboards for both have their Paua Abalone markers and are sawn to their final shape.
And here is #115 almost ready to receive its back. A nice day in the workshop indeed.
That warm workshop beckons.
This will be a pretty uke Beth. Lovely East indian Rosewood.!
Now for the Bubinga sides on the next uke. A good bend. These sides fit well.
Now the tentalones are in and this uke can sit til tomorrow as the glue sets up.
Darn !, I ran out of tentalones. Have to make some more before I can proceed. About half of the back side is completed. Stay tuned,
I ripped up some basswood, ran it through my planer, and here we are cutting the notches on the band saw.
This will be more than enough to finish these ukes.
And Beth's tenor has it's tentalones.
Lets get the sides on this uke. Beth is getting eager. Here they are, trimmed snd fitted and ready to be glued. Note the bottom ends are taped together.
Next you paint glue on the tail block, and on the bottom thin edge of the sides, slip the ends into the neck and clamp the sides onto the soundboard.
Not much gluing surface on that thin edge of the sides so I like to get the tentalones in as soon as possible.
Here you can see the tentalones glued and clamped into place with these simple homemade clamps. The sides are firmly attached.
Tomorrow it will be this uke's turn. The sides are all trimmed and ready to go. Don't have enough clamps for two at a time.
The first task was taking Beth's sides out of the mold. Wow! a perfect bend. These could not be better.
Next was leveling the frets on #112 & #113 that I hope to get strung up today. Here are to tools used for this tedious but necessary job.
Check for high frets with the rocker and mark high spots with a felt pen. Then grind them down with a diamond dust leveler. they will become flat.
and finally the frets are polished with these rubber blocks impregnated with an abrasive, First the red, then the green and finally the yellow.
Now it is time to dig into the stash of Bison bone and make the nuts and saddles. With jewelers saw, files, sanding blocks, the parts are made and fitted. The strings are installed and the magic moment is here. The ukes are done. What will they sound like
Here is George's. Wonderful ornate East Indian Rosewood, super tight grain "water tank" Redwood, Spanish Cedar neck. YinYang symbol at the first fret.
This is Rich's tenor, An unusual set of patterned "water tank" Redwood, and fancy figured East Indian Rosewood. A Spanish Cedar neck and a horse head inlaid at the first fret.
It was four o'clock, I lit the fireplace, mixed myself a martini and sat on the hearth to tune them up and hear their song. I am delighted. They are both rich and responsive, bright and mellow. I used Thomastic Infeld wound basses and Savarez trebles on both. These are two fine ukes. As the strings stretched in the instruments began to show their true quality. I am going to hate to part with these two.