It was a lovely Spring day, perfect for putting finish on bowls outside of the workshop. The Behlen's finish I use is pretty smelly and I like to apply it outdoors when possible.
In addition to the big one, I had 19 smaller bowls needing another coat of finish, so I set up a table outside the shop and had at it.
Most of these bowls were turned green ten years ago when I sold bowls and paintings at our local Farmers Market. They have been sitting in the rough form in my storage locker for all these years. Just recently I dragged them out an turned them to their finished form. Anyone need a pretty bowl? The big one goes to the Festival of Music Auction next month.
Next I turned my attention to bending the sides on the baritone and concert. Would you believe that I put a baritone side in the bender and once again, promptly broke it. Now I was left with just two pieces of the Australian Blackwood. I decided to return to the old fashioned hand work with a hot tube.
And wouldn't you know, I got two perfect bends. The ability to feel the wood with your fingertips gives great control. I may toss that bending machine and return to the ancient method of bending sides.
This hot pipe was given to me by a great fellow who bought a uke from me. He welded the end shut. It contains a commercial soldering iron that provides the heat.
The pipe takes a long time to heat up but holds its heat well. It heats up to 280 degrees which seems to be quite adequate for bending. I shall be using it frequently in the future.
I have clamped the sides around the molds as they dry. In a couple of days I will proceed in putting together the ukes.