I HAVE BEEN THINKING that the peg head on my ukes, where the Peghed tuners protrude from the top could use a little embellishment. Today I decided to figure a way to inlay a circle of contrasting wood around the protruding tuner. Here is what I came up with.
I dug out of my wood hoard, a piece of boxwood cut from an old hedge in 1985. Boxwood is about the hardest, tightest grain wood I know of, used since the middle ages for tools, handles, clock gears, and printing type.
Now it is turned to the shape and measurements that I want, I will take it off of the lathe and saw off the ends on the band saw.
Here is my tool completed. The blade has a slot in it through which I have screwed it into the cut recess. The idea here is that the smaller end of the tool fits exactly into the size hole coming through the top of the uke peg head plate. The blade will cut a circle a bit larger through the plate which will allow me to clean it out with my tiny chisel
Here is a scrap of spalted maple that cut very nicely. If I can free these wooden washers by sanding off the back of this piece they might look very nice
I put it on my lathe to turn it into the tool I needed. This lathe is a wonder, the wooden box holds 700 lbs. of sand, There is zero vibration on this lathe, variable speed, build to turn heavy bowls, it also works well for delicate work
clamped in a portable vice I am now ready to cut in the recess for an Exacto blade that will be screwed to my tool. see the pencil marks?
8. the tool, when inserted into a hole drilled into a contrasting piece of wood, will cut a tiny "washer" of wood which can be inlayed into the vacated recess in the uke peg head plate, thus dressing up the protruding tuner.
So far it is working well. I will cut only part way through this scrap and then run it through my thickness sander to free the "washer"
Now my tool is beginning to take shape. Boxwood cuts beautifully with sharp tools. See the fine yellow shavings piling up below the turning- very pretty wood!, Now I am having fun.
6. I have scribed the sides of this groove with a straight blade and now I carefully cut out the channel with a tiny flat chisel from my carving tool kit. I want to carve a recess that will contain the Exacto blade
9. here is what it looks like on a test scrap of wood with the Peghed tuner protruding through a black "washer" sawn from a nylon tube from the hardware store exactly the size of a wood washer. Proof that the idea works, but I shall try tomorrow with contrasting woods. Maybe rosewood wood look good.
So here is my invention of the day. It was fun to figure it out, it was fun to make, but you can be sure I am going to thoroughly test it before applying it to one of the three tenors.