Those bends turned out to be excellent, the sides dried for 24 hours and came out of the molds with little spring-back and were easy to fit to the soundboards. Cazzie and Michael, you will have nicely shaped ukuleles,
When the bends are this good the final fitting is very easy. First I must trim each end to just the right place.
After carefully marking the right place the Japanese pull saw does a quick and easy trim and when both sides are trimmed glue is applied to the butt plat and the bottom edge of there side.
Ah !, trimmed to a perfect fit. Now it is time for the glue and the clamps.
Here are Michaels Mahogany sides glued and clamped. Most of the tentalones are also installed also. These ukes will be boxed up in a couple of days.
It is time for the butt blocks, Glued to the soundboard they will receive the sides soon.
Now that they are attached and all parts made it is time to bend the sides.
First I bent the mahogany sides. Boy they were tough to bend, but I finally succeeded and got a good bend and will let them dry and set in the mold for a day. Next is Cazzie's East Indian Rosewood.
The East Indian Rosewood bent very easily. Got a great bend and put it in this open air jig to dry and set. This is a low tech form that works very well. I will leave the sides at least over night, Maybe attaching them tomorrow.
After the bend, two ways to dry and set the sides. Both work well. After 12 to 24 hour the wood will hold its shape and be ready to attach to the soundboard.
Stephen's uke is beginning to get the shine. Its about half way through the finishing process. French Polish is a labor intensive finish but it preserves the tone of the instrument better than any other finish.
It's 5:00 pm, time to head upstairs for a martini, I took a last look back at the busy shop. A fun and funky place.
The beginning of a build includes lots of sweeping up of shavings. This pile is from the two necks I carved this afternoon.
Once the necks are carved you can attach them to the soundboard.
'that is, after you have whittled lots of back braces and tone bars and glued them onto rhe backs and the soundboards,
You cannot have too many clamps
earlier in the day, the basic pieces await assembly or further refining. The build is going well.
Once the soundboards are joined the first act is to install the oval trim and cut the sound hole.
That is done with a router following the edge of this 1/4 inch thick acrylic jig.
Now that the oval slots are cut it is time to bend the 'rope' purpling. Note that the heat of the hot pipe has separated one of the edges. that's a good thing, makes it easier to bend into the slot.
Carefully bend it around and tap it into the slot
And here is the result, three nice soundboards ready to be thinned down to playing thickness on the sander.
Our granddaughter, Laura Christie Khanna and her husband Kunal Khanna visited today from India. What a delight to see them again after more than a year and to play ukuleles together.
It was especially fun because I presented her with a surprise gift, a concert uke made with wood they had brought me from India on their last trip. Here Laura plays her new uke. She was thrilled, I was delighted.
Down in the workshop Laura is choosing the right strap for her new ukulele. Lots of choices.
The choice is made--A fun day was had by all.
I don't advise drinking this cocktail, grain alcohol and shellac, the mix for French Polish
The recipe is 1 ounce of dry shellac and five ounces of alcohol. let it sit overnight until the shellac is dissolved and you are ready to put the French Polish on your instrument,
Next was selecting the pieces for the next two tenors. On the left are the parts for Cazzie's tenor a wild back of 'east indian rosewood and a lovely soundboard of bearclaw spruce. On the right is the Cox tenor of mahogany and bearclaw spruce, sure to have a beautiful voice.
Today I did the final sanding on #s 151 and 152. French Polishing begins tomorrow. that means I can begin the next build tomorrow, two more Kasha tenors, one will be going to Spain and the other will stay right here in Bellingham.
They both look very good. I expect great sound from them. I began these tenors on January 10th. It will take a couple more weeks to do the finish, attach the bridge and saddle and string them up. I think Ree and Stephen will be very pleased.
I like to sit before the fire and examine the days progress. A little refreshment helps too.
Made a lot of progress in the last couple of days. Bindings bent for Stephen's tenor. Lovely figured Koa will provide a nice contrast to the light colored maple and spruce.
Got the binding groove routed top and bottom and got the bindings installed with a very nice tight fit.
Fitted a heel plate on the sander and put it on atop a back white black stack of veneer
This will be a very pretty ukulele, I really love the maple and the bearclaw - and this combo sounds great too
Once the sides are on you want to measure closely and mark off the proper lines.
Draw the line and plane down to it.
Once you have the height of the sides correct it is time to glue on the tentalones.
Clamps off, tentalones on
And now its time for the side sound port
And now Stephen's #152 can be boxed up
Today was the day to get the bindings on Ree's uke. in preparation I get lots of pieces of tape ready because they want to go on rapidly once the glue is applied to the bindings.
The bindings are trimmed to length and tapered where they meet, then held in place by this special hi tack tape while the glue sets. The clamp does the job at the end where I can't get tape to
Oh yeah! This is a nice fit on Stephens maple tenor. I will trim it off just at the pencil mark.
This Japanese saw makes short work of the trim, Now for the other side.
Another nice fit so now it is time for the glue and the clamps.
And here we are, sides on, tentalones on, See I have not forgotten you Stephen.