Building a ukulele..My first..

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zelph
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by zelph » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:37 pm

Making ukes is a cold weather past time. think spring :mrgreen: Get your boat ready and do some fishing. ;)

You say you can't find your boat because it's covered up somewhere with furniture????? :mrgreen:

Take a uke with you on your outings and get comfy on a shoreline somewhere and pluck a few tunes. ;) Serenade your wife with a few Hawian melodies :D
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realityguy
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by realityguy » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:14 pm

A local friend here from New Zealand that plays uke/guitar a lot at a couple local clubs came by to check it out..and loved it!..couldn't find anything wrong with it..But I told him to look real hard and he said the only thing was to maybe round the top side of the neck a little to give me something to do.. :roll: He wants me to sell the damn things..so he can buy one... I showed him the gIbson and the kamaka..but he put them down and kept playing mine!That was a good sign. :lol:
Maybe someday I'll sell them..but I want to make at least one of each size/style first.
I cut the kerfing for 2-3 more(time consuming cutting across wood every 1/4" :roll: ) and will cut some sideboards..get them ready for bending...a couple different size necks are made already..
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by realityguy » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:21 pm

Some assembly required...

Image

:roll: .. :lol:

I've got most parts cut/thinned down for making two more besides this one of different sizes and types..but need to make another neck tomorrow. :roll:
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zelph
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by zelph » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:03 am

he said the only thing was to maybe round the top side of the neck
Do it!!! he knows best :o sell it to him 6 months down the road ;)

why not use gorilla glue on applying the frets? no slotting, just on the surface. :mrgreen:

If you can sell them, start yourself a new profession ;)

I have some honduras mahogony in the rafters of my garage that you can have for postage. I'll get it down today and take some photos.
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realityguy
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by realityguy » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:04 pm

I have some honduras mahogony in the rafters of my garage that you can have for postage. I'll get it down today and take some photos.
Don't bother..I have a ton of wood here(literally!) and lots of older mahogany.I have a slab of mahogany out there that is about 2" thick x2' x 4'(MCM coffee table).I've bought several old bookcases and taken them back to the wood stage(nice..10x12" wide and 3 and 6' pieces).You do remember that big cradle I found and cut up back to "wood" ..The piece across the smaller back end are the top and bottom boards of this tenor uke kit..and that was one of the smaller boards of 6'.Each board gets thinned into three boards,so figure 18 boards out of that one cradle or about 30 lineal feet 12" wide..out of the one cradle.It just takes time to whittle the boards down..
Image
That one black oak board(ripply grain one) in front is about 8' long and probably going to get whittled down today(or at least half of it depending on grain)..an 8' board like that one ,all good grain,can give me
about 18 fronts and backs(figuring 18" long pieces,6 pieces x3 for the thickness) for larger tenor size ukes with lots of extra between them...that's 9 ukes.If I have someone resaw it for me,I can probably get 24 or even 30 tops and backs.I cut it to 1/4" and then plane to 1/8", and then sand it down to .070 or less.This tenor's soundboard and back are going down to just under .060(the pineapple was about .067) to see if I can get even more projection out of the instruments.The sides about .067..
Keep in mind that pile is about 4' wide X 2' deep and most of that wood is 6-8' long.Behind the walnut on the right(strips with the string around it),there are a few 18" wide slabs of maple.I gave one of the slabs to my neighbor yesterday for him to make a project(?).Unfortunately they were cut with a chainsaw rather than his bandsaw mill,with a punky middle strip(got some spalting and wormholes).It'll take some serious sawing and planing to get it to boards but each one will give a couple 1x6x8'.
I have about 200 board feet of black locust(looks like white oak but more dense and heavy) I was going to make some furniture out of..but it's still there.Furniture will burn the heck out of a pile..musical instruments are miserly because of the thin pieces they use...figure it goes three times as far because of the thin wood needed and also the lumber doesn't have to be straight for 8',only about 3'.
I might start thinking about skins for dulcimers,autoharps,and other instruments..but need a better planer and sanding system..or have that part done professionally.That cost a lot of money but I don't eat dust that way.(I do use a dust system for most of my sanding).

Gorilla glue..don't touch it..it's crap.It leaves brown lines and foams up really bad,makes a hell of a mess that needs a lot of cleanup.Titebond #2 is water based and any excess can be removed with a wet cloth pretty much,requires little work to sand it out...You need to sand out the joints anyway to smooth and blend pieces together..that little bit of sanding usually takes care of any T2 glue residue.If I was gluing together a gorilla,and didn't care if he had hard foam hanging off his butthairs,I'd use that other stuff. :lol:
If your Honduras mahogany is .060 thick(figure 1/16") and 9-1/2" wide X at least 6" long..I can use that..saves me a lot of work! :lol:
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zelph
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by zelph » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:32 pm

Don't bother..I have a ton of wood here(literally!) and lots of older mahogany.I have a slab of mahogany out there that is about
Mine is 1/8 maybe 3/16, rough sawn 1 side. I thought it could be used for the sides. My stuff is 5-6" wide by 7-8' long.

Nice stuff................to bad you said don't bother :P

I have photos but need to process into computer :P
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realityguy
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by realityguy » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:47 pm

Unfortunately mahogany covers a lot of grades,cuts, and species..Here's what I'm using,the one on the right--->
Image

It's what we locally here called "ribbon mahogany"(quartersawn) years ago..That's what the Gibson is made out of and what I have a lot of.I do have the other..but probably won't use it for anything except by itself in some experimental jobs.
Shipping wood may not be worth the effort and cost,especially since I have plenty now.If it is the stuff on the right,probably worth keeping since you can't find it anymore unless you take apart 1950s-'70s furniture to get it like I do.
The one on the left is probably okay,but usually stains out lighter and more wavy grain than the other.The "ribbon" makes the instruments look older,stains darker/redder, and higher quality and usually quarterssawn wood is more stable.I don't know if the intonation is different..probably so because the ribbon stuff should be more dense.95% of the newer mahogany ukes seem to be made from the left stuff..or plywood :roll: .The Honduras stuff can have nice wider grain and stain out darker.
How'd you end up with that?You may want to keep it for a project..like a nice wood umbrella for your hammock that's also in you greenhouse.. :mrgreen:
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zelph
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by zelph » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:59 pm

These pieces were scrap falloff from some boards I sent through a band saw that had fence and a slow roller feed system that fed the board through. A clear finish really darkens it up nice. Nice stuff to work with.

Here are some photos:
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realityguy
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by realityguy » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:12 pm

Too bad you can't plane them down to 1/16"..cheaper to ship! :roll: :lol:

Some people like the rough for wainscoting in a kitchen or ceilings.

You should try to find some local luthier that's making some kind of instruments closeby (dulcimers,autoharps, or anything with short sides..violins?..might give you some good money for them.As long as they are pretty smooth on one side they are easy to plane out the other and to any thickness.It would save them a ton of time and the wood looks okay.It isn't worth shipping...For my sander I need a minimum of about 3-4' long minimum or it gets dangerous.The sander wants to fling them to the wall about 10' behind me if I let go..I do need a good solid feed system someday..In the meantime it keeps me in shape and on my toes.I should wear a metal cup though and a catcher's chest protector and mask. :mrgreen:
One other thing..that picture I put up of my "lumber pile"..that bundle of walnut is in the middle of the stack.It's actually about 5' wide..You only saw a small portion of it,less than half.The other side is locust,walnut,maple,and poplar.That half is mostly red and black oak.
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zelph
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by zelph » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:29 pm

Ok, I'll give it to someone else. You got more than enough.

I was going to use it for something rustic, using the rough sawn surface facing out. Something for my hammocks :lol:
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