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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #940887 - 15/09/11 12:23 AM


I don't mind the bad luck, there's been a few occasions when I've had some very good luck too. That Peruvian Walnut is a first for me and in general it's been a real pleasure to work with, and there have been many occasions when things have worked out far better than I could have hoped for. It all balances out in the end.

But I guess what you all want to know is... How did it come out?







Well, there it is rough trimmed back. It seems to have gone pretty well.









And after some quality time with the sandpaper and files, it's all looking good. Mostly invisible already. OK, you can see the line on the side of the headstock where I had to cut in, but the finishing process should make it even less visible. Of course, I haven't done anything with the headstock veneer yet, but I am working on a plan that should come up with something near invisible too. And there will be the truss rod cover there too to help disguise any repair.

All in all, a good afternoon at the workbench

Andy

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When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Stan



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #940888 - 15/09/11 12:42 AM
Mostly invisible.
Beautiful work zenguitar. The 'piece' you have so beautifully joined is a buttress - is is not? You are a magician!

--------------------
.. is this thing on?

Edited by Stan (15/09/11 12:44 AM)


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #941123 - 16/09/11 02:11 AM
Thanks Stan,

Dunno the proper name, I call it a piece of wood cut in

Anyway, it's late and I have to rush.

I forgot to take a clear pic of the back of the neck after the repair, so here's one now



Then it was time to cut in a piece of bloodwood to repair the headstock veneer.

I decided to cut a 'ramp' so that the repair would overlap the original. The new bloodwood veneer sits flat on the headstock wood first, and then gradually overlaps the original veneer. I also made an effort to match the colour bands on the repair to the original. I trimmed along the grain line between a lighter band and darker band as that helps hide the join.







And then here's the glue being stained with some of the bloodwood dust (again, helps to hide the glue join), and the clamps in place.







I'll find out tomorrow just how invisible it is

andy

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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #941370 - 17/09/11 12:41 AM
Teaser time



I removed the clamps, trimmed the veneer flush, and was pretty good. But the edge split with the grain so I had to glue that back first. So we'll have a look again tomorrow:)

And then I took some time with the chisel, scraper, and sandpaper to tidy up the headstock bindings I glued on the first uke.









All looking pretty good. I'm very pleased with the results

Andy

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When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Frisonic



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #941375 - 17/09/11 02:12 AM
No pressure or anything Andy, being as we all believe nothing can possibly go wrong that you can't put right in this project! But it is beginning to come clear just how classy these instruments are going to at least look.

I don't want to get ahead of anything or make unreasonable demands upon you. But its getting closer to the bit where someone has to record the sound of them both, and then again in three months time, and then again after say three years? Educate ourselves a little about how an organic instrument opens up as it grows up etc. I don't know if there is any prospect of that happening but I'm sure plenty of people here would offer to help, if that helped. I certainly would but I wouldn't be the first choice.

In the mean time it has occurred to me, culturally about ukuleles and their seemingly much maligned cousin the banjo... Here is the uke, a social media rock star within this tread (and for plenty of reasons other than an interest in luthiery, like association with surfing etc.). Yet the banjo has been getting so much abuse in these forums recently. Personally I like good blue grass music and furthermore I recognise how many classic albums have a bit of banjo on them. Pete Townsend stuck a bit on Quadrophinia for example. I've never played one myself but why is there such stigma against banjos? Or is it simply that banjo loops don't slick in very well when mixing hip hop and associated genres? Ideas anyone?

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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: Frisonic]
      #941380 - 17/09/11 03:38 AM
coz they're frying pans with strings on.


;-)


Andy is well supplied with friends who will make a serious high end recording of the beasties.... 40 minutes up the road from him is an Orpheus and a U47 , and a decent live room, ready and waiting ..


(I'd even turn up and do the session myself.... But there are quality local lads who owe him a favour or three as well.... )


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #941431 - 17/09/11 11:14 AM
Banjo, fine in moderation.

The social stigma is designed to ensure it really is used in moderation

However, every guitarist should have a Banjo hanging on the wall ready to grab. It makes an excellent weapon for hand to hand fighting. It is very heavy, can inflict serious damage, and strikes fear into the heart of intruders. N'er do wells of all persuasions can be heard screaming 'SH!T lads, he's got a Banjo, scram!!!'

Once in a melee, you need to switch to a banjolele.

Now there's a thought

Andy

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Frisonic



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #941443 - 17/09/11 11:40 AM
Quote Off duty BBQ lighter AKA Idris:

coz they're frying pans with strings on.




So was the first electric guitar! They even called it that as well you know. Oh well, it think it was Dylan Moran who said our prejudices define us. I must admit I was in a high end acoustic guitar shop in the States last month which also sells mandolins, ukes and banjos by the truck load. The people hanging around the banjos did look a little weirder than most of the other customers and one guy came in with two he wanted to sell. He looked as if he might have special needs. I just try not to judge people because they play an instrument that should only be played in moderation or look like retards.

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Findo



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #941504 - 17/09/11 05:15 PM
Quote zenguitar:


However, every guitarist should have a Banjo hanging on the wall ready to grab. It makes an excellent weapon for hand to hand fighting. It is very heavy, can inflict serious damage, and strikes fear into the heart of intruders. N'er do wells of all persuasions can be heard screaming 'SH!T lads, he's got a Banjo, scram!!!'

Once in a melee, you need to switch to a banjolele.





did anyone else have the dilemma, when the riots were happening, of which guitars to move up to the back bedroom where they'd be safe and which one to keep by the bed...just in case?


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #941601 - 18/09/11 12:28 AM
Back to ukuleles



Here's that repaired headstock veneer. Not perfect, it slipped a little under clamping pressure but the part that will be seen once the binding and truss rod cover is in place is just fine. I am satisfied. And if it was going to be more visible, I would have taken a lot longer putting together clamping mauls to ensure nothing slipped.

Looking at that pic still, it's in the vice so that I could use a sanding drum with the Dremel and flex-shaft to make the binding channel a little wider on that inside curve. The tools I use with the Dremel fur cutting binding channels don't like inside curves, especially when they are that tight. I've had them for well over a decade now, and they have long been superceded by several tools now available from StewMac. At some point I need to update, but I'm not sure if I should buy one or more of those tools, or make something similar myself that maybe uses my newer flex-shaft (which has a handy thread suitable for fixing attachments).

Anyway, here's how it looks after I finished working on the binding channels and preparing the bindings ready for bending.





As you can see, I've cut down the height of the bloodwood bindings too. Unless there's anything unforeseen, I'll be bending and glueing the bindings on Monday. And I should also be ordering the replacement bindings for the 1st uke in the next couple of weeks too. So not long until we are back on a binding binge

Andy

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Frisonic



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #941610 - 18/09/11 02:26 AM
Great work Andy. Thank you also for getting us out of the uncomfortable topic of hillbilly type instruments and how they attract people who it seems many guitarists take exception to. Personaly I have no intention of acquiring a, shall we say red necked, bozo type shredie wearing, automatic rifle toting, pimped up tosser truck driving, American rural, shallow gene pool in highly topographical area type instrument. Or banjo as it is known in less prejudiced circles. But I still don't get the prejudice.

Looking forwards to the bindings going to plan!

Francis.

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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: Frisonic]
      #941680 - 18/09/11 12:30 PM
Quote Frisonic:


Looking forwards to the bindings going to plan!

Francis.




Me too!!! LOL

Prejudice is an interesting topic. I believe it's hard-wired into humans. When people are faced with 2 choices they can generally work out what is the best option for them, but as the number of options increase our decision making performance drops off very quickly. Before the number of options reaches double figures it is almost a statistical certainty that we will NOT pick the best option.

Prejudice is the behaviour that has evolved to throw out the bulk of choices so that we are left with a simple choice that we can generally get right.

And I am sure I've heard a lot of that through various Radio 4 science and culture programs.

And it does seem to fit. We do it all the time, breaking down broad topics to simple either/or decisions. Are you a Gibson man, or a Fender man? Single coils or humbuckers? Marshall dirt or Fender clean?

The advertising, promotion, and marketing industries are based entirely on working with prejudice and have become very sophisticated at feeding and manipulating it.

So I don't have any problem with prejudice, but I do have a problem when it crosses a line and becomes discrimination.

Andy

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When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Frisonic



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #941697 - 18/09/11 02:19 PM
All very true. And why some highly sophisticated political strategists favour 'dog whistle' campaigning. It plays straight into the craving for safety and security most people have, and partly find in tribal allegiances. As you say, brand allegiances or becoming an open supporter of say a sports team, or entertainer, offer the most innocuous outlet for the tribal instinct. And obvious target for marketeers! It's when people start getting excluded as a result that it becomes a darker and more sinister thing. That's my concern too. Seldom happens when the cupboard is well stocked but when the cupboard is bear... We are probably entering a phase of the latter and this makes it all the more important to vigorously protect the progress we made in civil rights during the louche, liberal days of milk and honey. Even for hillbillies...

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Folderol



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #941701 - 18/09/11 03:02 PM
Good to see this work again Andy.

On the subject of prejudice I think a lot of it is simple familiarity, and bringing it full-circle, it very much applies to one's tools.

My boss will buy any test gear I ask for (within reason!) but there have been countless times I've used a piece of equipment because I'm familiar with the way it works, even when I know I have access to something that will do the job better.

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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #942073 - 19/09/11 11:57 PM
Yes Will, a good tool you know well will often do a better job. That's why I often end up using a cabinet scraper.

And I did make a start with binding the 2nd headstock this afternoon. My first thought was that I could shape all the pieces, trim them neatly, and glue them all in one. And of course, I could have, if it wasn't for the fact that the bloodwood insisted on misbehaving again

Even reduced to half thickness it wasn't going to go around those tight curves without a fight!!

So, I pre-bent the purflings, trimmed the bloodwood for the straight edges, and tried bending a piece for the end. And of course, it refused to play ball.





Nothing there is glued yet. The masking tape is just holding everything in place. But I decided to be pragmatic and come up with an alternative solution. If the bloodwood refuses to bend nicely, I'll glue a few pieces up into a solid block and carve it into shape





So here they are glued up in the vice. It's putting up a good fight, but I WILL win

Andy

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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #942256 - 21/09/11 12:29 AM
And the fight continues

The block sanded neatly..



And after some work with the Dremel, files, and sandpaper... it's rough shaped.



And then....

OOOPS!!!

A bit chipped off and was lost so time to glue some more back in it's place



I am coming to believe that bloodwood is short for B!oody Wood!!!

Andy

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When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele [Re: zenguitar]
      #942480 - 22/09/11 12:03 AM
So...

Here's the repaired piece neatly glued and reshaped.



Although you don't get to see my fingers that often, can you guess?



Yes, I was holding it all together for the camera. The glue line on the next layer gave up the ghost as well. I think it is because I clamped it in the vice without any cork linings on the jaws to spread the clamping pressure evenly.

But at least I didn't lose part of it this time. So an easy glue job



Much more of this and I'll either become the world's leading expert on bloodwood or committed to an asylum

Andy

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When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Folderol



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #942635 - 22/09/11 08:52 PM
Ouch!
Forth Bridge painting anyone?

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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #942672 - 23/09/11 12:26 AM
LOL, you aren't kidding Will

Take today for example....





All looking fine so far, so time to grab the razer saw and trim the edges. And Lo! More b!oody damage !!!



This is starting to feel like living through Xeno's Paradox as a living nightmare!!!

Getting a little closer everytime, as the finishing post keeps heading for the horizon

More of the same tomorrow, but I WILL take Saturday & Sunday off. I NEED 2 whole days without b!oody bloodwood !!

Although I have seen a great pic on the Luthier's Mercantile International site of a guitar with Bloodwood back and sides, and it looks wonderful

Andy

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Frisonic



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #942679 - 23/09/11 02:20 AM
Saturday. Sunday... Get a few ciders in Andy! And avoid the Mendips until the bloodwood has decided to cooperate.

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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #942895 - 24/09/11 12:26 AM


YAY!!

I got the repair shaped again, finished trimming the repaired end. And then I stopped. I'm having my saturday and sunday off and I REFUSE to have to finish the week showing a clamped repair.

And after a healthy break, I'll get on again on monday trimming it to final shape and working out how to fix it in place.

And I hope you all have a relaxing weekend too

Andy

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When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Frisonic



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #942899 - 24/09/11 02:11 AM
Progress!... Weekends. They don't have to be on a Saturday or Sunday but its nice to feel so normal when they are. Doing little and yet enjoying much. Have a good one!

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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #943481 - 27/09/11 12:50 AM
Just when you thought it was safe.....





spot the glue line? Yep, it split again !! But I managed to get the other side close to finished without too much more damage, and in the process I've finally found a method to handle it and make it work !!!

At long last

So I'm enjoying a well earned bottle of cider

Andy

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When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #943722 - 27/09/11 11:56 PM
Deep Joy



It's ready for fitting!!!



Here's all the bits. I ran the dremel over the binding ledge again, but I really do need to look at the binding channels on the curves towards the nut. They really aren't wide enough. So, I decided to make a little curved sanding block so I can sand the edges back and then trim the channel back with a scalpel.



The elephant in the room is that I have to bend the bloodwood for those curves too

Andy

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Folderol



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #943900 - 28/09/11 04:31 PM
Ah! Now I get it
I couldn't work out exactly where it was supposed to go before, so was somewhat puzzled at all the work you did on it

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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #943972 - 29/09/11 12:51 AM
Glad it's making sense now Will

And plenty of progress today. That sanding block did a great job and it was a matter of minutes to tidy the shelf with a new scalpel blade.



So it was time to fire up the bending iron. And Lo! It worked just fine with the aid of the home made aluminium strap.





A little work with the razor saw and chisel to trim to length... and I have a kit of parts ready to glue.



So, I made a start glueing



All working out fine so far. I should trim them back tomorrow and glue the remaining pieces. And I should be ordering the replacement body bindings for Ruth's uke very soon too.

Andy

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When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #944170 - 30/09/11 01:00 AM
Yes, it all seemed to work, so no reason to hold back. Time to glue the rest of those bindings around my headstock.

So here they are being trimmed to shape.



And all it takes is a big blob of glue and some sellotape to finish things off.



Now, all I need to do is win the lottery

Andy

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Frisonic



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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #944210 - 30/09/11 10:32 AM
I'm glad that has worked out so well in the end. Looking forward to seeing how you treat that bloodwood when it comes to finishes and surfaces.

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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: Frisonic]
      #944371 - 30/09/11 11:50 PM
Quote Frisonic:

I'm glad that has worked out so well in the end. Looking forward to seeing how you treat that bloodwood when it comes to finishes and surfaces.




It'll get what it's given and like it. How does that sound Will? LOL

And today...



I've removed the tape, trimmed it back close, but needed to reglue a break on each side. Nothing to worry about, just a minor inconvenience

But so far, it's looking good.

Tomorrow I won't be working on the ukes, instead I'm helping Mark rebuild a rotted sash window while it's dry

Andy

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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #944887 - 04/10/11 12:53 AM
A fresh start this afternoon.

Saturday turned into a long afternoon and evening. Mark and I initially planned to replace a rotted bottom rail on an old sash window, but once Mark had removed the glass and stripped it down he spotted that the side rails were rotting too. So instead we made a complete replacement window, glazed it, and hung it. And still managed to get to the pub for last orders !!

So before anything else, I was sharpening chisels this afternoon. And then on to see how the bindings were looking.

The freshly sharpened chisel came into it's own trimming back the bindings for height and width. And overall, I'm pretty pleased. A couple of small gaps around one of the tight curves at the end, but nothing a little stained epoxy won't fix. And the mitres came out pretty good too.

It's not finally trimmed yet, but it is pretty close.







All in all, I'm reasonably satisfied

Andy

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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #945150 - 05/10/11 12:45 AM
I had planned to make a start on radiusing the fretboards today, but had a change of heart. Instead I decided to break out the epoxy and black stain and fill those frustrating gaps in the binding. That way I'll be sanding the filling at the same time instead of adding an extra step.





Three small areas on mine, and a little gap on Ruth's. Both should tidy up nicely now

But with the epoxy filler drying I couldn't really make loads of sawdust sanding the fretboard radius. So instead I started preparing both backs for binding. First up, I worked around the binding channel on my uke with a scalpel. Making sure the channel was neat and square all round.

After that, I grabbed a sharp chisel and started trimming back the old bindings on Ruth's. But soon decided that my original plan to recut the channel with the Dremel was still the best bet. And to do that I needed to clean the previous repair so that the binding tool runs cleanly over the back.

So, out with the cabinet scraper again. Fortunately, when I sharpened it on Monday I decided to put a strong burr on all the edges. A strong burr on a scraper cuts really well, but wears out quickly with hard use. To clean the back I couldn't use a lot of pressure, instead I had to let the burr do the work for me. And it has cleaned up really well. If you look very closely you can still see hints of the repair, but I left those deliberately because the body will get a final sanding before being French Polished and that will remove the last traces.





Tomorrow I have to go to town to visit the bank. Need to get he money in my account so I can order the replacement bindings. I might get back in time to do a little work, it all depends..

Andy

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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #945439 - 05/10/11 11:53 PM
As promised, bugger all work today

But having visited the bank to top up my account I ordered the replacement bindings needed from Luthier's Mercantile. And I also took the chance to order the parts for a few guitar wiring projects as well. Enough to make 3 different Gibson Varitone circuits (ES355, L6-S, and Blueshawk) and to try Gerry Donahue's Peavey Omniac wiring on my tele.

Andy

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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #945774 - 07/10/11 12:12 AM
And so as the new bindings for Ruth's uke being to wend their merry way to the UK...

It was back to work cleaning up that gap filling on the headstocks. And Lo! and Behold! Some silly bugger got carried away with the cabinet scraper... Well... in my defence, I used sandpaper on a sanding block and it was blurring the edges of that lovely, neat, binding.



But nothing a blob of glue and a couple of strips of sellotape couldn't fix

But what to do next? I know!! I'll get the Dremel out and recut the binding channels on the back of Ruth's uke.









And after that, I spent some time with a new scalpel blade trimming it all back neatly. So, both backs are ready for their bindings again

Next job... get started radiusing the fretboards

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Folderol



Joined: 15/11/08
Posts: 3309
Loc: Rochester, UK
Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #945886 - 07/10/11 03:38 PM
Some people have lives of wall-to-wall fun
How long till the new bindings arrive? I seem to remember the last lot ware a bit tardy.

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It wasn't me!
(Well, actually, it probably was)


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: Folderol]
      #945898 - 07/10/11 04:56 PM
Already left LMI and on their way

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #945946 - 08/10/11 01:17 AM
Lots of pics tonight



Here's the secret weapon, a StewMac radiused sanding block, 12" radius. And in the back ground is the first neck ready for profiling. You can see that I've chalked the surface of the fretboard.



The chalk is useful, where you see chalk it means that you haven't sanded that far yet. You can see the progress quickly and keep the sanding neat and symmetrical.

Like this.



And once it's done, it is nicely profiled.





So, on to the second neck.







So, with both necks radiused, it was time to mix up some epoxy, stain with black and a hint of brown, and drop in the fret markers.



Tomorrow I'll clean them both up and they should be looking great.

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Frisonic



Joined: 27/01/10
Posts: 3118
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #945949 - 08/10/11 02:01 AM
They're already looking great Andy! But don't you love it when progress looks like progress?

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Strictly project and just for fun


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Folderol



Joined: 15/11/08
Posts: 3309
Loc: Rochester, UK
Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: Frisonic]
      #946024 - 08/10/11 05:46 PM
But it's all that sloooow preparation that enables the gallop now


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #946050 - 09/10/11 12:03 AM
Gallop? GALLOP!!!!

Have some pretty pics to look at instead.

Here's the fret dots on one neck part sanded.



Almost done there, one edge had slipped below the surface of the ebony so needed to take it all down a few fractions. And here's a selection of shots once both were completed.







The great thing about mother of pearl is that it changes colour depending on the direction you view it from. Very pretty.

And after that I marked out the headstocks ready to drill for the machine heads.



And that should have been that, but since I'd started I decided to pull out the pillar drill and drill the holes.



Looks good, from that angle. As always, it moved making one of the holes so it's slightly out of place. But nothing serious, and one of the reasons StewMac sells a tool for drilling holes for tuners, it's an age old problem.

Day off tomorrow. Nice

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Frisonic



Joined: 27/01/10
Posts: 3118
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Re: Project Ukulele new [Re: zenguitar]
      #946051 - 09/10/11 12:28 AM
Yep! Looks like progress. Have a great day off. I enjoyed those pics

--------------------
Strictly project and just for fun


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