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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:18 am

And, as promised, a couple of pics :)

The neck of the second uke near but damnit finished.

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A bijou tadette more elbow grease required, but it's almost there now. Once that's done I need to address the headstock veneer, and then back to the 1st uke for fine tuning. After that, it's time to start building the body coats on both.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby Dynamic Mike » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:40 am

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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby Folderol » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:29 pm

Then again, I wonder how many of you have heard This :bouncy:
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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:29 am

Slotted headstock...

Nice :)

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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:33 am

Well, more time finally finishing the neck and headstock of the second uke. Then time to roll up my sleeves and apply all I've learned to finishing the back of the 1st uke. It's almost there now ;)

Image

If you compare it to the earlier pics you can see that the back is a LOT lighter in colour now. The difference between the back and sides is very striking. And if you have any doubts, that means more time elbow greasing the sides and neck too :)

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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby Folderol » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:13 pm

What I notice is that it's getting that shine (even in it's unfinished state) that bodes well for the real polish :bouncy:
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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:59 am

Indeed Folderol,

The pumicing really is all about creating very fine sawdust and mixing it with shellac and pumice to fill the pores, and then removing all the surplus. That's where I went wrong 1st time around, and in the flesh, so to speak, you really can see the difference. The whole surface looks (and feels) a great deal smoother and flatter and that all bodes well for the final finish.

This afternoon involved a lot more work on the back and it's even better now. And I am making good headway on the side. You can see how much gunge has built up that I need to remove on this pic.

Image

I've been working back from the end block and am getting to the waist. I've lifted a LOT of excess already and still plenty more to go.

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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby Dynamic Mike » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:43 am

I admire your tenacity. I've had passable results in the past on fairly flat stuff, bookcases, bureaus and the like. Even managed to french polish a conference table once which looked awesome (surely a fluke result). But I've tried one electric & one acoustic guitar and ended up abandoning both.

You look to be getting close though, but I don't envy what you've got ahead.
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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:41 am

Thanks Mike :)

The reworking is going on apace...

Image

Image

The body is pretty much there and the neck is getting close too.

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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:01 am

And after expending mucho elbow grease finishing the neck and headstock I am finally satisfied with the 1st uke.

Image

I really had applied far too much shellac for the first coats. But you learn as you go. And tomorrow I can start building the body coats on both ukes. The pumice powder has been put away out of reach, the old cloths and pads loaded with pumice have been binned, and the shellac and olive oil are back to hand ready to start work.

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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:42 am

Rolled up my sleeves, started work, and got 3 body coats on each of the ukes.

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Each coat is very thin, just a smear really, but already you can see that they are a lot better after pumicing. So worth the effort.

OK, they don't bear close examination yet but there are a lot more layers to apply. The fronts were noticeably duller than the rest but they haven't benefited from any rubbing out. So I made a start on the 1st uke front after I took the pics. On balance, it's looking much better already but I can already see potential issues that I need to address. Quite a few pinholes around the rosette I'm afraid. But I am making good progress in blending in the excess shellac around the bindings that bled onto the front. It's taking a lot of Meths and elbow grease though!!

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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby Dynamic Mike » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:51 am

They're starting to look much better, it must be nice to start to see some reward for all the extra effort. On some of the earlier pics there looked to be a few cloudy patches which is the main problem that blighted my guitar french-polishing attempts, but you seem to have eliminated them now. I hope you don't have too much trouble addressing the pinholes because it's not a finishing technique that makes it easy to mask any imperfections either.

Do you have any of the final hardware yet, or do we get to vote again? :bouncy:
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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby Folderol » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:30 pm

Looking really good. I think you've now actually passed the point where a lot of people stop!
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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:38 pm

Folderol wrote:Looking really good. I think you've now actually passed the point where a lot of people stop!

Lets hope I'm not headed towards a cliff in that case :)

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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:44 pm

Yes Mike, that's why I decided to go back and rework the first uke body. I'd applied far too much shellac for the spit coats so the pumicing left residue that needed to be cleaned. Once I got back to the wood it was fine.

As for the pinholes, I'll be getting out the superglue again ;)

Hardware is already purchased. Gotoh open geared uke pegs with height adjustable posts, very tasty. Nuts and saddles all ready for fitting. I'll rout the slots for the saddles once finishing is finished and I've fitted the machine heads. That way I can locate the saddles in a position that guarantees that I can intonate them both accurately.

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