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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.

Andy :beamup:
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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.

Andy :beamup:
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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.

Image

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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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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:11 am

Anyway...

Finished tidying up the first front, gave the rest of the uke a good spiriting off, and then made a start on the second front.

A long afternoon expending elbow grease with little that would show on a pic. Although in the flesh you can see big improvements in the fronts. More elbow grease required :)

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:44 am

So, I decided to follow my own advice. First job this afternoon was to mix up some epoxy to fill the pin holes around the first uke's soundhole. After that I finished spiriting off the 2nd uke.

Then three more body coats on the second uke,

Image

Image

More of the same tomorrow :)

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:06 am

Sorry folks,

I'm at one of those boring, repetitive, stages where the shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands get tired but one pic looks pretty much like another.

The 1st uke is waiting until monday to give the epoxy plenty of time to dry. Then I'll be carefully sanding the filler in the pinholes flush and playing catch-up with the shellac.

So this afternoon I slapped 3 body coats on the second uke, strolled up to the village to buy cigarettes while they dried a little, spirited off, and applied another 3 coats. So, slowly but surely I'm building a good depth of finish.

A day off tomorrow, then on monday I'll tidy the first uke and slap some more shellac on that one to catch up :)

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:55 pm

I was unable to post last night due to the server problems, so I'll quickly sum up yesterdays work before I head out this afternoon.

Like this pic?

Image

Less than two hours earlier the rosette and a small area of the front surrounding it had been sanded back to bare wood. I'd trimmed off the excess dried epoxy with a fresh scalpel blade and then sanded flush with 400 and 600 grit wet and dry paper. I used meths rather than white spirit to lift the sanding dust and immediately applied a thin coat of shellac to the area I'd just worked. A break for coffee and cigarette, and then I applied 3 body coats of shellac. Those pesky pinholes around the rosette are all gone, and no sign that I've done any extra work. Great result.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Project Ukulele

Postby zenguitar » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:45 am

I've been getting a little carried away and apply coats that are a little too thick, so I went over the 1st uke with a pad loaded with just meths to clean things up. Then applied 3 more coats with a little more discipline.

Image

Image

They've not really got suddenly darker. Just the flash and auto exposure on my camera behaving differently today for some reason. Anyway, I'm still satisfied.

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