I got up early and cooked the tuna casserole at 375 for a half hour to beat the heat. I also threw in a butternut squash that’s been on the fridge and turned the oven off. Back to bed, up later. I need chicken broth for soups and coffee, a quick trip to town for both, a stop at the auto store for a 59.5″ V belt and straight home.

I cooked up the squash soup first (after a breakfast of ham, onion, cheese and egg scramble). Chopped onions, celery, small carrot, light garlic fried in the pan. Add light garden herbs and the squash pulp with O chicken broth. I used the immersion blender from Sally’s to blend everything to a puree, a bit of salt, two lumps of butter and a grating of nutmeg. Two buckets and some for now, tasty.

Next up a broccoli cheese soup, florets in the UFO steamer with the chopped stems on one side. Butter, onions, garlic, garden herbs and celery in the pan a while translucent. Flour and a bit of olive oil for a rue, add half and half slowly stirring to incorporate to a gravy consistency. Add yesterdays cheese, mild and unexpected cheddar a little at a time, a glug of two buck Chuck white wine, more cheese, I used unexpected cheddar chopped small. I thinned it down with chicken broth as this is soup. Add the steamed broccoli stems and some florets, using the immersion blender again to puree it, then add the florets to finish. Two more buckets and some for lunch. I still have zucchini and celery for a chicken soup, but I don’t have enough buckets and it’s getting hot at 90 F, time to stop cooking.

The V belt will fit the motor and pulleys just fine, but this tiny motor doesn’t have it to turn the shaft, I’ll need a bigger motor. I have a sweet hospital grade vacuum pump from Michael, but it’s welded, hate to break that down. I look on Craigslist for local yard sales. Off to Healdsburg, then Cloverdale, a bag of bolts and some twine, no motors. I called Joe, he still has the motor I gave him from Sally’s for his joiner with too many projects to get it installed. I’d like to borrow it to get this surface sander working, turn the pulley and sand the drum. I’ll replace it when the right one comes along if he can find it.

It’s up to 100 F, drinking water and cooling, a cool shower helps. Sunday laundry has been processing. I find a very square piece of walnut laminated from the door place and add some plumbers sanding tape with a couple small nails on the end grain. A thin piece of birch plywood to hold the soundboard blanks up. I cut two pieces of fir on the band saw, just under the 12 inch max length cut but enough for a good ukulele soundboard. Trued square with the made block sander, the two just over twelve wide. I cut five pieces of sticker wood pine at 14 inches each, and a bunch of wedges on the band saw trued on the drum sander. I used cotton string to weave the pieces together on the stickers with a loop and rolling hitch at the ends to get them as tight as I could, then added the wedges to cinch them even more. This will work, undone, glued and redone tight. I’ll need to scrape the surfaces to get them smooth, free of glue.


I set up the table saw to cut the mahogany sides at 6.2 cm. The plans call for 6 cm, room for sanding. The catch roller was out too far and cut in as I adjusted it, dang. But enough stock to make the parts. Another pass to get more side stock before the split runs out. This is enough to make the bent sides, maybe for two ukes, we’ll see as errors can occur, hoping for the best. There is still another piece of mahogany not cut wide and that pretty maple I’d like to save for guitar stock. I also have enough mahogany for two and a half backs if all goes well.


Two ukuleles and maybe a guitar. I’ll need an 8 inch wide piece of good back stock doubled to make a guitar. Of course the necks and fret boards are to be determined, but Joe has maple neck stock for two ukes, and Wayne is cutting two uke fret boards in rose wood. He also gave me a beautiful piece of jacota wood perfect size for a guitar fret board. My aged boat wood mahogany could make a sweet neck. We have three more instruments to build. Plenty of fret wire, we’ll need more tuning machines.

It’s finally cooling off, barely.

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