I stayed home again with this cold. Got some stuff done, off for coffee, a bottle of Seghesio wine for Uncle Bob. Back home, spaghetti breakfast. I surfaced the mahogany back plate I glued yesterday to 2 mm, I like this tool. I cut the back the same oversize as the front soundboard. The round sander leaves scallops in the wood, 220 grit doesn’t cut it, up to the corner mercantile for some 80, 180, more 220 sandpaper. That does the job smooth easy.
Next I had an idea. I picked up two fat pieces of MDF board glued up at the door store, together, they’re big enough to make a decent body mold for the ukuleles. I clamped and marked them to match the cut out plan, then cut each on the band saw just a little less than the line, tricky on the waist cut back and filled wider. Then I went around again with the free blade and trimmed to the line. A light sanding with the drum in the vised drill made a fine outer mold. I saved the inner cut outs too, lightly sanded on the lapidary. Trimmed the two halves even by cutting a 1/4 inch off the long one. Clamped the two outer halves with the long clamp, then clamped a cut piece of poplar, drilled and loose nailed to attach the mold sides together, 8 nails. This is a good mold.
I texted Joe with a picture of the two plates and the uke mold. Then I called him, “I’m home”.
I pulled out the 200 watt lamp, wet a piece of the mahogany side stock after hand sanding it. This is an experiment, got it hot on the lamp and bent it easy, wow, this is good, slightly over bent to make it. Getting the tight waist bend and upper bout put some light burn marks in the wood. I clamped the piece in the mold and let it set. As I clamped down the other side, Joe showed up.
I showed him the sander, cut a couple pieces of cedar to soundboard length. he sanded them down some, trued them with the walnut sandpaper square. I showed him how to glue them with slats behind, string woven between the slats and a rolling hitch to cinch it up. Wedges make it tight, with a couple big ones to keep it flat, let it dry. Next he tried the hot tube bender, exciting. He needs to over bend it, but he gets it. Great fun bending wood like wire. The burn marks in mine sand out OK.
We check out the fallen tree, the garden, a walk to the river. A heron flies as we clear the trees. The river is strong here. The calm deep above stream is so beautiful. We pick green pears in my hat and his tee shirt. The elder berries are close, some ripe. A couple garden garlic with seed heads, oregano.
Time I pack as Cat calls him home. What a fine day.