Monthly Archives: March 2017


Fun times, I cooked up a batch of chicken leg quarters with garlic, soy, lemon marmalade and fresh lemon juice, oven roasted with a butternut squash on the side halved and olive oiled to bake.
Meanwhile, Elliot’s Mom sent me her Christmas red cabbage recipe. I acquired everything and made it, onions, oil, red cabbage fine cut, a granny smith apple, apple cider vinegar, sugar, red wine, cloves, (I added allspice), juniper, nutmeg, cinnamon, some chicken stock in a jar and black current jam. It’s an overnight recipe, and tastes wonderful.
As Ana at work recommended Trader Joe’s fresh ravioli near the cheese section, I cooked up a bolognese batch with tomato sauce of dried garlic, oregano and basil, simple but a tasty snack and another lunch saved.
I picked some asparagus out back in the places I know it grows, three big pieces. Back to the store for enough more to make a meal side.
On the uke, I worked a lot on the neck, shaping the heel. I also cut all the curved linings to fit inside the sides to the neck. I sanded down the mahogany back in the surface sander until it’s smooth and about 2 mm. I glued up the front doug fir panel with slats, string and wedges.
This morning I finished up the red cabbage by adding the black current jam, mixing it in while heating. It tastes great. I steamed the asparagus with lemon and salt. I have a fine meal for the lunch gang prepared, lemon marmalade roast chicken, butternut squash, red cabbage and steamed asparagus with fresh lemon juice. Wow, it is good.
A beef stew made, carrots, onions, red potatoes, celery, zucchini, garlic and garden herbs, Plenty More Beef Stew, three buckets and lunch.
More work on the ukulele, I rounded the neck with the draw shave, rasps and sandpaper. It seems comfortable, but still a little flat to secure the fret board. I glued in the bent linings using the frame to hold the shape with clothes pins and a spring clamp.
I ran out of room on the back and just used the outer frame and some clamps to hold to sides to their shape.
You can see the lower lining installed. I added a little glue using card stock scrap and clamped the lining down where it was loose.
After that I set up the side jig. The plywood is warped so I clamped it down with a block to hold it up while the clamp brings it back to flat, an error in my first uke. I sanded down the neck joints as I won’t be able to once it’s attached, 320 grit. I’ll wait to glue it up to be sure.
Just for fun, I cooked up a batch of rice, thoroughly rinsed. Rice vinegar, sugar and salt heated to dissolve. I made sushi, a simple carrot sticks, cucumber and smoked salmon with the rice on nori rolled. It turned out great with soy sauce.
I surface sanded the glued up Doug fir soundboard flat to 2 mm. As I used up Joe’s sides, I surface sanded a nice piece of mahogany from really rough to a fine piece of workable wood. Ready for another side or face, sweet wood. In the background of the ready jig.
A really productive weekend.


Another interesting day. I got up a little early for a Sunday, but later by an hour as it’s that time shift day. I finished making a batch of bean with bacon soup, the laundry in. I cleaned out the freezer and threw last years last corned beef on the counter to thaw. To town for coffee and some onions, a cheap cabbage for the corned beef.
Home, corned beef on to boil.
I added a couple head side pieces to the mahogany ukulele neck I started yesterday with glue and clamped it up. Yesterday I pushed a piece of mahogany through the surface sander on all sides after truing it on the table saw. Cut to length, then cut an angle for the scarf joined head, sanded flat on sandpaper clamped to the bench. I added a couple blocks on the other end for the curved heal of the neck where it joins the body with glue. Today’s extensions allow room for a wider head.
Yesterday I figured out how to play “Puff the Magic Dragon”, Peter, Paul and Mary, Raven’s cousin Paul’s song, Peter’s really. But I learned it, needs a lot of practice to smooth it out.
So today I went to visit Pat and Barry Kempker, my previous boss. I brought Pat a jar of Meyermalade. She traded me a jar of fig jam, mm, sounds good. I wanted to show Barry the bass as he gave me the template for the body style, a Fender Strat. I brought along the tenor ukulele I built and the Kamaka ukulele. Barry has a full 18 guitar collection, great to see the details of so many gits, inlays, body styles, head designs and the finishes. Wow.
Back home, I worked on the mahogany neck, measuring the plan and transferring the marks to the wood from centers. OK, I cut it out with the band saw close to the line and sanded it on the drill small round and larger lapidary sanders to a fair shape. It needs more finish shaping, but it’s close.
Yesterday I cut the the third steamed side into quarters and sanded them smooth to use as linings for the sides instead of kerfing. Here is a picture of the neck and linings.
The corned beef turned out great with potatoes, carrots, onions and cabbage. Munched a bunch and set aside a full lunch and fixings for a CB hash breakfast. Another great day.


Well dang, the marmalade scorched just a little bit. I stepped out in the sunshine at the wrong time, just a minute. A couple pieces of rind got dark, I pulled them out. It tastes OK, but it’s a little dark. Not perfect like the last batch. Lesson, don’t leave it when it’s close, keep stirring. Eight and a half cups.
I also made a batch of soup, mushroom with bacon, including potatoes and celery, creamed. Wow, this stuff is good. Bacon aside, onions, mushrooms, celery, herbs, garlic, chicken broth base, white wine, throw in a couple red potatoes diced small until tender. Bacon in, half and half, thicken with flour water, a lump of butter, green onions. Yum with baguette.
I re soldered the bass with twisted pairs, I also fixed the ground bar in the bridge, soldered it back together. The hum is greatly improved, although if you tweak the pots it comes back a bit. Setting the volume on max and the tone up stops it, so that’s better than before. Much improved, not perfect. I’ll ask around.
What to do, in the shop Joe tried to bend some sides for a ukulele, didn’t get it right, why not. I broke out the hot tube 200 watt lamp and wet down the wood at the faucet. Also rinsed out the casserole pan the cat’s been drinking from and filled it. In the shop I heated the wood on the tube until it bent easy, heating it more from the back and bending it hard for the central waist. Fitted to the form, adjusted with more water and the heat, about right. Next I heated and bent the big lower bout, matched to the form, a little less at the base bent out. Finishing the upper bout the same way until it fit the form. I clamped the inner piece to hold it in place and separated the form to do the other side. Same process, clamped in place and left to dry.
Digging around I found two fine pieces of doug fir suitable for a sound board. Wayne had cut them out and they were already sanded flat, but still too thick for a sound board. I fired up the surface sander and pushed them through until they reached two and a half millimeters. I’ll take them down to two after they are glued together.
Laundry done and folded away.
To town but wait. My headlamp is out, I bought a new one yesterday. I dug out a crescent wrench and screw driver. Disconnect the battery ground, move the battery and windshield wash tank, pull the plug. Unscrew the bezel three screws enough. Pull the old one rattling and install the new one in reverse order. Good to go. I reset the clock and radio stations in town.
Much done, a good day as I write this.


My sister Cathy gave me 4 pounds of lemons, a big batch. Prepped and soaking for processing tomorrow. Should be good.
A visit with Joe and Cat today, to borrow his amp, and visit. We played the new ukulele.
By the way, when I took it to work, first thing on the way in, I ran in to Toki, she plays uke. “It’s tuned an octave low!” She was right, I re tuned it at lunch, sounds great. I did break the bass G string later but have another one I had ordered, now it plays great and loud.
Joe’s neighbor’s peacock was visiting, a bit of a nuisance attacking Cat, I shewed it home with a rake. Cat’s OK.
Back home, I opened up the bass guitar and lined the electronics cavity with foil. It’s still humming in the potentiometers. Tomorrow I’ll twist all the wires, shorten and star them from one point, hoping that fixes the hum.
Lemons sliced to process into Meyermalade, all from Aunt Mary’s tree, another pure batch. Hoping it turns out fabulous.