Monthly Archives: June 2017


Wow, I got a lot done! Cornichons pickles, 2 pints, Chicken bone veggie soup with noodles, 3 buckets, Ravioli Bolognese lasagna, 2 lunches, a Corned beef brisket, that’s cooking.
Yesterday I got a hair cut. I polished my shoes, ironed my newish jacket somewhat. Laundry is done, with a second single batch to get the wrinkles out of my khaki pants. I still can’t find my bathing suit, I’ll borrow Sam’s.
I watered the roses, feijoa guava and avocado plant, cleared the garden sprinkler line, weeded the garden some, thinned the pear tree. Then picked out all the grass seeds from my shoes and socks.  I have two artichokes ready with a third coming in, ate a big one one last week.
Woodworking, I glued in another loose rib in the tenor ukulele, with another angled piece to get. These came loose as I installed the bridge yesterday, more glue next time, coming right up. The tenor is nearly ready for lacquer after I masking tape down the fret board, to be oiled later.
I sanded down the bass head using the belt sander to remove the chip outs from the power plane. I glued the bass neck up with risers for the heel, where the neck meets the body. I had to add three to make it wide enough for the deep bass body. I’ll cut the slots for the Spanish heel, where the curved sides connect to the neck next. Then I’ll add the maple wings to the head, after it’s a square heel cut. The heel cuts should just fit the sides using the thin kerf blade.
I sanded the walnut panels friend Wayne cut for me. It’s a slow process on the surface sander I built, but the parts are accurate and flat to 2.5 mm. They are book matched close, though one side has a small knot, they’ll be fine. I trimmed them down on the table saw with a few passes to get the edges as straight as possible, then cut them to width at 3.25 inches. They’re nearly ready to bend.
I want to cut the neck kerf to make sure they fit before I bend them with the hot tube. Wayne said the walnut turns to rubber under the heat. The mold is mostly ready, needs a shot of lacquer to keep the moisture out. I sliced the remaining walnut pieces in half, knots and all, to be bent to become the linings for the sides to meet the front and back.
I’m ready for Michigan, lunches, then some.
And my hearing is returning, even better. A great day.


A productive day today. This is the last weekend before my Michigan trip, much to prepare.
Bucky’s coffee, a tour of the Farmer’s Market for large gherkins from Lou, Dunkin’s mushrooms, some carrot’s. Safeway’s a deal on picnic chicken and a cube steak for stew. I stopped at Goodwill, called my sister Cathy and picked up a light summer cotton jacket. I also found two cassettes of Andreas Vollenweider, a long time favorite of mine, a Swiss electric harp player extraordinaire. Here:
On the way home, the wood shop sale is open. I bought a pneumatic nail gun, nails to fit and a Diston hand saw. Both work well.
I cooked the chicken in water for bone broth and base meat in cartons, one shredded one chopped, to be processed on my return or tomorrow. The bone soup is still cooking. A chicken mayo sandwich with a tour of the garden. Garlic is nearly ready. Two more artichokes close, I ate one last week.
I worked on the tenor ukulele, reset one of the ribs with finger glue and the wedge inside clamp. I also glued the bridge on, ultimately using rubber bands and two sticks as clamps.
In the process of setting it up I knocked loose a few more ribs inside, I’ll need to fix them too tomorrow. Next build I’ll use more glue on the ribs.
The Bass Uke neck scarf joint has dried. I measured and cut it to proper length. It’s a little fat on the fingerboard needs trimming. It won’t fit the surfacer, I use the new planer, one pass fixes it, although there is some tear out of the angled head. This won’t be a problem as I can sand it down and also may use a walnut veneer on the head anyway.
I cut out and sanded a couple mahogany cleats, drilled and attached them to the vardo right fascia board.
The old awning is in place to protect the serving side from the sun.
The ropes are solid to the tongue and plumbing.
I went to town and got a hair cut for the trip home, better now then later. A good day, not so hot.

6/18/2017 Dad’s day

It’s freaking hot here, 104 degrees F. But it’s been a good day/weekend. This morning I boiled up some potatoes and eggs for a potato salad before it got too hot. Then off to town for coffee after throwing in the Sunday laundry.
There is a wood shop here in Geyserville going out of business, two guys inherited their Dad’s shop, ready to move on. I picked up a couple routers in need and a very cool power planer, plus some lumber, redwood, jacoba, mahogany, zebra and maple. The planer was the cream for $11, I went back and dropped a twenty, $31 for a tool that costs $600, wow. I pushed it over a weathered redwood stick, new smooth in two passes. This thing will make gate wood smooth so fast. I plan to make a bench top jointer attachment, researching. Such a good tool.
Yesterday I made a batch of breakfast burritos, eggs with garden tarragon and sage, Dunkin’s mushrooms and fried onions, a ham steak cubed and browned, raw fried shredded potatoes with unexpected cheddar. Yum. Seven frozen and ready after I ate one, these are good.
I picked up a new 21″ display at Goodwill. It works great for home movies Netflix and Youtube wide screen, and a Harris tweed jacket for summertime mornings with pockets.
Today I made the potato salad and grilled a chicken picnic set on sale using the charcoal BBQ in the driveway to keep it fire safe. Tuesday lunch for the gang.
I cut yet another piece of bone from the dog bone and sanded it on the lapidary to create a nut for the tenor 2 ukulele, sanded smooth to 600 grit shining. This dog bone has been a good resource.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Also finished cutting the U-bass mold.
And gluing up the U=bass neck scarf joint.
I wedged another glue joint rib. I made a glue attachment for a syringe I bought at Garret’s using a long brass tube cut with a 90 degree angle on an angle to get deep inside for a smooth glue job. another good tool, but cleaning it is a challenge.
It’s too hot to cook lunches for the week, Dinty More store bought will have to do.


A productive day, I got up late, nice. A simple breakfast of potato, onions and sausage. To town, on a mission, breakfast burritos for work. Coffee at Bucky’s, then straight to the dollar store for supplies. No eggs today, but they have the Jimmy Dean sausages I tried at breakfast, they’re good. Cool, they have flour tortillas, a can of refried beans, a jar of mild salsa I didn’t use and some shortbread cookies I like. Safeway has a dozen eggs, a baguette and some mushrooms. More gas I used up going to Oakland then home.
I made up 8 burritos using the above plus an onion and garden herbs of tarragon and sage in the six scrambled eggs. For cheese I used unexpected cheddar which pushed it over the top. I ate the one that was falling apart, so good, bagged and froze the rest.
I planned on a lasagna lunch for the gang at TJ’s. Chopped another onion, Dad’s spring garlic from the garden, herbs, burger, tomato sauce, paste, bay leaves 2, a ray of star anise and the rest of the mushrooms. TJ fat noodles to boil. Mozzarella sticks grated, Parmesan grated, provolone slices ready. Alan is lactose free, I made a small box of just more done noodles and sauce. Then I layered on the sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, and cheese to top it. Baked in the oven at 375, then cranked to 400. Beautiful even after it chilled.
Laundry in, uke time. I found a large paper clip fits the holes I drilled in the fret board of tenor uke 2. Clipped a couple pieces sanded smooth, ready. Preclamped to get it right. Here goes, glue on and clamped, wet towel and a dry one. Let it set. This time the clip wires keep it in place. There are still some gaps to fill, but it’s a good joint.
I finished sanding the bass back board on the surfacer and some final hand sanding to get it flush. I laid out the pattern with plenty of free board, then cut it on the bandsaw. A quick sand on the lapidary sander to get the burrs off.
Wayne said it was walnut, he’s right. Doug Lash gave me a big piece of walnut to fix a harp. I sanded it through the surfacer to get it smooth. The grain matches perfectly. This will be the sides of the bass, Wayne said he’ll cut a couple slices. There’s plenty of room at 3 1/4 required with 4+ stock.
I glued the second and cut the first side mold piece on the band saw. It looks good, partly sanded down, center in pic above.
There are still wasps alive on the vardo. I’m not ready to cover it with tarps. Back to town for some foam spray and a can of mahogany putty. They’re dead now.
The uke 2 is ready to sand down the putty. A good seal, scraping the joint where the neck meets the body using my pocket knife. It’s not perfect but will play well. I wedged and glued another rib in place as it’s moving inside.
I need to make sure the ribs are solid in the future, mind this one was soaked to remove the fret board.
Crostinis cut and baked, ready for the week.


Another good day. I got up early for a Sunday. Trader Joe’s breakfast burrito and into town by 8:30 for coffee.
Home, I made a batch of beef stew and called Cathy. She needs my wheelbarrow next weekend to move some huge boulders they bought, the biggest at 800 lbs. That will need more than a wheelbarrow. Rocks for the garden, OK.
As I cooked up a hamburger steak and pan fries, the landlord showed up. He has a circuit for his boat he repaired, a DC supply, it has a cold solder joint I fixed, should work now.
Tasty lunch. Another burger for tomorrow bagged, 30 cent bun bagged, tomato slice, lettuce from Michael’s garden, cheese all in a small container ready.
I sanded the soundboard fir some more on the surfacer to get the two matched pieces even.
I cut out the paper bass pattern I printed to scale, marked out the sound board book matched pieces, numbered 1-4 with a cutout line located. Cut to length on the table saw. Next I flush sanded the edges with the sanding block square, mated even. I used the four slats and string to mock up the clamping procedure, setting the rolling hitch knot in the right place to slide and lock. Wedges set up to tighten it all and hold it down in the center flush. Tear it down carefully. Ready, glue it, string, tight, wedges, perfect, wait. One setting, the other numbered book match waiting.
The tenor uke has some loose ribs, I can hear them rattling. I make a stick the right length with a vee notch partly to align then lock down with a twisted wire to help locate the wedge in the body. I push some glue in with a coffee stick and wedge it in place. Inside it’s not pretty, but mostly hard to see. Better that it sounds good. I bleached the fret board, I’ll wait to attach it until I know it’s all right.
I have a couple pieces of matched dark hard wood, I don’t know what they are yet but they’re pretty to make a back board. I surface sand the thicker one down to match the other one. Nice stuff. Cut to length, edge sanded flush, glued up on the slat string clamp. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I laid out the soundboard with the pattern and cut it out with about a half inch clearance on the bandsaw. It will need surface sanding.
I found a piece of MDX and a matching piece of 1/2″ ply wood. I cut them to match for a bass side mold. Sawn in half and re drawn ready to glue, one half done. The bass mold in process.
I glued up the book matched hardwood back in the string frame. That’s a lot done on the bass, top cut, bottom ready, mold in process, The tenor 2 is getting ready.
I messed with the router attachment, I’m thinking a threaded rod nutted, and reduced to a smooth diameter to make a rosette groove. Freehand for inlays.
A very productive day.


Last night I got home to Joe’s car in my spot, OK. I parked in his spot. We talked out back in the room with a view. He spent the night, mostly in his car though the couch was extended. In the morning he showed up with Flying Goat coffee, alright.
We headed to town for the farmer’s market, Duncan’s mushrooms, zucchini, some carrots and a small cabbage. A stop at the Dollar Store stuff and Safeway for some chicken. Joe bought breakfast at the Mexican restaurant, carnitas and fixings we shared, plenty.
Back home, I cooked up a batch of chicken veggie noodle soup and another batch of broccoli cheese soup for lunches. We enjoyed both with crackers out back.
I started working on the second tenor ukulele, a problem as the soundboard has discolored red when I soaked it to release the fret board that slid during glue up. The oxalic acid removed the worst stain but spread it over the top of the soundboard in an even red stain. I tried boiling mahogany several times, some with acid, to get a stain close. I finally found some of the original neck stock and used it. The acid changed the original color, but this will do, even with a touch of acid, still not quite, several coats, hides it somewhat.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Meanwhile, I’ve been working on making the next project, a ukulele bass. These things are cool, a full bass guitar but small, a 20+ inch scale length, no finger stretch but all the sound with really fat strings. I drew it up at work using the new CAD program. That was a challenge.
Joe gave me a piece of doug fir week before last, Wayne cut it in thirds, enough for three soundboards. Today I surfaced the book matched set down to near 3 mm. This is enough for two matched soundboards with one more off set to be surfaced.
I also glued the tenor fret board back together a little where the four day soaking let it loose.
 Also the body top and bottom glued to the sides in a couple places.
I drilled a couple small holes in the fret board, one where I removed a fret and another through the ebony dot. I inserted a piece of wire to hold the fret board in place during glue up as I should have done before. I still need to flatten the fingerboard to fit flush, but mostly T2 is ready for re glue.
A good day. More fun tomorrow.