Monthly Archives: September 2017


A good day and a fine weekend, much got done. Yesterday I picked a lot of tomatoes, didn’t get around to saucing them, it’s so much work. Coffee and to the farmers market, good to see folks. I brought a jar of marmalade for Duncan as he always gives me the best deal on mushrooms. Christen showed up, I haven’t seen her in awhile at Preston’s farm. Sugar nut melon, wax beans, zucchini, mushrooms, Steve’s onions and figs, yum right then. They’re so sweet.
Safeway for chicken, beef, a baguette and celery.
Home, I made a batch of spaghetti sauce for Tuesday big lunch with the gang. I cut up a spaghetti squash, slipped and cut my palm lightly but enough to be a hindrance. Those things are hard to cut. Next time I’ll do the 3 minute nuke it first. I did cut it in donuts to keep the strands long, salted, oiled baked an hour at 400, perfect.
As I got a new Foredom hand piece this week, I attached it to my setup, adding the tiny router attachment and cut a test plate of doug fir. This thing is wonderful and will be really useful to do fine inlays and rosettes.
I worked on the T3 neck, rounding the corners and shaping it rough with the bandsaw, lap sander, the small drum sander in the drill, draw shave and sandpaper. It’s looking good but the heel needs to be a little smaller. I also hot bent the last cracked T3 liner, it broke again, dang, bent it to fit any way, glued the break. Planned out the fret board maple cuts for T3 using the maple I got from the door factory, four tenor fret boards available, This one white, the others I’ll stain black to hide the lamination.
This morning I slept in late. To town for coffee, and some course sandpaper to trim the T3 heel, 3 sheets, 60, 80 and 120 grits. This stuff will remove a lot of material fast, carving stock.
Back home, I cooked a batch of linguine to add to the spaghetti squash to give it some substance if folks so choose, holding back some for chicken noodles. I cooked up a couple lunch batches, O chicken noodle soup, and a beef stew, both tasty.
So I tested the vardo water system today, my hose leaks, but the vardo is in good shape, no leaks, I had to remove stuff from the cabinet to fit the water bottle in it’s place, put on the table. A visual wasp check looks OK, a lot of empty nests. The carb cleaner is very volatile petroleum and will dissipate quickly if needed to kill any we missed.
The trailer front door latch was broken, I took it out and found a missing screw probably fell in. Back to town, Garret’s, 14 cents. Meanwhile I bought a new Dremel bit, tiny router for inlay work on the new jig.
I sanded the T3 heel down using the course sand papers, finishing with 220 grit. It’s ready for the liners now. I fired up the hot pipe lamp and bent each piece to fit precisely in place with the side clamped to the proper form in the body mold. This worked well, a perfect fit, before gluing it into place with lots of clothes pins and clamps.
On a roll, I did the same to the walnut Bass sides, adding another liner. These things are cracked, but fitted in to perfection with glue. It will be fine.
I finished the day using the hot pipe to bend the warp out of the glued back panel, this is very interesting, to remove warp with heat. I was able to send the panel through the surfacer with no problems. It’s ready to cut to fit..
This pic also shows the test cut for a rosette using the new Foredom attachment.
A batch of crostinis baked, ready for the week ahead.


I had another productive weekend. I cooked a lot and worked on the T3 ukulele. Not so much on the bass as I’m waiting for a new Foredom hand piece I ordered Friday. I intend to get the mini router working to cut a simple rosette in the soundboard, my first attempt. I’ll practice on scrap first.
Cooking, yesterday was farmers market, good to see folks. I gave a jar of bread and butter pickles to Steve and Wahti, just because they supply the ingredients at a reasonable price always. Onions and figs, oh my. I ate all the figs, so sweet, squishy in the bag. I bought another sweet melon, the squisher. An ear of corn, yellow wax beans, tiny zukes, Dunkin’s mushrooms.
Safeway deals on burger, some sour cream and linguine for a stroganoff as I have the mushrooms. I picked up some basil to try a walnut pesto.
Home, I made the stroganoff leaving out the sour cream for when it’s ready. The mushroom’s, Steve’s onion, a mirapoix of carrot and celery, garden herbs, garlic, burger, some red wine and chicken broth on hand, flour water to thicken. A small batch of noodles for now and then some, I tried a batch with sour cream, tasty stuff. not enough for the gang, but this week I’m laying low.
The pesto turned out mediocre with store bought basil and not enough garlic, walnuts, olive oil, salt in the blender. I plan on raising it up with the garden basil and more garlic, a squeeze of lemon but not today for lack of time.
I got a lot done on the T3 ukulele. As the neck was glued up last week, I trimmed the head down to thickness on the band saw and smoothed it with the lapidary sander. I marked out the head in pencil using the ruler and transferring the marks from center and height. The neck lines drawn to the heel with a straight edge, sketched heel arch and straight edge to the heel base. Relief cuts on the band saw then cut it out proud for sanding. Lapidary and small drum on the drill to bring it to form, looks great. Still needs the neck round and final shaping.
I sanded the pieces I have that can make a mahogany back, slightly warped cupped, but the surfacer brings them close enough to flat. Trimmed to width on the table saw for a straight edge, then hand sanded on the walnut block flat. I tied them up and wedged them to the parallel sticks, again with glue. The grain is not matched, but it will make a good instrument.
I still have time to bend the sides I cut last week. The longer piece is enough for both sides, clamped to the table and cut square with the razor saw. Break out the hot lamp. I bend the dampened sides with the heat starting at the waist, wait, it starts to move, whaa, flip it and bend the upper bout, then the lower, matching to the form. Clamped in place to cool and dry over night.
That was yesterday. Today was another adventure. I slept in. Laundry to do. To town for coffee, pork chops on sale, pork and beans for that and a couple bread rolls. Home.
Cooking, I bought a Trader Joe’s new chicken stock Friday at a higher price, time to try it. They added carrot juice, celery and onion, what I always do in fresh veggies. Not worth it unless you aren’t adding that anyway. I’ll stick to the free range broth from now on. So a chicken breast soup with the linguine noodles chopped small, excellent. But wait, I checked on the tomatoes out back, oh my, sauce time. It took an hour to peel and remove the seeds from the batch, cooked down with anise to a single cup boil processed. I added the remaining sauce to the chicken soup, raised a notch.  Yesterdays corn and wax beans with another chicken breast boxed for a lunch meal. The pork chops cooked, ate one, boxed the other for bean lunch with apple sauce. I just finished toasting a batch of crostinis.
I called my friend Doug as I need to cut a bracelet stone smaller for another friend at work. We’ll meet after 3:00. I brought pears, I have so many. His folks were rock hounds. OMG, he has so many rocks, garbage cans full of really beautiful rocks to cut. His garage is decked out with the finest lapidary systems I have ever seen. Diamond saws and grinders, polishing machines, beautiful tools. After setting up, it took less than a half hour to re cut my stone back to a high gloss finish. Rule, wash the grit off the stone before going to the next finer grit to avoid contamination, a good rule. I really liked that he has a rest room hand drier mounted to dry the stones for inspection. Wow. I showed him the Bass uke in process as he was the contributor of the walnut side wood. So good to hang out with Doug.
Back home, I finished the laundry. There’s enough time. I cut a piece of rough side stock to 1.3 cm, four pieces on the table saw, for lining pieces. I sanded them flat on the surfacer. Using the hot lamp, I bent three of them. The fourth cracked at the waist, glued up and clamped, to bend later.
Another great day.


Another productive weekend. I made a large batch of potato salad, home made coleslaw and charcoal grilled BBQ chicken for Tuesday lunch with the gang. It’ll be good. I also cooked a small batch of chicken veggie noodle soup, two lunch buckets. Last weeks spaghetti sauce should round out the lunch week.
I worked on the bass ukulele. Quite a bit got done. Before I can attach the side linings, I need to get the neck formed. I worked on that most of the day yesterday, first cutting the rough form on the bandsaw, grinding the shape with the small drum sander in the drill clamped in the vice. A bit of lapidary sanding, rasp and draw knife work,  then hand sanding with sandpaper. It’s looking good.
I also worked on cutting mahogany sides for another tenor uke, 6 mm plus wide, then pushed them through the surface sander to get them to 2 mm thickness, took time.
A quick cut on the table saw thin kerf blade with a scrap piece and the sides fit perfectly. I rough cut out a neck of mahogany, cut the angled scarf joint. Using the new hand power planer, the scarf joint was smooth and ready to glue in just a few passes, what a tool.
The bass fret board is coming along, first cuts in the square jig, still needs cutting to depth with the attachment. With the bass neck heel about right, I started gluing the first lining into place, using the mold to get it right.
I trimmed the tenor 3 (here after T3) neck to length after the top of the head was trimmed down to match the plan head length and sanded flat. I cut the Spanish heel length at 3/4″ past the planned position where the body meets the neck. I cut another piece of mahogany to complete the heel, glued up, keeping the grains in the same orientation.
When it was dry I pushed it through the table saw to cut the side slots. After the side slots were cut, I glued on the head extensions to fill in the width of the head.
It’s hot, but it’s getting done.


A good weekend. It was hot here, so I worked Saturday afternoon to dodge the heat and bank a little. I still hit the farmers market before work. Good to see the folks.
Sunday I cooked mostly, and worked on the bass uke while dodging too many wasps. The fret board is cut in, still needs deepening with the depth gauge. One fret is off, I glued it filled with epoxy.  Chicken soup, a set of smoked salmon sushi. I found a wasp nest in the evening, foamed out.
I picked a bunch more fruit this morning, pears mostly and some Granny Smith apples are coming ripe.
Today I made a batch of spaghetti sauce and noodles for the lunch gang.
I worked early on the bass uke, the neck cut to shape and rough sanded, moved the off fret cut again, hoping for the best. It’s looking really good.
The boat needs attention, the electrics are down due to a rat biting the charger line. I replaced the plug, also fixed the back hatch. She needs a lot of work and smells bad like rat. More to deal with. The pump is back on line.
On my way I stopped at Trader Joe’s. Standing in line, Margit, 35 years ago Earth Church housemate reconnects, wow. that’s very cool in a big world.
It’s cooler now, a fine weekend.