Monthly Archives: October 2017


Today I worked on the bass ukulele mostly after a trip to the farmers market. I cut some soup bone into a nut for the bass, had to cut two as the first one was too short, maybe use it on the tenor. Polished to 600 grit fine, looking shiny. I also shaped the rosewood fret board down to proper width and polish sanded it as well. Yesterday I cut the holes in the bass sides to fit in the electronic equalizer and jack/battery holder, ready to mount. Also the X ribs for the top are ready to glue, shown with the bridge inside.
Today I sanded the sides smooth with 220 grit, removing the ripples from the surfacer. I still have to glue the neck, top and bottom together, so will wait for final polish sanding. I did prepare the clamps to glue the neck to the sides for tomorrow and polished the tenor fret board.
Hungry, I made a batch of beef stew using the bone broth jello, cooked the beef long time simmered to tender with a dash of wine. Potatoes, carrots, celery, green beans and zucchini for veggies. Thickened with flour, served with half a panacia, excellent with two more bucket lunches.



Today I got quite a lot done on the boat. I finished minor sanding of the cockpit and added more calk. I went over the port side of the boat and the cabin top with a putty knife and scraper to loosen all the loose chips. I removed serious chunks of calk and replaced it with new. I vacuumed all the stuff up after placing the big chunks in a garbage bag, all deposited in the yard’s paint disposal bin.  The cockpit has been totally filled with Spackle and prepped. I painted everything with Zinsser oil based primer, heavy in the cockpit. I also got major parts of the cabin top and side calked and primed including the worst parts of the deck. A serious overhaul in process. The crane was busy today but I am ready for a free airlift to remove the back stay from the top of the mast for replacement. Looking forward to the view. Today is my last day off from the fire, back to work tomorrow. The fire has kept us on edge, not easy. But much done.


A good day today, I worked on the boat. Yesterday I spackled the cockpit, today I sanded it out smooth. Also yesterday the hatch sill gave way to rot, not good, I took the pieces home and rebuilt them in mahogany from another boat salvaged a few years ago. It fits well enough with a couple whittles for clearance, screwed in tight. Good fit, solid again. Sanded and caulked, ready for primer tomorrow. Tomorrow is my last fire day off, back to work Wednesday. The harbor master Matt said he can raise me up to the top of the mast in a bosun’s chair for free using the crane so I can take down the back stay. It has a broken wire, I need to replace it. I have secured the main halyard with the sheet extension to hold for the time being while the stay is rebuilt by Svenson’s yacht works, good riggers. Should be a fun ride up.
The ukulele’s are on hold for the boat works, though I really want to work on them, but this window of opportunity can’t be passed up.


The fires seem to be out up here. My house is still here, more important the shop. I’ve been working on ukuleles today, inlayed the fret board tenor with ebony key dots I turned on the lathe and sliced off with the razor saw. They fit tight, plus a drop of superglue as they dry. I’ll sand them off flush then add frets, all but two for alignment pins. I also routered the fret board bottom to fit over the sound board using a jig, nice fit.
I’ll need to widen the jig to fit the bass fret board, but that should just improve it as the straight edge is for the sound board top.
This week I’ve been in the city helping my sister’s guy Elliot some on the Oakland property, lights, painting and such while dodging the fire. It’s been advisory evacuation for my place, but neighbor Jana said it got scary across the river close.
The cops have been at the railroad tracks checking residence until this morning so I guess we’re clear. Many homes across the river lost.
My friend from Arcata showed up this afternoon, we checked out my truck, in need of fluids, topped up now, oil, coolant and battery. Ready for tomorrow to move the gypsy wagon home again from Cotati.
I’ve done a lot on the ukuleles with the time off. All the liners are in, hot bent to as close to perfect, mind the walnut is fragile to bend in thin strips. Several broken liners, glued in place, they’ll be fine, sanded flush and then some narrower at the neck joint, as it should be, though not planned. I had a lot of fun inlaying a simple roset on both sound boards using my Dremel router attachment modified to fit my Foredom. I bent a piece of matching woods, mahogany and walnut on each to fit using the hot pipe half way around and matched for the full circle.
I cut the sound hole mostly through, then used a knife to free the hole, sanded smooth. I also prepared the soundboard ribs for the tenor using old growth doug fir and a mahogany bridge backing. This will be on the inside.  Much done.


I had a good day, lots done. Off to town for coffee and the farmers market, good to see the folks. A good conversation with the melon lady, her name is Renie, short for Irene. Duncan gave me a big ole portabella, great deal, Preston’s farm zucchini from Nate, Steve’s onions. They opened the jar of bread and butter pickles I gave them, liked them. They grew them, fair. Some green beans, we’re done.
Safeway baguette, a good deal on a whole chicken, a piece of beef for stew, some fresh dill for potato salad planned. Dollar Tree odds and ends, to home.
I cut up a bunch of TJ’s red potatoes, maybe three pounds, boiled with three eggs in the salted water to just tender. Half a pound of bacon cooked crispy meanwhile. Two small Steve’s onions diced fine soaked in water to mild them. I’m looking at a German potato salad recipe, but no, something different. I have a half jar of Larrapin’s Swedish mustard dill sauce left from up North, really good stuff, not mayo. Add more deli mustard, some horse radish, garden parsley, green olives, capers, a dash of olive oil and celery. This stuff is good, a large container for the lunch crew.
It’s supposed to be a potluck this week, so I shouldn’t be making chicken, why not at such a price. I mixed up a 1/3 batch of turkey brine and have it soaking in the fridge to bake for tomorrow.
I finished assembling Dani’s second chair with the six inch extension after a quick sanding. A simple half hour as the work was done last weekend. Stashed in the vardo out of the way.
Ukulele time. I installed the T3 fret board in the fret saw jig after carefully marking the fret locations using my Wandel pattern with an Exacto knife and a machine pencil. The wedges hold the board in place as the saw cuts the line started. I added the wooden depth gauge and free handed the cuts to depth. I screwed up a couple times and had to sand the marks out. At least the frets are in line. I cut the fret board off at the 19th fret mark, seemed right. I also cut the bass uke fret board to depth with the saw set up.
I should order more pearl dots. I received the tuners and strings last week. Back in the garage, I fired up the hot lamp. Setting up the T3 bent sides in the mold, I formed a liner to fit the side as near perfect as possible, getting it damp and heating it on the pipe bent to fit. This is really fun, a little tedious, but fun. A tight fit, marked, cut to length with the square and razor saw. Pre-clamped with clothes pins looks good, glued and clamped in place flush to the sides.
I repeated the same process for the bass uke, bending the liner to fit the sides on the hot pipe, clamped the sides into the mold and adjusted the liner to fit near perfectly. This liner was broken, but fits tight, glued in place fixes that. Low on clothes pins, but the plastic ones will do.
I look at the T3 fir sound board panels, but I don’t have room to glue them up, tomorrow will do. It’s coming along nicely.