Fun day, New Years Day. To town for coffee, home to make a stew. Jamin, next door neighbor’s grandson came over to finish his tiny rail project for his pocket size skate board. I helped him with the band saw while the beef cooked down, off and on until the stew was done.
Yesterday I glued up a sound board for a soprano uke, pulled the wedges and string, a little center offset, fed through the surfacer flattened it out. I used a flat scrap piece to feed it, I should make a thin piece with handle for this. Not today.
Jamin is tinkering with the sander. I brought out Uncle Bob’s Mom’s antique Kamaka ukulele and draw and cut a pattern on the card stock I picked up at the dollar store. I found a nice piece of thick plywood scrap from my friend Dave’s stash and cut out a pattern split in half first on the table saw, then cut to shape on the band saw. Sanded it’s a great mold for the bent sides.
I break out the hot 200 watt tube lamp and bend the mahogany side I cut yesterday to 2 inches wide. Damp in water first, then formed on the hot tube and fitted to the mold until it fits right, slow process but eventually it fits with a nudge here and there. I cut the ends square with the razor saw, a couple times to get it right. Clamped into the mold to dry to shape. Wow, one piece molded to shape for the whole sides, without a seam on the bottom.
I used a piece of cherry wood to cut out the neck blank, with two laminations for the heel, glued and clamped to fit the card stock pattern I cut out. This smaller ukulele is coming together much faster than the larger ones I’ve done before. Slam dunk.
I need to make a back plate, perhaps some bent molded liners. Build the neck in one piece, notched for the Spanish heel sides, frets in. Keep it simple like the Kamaka.
I added another coat of shellac to the bass ukulele. Slowly it builds up to shine.
I called Uncle Bob to wish him a Happy New Year and tell him of the progress of the uke build and the new job. So good to talk to him. He mentioned old friends singing “Five Foot Two”, I looked it up and am adding it to my repertoire.
A Happy New Years Day.

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