Another fun weekend. I’ve been working on the ukuleles some more, with the first soprano nearing completion. Yesterday I cut a piece of rosewood for a bridge similar to the one on the 90 year old Kamaka from Uncle Bob. It’s 2.5″ by 5/8″ by 3/16″ with a table saw notch under the back to hold the strings. I used the fret saw to start the string cuts, a Japanese flush cut saw really, switching to another one I have a little wider for the larger strings. All that at an angle to leave the string at the top edge of the bridge for a clean break to length. Sanded smooth to 600 grit and glued in place after a rough flattening of 80 grit to flatten the glue surface.
I ground down a piece of cow bone for the nut, sawed and sized. I deepened the neck slot to fit it using the fret saws, files and narrow chisel to fit.
It’s nearly ready to be lacquer finished and final assembled. It should be a good ukulele.
Meanwhile, the bass finish continues to be a problem, after two months it’s still not right. I’m adding more coats to the problem areas around the bridge to build up a smooth coat, but it’s slow.
While everything was drying, I surface sanded another side piece of mahogany. It came out a little thin, but usable. I fired up the hot lamp tube and bent it to fit the soprano mold, clamped to dry. S2 begins.
The hot lamp is too short to work well, so I went to town and bought a 3 foot lamp thread rod and two couplers. The modified lamp has more clearance for longer sides. It works well but I’m concerned about it falling over, needs more weight. Perhaps a couple sand bags.
I bent a couple liners cut from mahogany stock sawed to size, clothes pin clamped in place, looking good.
I cut a piece of cherry wood to make a neck, laminating a couple pieces on for the heel.
I cut and flat sanded up redwood stock for a soundboard, string clamped and wedged tight.
These sopranos are quicker to build. Probably why they are cheaper to get. Still fun to build.
Cooking, I made a few meals for the week ahead. Pork chops with mashed potatoes and asparagus, fried chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. A batch of cream of asparagus soup with bacon bits from Cathy’s Costco, tasty stuff.
A fine weekend, ready for the week to come.