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. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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.

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