Friday, November 11, 2011

Ukulele Build Part 10

Linings were added to the top and bottom portions of the sides.  These linings increase the surface area for gluing the tops and bottom on to the uke.  The kit came with a set of thin basswood linings as shown on the left while I made more traditional "guitar style" linings for the 002 uke on the right.  We'll see which work out better on the final product.  I made a modification to the plans for the building jig by substituting a set of 1/2 inch dowels for the metal angle brackets.  This is much gentler on the side wood.
 Here is a photo of gluing on the tops for the ukes.  I used hide glue for this and really had to hustle to get the tops on before the glue started to gel.  It goes without saying but you need to do a dry run on each uke so there is no wasted time in the gluing process.  As you can see here, I have abandoned the metal brackets and added dowels to both jigs.  I think this is a better set up.
 Next the mother of pearl palm trees were added to the head stocks.  I used a glue stick to adhere the MOP to the head stock and then used an exacto knife to trace the outline of the palm trees.  Once the MOP was removed I added a little talcum powder as shown here.
 The talcum powder shows up the lines better so they are easier to follow when routing.
 Here is the start of the route.  Be careful not to let your attention stray for even one moment.  On the other head stock I looked up to see how the power cord on the router was laying and I neatly routed through the side of the palm tree trunk!  Not good, not good at all.  Fortunately there is a cheat fix that will work well so that only you and I, gentle reader, will know that the mistake is there...
 Add a little fine sanding dust to the epoxy mix to make the epoxy the same color as the finished wood.
 Glue the MOP in place with epoxy filling all of the route.
 Clamp with a caul and wax paper to seal in the goodness.  Let dry for 12 hours or so...
I left the MOP proud by a good 1/64th of an inch because there are machining marks in the face of the MOP and I am dealing with thin veneer here so I can't afford to sand through the veneer.  BTW adding saw dust to epoxy changes the epoxy's consistency (see the kayak build for more info on epoxy formulations).

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