Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ukulele Build Part 13

The maple bindings did not turn out as well as I had hoped so the ukes went back onto the binding router and the maple was routed off and plastic bindings were added.  The necks were trued up and custom fitted to the bodies.  The instructions call for mounting the finger board to the neck and then fitting the neck to the body.  I figured that the finger boards would get in the way with fitting and finishing so I opted to leave them off at this point in time.  Ukes have nylon strings and short necks so I figure that there will be minimal stress on the necks and little back bow because of the little string stresses.  This means that the neck should be flat in relation to the tops of the uke body.  It is critical that the neck joint be perfect because the action of the uke (geometry of how the strings lie in relation to the fret board) depends upon this.  I used the trick of using double sided tape to fix sandpaper onto the body of the uke and ran the neck up and down this so that the exact shape of the body was cut into the neck joint surface.  A single dowel was drilled into the body and neck to help strengthen the joint.  Here is a photo of the glue up.
Here are the ukes after the glue up was done.  I used CA glue to put the bindings on which is why there is shellac on both bodies to prevent the CA from wicking up the grain and marring the finish (it is not a sunburst finish, although that is not a bad idea...).

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