Project Ukulele

For all things relating to guitars, basses, amps, pedals & accessories.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by Folderol »

Lovely shine on that.
Probably the same for Andy :D
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14795 Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:00 am Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by zenguitar »

Another polishing day today. Did some more spotting with the 2000 grit wet & dry and Olive oil lubricant. Then cleaned up before going over the entire instrument with the rottenstone again.

And then I got out the cotton pads and Brasso and went over everything twice.

Result? Well, there are a few small spots where it could be better. But that would mean ladling on a load more shellac and then working through the grades of wet & dry to achieve perfection before polishing with more rottenstone and Brasso. But we aren't looking at anything major here, and besides, Sod's Law tells us that within a month of finishing general wear and tear would generate enough dinks and marks to catch the eye at least as much.

Image

Image

Image

And now all that remains is to fit the machine heads, the nut, and the strings. Then mark the correct intonation ready to cut and fit the saddle. So here are most of the bits that are needed.

Image

The nut is already rough cut and ready to fit. I'll pull out the fret press to press in the tuner bushings. And then I can drop in the tuners and adjust the post heights. Then I can mark out the nut slots and test fit the strings. With the strings fitted I'll use some temp saddles to mark the correct intonation for each string at the bridge and use the Dremel and saddle jig to cut a saddle slot. Then it's just a matter of fitting the saddle to the slot and profiling it with the correct intonation.

And then this uke is finished. And I promise to grab a decent recording for you all to hear. Then it's time to source the parts for the new back for the second uke and get that finally finished too.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 11725 Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:00 am Location: Devon
Is it about a bicycle?

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by zenguitar »

First job of the day, fit the tuner bushings. So step one was to grab my Fret Press and then to look at how to make best use of it. A little experimenting found that I had a Star drive Hex bit where the Star drive was just smaller than the standard 6mm Hex. The Star drive tip passed through the bushings, but then opened up wide enough for the shoulder to press through. Everything was in place, and once held in the press it all looked good.

Image

Once it went in neatly it was just a matter of doing the other 3.

Image

The Gotoh tuners have Height Adjustable Posts. So I took a few minutes to get the post heights correct. A few more minutes with a drill for some pilot holes. And all 4 tuners were neatly fixed in place.

Image

Image

All looking good. And tomorrow I just need to make sure the nut is neatly seated, cut the slots, trim it to final size, and cut the slits to depth. Then I fit the strings, mark out the intonation points for each, and fit the saddle.

Finish the nut and saddle, and the uke is finally finished.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 11725 Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:00 am Location: Devon
Is it about a bicycle?

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by Folderol »

:D that's all.
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14795 Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:00 am Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by zenguitar »

Easy start. Fit nut and mark the string locations. Cut start slots with saw, then take them deeper with the nut slotting files. Fit strings.

Image

If you look carefully you can see the Allen key used as a temporary saddle :)

Then it gets frustrating GGGRRRRRRRR!!!!!

The StewMac saddle slotting jig for the Dremel and router base is brilliant. Let's you line up the saddle slot VERY accurately and lets you cut a very neat slot with a perfectly flat bottom. Ideal. However, it's designed to sit on a guitar, not a cute little ukulele so is just too big to use as designed. OK, flip it around 180 degrees and it will work.

Image

Now I just need to work out how to assemble everything neatly and securely. If I had a proper workbench it would be easy. Screw down some padded supports for the uke body, screw down a couple of rails for the jig to sit on. Job done. Ten minutes work with a bandsaw and some scrap wood, easy.

OK, a petty problem, I know. And I'll come up with a solution in the next day or two. But still another small frustration and delay :frown:

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 11725 Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:00 am Location: Devon
Is it about a bicycle?

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by Folderol »

I notice a considerable use of soft cloths lately :)
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14795 Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:00 am Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by zenguitar »

Yep, plenty of protective cotton. And that carpet on the bench gets a regular vacuuming too.

And decided on the course of action. Monday or Tuesday should see it finished. And then I'll find a volunteer from the local ukulele group to play it while I grab a recording.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 11725 Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:00 am Location: Devon
Is it about a bicycle?

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by Frisonic »

zenguitar wrote: ... then I'll find a volunteer from the local ukulele group to play it while I grab a recording.

Andy :beamup:

Every village should have one! This is now officially an exciting week :)
Frisonic
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2951 Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:00 am Location: Refugee currently in transition.
Still strictly project but lately on the run.

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by zenguitar »

Frisonic wrote: This is now officially an exciting week :)

And a frustratingly wet week too. Waiting for the weather to ease so I can get the uke on the bench and fit that saddle. It's all marked out ready to go, just need a dry day to cart everything to the the bench in Mark's garage, knock up some support for the jig, and make some ebony dust.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 11725 Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:00 am Location: Devon
Is it about a bicycle?

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by zenguitar »

And still raining !!!

I took my frustration out on the mandolin. Frets removed this afternoon. But it is fighting back far more than expected. I applied some SERIOUS heat to the fretboard but it just won't separate from the body. I bought it from a widow in the late 70's, it had belonged to her late husband and I do recall that she told me that he converted it (or had it converted) from an 8 string to a 12 string in the 60's or possibly earlier. Right now I'm starting to wonder what on earth was used to glue it back then. The fretboard is weeping resin under heat (and it smells great) but a hot knife is making no impression whatsoever. Looks like the next step is to apply a fresh Stanley knife blade and a hammer!!!

Lets hope the weather improves tomorrow so I can deal with a sensible ukulele instead.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 11725 Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:00 am Location: Devon
Is it about a bicycle?

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by zenguitar »

Typical !!!

I commit to taking on the freezer in a fight to the death (defrosting with the aid of the steam cleaner) and the weather makes a turn for the good !!!

But arrangements have been made, and the bridge will be slotted tomorrow afternoon. HURRAH

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 11725 Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:00 am Location: Devon
Is it about a bicycle?

Re: Project Ukulele

Post by zenguitar »

And so it came to pass that the sun shineth all afternooneth. So I packed everything that was needed and made the epic stroll up the road to Marks house where there was space on the workbench.

And with coffee on hand I found the bag of cork padding and worked out a nice clamping arrangement.

Image

Image

Frustratingly, I could have done this at home if my bench was 6" deeper !!

Anyway, then it was time to line up the router cutter. I had marked the location of the temporary saddle (the allen key) by making scalpel marks either side at the bass and treble sides. The jig allowed me to align the back of the saddle on base and treble sides with the router bit.

And after some fine tuning I could make the first cut.

Image

After a few passes, going deeper each time, I had to widen the slot. Easiest way is to use feeler gauges to measure the width of the 1st cut, then compare that with the saddle and see how much more you need to add. One important thing to remember is that you fit the saddle to the slot, not the slot to the saddle. So I picked a feeler gauge that added enough extra width without getting as wide as the saddle blank.

And once I had the gauge I used that to space the jig for the second cut.

Image

And after checking and double checking, I made the second cut with a few passes of the Dremel.

And here it is all finished.

Image

Tomorrow I fit the saddle and nut finally, shape them, polish them, and tune up.

And then I need to find the local tenor Uke champion to grab a recording.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 11725 Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:00 am Location: Devon
Is it about a bicycle?
Post Reply