Friday, 23 September 2011

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Glued up!

I'm very happy with the way this has gone together, the HOURS AND HOURS of planing to get these bits to fit so perfectly were well worth it... The join is absolutely perfect...

Right! Glue time.

Having sanded all the areas I needed it's now time to stop thinking and start gluing...

Can't resist.

Met one of my favourite people @campbestival this year! Mr B Gentleman Rhymer, (@GentlemanRhymer on twitter) top guy, loves scallops, awesome moustache and this dude really knows how to put on a great show...

The neck.

It's time to get the enormous rasp out again to take this neck closer to the shape I want it to be.. I really can't tell you how much fun this bit is, and how you combine your eyes and the feel of the thing to create a finished item.. Big rasp, then sand back to see where you're at, also I like to and back to see if there's any grain that needs enhancing...


With a little more cutting and planing I'm starting to get these wings to fit to the neck properly, and to get an idea of what it's going to look like, I've cut out the bits next to the next as they wood be insanely difficult to cut out when glued. Neck shaping next!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The next step.

Ive made the leap and cut out from my 'plans' as a template, and marked out the walnut wings, notice the way ive slanted the template to make sure those beautiful grain features are shown... And finally the two marked out sides with the neck.

First things first.

I've decided on a scale, and have marked the neck out fairly accurately.. So I've started cutting away alot of the spare timber so I can get a feel of where the balance of the instrument is going to be.. I've also made sure that the best face of the 'flame' in the maple is presented on the headstock..

And the wood..

You're looking at a lump of flamed maple which is the lighter wood for the neck.. And two chunks of walnut for the body wings.. This is where the thinking cap goes on..

The new project.

I've been asked by rob (owner of the southern Uke store) to make him a solid u-bass, in the style of a musicman stingray bass... It's gonna be called the 'musicboy stingerlele' so here are my incredibly complex plans for the build.

The Lacewood Soprano.

That's it really... It was finished, and here it is getting a good nights rest at a premier inn. (ker-ching)

Sunday, 28 August 2011


This.. Is the "vodkalele" ... It's got yew back and sides, spruce top, maple neck.. I've decided to sell this.. You have to let go sometimes... 


Tuesday, 16 August 2011


That is all.

Ready for the finish!

So it's spray time, I've sanded it down to pretty much 500 all over and this thing is smooth.. Really smooth, I'm massively OCD about the sanding of the ukes, its sometimes a massive task, but it's the last hurdle, and races are won in the last metre so I make sure I put the effort in.. ;-) the fingerboard and bridge are masked off as I don't want to spray them.. And then it's on with the shellac, wire wool 0000gauge between coats, and about 4 coats..

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Strings on..

Before it gets the finish I'm putting the strings on to check everything lines up and works nicely, also I can have a cheeky listen to it.. The finish will make a difference to the sound but all the same I like to have a listen.. You can see from the pics I still have to do the final sanding, most noticeable in the square edge of the soundboard.. I best get sanding.

The lacewood soprano coming together.

Hi folks, sorry no posts for a little while, my gorgeous wife and I are soon to be hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet, so the building is on the back burner at the moment.. I'm missing it, as well as having some lovely people waiting for their ukuleles, but needs must, and I MUST get this house baby ready.. ;-)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Braces and linings..

Here's a couple of pictures explaining the relationship between braces (or tonebars) and linings, the first thing you'll probably notice is that my linings are solid, not the kerfed type with the multiple cuts in them to allow flexibility, I always have offcuts of the ukulele wood and prefer to bend these.. More re-cycling!

So you can see the recess cut in the lining ready to accept the end of the brace, this firms the whole thing up.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Finishing the headstock.

As you can see I went for the rosewood flares being hidden under the headstock veneer, I conducted a twitter poll to see what people preferred, my favourite comment on the subject was from @bazmaz who told me 'hide them, and then when people turn it over its another surprise' SOLD!
So here are two pics of the headstock, front and back, and a couple of pics of the rosewood heel being glued on.

Headstock decisions.

With the carving if the neck finished, here are some of the options I'm considering for the headstock set up..

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

More yew.

Some pics of some yew I was fortunate enough to come by courtesy of the awesome Tony Casey, whom I'm building a spaulted elm soprano for, with yew neck, bog oak fingerboard and buffalo horn nut and saddle. the guy is a great player, has the best voice, AND, knows a massive amount about everything ukulele related, building a uke for Tony is gonna be a pleasure.. You can follow Tony on twitter, he's, @TonyCasey64 ..