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 ..

The SPOOKY soprano.

Couldnt resist sketching this out, I'm really fond of the sound of yew, and although it is challenging to work with sometimes, I just love the look of it.. And this one will be no exception! I've already earmarked this as my set as I've recently become interested in sopranos after Pete Howlett told me it took him 12 years to perfect a soprano, I've got a gorgeous back and sides to go with it as well as a yew neck, can't wait! My only concern is getting enough sound out those knot holes...

A few random shots.

I've been trying to do this blog in a chronological order, but, I'm going to break the trend and just post what like, ok? Good.. I know you haven't seen the finished lacewood soprano yet but here it is, I'll post more of the whole thing soon, these are three of the five ukes I took to the show.. I have show pics to come as well.. ;-)

Friday, 17 June 2011

The first festival stall.

Hi folks! This is the first outing of the Cursley Festival stall, it's a bit sparse having been thrown together tonight at 8pm after I realised I had no uke holders or nothing to hang my sign on, tbh I was so busy finishing the lacewood soprano I didn't really get to far in thinking about it all! A massive thanks to Russ of sign systems + for agreeing to make the sign for me yesterday, I think the only things I'm short of now are flyers/badges/etc and a coldbox for the beer.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Carving of the neck.

This is my favourite bit... Take one piece of wood, and one massive aggressive wood rasp... Et voila.. One neck shaped in less than three minutes.. This tool is such a great piece of kit, with one swipe you can take off about 1/4" of unwanted wood, it beats spokeshaves everyday of the week for me, these uke necks are tiny, you can't get a spokeshave in either end, so they aren't effective imho.. From the 'massive aggressive' rasp I'll step down a notch and use an engineers file to carry on the process.

Fitting the neck.

So with the spare wood cut away from the neck, and the body now complete with linings (the thin strips of wood around the inside) and top and bottom blocks glued in place it's time to fit the neck, this time I've tried to eliminate any sanding of the neck joint by making the neck blank perfectly square, and making the body flat where the two meet.. This has gone better than I thought it would and it's left me with no sanding at all! Look at the second picture, for a first fitting of the neck, that's an awesome fit....

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The rosewood gusset.

The following three pictures are the basic stages of installing a contrasting wood infill or 'gusset' ...

I've cleaned out the wood I need to lay the infill piece in place, I then cut and shape the corresponding infill piece, glue it in while it's still oversize, and simply sand back until it matches the profile of the ukulele.

My new toy.

This is my latest gizmo... My new pillar drill, or drill press as the yanks call it.. This is part of the reason I'm drilling the 24mm hole described in the previous post.

Cutting the spare wood away.

I tried a new technique this time, drilling a 24mm hole where the curve of the heel is situated, this should give me a precise and more importantly 'constant' element to my builds, something I'm looking to add to my building to take some (most) of the guess work out of it.. The 24mm hole also eliminates the tight and messy cut I would have to make on the bandsaw, this way I can just cut into each side of the hole.

Some shots of the neck blank.

This is the first build where I've used a precision cut neck blank, I normally just get carving and complete the process in a more 'organic' way, but this time I thought I'd cut myself a proper blank.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Here are a couple of photos for you of an upcoming soprano project.. Spaulted elm back, front and sides, with a yew neck.. Really looking forwards to building this ..