Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Thursday, May 4, 2017
I recently made this ukulele. Sipo body with maple binding, Sapele neck with ebony fretboard, European pearwood bridge (dyed brown), Grover tuning machines, French polished shellac finish over waterbase varnish filler. It's a simple three fan design, and the side depth is about 3/16" narrower than typical. It packs a real punch and I'm very pleased with the way it turned out.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
April must have been ukulele month. I worked on no less than four of them, in varying sizes, styles and colors. This is an interesting concept - it's a Gretsch G9126 ACE guitar ukulele. It couples the 17" tenor uke scale with the comfort and convenience of six strings (tuned like a guitar capo'd at the 5th fret, A to A.) Neat!
The bridge has been giving me some problems. I noticed it last summer when I did some electronic work, and this time I couldn't let it go without making it better. It uses the slightly archaic system of angled slots cut through diagonally from the top to the back of the bridge:
In this case the slots are augmented with holes intended to receive the knotted ends of string. Only problem is, the slots are a little wide and the holes are a little deep. The knots on the 4th and 5th strings want to creep up inside the slot and once lodged it's a real struggle to get them out.
I'm going to inlay a strip of wood along the back edge to eliminate the problem. I see a couple of suspicious looking circles that give me the creeps. I can't be sure of course, but I think there might just be some steel screws hiding in there. I should probably stay away from them with the router bit...
The track is a snug fit for my palm router and can be angled or moved back and forth into position. I set the bit for the final depth and pivot it in, taking a series of passes.
There we go: a nice straight-sided cut. I will square up the corners with a chisel.