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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Slotting for frets

I fit the necks to the piccolo sized ukes before slotting for frets. Since these are Swewaiian style ukes they won't get a fretboard, instead the frets are seated directly into the neck. I want the 12th fret to be exactly at the neck to body joint, a location that is largely unknown before the neck's in place. During fitting and alignment the heel end might get shorter, and the joint may well be off square as long as it all lines up and any skew is within the width of the fret crown. 

So, I've made a fret slotting template that goes on the neck as you can see in the first pic. 


The saw I use is from Stewmac and has a depth stop. The perspex in the jig is 4 mm, the tang of the frets are 1.4 mm so I set the stop to give me slots deep enough without being too deep. I don't mind a miniscule gap under the tang, that's better than a poorly seated crown. And it's good for sucking in some ca glue too. 


Thirteen slots cut. The one at the top isn't for a zero fret, I'll use it for creating a ledge for the bone nut. You can also see the jig from underneath. 


And here they are, remarkably similar to real instruments. I'll give them a wash coat of shellac before fretting. 


Yes. I know I've shown all of this previously. But that's the point of a diary innit, repeatedly and endlessly mulling over simple things. I do give you new chisel pics now and then don't I. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Piccolos gathering momentum

These two piccolos have been neglected the last few weeks, but now when those resos are done I'm gonna finish them. The necks were carved and sanded so this morning I attached them. I think there's at least one post about that so this is more of a report of the results. 


Speaking of repeating myself - I know I've given you this before but you can't get enough of ye olde EA Berg chisel eating away the soundboard overhang. 


And here's the same weapon slicing the heel down to the depth of the sides. 


And this is how they look. Next job is back braces, setting final neck angle and glueing the backs on. Then fret slots, fretting, bridges and tuners. Oh, and the shellac finish. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Resos 79 and 80, done

Well gosh darn, they're all but done. Setting up resos with these coverplates is time consuming at best and frustrating at worst. 

I wish there was a way to remove only the buckle over the bridge, so I could access that for setting the action. Wait, weren't the DRC coverplates made thusly? Yes they were. If only I had gotten the six sets I ordered instead of being robbed for 500 quid! Not that I carry a grudge. Who would for three bloody years. 


Anyway, the Phils will get their resos finally! Number 79 and number 80 couldn't go to better homes or better mates. 


Some fiddling remains, and I'll have a go at a demo vid in a few days. Then it's shipping time. 


They look so good they could almost pass for the real thing, I mean ukes from a sweatshop in China. 


The mahogany is a one piece back and front, and also a one piece rim (remember the post about the two hour bending hell?). The ash is bookmatched all around. 


Fanx for looking! Don't write an email asking for a reso.