Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Talk about musical instrument construction, setup and repair.

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Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:41 pm

I think I have OCD.
I have French polished my Japanese planes!
I like tools to look like tools and cherish them as they are expensive..( well to my mind anyway ).
It makes them look nice.
It makes them feel good.
It prevents them getting grotty.
It shows my appreciation and proves I deserve them.
The metal parts are coated with Camelia oil to combat the humidity.
Other pics are of my Soprano #4 Ukulele.( for a lady friend)....some people have no idea what goes into this do they!....I think one word.....PASSION.
Really pleased with my bending.
I am beginning to be a good bender!!! ( woops)
I am pleased with the fit and managed to bend the sides within 15 minutes each and avoided scorching.By now you should be in stitches.

Well....just a little bit!
The sides are almost violin thickness ie 1mm.
About 1.2.
I was ecstatic to learn that with the Tenor neck blank I ordered for $60 , I just managed to get a Soprano neck out of it to boot.
Really cool!
Other shots show the head facings.
Then there is a shot of the Tenor back plate awaiting bracing.
The humidity is too high so it will have to wait for a good day.
BTW...I do not in any way expect Pat's on the back!
NO!!!!
I am just a chatty person who knows very little but gets easily excited about what I do.
Here goes with the pics.
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Happy Easter
Pete
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Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:36 pm

Further to the plot re my Tenor Uke build.
Here is the back being glued to the main body.
I know!...where is the radius dish?
I know it's the right way but for one Uke ( for me) I found another way around it.
It is flawed I know.
The marrying strip has the grain the wrong way but honestly, for a Uke Does it really matter?
The cutting of the kerfing is not what I had in mind to fit the spars but the workmanship is not bad as such?
Re the Koa back.
I would have preferred to not have the dark line black streaks but to have had it pure flamed Koa but I am limited in funds so could not afford the best wood.
The best I can do is what you see.
I aim to improve of course.
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Next is a shot of the head with pegs.
Sorry ...the pegs DO protrude the same height but I just popped them in and realised afterwards Aghhhh...
I have guffed for the photograph.
You either love or hate pegs.
Personally I love them because they are original, light, cheap and look different from the norm.
When correctly reamed and peg pasted, they perform beautifully.


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Lastly....Go Bars!
I do not understand why they are called " Go " bars because they do not " Go " anywhere.
It has been brought to my attention in other threads on the forum that it was the " Pommies " that named the various wood species we have out here.
More so I have been educated that it was in fact a German botanist ( Mueller ) that named several species out here.
Because the Germans and Brits must take the blame for this
I may as well as a" Pommy" go for it!
I simply love the go bar idea.
It is brilliant and it works.
But from now on and as a " Pommy " they have been renamed.
They are now known as " Bow bars " because they " bow " and do not " Go".
Bloody Pommies!!!
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:37 pm

Sorry...forgot the BOW BAR pic...
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Have a good day Y'all.
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:22 pm

Thought I would share how I make Rosewood bindings go further by splitting them in half without the kerf of the saw robbing me of the wood.
I like to use very thin dainty bindings that do not stand out in the face too much.
It's important to keep the fourth and fifth fingers as in the pic so as to support the wood whilst scribing.
The binding is scribed about six times on each side.
It is scribed on both sides before knifed out.
Pete.
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Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:28 pm

A question re routing the binding channels.
Do you guys ever get the goose pimples when you have made a beautiful guitar with expensive woods and spent ages only to be faced with ROUTING!.
Personally I crap myself and am still nervous of it.
The irony of it is that you cannot have a good drink before you do it else the whole lot ends up in the bin.
Is this what we call a " bad router day"?
Pete

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Mark McLean
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Mark McLean » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:24 pm

Your build is progressing very well Pete. I certainly would not consider that to be an inferior looking piece of Koa! I like your technique for splitting the bindings. I can see how this makes sense for a uke where you want quite dainty bindings. Also very frugal.

Regarding routing the binding channels, I share your feelings. It is terrifying to take a dirty great power tool and start ripping into the thing I have been creating for many hours. The potential for disaster is great, pucker factor is high (as our friend Robbie O’Brien would say).

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:56 pm

Thanks.
I am glad I am not alone!
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:42 pm

Mark.
I really appreciate your comments and thanks again.
Well I have thankfully finished my routing day thank goodness.
Here are some pics.
I am really pleased that the join with the Herringbone at the bottom Is hard to see.
I am not pleased that I did not line up the centers correctly.
Big Bummer but thankfully it is for me.
Also that the front plate is concavedly dished because I did not use a Solera or flat board to
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keep the fingerboard and body straight.
I have painfully noted this for next time.
It is not badly dished though and will still play.
On the good side, I am tapping this thing all over and I know it will be a good un.
It's going to be loud.
Koa is weird.
It is not particularly hard but when tapped!!!
Wow!
It is like tapping glass.
I will be disappointed if I am wrong.
I am not clever enough to do all the microphone bits and measure this and that with PC software.
Chladni patterns?
Too clever for me but intriguing.
I survive on pure luck.
Pete
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Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:00 pm

I have been experimenting again with pore and grain filling.
I sand papered a piece of Koa with 320 grit till I got a good heap of fine dust and added this dust to a thick solution of Shellac flakes and Alcohol.
The mix was brushed on liberally with a 12mm soft hair flat artist's brush.
Then when dry, sand papered with 320 then 1,200 then 2000.
I repeated the process three times and it works well.
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Mon May 06, 2019 2:39 pm

Onto blade sharpening now.
I have looked at the DMT diamond stones as used by Trevor but now realise what they cost.
I have to do this Uke building within my means.
Firstly I totally agree with Trevor G that a hohning guide is essential.
I always thought...
" huh! ...who needs one of them ..I have sharpened blades for years now!"
I was shamefully WRONG.
the cutting angle is critical and also the sharpness.
Of course the Proffis already know this.
I am but an amateur and still learning every day.
Any way I watched a you tube on how Colin from USA made a DIY hohning jig and thought..." Mhhh...I have the bits so knock one up.
After having made a squared up wedge at 25 degrees, this is offered to the main dowel rod and the wing nuts adjusted so that the blade is exactly at 25.
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A jig is then constructed and the blade set square using the stop at the back

When set, a piece of wood is then lightly nailed to meet the blade and this will serve to ensure 25 degrees all the time.
The degree can be changed by altering the plate.
When all set, the blade is then sharpened using various grades of wet and dry on a sheet of plate glass.
You can see how far off I was with the pic of the blade under sharpening.
Lots of rubbing still to do.
This is an important lesson to me.
Thanks TG !
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Mon May 06, 2019 2:46 pm

More pics re the above...
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.....
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You can see by the next pic how far out I was.
I know it is course but I am using 220 grit to get the right angle and then will hone down in stages down to 2000 grit.
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Lots of learning to do but oh so much fun.
Love it.
Pete

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56nortondomy
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by 56nortondomy » Mon May 06, 2019 6:02 pm

Nice Pete. I bought a diamond stone on eBay for about $40 400 grit on one side and 1000 on the other, for the cost I think it's great saves a lot of time compared to wet and dry on glass, which was how I was doing it.
Wayne

seeaxe
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by seeaxe » Mon May 06, 2019 6:41 pm

Petecane wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:22 pm
Thought I would share how I make Rosewood bindings go further by splitting them in half without the kerf of the saw robbing me of the wood.
I like to use very thin dainty bindings that do not stand out in the face too much.
It's important to keep the fourth and fifth fingers as in the pic so as to support the wood whilst scribing.
The binding is scribed about six times on each side.
It is scribed on both sides before knifed out.
Pete.
1556352719431857.jpg
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20190427_181026.jpg
Late to this party but I like your tip for halving the bindings. In my case its the B/W/B purflings...I bought them from Tim Spittle and they are great but I end up planing most of them off and thats annoying. I couldn't work out how I could cut them in half but Ill have a go at something like that. Especially when I get into uke production (7.5 grandchildren...) I think there are a few ways, but that looks quite simple.

I built myself a router jig to reduce the puckerage, but its still there.

And your Japanese planes look pretty, a good enough reason to polish them.
Richard

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Wed May 08, 2019 7:45 am

I dont yet have one Richard but a wheeled marking gauge would do an even more accurate job of splitting the bindings.
The Japanese planes are a joy to use but you need to get to know them.
I have yet to do a long shaving at 5 microns thick!!!
It is the record so far with the Japanese Planing Competitions.
There's hope but not much!!!!
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Wed May 08, 2019 4:18 pm

Welcome to the Bushwhacker Ukulele party.
It is nice that a few have commented favorably on my thin line bindings and yes...I like them too.
I think it makes the instrument more delicate.
Have been reading TG books and picking out what I can and applying it to Uke builds.
I wholly agree with constraining the shape within the mould/ form.
However...I am still fixed with the Olde Worlde method of Uke construction as per the " Ford" film advertising their build.
The first Uke I built ended up bowed due to the step for the neck not being included at the back.
Secondly there were no stops for the sides/ ribs to clamp down to.
I have now remastered ( hell that's posh!) The mould so that the sides sit on a ledge all the way around.
The sides are held secure using Irwin and violin makers clamps.
Pete
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More later.
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Wed May 08, 2019 6:13 pm

I have cut down the side Cauls so that after the linings have been glued in the whole mould and Uke sides can be turned upside down and rubbed on a flat sand papered plate.
The back with its braces can then be glued on using said clamps.
It is then removed from mould and top linings glued in.
Sand papered on a flat plate with the top braces and glued using a flat piece of shaped MDF.
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I use cocktail sticks as dowels to locate the top plate.
Violin makers use this technique so it is good for me.
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.
Finally the difference between a herringbone and a simpler form of inlay to the bindings.
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My gut feeling is that the simpler form portrays the " Slender " lines more?
They both came from the same mould.
Somehow , the added Herringbone has the illusion of taking away the shape.
I really like this old shape and want it to be paramount to the looks of the Uke.
It is important to me to know what you think about the two differences.
Maybe there isn't one and I am obsessed!.
Nice if you have time to comment.
And just another clip of the slimline Rosewood bindings.
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Thanks.
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Fri May 10, 2019 12:49 pm

Here are a few shots of the finished but yet unstrung Soprano.
I am pleased with my attempts at Ebonizing the bridge.
The Gidgee top layer ebonises better than the rest.
It is not Black Black but I like it.
Again, I have made the nut and saddle from ebony.
Is there a great audible difference between using bone?
I know bone is harder but can we really hear it?.
On a Uke????
I have made this for a lovely Australian lady I have met who asked me to make her one...Ahem...Shhh!!!.....
Task on!
You godda do whatchoo kandoo.
( getting away with it is another matter! )
If you want to Woo somebody then stick the whole caboodle in a Chinese version of the Fender Tweed case!
Enough of my private life.
Here's the shots.
The Queensland maple Is funny.
It shows itself when Sunny. ( Lawson)

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Fri May 10, 2019 12:59 pm

Sorry the " place in line " is not working.
Oh well.
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Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Fri May 10, 2019 1:01 pm

But if you like model railways...there you go.
Sorry for the mistake.
Peter

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Mark McLean
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Mark McLean » Fri May 10, 2019 2:46 pm

Pete, to my eye the one with the herringbone trim looks no less shapely than her sister. I like the classic look of the herringbone. If they are looking different it might be an illusion produced by the presence of the fingerboard and strings on one of them, rather than the purfling. But it is all in the eye of the beholder.

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Fri May 10, 2019 4:22 pm

Thanks Mark for your take on it.
It must be optical illusion playing tricks again.
Very similar to how our brain stores sounds.
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sat May 11, 2019 7:58 am

Last nightI strung up the new soprano uke.
The one without the Herringbone on the periphery.
It was astonishingly and pleasingly loud.
Both ukes were off the same mould but the one in question has slightly thicker top and bottom plates but made from the same material.
Both ukes have plain square section bracing.
The main difference between the two is that the first built has a red cedar neck and this one has a Queensland Maple neck.
The head stock on the first one is at 17 degrees and the on the latter, it is 15 degrees.
I have a gut theory but may be off my rocker.
I suppose what I mean to ask is.....
Does the choice of a harder wood neck make a difference to the sound?
What I am trying to put into words is...
There are two string anchor points. The saddle and the nut.
Well actually three....the wooden pegs which I will come to.
I am conversant with the duties of the saddle but would like to know if I am right in thinking that the strings anchored to the nut also send vibrations down the neck, to the heel and ultimately to the body of the instrument.
If said neck is a harder wood, the vibrations would travel unhindered and not soaked like a sponge with a softer wood.
I believe also that wooden pegs anchored directly to the head also play a part in these vibrations as they are in direct contact with the wooden mass.
Please excuse me if I have explained this rather badly but I would like to hear your views on whether or not vibrations extend from the first anchor point, the pegs , the second anchor point the nut ,then through the neck to the body joint and more importantly, would different neck wood choices make any difference?
Pete

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