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 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:03 pm

Thanks Richard.
I have my days like us all.
I was going to leave the braces out but thought better of it.
I bent them on the iron to produce a very slight curve and then sprung them in and glued up.
Funny....as I go along with this oldie style of build, certain things come to light.
The rear braces fall exactly at the outer extremes of the lower boots and exactly in the middle of the inner boots.
This just happens to hold the build together ready for the back to be glued on.
The reason I have sprung the braces and made a slight curve is so that there will be a positive glue joint at the braces.
The back went on well with just clamps and string.
Oh course I cannot see how well until it is removed from the mould.
I used Camphor strips for the linings and they bent easily on the iron.
Pete.
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Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:05 pm

Back on.
All tied up!
Pete
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Pat.Hawkins
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Pat.Hawkins » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:09 pm

I've got a Japanese marking knife. (Bevel on one side only so it's square to the ruler on the non-bevel side). Trying to use it more and the pencil less.

I have a Japanese pull saw for fret cutting. It has the sliding (height adjustable) fence on the side that works really well as a depth-stop.

Pete, you could make a great salesman with your enthusiasm! You've sold me on the plate-joining method. I'll ditch my current method and make up some wedges etc.
Cheers and good luck :D

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:01 pm

To be clear...I cannot match (yet ) the beautiful workmanship that has been presented on this forum... I wish I could .
But it gives me the impetus to strive on.
I am full of mistakes but see them as learning curves.
" I have been successful in proving certain aspects of build do not work!!!"...Eddisson I believe.

You guys make stunning guitars which are a lot bigger than what I am dealing with.
I am currently making a Soprano Uke to my own design ( shapewise)....but Martin strong points.
As you can see I am trying out the " old " method.
I think there is a lot to say about this as the neck is held perfectly flat to the body by way of the mould.
Or is it?.
I have watched the old time video ( and they deliberately hide vital points of construction) and also purposely mislead because they are protecting their business.
Ken Timms has portrayed an exhaustive account on how to make these Ukuleles in the " Old fashioned way ".
I have followed these principles and in particular I like the way the neck is held dead straight in the mould and slits cut out in the neck for the ribs....A LA Spanish heel.
But.........
I have made " the step " at the neck to cater for the front plate thickness and have ended up with a bowed ribbed body.
The Uke is not unusable but nonetheless annoyingly out of shape.
What was not mentioned was....that the same difference must be added to to the tail end of the instrument.
I have redesigned my mould by....
1 Having one straight length to cater for neck straightness instead of two halves.
2 By inserting shims at the tail end as well as the front to compensate for Top board thickness.
3 The shims are off a known thickness...ie 2mm Polystyrene sheet epoxied on.
I hope the following photos make it clear...
To sum up... the "step " at the front needs replicating at the rear or else a bowed structure will occur.
Maybe it should be a violin?
On one of the photos you will see that I have put in a very thin dowel pin to locate the front plate exactly in line with the centre line.
Although it is not exactly on the centre line doesn't matter but the centre line does.
This gives me a reference when it comes to glueing
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the front plate on as it will be upside down.
With it located within its pin , all I have to do is line up the rear of the plate to the centre line.
In theory this should work.
It did with violins!
Sorry about the crap workmanship.
I aim to improve.
I had to add thickness to the linings by inserting extra
Kurfed strips as I will be in laying herringbone and lining strips.
That will be fun with my newly acquired routing attire all good fun and lots to learn still.

Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:02 pm

The shim added to the rear!
1554365788179914.jpg

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:04 pm

Side view.
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Attachments
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Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:06 pm

Locating pin.
1554365787464412.jpg

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:07 pm

Top added.
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Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:23 pm

The spars are crude, not tapered or thinned at the extremities.
They are simply whacked in as per the video.
But are they again hiding something?
This is an experiment anyway.
Ken Timms said that the Island Uke was loud.
It was thrown together!.
I have taken just a bit more care but remained basic.
It will be interesting to hear how it sounds.
One interesting facet!!!
I once repaired a violin for some one.( or two )
It was a Gussetto.
I had to remove the back.
To my astonishment the inside of the belly was rough carved with the gouge Mark's clearly there.
It looked a mess!...
By heck that violin sounded so sweet!.
Thousands sweet!!!
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:24 pm

Pat. Just seen your reply.
Thanks for your interest.
Well I suppose I am a bit OTT with enthusiasm sometimes!...
When I made this miniature version of the plate joining rack as described in the Gore/Gilet books I thought at first...yeah ...That must work.
However when I finished it and did a dry run ramming the wedges through the figure of eight loops with a hammer I was exploding with awe just how perfectly this contraption works!!.
It's almost a medieval torture device!!!
Tip!
I made a small block of wood the height of the thinnest part of the wedge and looped the figure of eight over that.
That gave me a start point to squeeze my wedges through.
You could of course loop it over the thinnest part of the wedge.
Another piece of genius to put smiles on our faces.
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:23 pm

By Genius...I did not mean " my block of wood"..
I meant the concept of the plate joining rack!!!
Onwards and upwards.
I have glued on the front now!
It is a tiny instrument so 58 RH should do?
I am trying to replicate the "Nunes " shape .
I spent many hours trying to get the shape right.
I think I have done it?
If that is a " No "....then it is " MY " shape and either way I am pleased with it.
Because of the build process there are very slight deviations from the outside of the Rosette to the inner bouts.
But not too much to be bothered about.
The Queensland maple needs more rubbing to bring out the flame.
I have tapped it all over and it sounds like it wants to respond.
Okay...the Tech bit!
I do not understand Maths.
Complete dummy.
But I have read about the " Helmholz" Resonater principle.
Being a flute player, I thought I would blow across the sound hole just as an experiment to see what note I could produce.
With a tiny Soprano Uke this was just possible but I needed a lot of Huff.
The note produced was a resounding C.
However having tapped it I got a G with a perfect fifth just audible.
I hope I am right but this indicates to me that tuned to GCEA, I have hit this bang on?
More fluke than anything else. NO... more UKE than anything else....sorry it's the wine!...drunk again.
To me....this means that the above notes and their overtones will resound beautifully.
I am very adapt to being wrong but there must surely be something in it?.
Here's a pic of what I really like in the Ukulele shape.
It is old fashioned, slender and to my eyes...well....
Er........a little bit beautiful.
Pete
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Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:50 pm

I have invested in router attachments to fit the Dremmel series.
I like Rope bindings but thought I would try my hand first with Herringbone and a Rosewood binding.
I found that the " Rout " was not parallel all the way round.
I think that this may be due to the sides not being exactly a t 90.
I used a very sharp chisel to get the trough parallel .
Is this Normal practice?
Overall for a first attempt ...not bad but not brilliant.
There is a large gap which I will show in the picture.
Annoying but my daughter will nonetheless love it.
She is 30 and just discovered the fun with Ukuleles.
Sent me a video of her playing a simple tune but the big smile on her face at the end was enough for me to decide she needs another but prettier " Dad " uke.
You know!! There is something in this Luthier concept!!....
Some one else gets pleasure from our labours.
Although..I do not class myself as a Luthier.
I would like to call it hand made but at the moment they are " made in the shed mate!"
Dream of improving but I love the journey.
There is no end.
Here's the pics.
One of them shows a side view.
Yes ...you can perceive a certain Bowing with the sides.
This is a result of me not putting the shim I spoke about earlier at the tail end.
Double Bugger.
She will still love it coz DADDY made it!!
Moral of the story....
Make Ukes for family only ...like someone I know!!!
Can't go wrong.
But of course I appreciate the professionals have to earn a living and therefore there must be standards.
In my mind, my standards are high.
It's just when transmitted to my hands things go wrong!!!
I will keep on the red wine.
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Hope these give the general picture.
Have a really good day
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:08 pm

Am I going mad?
When I look at the picture of the Uke without binding it looks slender.
When I look at it with the binding it does not look so slender but wider!
This is a lesson to me to refrain from the Herrinbone or not.
I think I like it in it's pure natural state without the fancy bits.
This was the look I was after.
Bummer!!!
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:27 pm

Forgot to show you the Rosewood binding in perspective.
I have opted to make it only 2mm in depth as it is sufficiently deep enough to do its job without being over bearingly in yer face deep!.
It is in keeping with an old time instrument.
I think it looks delicate...and I like this aspect.
So things go wrong and then they go right.
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:28 pm

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Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:05 pm

She is finished!.
Overall I am delighted with it and have experimented building it the " old way ".
The main problem was the sides bowed because I omitted to put in a back shim the same thickness as the neck shim as mentioned earlier.
This Uke was purposely built in the most simple way.
It is super light due to the wood thickness, its size, a red cedar neck and Ebony pegs tuners.
I ran out if pearl dots so for the fingerboard inlays I sliced up some cattle bone from a guitar nut blank.
I think the ebony pegs, nut, bridge saddle and the Herrinbone blend in together well.
The belly is dead flat as is the back.
The sides are parallel.
The braces are sitka spruce but not beautifully shaped and apexed .They were glued in in their square section.
Nothing fancy at all.
The surprising thing is that this little madam Is loud!!!
It barks at you!
It is louder than my Martin copy but to be fair the latter has cedar top and " Madam " is Queensland maple top back and sides.
I scorched the sides a bit and could not remove it.
I can now bend a side in 15 minutes so I am getting better!.
Oh......and I have built in 17 degree angle on the head stock.
I like this as it reminds me of some of the beautiful flamenco guitars I have had the pleasure to play.
I would love to make a uke from Spanish Cypress but it is getting hold of it at a sensible price.
Have a good good day.
Pete
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Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:19 pm

And just to prove I have been reading the books!!!!
It s a Tenor Uke.
I splashed out and went for Koa all round.
I have shellacked the inside for appearance and to give a clearer sound.
The clearer brighter sound is just something I have in my mind....
I did the sides entirely with a Japanese scraper plane.
I had a few blade sharpening sessions but I think this is normal.
Pete
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kiwigeo
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by kiwigeo » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:19 pm

Nice work Pete. Always a good feeling to see the results of all the hard work.
Martin

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:38 am

Glad you like it Martin.
My daughter is mega excited about getting her second Nuke as she calls them ....which makes it all so worth it.
Question.
I am not going professional in any way but my labels are pretty rubbish.
If I can improve on little things at a time that is one aspect that can help to make my ukes at least " look" professional.
Where is a good place to have luthier type labels printed in Australia?
Pete

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56nortondomy
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by 56nortondomy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:01 pm

I print my own labels on parchment paper from officeworks, I think they look fine, you can get different colours, it's way nicer than just normal print paper. Wayne

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Mark McLean
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Mark McLean » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:29 pm

Looks great Pete. I love the herringbone and the slim bindings. It must feel good to get to the end of the race.

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:07 am

Wayne/ Mark.
Thanks.
Re labels...I have a PC and printer but the obvious again did not hit me!....duh!!!....good tip...thanks.
Re Herringbone.
I cheated and bought it in.
The idea was to rope bind it a la Nunes but I wimped out.
I now know how it is done but not tried it yet.
I will make more to this outline as it plays loud and sweet.
Perhaps I will rope the next one.
In the mean time I have started a Tenor for myself from Koa all round.
It is great to finish the race but also exciting to start a new one.
I should have studied to be a luthier right from the start.
I love it.
Pete

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lamanoditrento
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by lamanoditrento » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:18 pm

Well done Pete :cl
Trent

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:08 pm

Well I really now do not know what to think!
There was me harping on how brilliant the Veritas Scraper is ( and on the wrong thread...sorry admin ( and I have done exactly what Martin has done.....gone back to using another favourite Scraper.
To be clear I am not knocking Veritas ...I am knocking myself as I just cannot get the blade razor sharp. It's a pig.
I must have given it a good six hours on and off trying to get the blessed blade right.
I fully ( I think) ....understand the principles of the burr la la la.
I just ended up grabbing my little Japanese friend and she was away no problems.
Its blade is heavy without any burr and set at 90.
I know it is high carbon steel judging by the black slurry on my waterstones.
The veritas slurry is not so black.
I have to often sharpen the Japanese plane but it doesn't take forever like the Veritas.
So to some it up....
I am a bad craftsman that goes first the easy option.
Let's say...I have come to grips with the Japanese plane.
Pete

Petecane
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Re: Bushwhacker Ukulele builds.

Post by Petecane » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:59 pm

Think I understand the humidity thing!
We are on 90% today.
It is like planing/ scraping card board.
Bends and warps like hell.
I think I can actually " feel " it in the wood.
Am I getting there?
Pete

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