Nikko's Tenor Ukulele Build blog:


November 3rd 2014

It is getting very close to the Hawaii trip date. I spent a bit of time making sure the neck alignment was perfect and glued on the neck. The neck joint is just a butt joint but I do have a blot holding it on as well as the glue. The bold made a handy clamp to hold the neck on while gluing.

I placed the bridge on the top (wrongly it turned out, I had to move the bridge a touch later) and used a special gluing caul with my home made vacuum clamp to glue on the bridge. You can see in the picture the sister ukulele is right behind, one step back.

Normally it takes me three day to pore fill a guitar. Being pressed for time I decided to use CA "super glue" to pore fill this ukulele. With it quick cure time I could pore fill in about an hour. I had some very high quality CA glue just for this purpose. I applied a very thin layer working it into the pores, let cure and used a razor blade to scrape it all off. All except what was left in the wood's pore. I did this a few times to make sure that the pores were filled so that I would end up with a smooth and level surface to finish.

By the end of the day I had a ukulele ready for a French polish finish (or so I thought!). The following pictures are right after the pore fill with just a wash coat of shellac.

November 4rd 2014

In the morning it occured to me that even though I set the bridge according to the plans that I had, it did not include the 1/8" I should have included for proper intonation. With the bridge placed where it was all of the notes would be sharp as they were played up the neck. I verifed this by installing a couple of frets and the 2 outside strings. Luckily I have a small repair blanket. I heated up the bridge untill the glue released and poped off the bridge. Whew no damage.

November 5th and Nov 6th 2014

It did not take long to clean up the repair, reglue the bridge and start the French polish (a traditional hand apply shellac finish).

I basically appy shellac until my arm falls off. Once finished I let the rest for a couple if days.

November 7th

We are leaving for the Hawaii trip on the 10th, so I had the weekend to install the frets, make and fit the bone saddle and nut and setup the ukulele. I was busy and did not take many pictures, but all and all it went well. I tried a few brands of strings before I settled on Aquila ukulele strings. Here is the completed ukulele and the happy new owner.

I played it a bit before leaving on the trip.

Nikko with her ukulele!

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