Quilted Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Build blog:


March 14th 2016

I fussed around with the finish. I was starting to sand it out when I saw that I still had some very thin gaps along the bindings in a couple of places. I filled them with CA, but that meant I needed to clean up the finish around those areas. The Seal-Lac Royal-Lac combo is easy to rework, so after I leveled the CA I just needed a day to pad on some more Royal-Lac. I applied about 6 paddings one day. Sanded it level and 6 more the next day.

After letting that sit for a few days I sanded the top level with the gray 600 grit 3M polishing paper and set to mount the bridge.

I did things a little different in an attempt to protect the finish a bit more than I usually do. I used blue tape around the bridge area while I set the bridge and cleared the bridge area of finish.

After locating the bridge and drilling some 1/16" locating pins, Double and triple checked the location using both a ruler and a neck template to assure that the bridge was placed correctly. I had to pull a bridge on a ukulele just once before and I want to keep it that way. A new thing that I always do is to check the string run. I can scope how the string follows the fret board on both sides, assuring me that the bridge is centered to the neck.

I used a scalpel and traced the located bridge cutting both through the tape and scoring the finish. I use a light touch and a very sharp blade. I do not want to slice into the wood. This gave me an area to clear protected by the remaining tape. I cleared the bridge area with a utility blade. I always tape off one end so I do not need to worry about the back point.

I only clear close while the tape is there. For the most part as I scrape close to the tape the finish breaks off at the score line. Once mostly clear, I remove the tape sand clean up right to the score line.

When I went to setup to use my very home made looking ukulele vacuum clamp I had to scratch my head as the clamp was too tall to effectively clamp the bridge.

After a bit, I looked up a previous build and found this picture.

I found the caul right next to where I had the vacuum clamp. With it the vacuum clamp did its magic.

March 20th 2016


Back, sides and top - Quilted Mahogany
Neck - Mahogany
Back, Sides and neck Pore filled with a thick finish grade CA
Finished with a few padded coats of Seal-Lac and untold padded coats of Royal-Lac
Head stock veneer is Amboyna burl and I think the back strap is Bobinga (I just grabbed something from my stash when I sanded too far into the back of the head stock.)
Binds and end graph is ebony.