Opens April 1st!
This is my second project. I have a cutoff of mahogany that I plan to use to make my first ukulele. A couple of years ago the carpenters had to install mahogany shelves in an office for a producer, and I took three cutoff pieces out of the trash. It is riff sawn, but almost quarter sawn. I plan to use it for almost all of the uke.
I'm surprised to Hans. When I first started working for the network in the 70's, it drove me crazy to see the wood they throw out. I could collect enough wood to make a few pine guitars every week, if not every day. Most of the wood is pine cutoffs about 3 feet long, but every once in a while they have to build something out of walnut, oak, mahogany, birch etc. and the scraps just go in the dumpster. I have wanted to try to build a pine guitar for a while now, and I am using pine for the other challenge project. I have even thought about using pine for the bracing on spruce soundboards but I have not done so yet. I have been using brace wood from our sponser. I'm just not sure if pine is right for bracing. Most of it is great quality pine, some tight grained and quatrer sawn.
I got started on my second project this weekend. Before I could start the uke, I had to make a "mini" Fox style side bender. The forms for the uke were going to be too small for my bender. I bought a press from Rockler ($19.95), a timer from OSH ($14.95), four springs, two porcelin light bulb bases, some wire, a little plywood, and two pieces of 32 gague stainless steel , 3.5" X 24". I scaled down the Fox bender plans and this was the result.
And now, I can finally make some sawdust. I cut two pieces from the mahogany cut off, one for the sides and one for the soundboard and back. Then using my band saw I cut two slices off the piece for the two sides at about 1/8" thick. The wood has nice color, but is not true quarted sawn, it is riff sawn, but pretty close to quarter. I hope is will be alright.
Here I got to use my new uke side bender. I used two 200 watt light bulbs in the bender. It was too much heat compared to my regular Fox bender. I lightly scorched the first side. I had to adjust the time in the bender to avoid this. second ones came out better. I may change to 100 watt bulbs in the future. Never the less I got two good sides bent.
I had a busy day yesterday and could not post my progress over the weekend until now. I started on the soundboard and back. First I sliced four panels from the mahogany block for the soundboard and back. I am going to use the mahogany for both the soundboard and back. It is not true quartersaawn, but pretty close.
I made sure the edges were true. I used the method found in Jonathan Kinkead's book to join the sides. I blocked up the center of the sides with a yard stick, secured the sides with nails, and then pulled out the yardstick.
I used the same process to create the rosette as I did on the travel guitars. First I routed the recess in the soundboard for the purfing, and at the same time routed rings from scrap without changing the settings, to create pieces to glue into the rosette.
Then I removed the waste from the center, and outside of the scrap pieces leaving only the rings. Then using the center whole as a guide, I cut the rings into pieces to glue into the recess routed in the soundboard.
I have a pile of bracewood pieces saved from past projects that are small, but big enough for the braces needed for this uke. I am going to use pine for the braces on the travel guitars, but decided to use the spruce here. I cut a bridge brace from a bubinga scrap. I pre shaped the braces to fit the 15' radius dish, and glued them in place using my gobar press to hole them in place.