April 1: Only one will blossom

So, I’ve come up with a couple of designs for April, but I can’t decide the final design.

The ‘spring’ ukulele

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The spring uke will have a flower bed on top, I’ll be growing either flowers or herbs for use in the kitchen. There’s a forest painted on the side, if that wasn’t obvious (which it probably wasn’t.)

The ‘bonsai’ ukulele

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Has a bonsai growing out of it. Enough said.

If you want to help me decide, please leave a comment here, or at my post on reddit.

March 4: The ‘wanderer’ ukulele

March’s namesake is ‘wanderer.’ I tried to capture the feeling of wandering with this uke, hence, that’s why it is fretless.

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I also added a nice surprise to help players, inspired by the Tolkien quote ‘not all who wander are lost.’

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It needs a quick charge though…

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Please click the image. You can see the fret markers as well, then.

My camera cannot capture its beauty, nor can it do it justice, but the fret markers and sound hole are glow in the dark. I had some thermoplastic left from my prop making days, so I mixed in some glow in the dark pigment. The result is very pleasing, I wish you could see it.

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And here it is, the 4th uke with the rest, and we’re quarter of the way there. April’s uke will be a while, I’ll be working on it during Easter holiday (assuming I’m not dead from work before that…)

March 3: Not all who wander are lost

It’s done! Spent about 4 hours today finishing it off. I had some time off today, I decided I wouldn’t work this Saturday, seeing as I’ve worked the last few Saturdays with marking and whatnot.

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Woke up early and decided to glue the front panel on. I did the neck next and before I knew it, I made a fret board and bridge.

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As you can see, it is fretless.

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Here it is putting its dress on. I went with one layer of black wood stain and another with vanish/black stain. The wood grain is really good, which is why I normally go with wood stain.

March 2: An unfinished uke is basically a box

With so much marking this weekend, I decided to run away to the garage. I finished the majority of the body today.

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I did the headstock and neck last week, set to work on the body. After an hour, I ended up with the sides finished.

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I used plywood for the front and back as I couldn’t find any sheets of pine wood. I also rounded off two corners as in the design posted earlier. Below, you can see I added a piezo transducer to make it electric as well. Piezos don’t pick up bass so well, but it’s better than nothing.

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Stopped myself from finishing it off, I have a lot to do. It’s completely strange that I only have a few hours to myself every week to relax. I’ve been doing college work every possible hour, and I’m up for 18 hours a day. Times like these I wonder why anyone would become a teacher. We all love to teach, but it’s like loving cats, and all you get to do is change litter boxes. Ok, it’s not that bad, but yeah. I’m still young, but I can see that after a few years of teaching, I’m going to lose my passion for it. Especially since I can’t cope well with students leaving.

Well, enough of my rant, you might be able to see March’s namesake in some of the photos. More on that next week though, hopefully it’ll be done then.

March 1: I have levelled up my sanding skills

With Febrary’s uke done, I’ve moved swiftly onto March’s. I’ve posted it up already, but here’s the design for the next uke.

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I had sawed the neck and head stock a while ago, and spent today’s session sanding the thing to near perfection.

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I’ve got the nut and bridge ready, going again with cattle bone as it was the cheapest ‘white’ ones I could find. You can also see that I’ve sanded a ‘slide’ for the strings to reach the hole where the tuners will be. I’ve mentioned it before, the headstock design follows circuitandstrings’ electric uke guide.

It’s going to be fretless as mentioned before, so I thought of another cool thing to add to this uke.

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Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

February 7: The ‘monochrome’ ukulele

It’s done (kind of.) February’s ukulele: the ‘monochrome’ ukulele is done!

Started the coats of varnish and it’s another waiting game…

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Pretty soon I was checking out the assembly. It’s lloking good!

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Had to glue the fretboard on. While that was happening, I did all the screwing for the pieces that needed it.

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And before I knew it, it was done!

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Here it is with December’s and January’s ukes.

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Here it is rocking with my Mandelbrot set T-shirt!

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And some more pics. Will need to get the nut sorted as it’s not level, so the action on the higher pitch strings is too high. Thin wires with high actions is not a great mix. Once that’s done, I’ll probably put a video of it in action up. It sounds like a dream at the moment though!

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Would have more pics, but the camera died. Next up is March’s uke!

February 6: One coat away

Yes! That damn bridge came today and I pretty much set out to finish this uke. Went into college to use the pillar drill in Physics, was surprised to see people working (besides non-teaching staff.) Anyway, here are the snap shots of the progress. DSCF6863

Here is the lovely pillar drill. Forgot my keys, so had to ask reception to borrow some. Sometimes I really appreciate being part of Maths and Physics.

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So I drilled in the necessary holes for the bridge, and on the reverse for the string ferrules. Ended up with one counter sunk hole being off, but nothing I can do now.

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Raced home and glued the whole body together. The electronics was done prior. The ground wire for the bridge can be seen poking out.

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I did a lot of sanding, and then did a quick job with some wood filler. Sanded again, and added bits and pieces here and there, like a dip for the nut. With everything done, I proceeded to painting. I opted for wood dye, as I wanted to keep the grains. A quick look at the instructions, TWO HOUR DRY TIME! Hence now I am here. I’m hoping to do a couple of coats? A couple of dyes? Whichever the proper term.

Tomorrow looks like the final date line, but parents are visiting… Damn the people who gave life to me!