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!

February 5: No bridge to March

With the absence of my bridge, I’ve come to a holt.

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I’ve managed to solder the pickup to the plug (red wire) and also did the same for the ground wire for the bridge (green wire.) Because I want this to appear like it’s one solid body, I’ll be gluing the two body halves together and then proceed to sanding and painting. But without the bridge, I cannot proceed any further…

I need it to mark off where to drill holes, both for the strings and the bridge itself. I’ll also need to connect the ground wire to the bridge by some means. Does it need soldering? Who knows?

Bridge is coming from China as, by madness, nowhere in the entirety of the U.K. do they sell black electric ukulele bridges. I’ve searched, and found chrome every now and then, but no black. I’m hoping it will arrive Monday, so to kill time, I’ve started work on March’s uke.

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The idea for March is a fretless ukulele. I’m not sure whether or not to paint in frets to help with playing, or just to have the fret markers. Either way, I’m ready to go.

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The head stock is a design from circuitsandstrings, in particular from his electric uke plans.

I’ll be updating on a near daily basis this week, mainly because it’s half term and I don’t have to teach, and mainly because the boredom of doing nothing will drive me to suicide. Either way, I’ll be busy.

February 4: I can sand now

Spent what little time I had sanding the headstock into shape.

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Originally I cut the headstock off at an angle, hoping to glue it together with the headstock at an angle. Problem was, I did not saw perfectly straight, and it was at the angle both paralllel to the neck, and perpendicular…

I decided to glue it back on as it was, and glued two ‘thin’ sheets of pine to the bottom. After an hour session of sanding, the headstock was done. Drilled in some holes for the machine heads and it’s pretty much sorted (in terms of head stock related agendas.)

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Still needs a lot of work, but it’s half-term after next week, and though it pains me to be away from my students, I will surely not weep. Not with all the free time I will waste into this.

February 3: Progress is sacrificing your fingers

After another week of no progress, I was determined to do something this week! Here is a day’s work (and a lot of cuts on fingers)

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So here it is so far. Waiting on my bridge and strings to arrive, but it will in no doubt be finished for February.

Was originally going to be a solid body silent uke wit a piezo transducer to make it electric, but after seeing the plans from circuitandstrings’ electric uke, I wanted to give it a go: https://circuitsandstrings.wordpress.com/free-plans/

This was the first eleuke I’ve made from scratch. I’ve made the gakken electric guitar kit, but I’ve never dealt with ferrules and grounding bridges. Looked at the electric guitars at the music department, and spoke a lot with electronics to get my head around things. Even asked Daniel from circuitsandstrings a question or two. He’s an awesome guy! Hopefully, I’ll have it all finished and explained next week!

February 2: The week nothing happened

Never to report this week. Was expecting things to come, but they didn’t arrive. This is all I have so far:

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Black fretboard, black machine heads, also have a black nut and saddle somewhere. But no wood for the body.

Was going to make a scroll head out of mdf to see what that is like, but didn’t have time. Marking a shed load of tests, and just generally being an idoit takes up a great deal of time.

Hopefully next week will seeing some decent progress.