Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life.

Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life. Sunset at Telegraph Point.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Building a Ukulele - Part 4 - Moulds and Jigs

These are a necessary part of any ukulele build and the time taken to prepare then is returned multi-fold down the track.
I have used an outline from the LOML's tenor ukulele body.  That particular uke has such a sweet sound - let's hope this one is as good.

The body mould is made from laminated scraps of MDF and particleboard, while the interior retainers are simply radiata pine with cable tensioners used as expanders.  The mould is made in two pieces so that the body can be removed when complete.

The neck brace is made up of some 4"X2" radiata pine scraps that will be held in the bench vice in use.  It has a sliding headstock support, made from an offcut from this neck and some scraps that have been glued together. 

A sliding bolt anchors this in any position to suit the length of the neck being worked on. 
This ukulele neck is a tenor - a concert and soprano have shorter necks, and a baritone neck is longer. 
This jig will support them all.

The back braces have to be formed on a radius of 15 feet, so a sanding block - cut to this profile - is necessary.  A 15 feet length of string and a pencil are all that are needed to mark this out.

After marking it out and rough cutting, it needs smoothing.  What better than a compass plane to finish this off.  Here I am using a Record 020, which has a sole that can be adjusted to the required curve.  Planing has to take place from the ends to the middle - to avoid tearout.  This planes with the grain, and not against it.

I was hoping to have the soundboard made, but I took my newly made rosette cutter across to The Hastings Woodworkers Guild Clubroom on Saturday, and foolishly left it there.

So I have had to make myself busy on other aspects of the Uke build until I retrieve it.  It's over an hour's drive, so I'm going to leave it there until next time I visit.

Tomorrow, I'll start cutting out the sides and the end blocks, as well as forming up the back braces and gluing up the  the back.

The back and sides are sassafras, and the soundboard will be western red cedar.
Tomorrow will be busy.

Happy woodworking to all ................ and ........................
May your life sing ....................

1 comment:

  1. I have updated the post with a picture of the neck brace, which will be used for supporting the full length of the neck while it is being shaped.