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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Commission - Ukulele Interruptus

Been away ....................... back again - and itching to get on with the tenor ukulele build.
However ......................
.............a project for a client has interrupted the music of uke building for the moment.

Re-shaping the World -
A Desktop Globe With A Wooden Frame

Here it is - (well it is very similar, I have dismantled the one I'm working on) - a desktop earth globe, whose metal and plastic frame is to be replaced by one made from Australian rosewood.  This has exercised my creative cortex for a while now, and I have finally come up with a solution that is both simple and practical.

The main part of this construction is the equatorial ring that supports the globe, and is in turn supported by the legs.  Rough cutting the internal circle left some spokeshave work to do, to get it smooth.
I love rosewood, it is so easy to work, and soooo forgiving.  Planing around the flat edges of this circle meant that there would be many times when I was planing against the grain - and across it.  I started with my Millers Falls number 6, but soon had to reach for a smaller plane.  Those shavings in the background are all from that process - gorgeous!

A small low angle block plane handled this easily.  This is the little Lie Nielsen violin makers plane that I bought for the ukulele build, and it is perfect here.

For the lower circle that will brace the legs, I had to rip down to thickness from a suitably sized block of rosewood.  It could have been planed to thickness, but I wanted to keep the scrap ripping for ukulele parts.  In planing, all that is produced is shavings, where - by ripping - I can salvage some timber for later use.
Here, the Millers Falls squares the edge before I start on the table saw.

After running each edge over the tablesaw blade, I finished off with my Tyzack Nonpariel 6 point ripsaw.  Ripping to thickness by hand is not one of my favourite pastimes, but this saw really sings - and it is as close to a pleasure as ripping can get when I use it.  A truly beautiful saw is this one.

It might be Nonpariel, but it did a good job of cutting parallel in this case - heh, heh!  (my kids hate my jokes!)

As you can see, I marked the circle on the wrong face (or I ripped the wrong face - take your pick) - easy fixed though.

The lower, smaller ring gets the same treatment as the upper ring, and there is plenty of work using the round bottomed spokeshave.  This is the Veritas model, but there are plenty of others equally as good.  Because the shave must go with the grain, and the grain changes so often in a circle, the workpiece had to be re-positioned in the vice many times over the course of this smoothing.

The legs are my own design, and are meant to complement the curves found everywhere else on this globe stand.  They will stand wider than the original model for added stability.

Trial fitting before glue-up.  Trusty 4 inch Silex square to the rescue.
The legs are fitted to the top ring with dowels and secured to the bottom ring with brass screws. No these aren't brass - I'm still waiting for them to arrive.

Glue-up time.  Glue-up takes place with everything in position so that there are no regrets when it dries.  The lower ring (top one in this view) can still be removed after the glue dries, but provides the tension and the bracing for the legs at the moment.

A coat or two of finish - and we're done.

Now - let's have a crack at the soundboard for that tenor ukulele ..................
Bring it on .................!


  1. Ah Tom its nice to see others get interruptions also. Hence now 3 spinning wheels to work on 2 coming up for 3 years.
    The global economy seems to have you in a spin or should have, in that the lathe may have saved you shaving. It turns square to round quite well. Or router yeh yeh they both make noise but speed and time and finish.
    Love the use of hand tools you can get into ZEN mode and with the fragrance of Rosewood the shed must smell divine.
    Sydney show just 8 days away and I am not going.

  2. Thanks Ray. Interruptions a-plenty. Babysitting - I love 'em though - away down south to spend time with MIL, all the chores we missed while away, Woodies Guild etc etc.
    I thought about going to the Sydney show this year as I haven't been to one for some years now, but too much happening around here. Maybe next year. We have our own show over the October long weekend to prepare for as well. When did I find time to go to work ........

  3. Hey no fair sneaking the next stage in like that LOL good job I pop over and check on your work isn't it?
    Those legs look great laminated if I am not wrong. In the original photo of the globe a compass appears to be in the lower section is that correct? If so will you be fitting that?

    I see the Burg collection with logos well in tact :) last one looks like a clean up is in order. Hope you have not missed the collection which Pac-Man has shown recently.

    1. The project is finished Ray, except for the application of lacquer. Wet weather here and cold days have played havoc with these plans. If the weather gods are kinder it will be finished and assembled by the weekend.
      Yes there is a compass - of sorts - in the original base, but it must have lost its way some time ago, as it finds north to be all over the place. It really is useless, and can't be seen in that position anyway. So, the finished article will be sans compass.
      As for the Bergs, yes the last one looks a little more worn, but it is really just the lack of light in this photo. It actually has the nicest handle - very old knarly birch root - almost like burl. Very beautiful. I'll have to get another picture.

      May your life sing ........

  4. I have updated this post with a picture of the finished wooden framed desktop globe. The rosewood came up quite well, and will likely darken with age. Quite pleased.
    Love life and live ....