Righteeeooho - here we go ho ................
The neck glue-up passed without incident, and it is now ready to accept the fretboard.
The scale on my tenor ukulele is 17 inches. This determines the distance between the edge of the nut and the peak (break line) of the saddle.
With the soundboard temporarily in place, I can measure for the position of the bridge that carries the saddle. I do this before gluing the top onto the body, so that I have some room to clamp the bridge during its glue-up fitting. Too hard to do this after the top is fixed to the body.
There will probably be glue squeeze out during this, so I mask off the area around the bridge with tape. This also acts as a good locator for the position of the bridge which is bound to slide around a bit on the glue.
Once done, the soundboard and bridge can be set aside to dry while I mark out the fretboard.
The positioning of the frets is critical, and the good folks over at Stewart MacDonald have provided a free-use fret position calculator - mucho gratias my friends.
Armed with a printout of my 17 inch scale for 18 frets, I am good to go.
These have to be marked on the squared fretboard before tapering it, so that the fret positions are easily done with a try square. It is more accurate to use a marking knife for the fret marking, as it minimises the inaccuracies of pencil thickness.
The fret positions should all be marked from the edge of the nut, and not marked in increments from the previous fret mark. Doing it the second way only multiplies any inaccuracy with every fret mark.
So, the ruler is clamped to the fretboard and all marks laid out before scribing them. I have carefully ticked off all the fret marks as I go, to ensure I didn't miss any.
I'll cut them next, before tapering the fretboard to suit the neck that I have already built.
Now, the fretwires themselves have a very narrow seat, and so a very narrow-kerfed bladed saw is needed. I tried several of my saws, before finding that my Veritas dovetail saw is just about perfect - narrow kerf, and very little set on the teeth. It is a rip saw of course, designed for cutting dovetails along the grain, but serves very nicely as a crosscut saw in this instance.
To help with the saw cuts and to keep them on track, I made up a little square saw guide.
Works a treat.
Got to wait a little, while glue dries.
Next time, I'll attach the top - and after that sets, I'll fix the fretboard.
Nearly finished - yippee ....................
Still got some time left for some strummin' practice -
Uke group night tonight - FUN!
Love life and live .........................