Summer Uke Build #4: Cleaning up the sides

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Blog entry by onoitsmatt posted 08-30-2016 08:02 PM 344 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Thicknessing, Jointing and Joining the Top Part 4 of Summer Uke Build series Part 5: Joining Back, Gluing Neck Block, Adding Rosette »

The real drama in this build so far is in the sides. They split and splintered and were generally a bit of a disaster when attempting to bend. The two biggest factors in this were that 1.) I used Padauk without really checking to see how easy it bends. With the benefit of hindsight, I would’ve chosen a different wood. 2.) I didn’t use any kind of metal backing strap to support the wood from the top while bending on the iron. I have since picked up a roll of aluminum roofing sheathing that I’ll use going forward.

Below is a photo of both sides. I spent some time cleaning up one side, just to see if these would be salvagable or if I should just toss them and get some new wood. After cleaning up the first side a bit, I’ve decided (like a dummy) to forge ahead with these.

Can you guess which side has been cleaned up?

The glue came up fairly well. The splits/cracks/splinters also faired ok, though are still visible. Here is a closer view of the “cleaned up” side:

I’ve decided that it looks good enough for a practice instrument, so am forging ahead still. Here is both sides after cleaning the other one up a bit:

Unfortunately the vigorous sanding was too much for the worst area of damage and I wound up snapping a bit of wood off. This particular crack just didn’t smash back together when I tried to glue/clamp it up. So I just had an open crack with a lot of glue caked on it. Cleaning this out was just not going to go well. I suppose I’m fortunate that it wasn’t worse, but there is a big hole in it now. This is on the top edge and a bit too big to attempt to cover with some kind of edge binding. So will attempt to patch it prior to assembling the box.

I also glued up and carved out a neck blank. This is from a chunk of nice quarter sawn douglas fir I had that I took from my last house after doing a bit of a demolition project there.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

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