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Summer Uke Build #11: Glue the back / go-bar deck

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Blog entry by onoitsmatt posted 12-31-2016 09:15 PM 371 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Gluing the back... or not. Part 11 of Summer Uke Build series Part 12: The body is complete (except maybe binding) »

Update from yesterday’s post #10
The shelf lining that I used on the top sheet of plywood in the go-bar deck came loose overnight. There seems to be some kind of chemical reaction between the 3M spray adhesive and the material this shelf liner is made from. I noticed a bit of an oily residue forming on the shelf-liner after applying it to the plywood and thought there was a chance this might happen. So for anyone planning to use shelf-liner to provide friction on a go-bar deck, use wood glue, CA glue or I’m considering just stapling this in place. End Update

I was able to run out to Home Depot yesterday and grab the nuts I needed to finish up the go-bar deck. So today I went out to try to get the back glued up. Since I glued the top on first (which was a bad idea because it is now getting exposed to all sorts of hazards and is getting unnecessarily banged up), I was concerned about the pressure from the go-bars denting the top. I used the cutoffs from the top’s edge as a shield to take the brunt of the pressure from the go-bars and protect the top.

I just used blue tape to hold these bits in place. I later traced a rough outline of where the actual side edges of the uke are to better be able to place the go-bars along the outer-most edge.

I’m glad I used these pieces to protect the top. I did a dry-run of the glue up and after removing the go-bars from the dry-run, you can see some dimples/dents in the protective layer.

One other benefit of the dry-run was finding that as more go-bars were added, the increased the pressure from the go-bars caused previously placed go-bars to become loose. So when removing go-bars from the dry-run, several of them basically fell out, meaning they weren’t really applying any pressure any longer. When I did the actual glue-up, I went back frequently to check the tension on all of the go bars to ensure they weren’t going to fall out. Many of them did fall out, so I replaced them and tightened them up.

When I was all done adding go-bars, I re-checked all of them for good tension and re-fitted any loose ones.

I tapped the sides of the uke all around to see if anything sounded hollow or not firmly planted down. It all sounded/felt really good. I then went around the perimeter applying hand pressure around the edge to see if there was any visible movement at the glue-seam. Everything looked nice and tight.

You can see a small amount of squeeze-out here. The neck block had a pretty sizeable amount of squeeze-out, but all-in all, I think it went pretty well. Much better than the last attempt.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ



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