The festival organizer allowed those of us that wanted to, to setup the day prior to the official event. Fortunately, my table was very near the registration tables and as several participants checked in early, many of them came by my table. The vendors weren’t suppose to be available until tomorrow but guess what? I sold three ukuleles, two tuners and one set of strap buttons! It will be interesting tomorrow when the crowds arrive! :) JC
Today I installed the fret markers and began to fill in the small gaps around them. You can see the tape to preclude epoxy getting into the fret slots. I also continued the roughing out of the neck and have marked the fingerboard area so I can continue shaping it getting it ready to attach the sound board top. As you will see, I build the Spanish tradition on a a “solera” or work board rather than in a mold. Once all of the fret inlays are filled in, I will install the frets. When the eagle on the head plate is filled in, i will attach it to the neck.
I was able to spend some time on the Tiger Myrtle project today. I finished bracing the top and did the rough inlay of the eagle on the head plate blank. I just need to fill the small voids around the eagle with ebony dust and epoxy. Ebony is a joy to do inlays on as it is very forgiving if your inlay doesn’t fit perfectly. I also made the rough neck blank. Shaping the neck and inlaying the fret markers are the next two steps before final assembly.
I completed construction of a soprano ukulele recently made from a 1″x10″x4′ pine board that I purchased form Home Depot for less than $6.00. To make a board that wide without gluing pieces together, the mills have to cut through the center of the tree. This leaves you with quarter swan woods, the type most luthiers prefer, especially for the top wood on an instrument.
Below is the board I cut the wood from for the ukulele. You can see an outline of a classical guitar body drawn on the wood to give you an idea of the size of an instrument that could be made from this wood. I could have made three soprano ukuleles from this board.
This instrument is all pine with the exception of the finger board, head plate and bridge which are made from Zebra wood. (Click on the photos for a better look.) This instrument is going to Reno with me later this month. It plays surprisingly well.