Soundport & Side Reinforcements


Friday, June 29th, 2012:

Well, I figured it was about time to make my first requisite mistake on this build. (Can't keep you all waiting too long, right???)

Luckily, this mistake isn't a major one --- or at least it didn't end up being one!

The first thing I did today was to remove the clamps on the back kerfing. Then I spent a little time sanding both the top and back kerfings in the radius dishes, so they both sat nice and flush to the dishes. No photos of this, as it is a pretty uneventful task.

Now comes the exciting (?) part . . . Since I had decided to put a soundport in this harp ukulele, I spent about an hour trying out different shapes and sizes for the soundport and printed my final choice on plain paper. I marked on the inside and outside of the side where to place the veneer reinforcement patch. Then I glued the two pieces of veneer to the inside, at its proper position.

Here's where the problem came in. SOMEHOW --- and I still can't, for the life of me, figure out exactly how I managed to do this, because I did have it all marked correctly both on the inside and outside of the side --- when I glued on the paper drawing of the oval hole (on top of masking tape), I managed to glue it on in the wrong spot. Not just a little off, but WAY off!!! It's a mystery how I managed to do that! I keep looking at it trying to figure it out.

At any rate, I didn't discover this error until after I had routed out the hole (with a Dremel and a 1/8" bit, followed by a little sanding drum, with masking tape and a caul on the inside, also, to minimize tear-out). Luckily for me, the oval hole still had landed within the area of the reinforcement patch. I added a couple of wood strips (popsicle sticks!) to each side of the patch; somehow it makes it look as if I meant it to be that way --- a little asymmetrical design, I'll call it . . .




Here's where the soundport is (top side down):


And here's where it is in relation to the other two soundholes:


Later I will sand and round out the soundport's edges.



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  1. Working on the Top and Back
  2. Finishing the Rosette, Harpbox Peghead Veneer
  3. Bracing
  4. Carving the Braces
  5. Bending the Sides
  6. Neck and Tail Blocks
  7. Pegheads & Top Kerfing
  8. Profiling the Sides for the Back
  9. Soundport and Side Reinforcements
  10. Gluing on the Top
  11. Gluing on the Back
  12. Trimming Overhang & Harpbox Peghead
  13. Routing for Binding
  14. End Wedge & Binding
  15. Scraping the Binding, Binding the Harpbox Peghead
  16. The Box is Done --- On to the Neck!!!
  17. Working on the Neck & Fingerboard
  18. The Neck is Finished!!! Now to the Bridge!!!
  19. Peghead Inlay, Final Sanding & Pore-Filling
  20. Shellac Seal Coats and Finishing!!!
  21. Finishing the Finish!!!
  22. The Final Steps
  23. It is Finished!!!



Sunday, July 1st, 2012:

Today I sanded the soundport edge, to a nice, rounded edge.

Then I made and glued on the side reinforcement braces (popsicle sticks with nicely rounded edges). I have seen lots of ukuleles with no side reinforcements, but I've always felt better putting some kind of reinforcement on the sides of my instruments.





Tomorrow, I'll start the process of fitting and gluing the top to the sides!!!





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