The Sides

Still Tuesday, June 7th, 2011:

What took me a large part of the day was this that you see to the right — figuring out exactly how to profile the sides.

The first thing I did today was to thickness-sand the sides to 2mm. Next, I used the same method of profiling the sides as I did previously, with my classical. I used Colin Symond's method, described here. I placed my mold on top of the 15' radius dish (which is what the back is radiused to), and ran a strip of masking tape flush with the lower edge of the mold. Then, I scribed a line onto the masking tape, with the pencil set in a scrap of wood which ran along the surface of the radius dish. That line would scribe the curvature of the radius dish onto the masking tape.

Then, on some tagboard, I placed the ends of the scribed lines to meet both ends of the length of the side, at the top of the measured widths of the side at both ends. Thus, you end up with a template for the side.






To the right you can somewhat see what kind of a taper the sides will have as they approach the peghead end of the sub-bass box.

That's it for today. Tomorrow I will bend the sides.





Wednesday, June 8th, 2011:

Today I am bending the sides. It's about noon right now, and I've just finished bending the harp side of the uke. All I'm doing is bending the waist and below on this side, as the top part of the side I will bend by hand.



I have bent the short side of the harp box by hand on the bending iron. Here I have it clamped to the mold:


More soon. As I wait for these sides to dry and set, I think I may begin work on the neck.




Well, it turned out that I had to do a bit of hand-bending on the harp side that I had bent in the bender. The waist had to be touched up — I think I should have cut the waist a bit deeper than its actual size, as there was some springback. But it turned out okay, so I clamped it in the mold, so it would keep its set:



When I bent the treble side, it didn't go so well; I'm not sure why. When I removed the side from the bender, it cracked in a couple of places (the middle of the lower bout and the middle of the top bout). I may have put a little too much heat on it, and it became somewhat brittle. The flame that this wood has probably contributed to its cracking, too.

It was too much to try to salvage by gluing the cracks, so I decided to see if I could find another piece from the scraps I had. I had one scrap large enough from cutting out the back, so I ended up using that. It isn't a bookmatch to the other side, but at least it's the same coloring and similar grain. (Hmm . . . I'll just call it my own unique design, that I meant for it to be that way!)

Instead of bending this one in the bender, I decided to use the bending iron. It came out okay, and now it is sitting clamped in the mold.




Finally, yesterday I went through all my supplies on hand to see what else I needed to order for this project. It turns out all I'll need to order is some kerfing strips and fingerboard material. Here's what I found I had:

I've decided to keep this one simple. I had some small fretwire, a carbon fiber strip (to put in the neck), black plastic binding, some BWB plastic purfling, some black plastic for an end wedge, two sets of Gotoh tuners, and some Aquila nyl-gut strings.