In my last post I talked about how I designed and created a pattern for my electric ukulele build. Today I talk about making the body.
|From wood to wood in 167 simple steps – King Uke shows you how!|
I haven’t finished it, but I’ve done enough to give you a run down of what I’ve been up to. Tighten your seatbelts, this might just get a little hairy!
Oh yeah… my build has been christened “the Kingcaster”. I kind of like the sound of that!
|My intention all along was to use my new router to
cut the body. So here you see me cutting patterns
for the neck and body. I’ve been stupid and simply
glued the paper (backwards) to the 6mm MDF
with Pritt Stick.
|Here are the finished templates. I cut them out with my jig saw and
only a little touching up needed with a file. The MDF was easy to cut.
The hard bits were the indents for the arms.
|I picked a block of Poplar for this project. The blank I bought was for a
guitar and twice as big as I needed. I asked them to plane it to 4cm
thickness. There was no real science behind deciding the depth. I
just kept referring back to by guitar and listened to some advice from
Daniel Hulbert who’s been through this a few more times than me.
My considerations here were to have it thick enough that I could fit
guitar electrics inside and I also wanted to have a strong neck join.
So far, it is feeling right.
|Here’s the filed body. Check out all the little dinks and burn marks from poor routing.
I’ve since filled the holes.
|Having rounded the body and finished a 7 hour stint of ‘building’ I
collapsed in my chair and posted some pictures up on G+. One of the first
questions I got was along the lines of “where are the contours?”
I’d always intended to put them in, but in my tired addled state I was
beginning to convince myself that I didn’t need them. It took
some straight talking from Eric Vossbrink at New Wave Ukulele
to snap me out of it. Thank you Eric for keeping me on
the straight and narrow! His lesson is simple: pay attention to the
details! I’m finding that Eric is a man who’s opinions are worth
listening to! And I know that my technique has Eric shaking his head,
but I am listening master! Ha ha! rub on… rub off…
In this picture you can see the arm contour. The contouring I’m
going for here is more of a 50s Strat style.
|And here you see the tummy contour. All of the contouring
was done by hand starting with a rasp and then finishing
with a bastard file. (I just had to get that in somehow).
And that’s it for now. I’m close to having the body done and ready for sanding. Looking ahead, I’ve got the neck to make. This is really, really scaring me. Right now, I’m not sure how I’m going to get through this. Wish me luck!