Music, Views and Nearly-News

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ukestravaganza - Part Two

The weekend before last, while visiting my friend Isabel to practice the music for my sister's wedding (more on that later,) her gracious roommate's mother mentioned that she had for several years hung an heirloom ukulele on the wall. It was missing two pegs, strings, and had some pretty significant cracks, but I agreed to take it back to the shop and see what I could do.

I started by taking the top of the uke off to get a better idea of what all was going on in there.

This is a better photo of the inside of the "genuine conservatory quality ukulele." I don't know if there's someone out there making counterfeit ukuleles, or makers have some chips on their collective shoulders about making something so frivolous as a soprano uke, but but most ukuleles I've seen have all had the word "genuine" printed somewhere on the label. Go figure.

In this photo you can see the back brace (right of the label) only extends about halfway across the instrument. I ended up taking that broken brace off and replacing it with a new one.

These next two pictures mostly illustrate my nearly complete ineptitude at shop photography. You can't really see anything from this shot, but there are some pretty substantial cracks in the top running from the tailpiece through under the brace. As a result, the bracing had come almost completely free from being glued to the top.
I cleaned up the crack, pressed it back to shape, and glued everything that needed gluing on the top.

Again, sorry about the shoddy photography. This was my first time using a go-bar (even though it sounds like something you might buy from an infomercial, I haven't been able to find another name for this technique) to keep pressure on my newly shaped and glued back brace overnight.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ukestravaganza - Part One

The past few weeks have been a flurry of ukulele comings and goings and goings-on. I sent "A.G. Currin's Premiere Soprano Ukulele" off to be lacquered, and started roughing out three more necks for the next project. I'll be building three at once, most likely out of maple this time, as building one at a time is obnoxiously inefficient. My mouth is big, but my eyes have known to be bigger. I hope this isn't one of those instances.