Twin Soprano Ukulele Blog:
Nov 9th 2018
I was asked by a neighbor to make a couple of ukuleles for their 4 year old identical twin daughters. Over the years some luthiers during the good times decided to make ukuleles; after the crash they decided against making them. So I was able to pickup boxes for cheap of great ukulele parts including sets for all sizes of ukuleles and some custom CNC carved soprano necks. Some of the sets included profile tops and backs.
For these ukuleles I picked out a walnut and a mahogany set for the two ukuleles. They both had about the same amount figure. These two sets should allow the twins to have different yet comparable instruments.
Here are the kitted parts. They both will have figured Koa bindings.
The build process is going quickly and is rather straightforward but here are some pictures of the process to this date
I Missed placed one brace so I just made ane back a 3 brace back.
Nov 12th 2018
As I mentioned in my last post, this is being build with parts I bought on the OLF as a couple of luthiers were leaving the ukulele business. Include were a handful of soprano necks complete with headstock veneer. The headstock is ready to take some bindings. I have never bound a headstock hoping to avoid the tight curves and miters. I decided to try binding the headstock instead of installing a new headstock veneer.
All and all it did not go to bad. It took me a few tries to bend the tight curve on the top and then two tries to get it glued in place. All and all it came out. Wood is highly figured Koa it should look pretty cool.
It was easy to make the two shallow side curves, so I did them first. Bending them on a bending iron, I eyeballed the miters, and drew them with a pencil and sanded to shape on my belt sander.
The curves bits to the nut were also easy to bend
The long top piece was a bugger I snapper a few and then glued one down out of position. Ultimately I got them to fit and super glued then while taped and pushed in with a drift where the convex curves meet.
One more to go. Also I need to make a small version of my hawk and moon logo to go where the previous luthiers M is.
Nov 17th 2018
Moving on to the second neck, having a better feel for the bends I needed to make I was able to quickly bind the head stock. Of note, I switched to use a miter cutting two to cut the binding instead of the giant belt sander. I am not sure why I did not use this on the first.
I was happy with the way binding the second neck turned out so I started to add my logo over the M in the neck I bought. I have shown this a bunch in other build logs. In my hawk and moon logo, I cut moon out of mother of pearl and the hawk out of ebony. I use a 00 blade for all of the cut. I have finally progressed to needing only a few blades for the entire job. I use to go through a dozen or more.
I started on the fret boards. They are slotted for a 13.5 scale length and will be a 12 fret join. I will also bind the fret board with the Koa.
First I alway true one edge to use as my reference until I finally profile the fret boards.
I use double stick tape to attach the fret boards to the template and hand cut the slots
I decided to also radius the fret boards to 20" radius. I used my stewmac radius block instead of my fancy router bit. Next time I will use the router bit but I thought they were small enough to avoid setting up the router table.
I cut the fretted fretboards close on the bandsaw, cleaned up the cut and got even closer on my belt sander and finished the profile using a plane.
I will bind the fingerboards today. But the ukuleles are coming together.
Nov 17th 2018
To close out today, the finger board binding is finished. I need to close the box, gluing on the back so that I can bind the guitar.
No problem binding the fretboard. I just put 45 degree angles on the side pieces and tweaked the little curve piece to size and fit.
So here is where I am now. I can start to see how they will look. I will bind the body with the same wood, either Koa or Australian Blackwood.