Summer Uke Build #7: Tail detail/Kerfed Lining/Top Braces

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Blog entry by onoitsmatt posted 12-21-2016 01:30 AM 885 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Cutting Soundhole Making Radius Dishes Part 7 of Summer Uke Build series Part 8: Gluing Top Bracing, Roughing Back Braces »

I haven’t posted in quite some time, but haven’t had time to do much in the last few months. I have managed to get some shop time the last two weeks.

I was prepared to abandon the project, at least for now, to focus on the start of a guitar build. Most of the time I’ve been spending on this has been cleaning up mistakes I’ve made, but having made them on the Uke, I feel better about starting on the guitar build. But instead I am forging ahead and just planning to not clean up the mess I’ve made very well. The main focus is on going through the steps and learning from the process. So I am hoping not to make these mistakes, and therefore not have a need to know how best to fix them with a guitar build.

I had previously cut a little wedge shaped detail to glue into the tail, which I did about a week ago. I chipped out a little of one side clearing out the channel to install this wedge and didn’t bother to glue the bits back in because I’m lazy and just want to get this done.

I also roughed out the top braces. They aren’t glued in below, just placed generally where they’ll go. The top has been thickness sanded and I believe is a bit too thin, so am planning to put a soundhole reinforcement as well as a bridge plate to give the top a litte more rigidity. Also while thickness sanding the top, I sanded through the olive wood rosette I made. I have decided this will be the inside of the top now. Not sure what I’ll do for a rosette at this point (if anything). The backstrip is still in good shape fortunately.

Today I installed the kerfed lining. I had planned to use hide glue for most joints, but my first effort at using hide glue on the kerfed lining was a failure. I think the glue temp was a little too cold and the shop temp was too, so I didn’t get a very good glue joint. I abandoned hot hide glue after cleaning it off the kerfed lining and went with Titebond Original.

Here was everything set up and ready to go with hide glue. Clamps/clothes pins ready to go.

After the hide glue issues, I went with Titebond and everything went much better. I used a mix of clothes pins and mini clamps. The mini clamps seemed better at pinching down low while clothes pins did a better job of gripping up high, so in areas where it seemed appropriate, I alternated between them. I was expecting a lot of trouble with the kerfed lining creeping up from the clamping pressure, but it only did it a little bit at the tail. I used a couple of C-clamps to prevent the slippage.

Here is top and back kerfed lining installed. There are a few gaps, but nothing I’m going to worry about.

I have a few days off this week for the holidays so hoping to at least finish the box and possibly shape the neck by the end of the week.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

2 comments so far

View Texcaster's profile


1292 posts in 2443 days

#1 posted 12-21-2016 09:36 AM

It’s good to see you’re sticking with it Matt. My first acoustic instrument was a battle in places but I was a wiser builder after.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View onoitsmatt's profile


446 posts in 1945 days

#2 posted 12-21-2016 02:54 PM

Thanks for your encouragement, Texcaster! I enjoy your input here on LJs. Especially the pics of your shop with the birds hanging around.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

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