Mandolin Build: French Polish Back

(Prev: 15th Fret Marker)

Again, French polish on the back, but far easier to apply – nothing’s in the way!

The box in the background of the picture is the pumice stone, the small glass jar holds the mixed shellac and the small plastic container keeps the “rubber” moist when not in use.

(Next: Headstock)

Uke Build: Gluing Back

(Prev: Label Installation)

Okay … let’s get those centerlines matched up and glue the back to the sides!

Recall, the center hole clamp is still in place – if I had calculated its mounting hardware incorrectly I’d have trapped myself into a corner with no way out. Also, notice the bolt sticking out of the back? If that had […]

Uke Build: Back Braces Install

(Prev: Sanding Back Radius)

Here you see the back braces shaped, sanded, glued and clamped in position. The radius is transferred directly to the solid mahogany back via this process.

Interestingly, I was reading about Taylor Guitars newest 600 series guitar at the time I was preparing the back of this ukulele. Taylor actually braces the backs […]

Uke Build: Sanding Back Radius

(Prev: Back Brace Sanding)

Now the fun begins! The body is mounted in the tooling and the radius dish is doing the work of sanding the radius into the back – take note in these pictures of the pencil lines “disappearing” through the sanding process. As I progress, the pencil marks “disappear” letting me know I’ve […]

Uke Build: Back Brace Sanding

(Prev: Radius Dish Screws)

Now you’re looking at the double-back taped sandpaper in position on the top of the sanding surface of the radius dish. In this case I used 80 grit for rough sanding. I tore the sandpaper into pieces, allowing me to tape them on top of the dish without a wrinkle … this is […]

Uke Build: Back Kerfing

(Prev: Tooling)

These pictures show the back kerfing being glued in place on the ukulele. The “C” clamps are gripping the sides to hold the kerfing edges in position at the neck and tail blocks. Then it’s a simple matter of using clothes pins to hold the kerfing while the glue cures. Take note that the […]

Uke Build: Back Bracing

(Prev: Top Cleating)

My greatest burst of learning all things mechanical came from 4 years at Boeing. I had the wonderful opportunity to work in the Boeing Model Shop with some of the best model makers in the world and used some very unique machinery in the process. One of the first lessons taught was layout […]