Mandolin Build: French Polish Neck

(Prev: Bridge)

Looking at the back view you can see the shine of the shellac across the back and up the neck. The necks are neat because the maple’s grain really “pops” when the finish is applied.

Most necks are left unfinished because of shellac’s solubility issues with water (or perspiration). I finished my neck just […]

Uke Build: Neck Bolt View

(Prev: Heel Sanding)

Here’s a picture of the neck bolt’s nut tightened in position.

While not “traditional” this design allowed for a better “lock-up” of the neck to body joint. Blind tradition is not a good thing – sometimes newer design parameters are better!

(Next: Heel Inlay)

Uke Build: Neck Glue-up

(Prev: Finished Neck)

With all the centerlines aligned and the heel to body joint double checked it’s time to glue the neck to the body. One of these pictures shows the only clamp necessary to glue the neck in position. The neck bolt holds the neck joint firmly in place and the clamp on the fret […]

Uke Build: Finished Neck

(Prev: Fret Board Glue-Up)

These shots are of the finished neck. I tried a new water-based filler and liked it! All of the grain filling worked well and finished superbly.

You can see the 14th fret attachment location on the side view of the neck, that’s a critical point in the assembly of the ukulele.

With the neck […]

Uke Build: Neck Bolt Install

(Prev: Filling Fret Slots)

This next series of pics is the neck bolt installation. The hole through the neck block is used for locating the neck bolt, then the bolt is trimmed so as not to split the heel (and measured for depth). Then it’s glued in place with 5 minute epoxy. I ended up filling […]

Uke Build: Neck Heel Height

(Prev: Neck Tooling)

First, I had to sand away the back’s “overhang” on the front edge of the body to get a measurement on the absolute height of the neck’s heel. Secondly, I had to leave enough of the heel in place to “take on” the 15 foot radius. Can you see why heel caps are […]

Uke Build: Neck Tooling

(Prev: Gluing Back)

At this point you can see why I had to design the tooling with the wing nut extensions on the front edge. The body had to stay in position with the top facing down on the tooling. The centerlines from the body through the end of the neck had to align perfectly … and […]