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11 November 2012

Sharkfin Ukulele - Shaping the Body

I spent a bit more time on the Sharkfin Ukulele build today. In my last post on this subject I prepared a blank for the body. Now I wanted to start shaping it. I almost came a cropper, but thanks to the power of Progressive Metal... I managed to pull through!

Progressive Metal Uke
It's the future!

I knew that I wanted to work a few more millimeters off the thickness of the
body blank. I decided in the end to simply run the electric plane over
each side. Easy peasy!

Next I cut the template for the body and the fretboard. Here, you can
see that I've done just the same as I did with my Kingcaster build; I traced
the pattern onto paper, cut it out and stuck backwards to some thin MDF. 

Here you can see me midway through cutting the template. I'm using a
Jigsaw. On a personal level - this part depressed me a bit, because I had
to dig out my glasses to make sure I got an accurate edge! Bloody Hell!
I tell you... my eyes were fine until they gave me these damn glasses!
Other than that... everything went according to plan. This is all sounding
a little too easy eh? Read on...

See here the templates. Are you starting to get a feel for how the Sharkfin
might look? I dug out my router...

This is where it all started to get a little bit hairy. I screwed the template
to the blank and set to it with my router. It was immediately
obvious that my router just isn't up to tackling maple. I persevered
along one side, but having thought that I'd ruined it with a couple of
jumps, I put the router away. Could I recover, or would I have to
start all over again? My heart sank! All I could think of doing was
setting to it with the Jigsaw...

My experience of the Jigsaw is that it rarely cuts perpendicular through
the wood. So I was understandably nervous as I cut round the template.
Actually, as you can see from this photo, it wasn't looking too bad.
The picture doesn't show all the little flaws from the poor routing.
I was still worried that I'd ruined the neck, so I got my file out and
spent a long time working on it...

Here I've laid the fretboard template on the top. This is probably close
to the depth that I'll aim for with the fretboard. I'd only started shaping the
neck here... more to do...

The light was starting to fade by the time I called it a day. I'm knackered! You can see
here that I'm getting closer to the depth that I want for the neck. I kind of like the idea of
a rectangular shape to the neck, but my intention is to round it a little more than you can
see here. I've been trying it for size and it is feeling good; the top "arm" helps me to
keep a clean hold of it with my right arm.

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