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29 September 2013

Poobah, Bloody Poobah!!!

Today I've pushed myself to the absolute limits of half-baked lutherie. After hours and hours of work, I'm in a super-depression. I'm ready to give the whole bloody Poobah up as a bad job! I must have been mad to think that I could get this damn uke built!


Shaz sounds like a bit of a character. This message was on J-Uke's phone. I'm really going to have to start vetting his friends. 


I started bright and early this morning with more filing. In my update yesterday I was feeling rather pleased with myself having created a dowel for a hole I'd found on the back of my body blank. See above on the right that I've leveled the dowel. I was still on a bit of a high at this point as I admired my handiwork. The body is a little bit rough and ready, but that was always the intention.


I've previously talked about my crazy idea to split the body. See here that I've drawn a line where I want to cut it. I did a fair bit of research trying to figure out the best technique to use for this and it all seemed to return to the same advice: don't do it.

Bugger that! I resolved to see this through. What could possibly go wrong?


This had me laughing this morning. I really wish I could make it to the Marlin this Saturday to see Dirty +Ukulele Russ Sex. 


See the huge saw. What on earth was I thinking?

My idea was to cut a line around the body and to keep working my way around cutting deeper and deeper. If I did this right, I was thinking that the line would eventually turn into a guide for the saw. 


See here that I've almost finished. I wasn't counting, but I reckon that it took me well over an hour of sawing to get me to this point. When the wood split I almost punched the air in relief and joy.


What a great moment. The wood is in two! Most people would have given up at this point. Not me! I started thinking about hollowing out that body. 


I'll sneak this picture in while no one's expecting it. Ignore the jigsaw blades (I'm still sore about what happened yesterday). Instead look at the book!

+Daniel Buttery spotted this book on the top shelf of his local corner shop and instantly fired a picture across to me. What a find! Ukuleles and Cowboys! I ordered a copy on the spot. As you can see... it has arrived. Expect a review soon.


My intention was always to route the body, but I hate my router. I convinced myself that a forstner bit would be every bit as good. I set up by drill press and began drilling. This is where things started to go wrong.

Proper luthiers look away now...


What a bloody mess! I'd got this far and my drill started to smoke. Oh dear! What on earth had I done? There was only one thing for it now... carry on regardless... 


You can see here that I've been tidying up the hollow with a chisel. Can you also spot a slight problem with the glue?

Yes, the b@stard glue has come away. I'd been fearing that this might happen right from the beginning of this project. Don't you just hate it when you're proved right? It had actually started with a small bit coming away at first and then the whole bloody plank fell off! You should have heard me swear! I turned the air blue... and some!


Here you can see that I've re-glued the body. That's it for now. I don't want to do any more on this project. Time will tell whether I can salvage this one. :-( 

Has the Grand Poobah beaten me? Right now all I can think of doing is drowning my sorrows in a little cider. I'll regroup later in the week and figure out what needs to be done.

Don't try this as home kids...


Before I go, here's an idea for those of you desperate to customise your ukes. If you're not ready to build your own yet, why not try you hand at some pimping with your favourite comics? I spotted this picture on Facebook from Ukulele Taiwan. If I'm not mistaken, this is decoupage with an old Spiderman comic. I'm not sure that Spiderman should be allowed on the front of a uke... but what about Rogue Trooper? :-D

Do it!

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