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Showing posts from 2011

Stewart Macdonald Tenor Ukulele Kit part 9

Well, I let the Tru-Oil cure for more than just a few weeks mainly because I did not had time to work on the uke. I had five weddings to go to in October, so that pretty much ate up each weekend. Good times though.

So here is the uke fresh from sitting around for about 6 weeks. I just put on enough oil that made me feel good. I'm going for a satin sheen and I did not completely pore fill. Might not be a super smooth finish but I'm happy with it.

Solid Body Ukulele Part 2

My first attempt at cutting the body template was a bust. I used a forstner bit to remove material about half an inch to the body outline. Then I thought I could could use a sanding drum for a Dremel in a drill press to shape the template. The dremel drum could only remove very little material at a time, so I gave up on that idea.

I do not have a bandsaw nor a scroll saw. I also do not have the funds right now to get one. I found an old coping saw in my wife's grandpa's tool shed. Unfortunately, its rusted beyond belief and the blade needs replacing. I used the saw anyway but cutting through 1/2" MDF with an old rusted and dull saw just was not happening. I will have to get a new saw.

Luckily, there is a 1/4" MDF board laying around that I can use to make a template out of. Cutting through the 1/4" board should be much easier than the original 1/2" board. Then maybe I can use this template to cut out the 1/2" board with a router.

With the body on hol…

Solid Body Ukulele Part 1

Why build one? Why not?

My quest to build my own solid body ukulele was inspired by How to Build a Stratocaster Style Guitar "The Hard Way" and the many awesome DIY quilted maple guitars. I eventually want to build a quilted maple top Les Paul and figured why not start with something cheap and small, hence a ukulele.

My plan is to make an 18" tenor sized Les Paul solid body ukulele.  I actually started this project before building the Stewart MacDonald Tenor Ukulele Kit. I put the solid body project on hold to build the kit. I have come to a point where I can't do much on the kit since the finish needs to cure so why not pick up where I left off on the solid body.

For wood, I didn't feel like forking over $$$ for wood blanks. I like the look of guitars that have the stringer look so I thought why not just glue up 1x2's of mahogany and douglas fir. I know this is not the best method or even the best wood but these woods were readily available from the loca…

Stepping Stool

Shishi Toilet?!? Shishi Toilet? Shishi doo doo? OMG! Potty training is tough.

Shishi is the Japanese American word for urine. We asked our daughter that every 15minutes when we first really started potty training. That didn't work out so great, we realized we just had to take her and let her sit. Over the course of several weeks, she could finally tell us when she needed to go. My wife got tired of lifting her onto the toilet and asked me to make a stepping stool.

I was more than happy to oblige. I had old 1"x12"x4" pine boards laying around. I wanted the stool to be as simple as possible with just those boards. So here is an easy stool with just two 1"x12"x4" pine boards. My boards weren't nice looking so I covered the stool with wallpaper.

Table of ContentsSummaryMaterialsToolsPlansAssembly
Summary Simple, quick, cheap and easy stepping stool. The stool can be built in just a few hours. I'm not sure of the cost because I had most of the ma…

Stewart Macdonald Tenor Ukulele Kit part 8

This post is more of I'm still here since I haven't posted anything for the past month and a half. Finding the time to work on the ukulele has been hard with the kids getting sick, then me getting sick, then the wife getting sick, then the kids all over again. Also, my wife had a special request for a stepping stool for our daughter, so the ukulele had been put on hold.

I sanded up 220. Then using a spray bottle, I sprayed the wood the ukulele with water to raise the grain. The wood swells up and wood fibers tend to stick up (wood whiskers). I then sanded the whiskers out with 320. I repeated the process three times. By the third time, very few whiskers would pop up. Here is the uke after all that sanding.

Next I marked off where the bridge will go on painters tape.

Then I cut the tape to size. When the tape was pulled, it pulled some of the wood with it resulting in more wood whiskers. A light sand with 320 fixed the problem.

Taped off the fretboard before applying a finish…

Stewart Macdonald Tenor Ukulele Kit part 7

Been a long time since I had the opportunity to work on the ukulele and post any progress. I have been busy with many family functions. Also, I'm at the point where most of the sanding is done and that takes up a lot of time.

I know from my first posts about building the ukulele I wrote that I will follow the instructions and not skip around. I felt that I needed to skip around a bit and follow my own instinct from here on out. What I did was mixture of advice from reading ukulele building sources and my own experience from refretting guitars. So the following is not exactly following the instructions.

The first thing I needed to do was flatten the top of the neck. The neck had many scalloped indents as if they rushed it through the milling process. The scallops are barely visible in the picture below because I had started to sand it and then decided to take a picture of the scallops.

The instructions give directions to work on the fretboard by fretting and leveling the frets. I …

Coca-Cola Condensed Milk Crock Pot Pulled Pork

My wife seen an episode on the Food Network where pulled pork was made with Coca-Cola and condensed milk. I did not get to see that episode but the soda and condensed milk pulled pork sounded really good. She forgot the recipe from the episode so we looked up recipes. From what we had on hand, we based our recipe of that from Crock Pot Coca-Cola Pulled Pork. We were not sure what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised and pleased with how the pulled pork turned out. Here is how we made ours.

(Rough estimates as we just threw stuff in)
1 (5-7 lb) pork shoulder2 tablespoons garlic, minced1 cup onions, diced (not sure if necessary to cut up in little pieces)1 teaspoon black pepper1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon sambal (chili pepper paste)3 teaspoons liquid smoke (I like smoky flavored stuff)2 liter Coca-Cola1 14oz can condensed milk1 barbecue sauce of choice
Cut up the onions and garlic, although i think this may be unnecessary since they will be thrown out after cooking.…

Stewart Macdonald Tenor Ukulele Kit part 6

The back of the ukulele was fairly easy to complete. Trimming the back braces were like trimming the soundboard. Like the soundboard, I did not cut the braces to width till I could mark the areas that intersects with the ukulele side. During the dry fit, I lightly marked the area that would be visible from the sound hole. This help me placed my label/signature on the back. I just used a permanent marker thanking my wife for the kit and signing my name.

Since I had a chisel in hand from trimming the braces, I just used the chisel to trim the sides down to the lining. A hand plane would have been better as it would keep the trim nice and flat. My chisel trim wasn't perfectly flat but that didn't matter a whole lot since the back was sanded flat afterwards. There probably would be less sanding if a hand plane was used.

After back edge was trimmed and sanded flat, my youngest inspected the inside.

Then she inspected the outside.

When I glued up the top to the sides, the side was n…