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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 hold, I decided to work on the bridge. I bought a cheapy ashtray Telecaster bridge off eBay. A hardtail bridge is cheaper but for some odd reason the look of the big barrel saddle appeals to me.

The initial plan was just to use the bridge as is but after placing it on the body template, it took up way too much room. I will need to cut the ashtray down to just hold two saddles. Unfortunately, the back lip of the bridge is not completely straight. There is a bend near the outer strings. I will need to use the middle of the bridge. Not really necessary but looks better. Here is a test placement of saddles.

There are no holes for the saddle screws in the center so I had to drill out new holes. Here are the saddles in place with the new holes.

With the saddles in, I used tape on the underside to mark the cut line.

Here is the bridge cut to size using a Dremel and cutoff wheel. I cut close the line and then used a file to finish it off.

Here is the bridge with the saddles in.

Here is the bridge on the new template to be cut out. I wish I had taken a picture of the original bridge on the template to show the difference. The full bridge took up way too much space.

Just need to get that coping saw so I can work on the body again. If not, I can at least plane the neck.

Thanks for looking.


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