We have music. The steel string baritone ukulele is finished. It definitely has quite a different tone from other baritone ukuleles I’ve played. It was the most difficult project I’ve done to date; when I designed the layout, I included several features that I’ve never done in a construction. There were definitely some challenges to overcome, but I’m pleased with how it turned out.
I’m not planning on doing any more tandem builds. I know of guys who regularly have multiple instruments under construction, but I think I’m better focusing on one at a time. Next build is going to be a small scale guitar which will include a soundboard made from old growth Red Spruce harvested here in the mountains of WV over 30 years ago. But first, I’m going to take some time off from building to work on some other projects.
Can you imagine how much a musician's fingers get itchy from wanting to play this instrument?
Every photo shows the loving precision you've put into shaping it to perfection and treating its surface.
And that additional soundhole must give you quite a good control of your playing.
Great job, Tony.
A new journey begins. Insomnia had me down in the shop at 0330 this morning, sorting, cleaning, and preparing for construction. As difficult as it is, I decided to commit to another tandem build. It occurred to me that it would take me a long time to get to all the wood I have stockpiled if I work on one project at a time.
First image is the mold I'm making for another ukulele, a baritone with a tenor scale neck. Tonewoods will be Black Walnut with a Western Red Cedar top. Best thing about a mold is that after the project is over, it can be used again.
Second image is the bundle of wood for a small body 23" scale steel string guitar. Tonewoods are old growth Honduran Mahogany for the back, sides, and neck, and old growth Red Spruce for the top. Both of those woods were harvested over 30 years ago, and the cool thing about the Spruce is that it was harvested right here in the eastern mountains of WV. I'm building this guitar for my own use, while the tenor-baritone may end up with someone else.
Using a scraper to thin and smooth tonewoods for a couple of new projects. Someone has actually expressed an interest in buying one of these when I'm finished. Their inquiry came completely unexpected. It's just a nibble and they could easily change their mind, but it's a start.
I've discovered musical instruments are like Lay's potato chips; you can't build just one (apologies to our friends in other parts of the world who've never seen the commercials). I spent the day cutting, thinning, and smooth sanding woods for 3 different instrument bodies.
Cold, rainy day today, but I still braved the garage to work on parts for a new sanding drum. Messy, laborious job, but the DIY approach will save me hundreds of $$$ over a commercial setup, while greatly expanding my sanding capacity. Now I just have to thread each disc on the shaft and glue them one at a time.