Assembling the ukulele
I didn't make a template for the tuner holes. I just measured and drilled in place.
The best solution I could think of was to cut a cavity in the back of the head to mount the tuners in.
I thought about how to best cut the cavity, and once again my pantorouter came to the rescue. I clamped two rails to it as a template, then used that to route out a cavity on the back for the tuners. (I guided the pantorouter frehand for the ends of the two cavities)
... and mounting the tuners. It turns out, I put the tuners too close together, so I had to file a bit off the ends of them so they would fit. But I like how they are close together, so I might do this intentionally if I did it again.
The fretboard had bowed slightly convex both along its length and across its width from applying the frets, so I really needed to push it down in the middle to force it straight. I ended up using a lot of clamps!
I applied some varnish to all sides of the neck, including the fretboard. I figure the fretboard will get some wear, so I might as well varnish that some more. I had applied one coat of varnish to the fretboard before installing the frets. But some of my experiments with applying frets to pre-varnished pieces resulted in cracks in the varnish, so I figured I'd be better off applying the rest of the varnish after installing them.
With the rest of the instrument unfinished as it was, still without a back on the body. I was too curious to hear what it sounded like. So I clamped some strings to the tail of the instrument, used a scrap of wood as a temporary bridge, and strung some strings on it. Plucking it, it sounded promising.
I always wonder about the merit of decorative touches like rosettes and purfling. But then again, if you add reinforcement around the sound hole, it should be ok. The sound hole is actually not the part that needs to vibrate, so adding mass to that area should not affect the sound much.
This guitar has an extra metal piece to anchor the strings with, and a floating bridge that is just wedged under the strings. Seems to work ok.
I figured anchoring the strings separately from the bridge might be good for keeping the bridge really light, so I copied this approach.
I think my sound hole is a little bit off-center.
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