Continuing Education Blog
Another great Portland Metro Scholastic Art Awards exhibition at PNCA! This year’s exhibition is exceptional. Gold Key winning artwork is on view in the Commons of PNCA’s Main Campus building through February 28. If you plan to check out the work while it is up you should set aside a good chunk of time. There is a great deal of artwork on display and the quality is such that you will want to take your time to really look at everything.
The eighth class and extra session concentrated on adding, leveling and shaping the frets. Hammering them into place was the quick part of the job, the leveling (through sanding flat) and shaping took the bulk of the time. We also cut the bridge out rosewood and epoxied it to the body. The shaping of the head was finished, the nut shaped and the saddle was added to the bridge. The lacquering process which took a couple of days and a lot of spraying, waiting and sanding was completed at home. To complete the process the holes for the strings were drilled through the bridge and body. Using beads tied onto the strings, they were strung through the body and wound on the tuners. After a bit of adjusting the nut and saddle it was good to go.
Images from Continuing Education's recently completed Chair Prototype class.
Week 7 was a busy a busy week in the woodshop. On Thursday we started working on shaping the heel of the neck, adding the bolt to connect to the body and adding the head laminate. The first step in shaping the heel by roughly cutting it out on the bandsaw. Followed by using the oscillating sander to shape the curve. The front of the headstock was made square on the belt sander. Next we used the jig to measure and drill the hole for the bolt in the body and the nut in the neck. Saturday! Max lead the open work time in the woodshop on Saturday where work began on cutting the banding. This involved using a router mounted to a guide arm. This was a nerve wracking experience with the possibility wrecking all of the work on the body. After this was finished the binding was glued into the notch that was just cut. Next week, getting toward the end.
I this week’s class we worked on preparing the neck block and a bit of catching up with constructing the body. The first step of the neck was gluing the neck piece together at the scarf joint (which were pre-cut, thanks to Frank). We put glue on and and allowed it to dry on the exposed joint to provide a tackier surface when they are glued and clamped. To clamp them a jig was set up on the table and the neck laid on its side. The jig prevented the two pieces from sliding apart. After drying the heel was added to the neck. This was much simpler glue and clamp job. Next week we finish the neck shape and fingerboard.
This week's class focused on making the bracing, preparing the sides and attaching the soundboard and back. The bracing is made from pieces of spruce. These pieces were cut down to size and glued to the soundboard (supported on a flat surface) and the backs (supported on the 25 foot radius sanding disk, the braces for the back were sanded into this shape prior to gluing). The back will have a slight dome shape giving the ukulele a stronger sound. The front is flat and you can see on the image below the patch to reinforce the bridge. After the glue dried, mini planers and chisels were used to give the braces an arched shape and sloping toward the edges. This allowed for a lighter weight with plenty of support. After completing the bracing we started working on evening out the sides of the uke, getting ready to add the soundboard and back. This involved an incredible amount of hand-sanding. The back on the 25ft dish and the front side on a flat surface. Notches were cut in the kerfing to allow the bracing to sit flush. The soundboard and backs are glued on using a go-bar system to hold the pieces together. Next class: preparing the neck and fretboard.
Class four was all about the interior structure-the kerf binding and bracing, both the back and soundboard.
With the sides in the mold, we added the kefing pieces, which were pre-cut from mahogany. Using water and a heat gun, the were formed into the approximate shape, glued along the edges of the sides and clamped into place. The reverse kerfing will give the uke a solid structure and help it hold its shape.
While the kerfing dried, work began on making the bracing for the back.
The bracing is made from 1/4 inch strips of spruce. The majority of the rest of the class was cutting and shaping the bracing and thickness sanding the soundboard and back in preparation for gluing in the bracing.
Next week- Gluing the bracing, sanding the body and more.