Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Making an Electric Ukulele part 3

With the body and neck shaped and fitted to each other the time now is the time to varnish these parts.

Nitrocellulose is the traditional medium with modern electric guitars having polyester or acrylic finishes.

To avoid the need for a spraying booth and dangerous fumes I opted for a natural oil varnish tru-oil instead. Tru-oil is a linseed based varnish used for gun stocks, very easy to apply. You can also consider Danish oil which is a rung oil based varnish used on modern furniture.

Begin by sanding the neck and body. The maple neck you need to work through the grades from 120, 180, 240, 360, 400, 600,that should be enough. The ash body once you get to 360 grit you can apply a grain filler, I used Rustin's oak grain filler. This is applied with a cloth and left a day to dry. You then sand with 360-400 grit to remove any excess filler. you then oil varnish following the instructions.

The maple neck needs no filler. If you want to apply a decal though its best done at this stage before varnishing.

There is a great tutorial online for decals here: 

leave the parts to dry fully before moving to the assembly stage.

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