Saturday, March 15, 2014

After a long break and some new found inspiration, I am pleased to say that the MAKAIO vault of fine Australian tonewoods will be re-opened in 2014, with some exciting new projects getting underway. Keep an eye out for upcoming project designs to be published soon.

Happy Strumming


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

T005 Tenor Ukulele Pore Filling

Once the main construction work has been completed on each ukulele, the finishing process begins. The finishing schedule for each MAKAIO ukulele is a slow process that begins with initial sanding over the complete ukulele with 120 grit sandpaper. At this stage it is crucial to remove all scratches and scrapes from the timber surface, as they will not be able to be removed later in the finishing process. Following this, the ukulele is sanded all over with 180 grit then 220 grit sand papers.

Once the ukulele has been sanded to 220 grit, in most cases, the timber is required to be pore filled. Most hardwood timber species that are used for back, sides, and sometimes soundboards, have tiny pores in the grain. These pores can differ with the grain and growth direction of the timber. As the final finish on the ukuleles are only a very thin layer of oil varnish, these pores will show through as un-eveness in the finish appearance. To avoid this, the pores of the timber are initially filled with a clear flexible epoxy resin. For the T005 ukulele, two coats of epoxy were applied all over the ukulele.

T005 Tenor Ukulele

Epoxy Pore Fill Coating over Walnut Ukulele

Once the epoxy has cured on the ukulele, the entire instrument is again sanded with 220 grit sandpaper, removing all epoxy from the instrument surface, and leaving only that in the timber pores. This is followed by further sanding with 320 grit then 400 grit sandpaper, wiping the instrument over between each grade with a damp cloth to raise any loose grain fibre.
Once the ukulele has been finish sanded to 400 grit, the oil finishing process begins.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Completed T004 Tenor Ukulele

MAKAIO Ukulele T004 is a tenor ukulele that was completed in 2010. This ukulele has a 17" scale, with the fretboard joining the body at the 12th fret. This ukulele has been constructed using predominantly native Australian tonewoods, including Bunya Pine soundboard, Tasmanian "Tiger" Myrtle back and sides, Queensland Maple neck, and Mulga fretboard, bridge, and heel cap. The body of the ukulele has been bound with "Tiger" Myrtle bindings, accented with simple black/white purflings. The rosette is also "Tiger" Myrtle, with inner and outer black/white purfling combination.

The soundboard has been braced using a traditional fan bracing structure with upper and lower transverse bars, as well as bridge and soundhole reinforcement patches. The neck has been strengthened using a carbon fibre stiffening rod, to provide additional long term resistance to bending under string tension. The Tru-Oil varnish provides a thin flexible finish that has less impact on the tone of the instrument than many other finish types. High quality geared Gotoh SEP700 tuners were selected to allow accurate tuning with no string slipage.