Another update from Jerry Hoffmann as he continues work on my custom Boat Paddle ukulele …
Jerry: Hi Julie, You can start getting an idea of what your ukulele will look like now. The rib, or sides, have been bent and reinforcing blocks are glued in place. The following series of photos shows the heel block as it is fit to the neck, then glued in place.
The heel block is built around the neck— the natural taper of the neck locks it securely in place centered on the 14th fret.
Next, the block is glued and clamped to the rib. This is where the initial alignment of the neck and body is determined. The centerline of the fingerboard needs to be parallel with the top and centered on the body.
Once the glue dries, the rib is notched to accept the neck. Alignment was right on the money with this one, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes the block needs to be removed, then reset before it’s right.
It’s exciting to be able to watch as the instrument is coming together. 🙂