Friday, September 12, 2014

Up to my neck

With the English walnut uke having gotten its first coat of finish...

it's time to get busy shaping the neck. The black lines in English walnut are called "marblecake", in case you want to work that into your conversations. 

The key to good shaping for me is raking light, as the following photos show. Good or bad, the shape jumps out, and even a single stroke of a fine file makes a clear change.  

It makes for cool textures too:

For complex locations like the heel, I often hold the light in one hand and the tool in the other, moving the light back and forth to examine every bit of the surface.

In this photo I've just cut in the facet on the right with a carving chisel--which takes two hands, so the light is on a stand nearby.

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