Now I also make jewelry

Monday, 10 October 2011

Thanksgiving - Eating humble (pumpkin) pie




Today is Thanksgiving in Canada, so, yes, I baked pumpkin pie. And indeed, there is a certain similarity between the shape of this last uke and a pumpkin, isn't there?

But why "humble"? Look closer and you'll see there's a new bridge on (Honduras rosewood instead of purpleheart).


I had completed the uke and was stringing it when, as I was tensioning the last string, the front of the bridge broke under the pressure. A couple of flaws: the bridge was not thick enough and therefore, the saddle was too high, and also the saddle groove was too close to the front end. Anyways, though I was aware of those shortcomings, I ignored them... with the entirely predictable result.

Murphy's law, yes indeed, and I've had innumerable occasions to verify it while building ukes. But mostly, I have only myself to blame: good enough won't cut it, one has to observe the rules and proper measurements every step of the way, especially as you near the end of the process and just want to be done with it. And greater fool am I, since this not the first time (nor even the second) I succumb to impatience, laziness, cutting corners.
This by way of a public confession (however, I'm not so masochistic as to have taken pictures of the heartbreaking sight of that split bridge). Mostly to acknowledge one of the lessons of crafting objects with one's hands, which could be of great benefit for so many other areas of activity...

The other lesson is that, after eating my humble pie, it's time to rebuild and repair. All is not lost, and having learned how to repair once (and overcoming the heartbreak), that knowledge can be used again if/when one falls prey to the same mistake (as I'm prone to do). So I unglued and re-sanded and re-finished and fashioned a new, thicker bridge with a properly positioned saddle slot. While at it, I'm salvaging the saddle I had made by shortening it and am now shaping a new, improved nut... (Is there such a thing as a reformed nut?)

Happy Thanksgiving!




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