We invent new tricks to make building easier and better. Often we hear about them from others or read about them here on Cigar Box Nation, or Youtube videos.
Here are a couple: I read both here on Cigar Box Nation posts
1. When doing a difficult glue joint, like a fretboard or scarf joint, put a tiny tiny pinch of table salt on the glue after spreading it. It does a great job of letting the pieces grip each other without slipping while applying clamps.
2. When installing those tiny screws on the back of the tuning machines, rub the screw threads over a bar of soap or parafin wax to make them easier to drive and lessen the probability of stripping the screw head.
Another one I learned from experience. Gluing pieces together seems like a simple process. But it can become complex. On a difficult glue joint, I finally learned to do a dry clamp before the actual gluing operation. That way, you have all the clamps out and ready to go. You know exactly how to place the clamps so that they will do their job properly and not interfere with each other. Also have the clamp pads set up so you will not mar the wood.
Please add to the list. I'll bet you know plenty of things that I don't know.
Thanks. That bar of soap must be pretty crusty by now. The post was meant to be a discussion, not a monologue, so join in with some hints.
Good tips. I've been using the same old bar of soap for screws for over 20 years.
The only one that comes to mind is to keep about an inch and a half distance from the nut to the nearest tuner post - goals: less string hop, better string path, better pressure on the nut.
I like that. Headstock/tuner layout is really important. On my first ukulele I could barely fret the first fret for the reason you mentioned. Plus I had the tuner in backwards, with the knob between the post and the nut. Haha. I was able to turn it around though and get it playing.
I have quite a few. I occasionally write blog posts on here with how to's, tips and hacks:
I know you do. You have helped me out before.
If you are doing any sanding work and you have decided to to it in the kitchen because it's raining, make sure you clean up properly after yourself and don't leave sawdust in the bread-bin, on the worksurfaces or in the jar where you keep the tea bags. This may not be necessary if you live on your own, but I swear it's good advice if you are hoping to keep a harmonious marriage. Also, candlewax on your fretsaw makes cutting the slots easier on very hard wood, and a strip of PVA glue on the frets helps them go into the slots easier, especially the smaller fret wire. You do need to clean up the slots straight away though. Great tips on this thread, I've enjoyed reading them.
When stringing a CBG, once you pull the string through the ferrule/rivet and the ball end is tight against the bottom, bend the string on the top side at the string ferrule/rivet... Keeps the string from running away on you...
Don't glue a box closed until you've played it a bit... Sometimes the oddest things cause buzzing and it's hard to fix if you already glued it closed...
If you use spray lacquer to clean up a box's finish, or protect a label, let it dry at least 5 days before you put a clamp on it... or at least put some wax paper between the clamp and the box.
"Right" side tuners are only on the right when you look at the tuner (bottom) side of the headstock.. --ok, rookie move, I know...
Thanks for the salt tip!