December 2016

Big Island Ukulele Guild
Minutes of December meeting 12/10/2016

Mele Kalikmaka to all our BIUG members. Fourteen guild members braved the cool and damp Kona weather as they attended our final 2016 guild meeting .   


Tad Humble lead us in a holiday kanikapila. Amazingly, every attending member can actually play an ukulele. Outgoing President Tom Russell reported a healthy guild coffer and thanked everyone for their support.

During show and tell, Tom Russell presented his rosette fretboard and headstock inlays. He later offered a demo about making segmented wood rosettes, describing them as “rosettes developed by precise alignment of isosceles trapezoidal forms derived from the hard fibrous material that forms the main substance of the trunk or branches of a tree” – whatever that means.

Claudia Suen’s latest creative efforts include using pyography to accent her ukuleles. “The trick was to notice how deep the burn went into the wood and not cause the top to lose too much of its strength,” according to Claudia, who is being gently coorced into offering a workshop of her techniques.

Dave Stokes showed off a great-looking rosette make of mother of pearl pieces set in ebony dust and “flooded with thin CA glue”. Eye-catching! 

Terry Davis saddened us with his woeful tale about a heat-damaged ukulele he built for a friend. Left in a hot, closed-up house, the front and back came loose and the neck fell off. Nonplussed, Terry is repairing it and building a new ukulele at the same time.

Tom Parse displayed his Monterey cypress ukulele and spoke about the increasing challenges of building with endangered woods, including the need for documentation when selling instruments made from these woods. 

Rusty McKague reported problems with a blushed finish. Rusty was doing the build coats of lacquer using a rattle can. A bit of vigorous sanding and a return to a spray lacquer with lacquer thinner and a retarder added solve the issue.  

Lewis Draxlir revealed his hand-made wood fret markers made by using aluminum tubing as a cutter. He reports, “I had some 3/16" aluminum pipe (something stronger would be better, the aluminum crushes really easily in the drill press). I simply took a small 3-corner file and made several small teeth. It cuts pretty well. It is best not to cut all the way through the wood.  If you do, you must remove it from drill press to get the dot out. I have learned to cut almost through and I simply clean them up with an exacto knife when I am ready to use them.” Simple and effective!

The election of officers followed show and tell. Lewis Draxler looked a bit gobsmacked as he was elected our new president, but graciously accepted the challenges of leading our guild in 2017. Terry Davis remains as our vice-president and also treasurer. He is now in charge of membership, which include dues collection, list management, group email list management, and new membership. Chris Stewart returned as secretary. Tom Russell, our workacholic 2016 president, will continue to maintain the guild webpage and coordinate our popular workshops. 

Following the election of officers and lunch, Tom Russell closed out the meeting with a talk and demo about making segmented wood rosettes using techniques he learned while woodturning. Tom has posted the demo presentation on our website here.


Chris Stewart, BIUG Secretary



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