December 2017

Big Island Ukulele Guild
Minutes from 12/16/2017


Hau'oli Makahiki Hou guild members!

Sorry for the delay in posting the meeting minutes, but it’s been a busy holiday season. 


We had 18 attendees; including several new members attend our final meeting of 2017 on December 16 at Dave Stokes’ tidy shop in Ocean View. 

Tom Russell had holiday guests so secretary Chris Stewart read the guild financial report. We have $2900 in our account, less than last year, mostly due to fewer members and less contributions during the Wailoa Arts Center exhibit. 

The guild is looking for a coordinator to organize the 2018 exhibit, probably from the Hilo side. Dave Stokes has proposed using several volunteers to spread out the responsibilities with one person overseeing their efforts.

Election of new officers followed. David Stokes, Tom Russell and Chris Stewart agreed to remain with their current roles as president, treasure/web master and secretary. Carlos Newcomb was elected as our new vice-president.

The meeting included much discussion about the unfortunate damage to Lewis Draxlir’s beautiful show ukulele during the Wailoa Center exhibit. Woodley White suggested a rethinking of how we display the instruments to prevent risk of more instruments being damaged. Any ideas are welcome.

Gary Cassel reported on the smaller Kahilu Theatre display, which was well received by theatergoers attending the three-day 'Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar Festival. Dave Stokes suggested we ask for more space, as in previous shows. Gary will pursue future Kahilu Theatre support of our exhibit.

Bob Gleason brought us up to speed on his ukulele distribution project, and reported that all of the uke's we received from Roy Cone’s Ukulele World in Texas, some 70 in all, have been cleaned, repaired and distributed to children around the island. Mahalo Bob, Dave, Woodley, Tom Russell, who spearheaded this and to all those who helped make this happen!

Show and tell featured five builders and their instruments or jigs. Woodley White displayed his tenor koa ukulele with handmade binding and layers of purfling. Instead of gluing thin strips together, Woodley now stacks 2-inch-wide veneers, glues them together with the binding using polyurethane glue, puts them in his vacuum press and when cured, rips them to the desired width. Voila! Woodley is also using snakewood for bindings. Not as easy to bend as koa, but makes for a dramatic look. Woodley likes pheasant wood as well. 

He also mentioned exposure damage to his show instruments at the Wailoa Center due to humidity, which caused lacquer on the back and front joints to contract. 

Gary Cassel offered up a clever jig for scoring the wood fiber prior to routing a soundhole. His novel approach, using an exacto blade attached to a wood block spinning on a pivot point, lessens the chance of tear-out. 

Chris Stewart asked for opinions regarding a bridge problem that occurred when he routed the saddle slot too deep, leaving very little material for the saddle to rest on. Chris eventually removed the wood, leaving a slot through the bridge. Bob Gleason reports that some guitars were made that way with a metal insert. Dave Stokes suggested gluing a strip within the slot. What’s your opinion?

Carlos Newcomb also sought recommendations after sanding through the side of his beautifully inlayed slotted headstock ukulele. One proposition was to add a soundport. Another was to add inlay. Or an onboard preamp. We’ll have to wait until the next meeting for Carlos’ solution. 

New member Barbara Bach showed us her ukulele, made in Sam Rosen’s class. A very nice first effort, complete with a whale tail headstock and inlay!

Following lunch, Bob Gleason showed us a neat trick for simultaneously cutting both the inlay piece and the inlay cavity. His inlay/non-inlay technique involves sticking a drawing pattern on the inlay material, adhering the inlay material to the wood, drilling a pilot hole with a micro bit and cutting out the inlay and cavity with a jeweler's hand saw. Works like a charm! Bob gets many of his micro bits and blades from Rio Grande Jewelry Supply - https://www.riogrande.com/ 

Our next meeting will be March 25th in Na’alehu at Rodney Crusat’s shop. Rodney will be giving a building demo on cutaway design. Hope to you there!

Chris Stewart, BIUG Secretary



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