We last left the Hawaii Uke with the fretboard bindings installed, but still not flush with the neck at the bottom. Blending the bottom edge in with the wavy profile of the neck was a delicate process of carving the lower edge of the bindings with files and chisels until the transition from neck to binding was nice and smooth. Unfortunately, I was not able to do this without losing some small bits of the original finish on the edge of the neck where it mates up with the edge of the binding. I’ll have to solve this at some point, but for the moment, I’m just going to kick that can down the road a ways. In the photos below, especially the ones of the nut-end of the board, you can see the profiling of the fretboard binding.
Next up was adding some positioning dots on the fretboard. I used the traditional ukulele placement of a dot at the 10th fret rather than the 9th fret placement that you normally see on guitars. So the final placement is 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th. I could have also done the 3rd fret, but the dots are on the big side, and look a little crowded to me already, so I just skipped straight to the 5th. The dots are made from the same rosewood (?) as the bindings, giving a nice contrast to the maple, and consistency with the binding.
Since this makes the fretboard essentially done (less the actual frets, of course), I went ahead and applied a bit of teak oil, just to protect and moisturize the wood, now that I wouldn’t be sanding it much anymore.
So at this point, we’re ready for frets. I’ll tackle that process in the next post.