Hello there! I'd like to show you a picture:
Yes, you are correct, you have seen one of these before. Hmm. Almost correct: this one is slightly different:
What on earth?? Is that... a strap-pin jack?? Yes, yes it is. That's a 1/4" hole that accepts a standard 1/4" audio plug, such as might be used to connect to an amplifier. Inside there it's attached to a piezoelectric pickup, adhered to the soundboard. You can't see that in the following image either:
We've had this all planned out for a long time, but it's taken a while to get all the pieces to come together. I cannot express how awesome it is to play around on one of our little ukes, enjoying myself as usual, and then plug it into my amp and enjoy myself louder... and with reverb... and other awesome effects! Super fun, unbelievable fun.
It's tricky to hold stuff. This is one of those things you don't really think about when you're a kid, and then at a certain point you realize that a huge percentage of all engineering effort has been applied toward trying to... hold stuff. We at Akertoys find it tricky to hold stuff while finishing it. Ukuleles in particular pose that challenge. Here's the latest solution:
We had set up a "finishing station" that held either four necks or four bodies at a time, using a little wedge-thingy to quickly disconnect the temporary finishing arm from the station when you needed to flip or remove the part.
A friend who was helping with the finishing pointed out that there's not a lot of point in having four of them set up that way at once: since we don't have spray finishing equipment, you can only really focus on one item at a time... so what might be most useful would be a single good workstation, and then a lot of places to hang the inactive parts for drying. So I imagined a little plate that could interface between the 1/4-20 male thread of a tripod and the two dowel holes of our finishing holding bars.
I realize we won't be winning any beauty contests with this thing... but that's cool. I think it's beautiful, considering the small amount of time invested in its creation. It does the job nicely, lets you hold a neck or body at any location in space while you work on it. Excellent.
Oh, and if you're wondering about the crummy, flash-polluted photography: My tripod was sort of indisposed at the time!
It's a lot of fun to make things out of wood, and there are so many different types of wood that it never gets boring. Still, it's fun to go cross-media sometimes:
I'm having trouble toggling the option that lets you enlarge the image by clicking on it.... hope you can see them okay. The general idea is that we had a chance to make some odd-shaped plates out of copper as part of a fabrication services job we did some time ago. I stumbled upon the pictures recently and remembered how much fun that was. When you work with wood all the time, your brain starts to develop an expectation of how heavy a little piece of material should be. Then you pick one of these off the table... and it's a lot heavier than it's supposed to be! Simple pleasures.