Ukulele Finishing Tripod - Akertoys
 
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:
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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.
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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.
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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!
David
10/12/2010 09:25:48

Tiny hands, slimy with snot (or whatever) and no Timbuktu courier bag...you think kids don't worry about holding stuff?

What I didn't realize until recently was how much of the wood working process was devoted to clamping pieces together while the glue dries.

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