Today I bought a nice board of White Oak from Windsor Plywood.
I knew I needed to make some cuts that would require a fair bit of stability. When I was a kid, my dad would use lots of feather boards and other jigs he would make to make good cuts.
So I started off the day by making a couple feather boards.
The first one I made was from a cross cut piece, so it ended up not having much strength before a piece cracked off; but it was still useful, the second was from a more suitable piece of scrap. This proved to be quite valuable to the cuts I was about to make.
I made successive cuts, one cross-cut to get a piece down to working length, one to get a nice clean edge to go against the guard (the small offcut piece from that will later be used for structural ribs).
The remaining piece I ripped down into the depth of the ukulele ( 2 5/8").
I then set up another vertical rip half-way through that piece at a width of ~4mm, flipped the board and did the other half. I didn't get a great cut, but it was passable. I cleaned it up on the benchtop belt sander and got the saw marks out of the board. It is now approximately 2.5-3mm thick after sanding.
The consistency isn't great, but I'm going to use this as a bending prototype. If this goes well I'll make the 5mm rough cuts (or even 6mm) and rent a thickness planer from the VTL and clean them all up in one go.
Here you can see the piece I've cleaned up on the sander and will be my first steaming test. I'll probably either hand-plane it a bit to thin it out, or sand it some more; as it is slightly too thick/
I also sanded some high spots out of the jig caused by some slight misalignment in the layers:
And finally, today I picked up a tea kettle that should prove to be a good steam source for the ammo box (ammo box not pictured).
I need to figure out a way to attach a hose attachment to the top of the kettle, and one on the other side of the hose to attach to the ammo box.
Next Step... a test bend.