At long last, here is the final product!
I used multiple layers of Tru-Oil for the finish on the neck and body and opted for a wax on the headstock and fretboard. I strung it up with a set of clear nylon Martin strings instead of the ones that came with the kit. This was purely personal preference and I'm sure that the strings that are provided with the kit are just fine. In fact, I'll be hanging on to them just in case.
As can be expected, I will be tweaking a few things duringthe "breaking in" phase, mainly lowering the action by filing down the saddle. That being said, I think that I can safely declare this uke finished.
Having strung it up and played a few tunes, I am surprised at the amount of volume this little guy can produce. It has a full, bright sound that offers an interesting contrast to the rich, mellow tone of the pineapple-style ukulele that I am accustomed to.
I learned a lot through the course of this build and will be using the knowledge toward future projects both uke and non-uke related. I am very happy with the final result, but as the builder there are always a few things in the back of my mind that I would have liked to have done differently. I'll chalk this up to the learning process. If everything went perfectly, I wouldn't have learned anything and therefore wouldn't have grown as an individual. I'm happy to say that I have humbly managed to do a little of both.
I have a notebook full of notes, sketches and ideas for upcoming projects and can't wait for the next time I have access to a bandsaw and workshop. I'll have to warn family and friends ahead of time so they don't think (hope?) that I was kidnapped.
I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions and comments. Your help was (and still is) greatly appreciated.
As a final note (pun intended), I would like to add that Mrs. Kanagawa G, heretofore a uke fan but non-player, has laid claim to this ukulele and is expressing interest in learning how to play. That alone makes this uke worth its weight in gold.
Until the next time,
p.s.- the latest episode of the Ukecast is up. You can give it a listen at http://www.ukecast.com/. If you have a chance, drop Chris and Nipper a line to let them know what a great job they are doing. Keep up the good work, guys!