Gluing on the Top


Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012:

Not many photos today --- just pictures of the final product of today's work. I was too busy doing all the preparations for gluing on the top, to stop and take photos of each step. Anyway, here's what I did today:

  1. I put the side set in the mold with the spreader and then placed it upon the braced top, aligning the neck and tailblock centerlines with the centerline of the top.

  2. I marked the width of the braces where they jutted into the kerfing, and marked where the inside edge of the kerfing crossed the braces (so I could cut the ends of the braces).

  3. I sawed off the ends of the braces (the width of the kerfing past my pencil mark).

  4. I chiseled out the pockets in the kerfing for the brace ends to sit in.

  5. I put the top on the side set to check for the fit and adjusted either the brace ends or the pocket depths, until I got it all to fit nicely.

  6. I made a clamping caul out of hardboard (a 1" strip following the outline of the top).

  7. I placed blocks under the back rim, so that the top would protrude evenly out of the mold.

  8. I adjusted the height of the go-bar deck's upper deck, so it was about 1" shorter than the top-to-upper deck distance.

  9. I did a dry-run of the clamping --- spring clamps on the harpbox peghead and go-bar sticks for the rest.

  10. I took a deep, deep breath --- the nerve-wracking part was next!

  11. I applied glue (Titebond) to the top of the kerfing and in the brace pockets, and on the neck, tail, and harpbox peghead blocks. I smoothed out the glue and ran my finger along the edges to reduce the amount of glue there (to minimize glue squeeze-out). (An easy way to do this is to pinch your thumb and index finger together and run it along the kerfing; it will remove the glue that's right at the edges of the kerfing.)

  12. I lined up the centerlines at the neck and tail block ends, and lined up the harpbox peghead as best I could (it's a little misaligned, but that will be easy to even out later with some sanding).

  13. I clamped the peghead first.

  14. I placed the clamping caul on the top and applied the go-bar sticks.

  15. I breathed again.



Here are some photos of how it's all sitting now in my workroom. Later tonight I'll remove the go-bar sticks and clamps, to see what I've got!!! I'm hoping it all goes well.





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  1. Working on the Top and Back
  2. Finishing the Rosette, Harpbox Peghead Veneer
  3. Bracing
  4. Carving the Braces
  5. Bending the Sides
  6. Neck and Tail Blocks
  7. Pegheads & Top Kerfing
  8. Profiling the Sides for the Back
  9. Soundport and Side Reinforcements
  10. Gluing on the Top
  11. Gluing on the Back
  12. Trimming Overhang & Harpbox Peghead
  13. Routing for Binding
  14. End Wedge & Binding
  15. Scraping the Binding, Binding the Harpbox Peghead
  16. The Box is Done --- On to the Neck!!!
  17. Working on the Neck & Fingerboard
  18. The Neck is Finished!!! Now to the Bridge!!!
  19. Peghead Inlay, Final Sanding & Pore-Filling
  20. Shellac Seal Coats and Finishing!!!
  21. Finishing the Finish!!!
  22. The Final Steps
  23. It is Finished!!!







Later that evening . . . .

After about four hours, I removed the go-bar sticks and clamps. Everything came out well. The top is flush to the sides, and I had very little glue squeeze-out to deal with. I guess I'm getting better at knowing just how much glue to apply to the rims --- not too much, and not too little.

Those stationery clamps you see in on a small section of the kerfing (upper left part of photo) are there because a few of the kerfed blocks developed a tiny crack along the side, I think because the block I had supporting it did not fully contact the side, and the pressure from the go-bars caused the kerfing to crack. However, all I had to do was to slide a tiny bit of glue inside the crack with an Exacto knife and clamp it together again.





I will wait until tomorrow, when the glue is fully cured, to trim the top overhang flush to the sides. Then it will be time to work on fitting the back. Here are my next steps:

  1. Make the label for the back.

  2. Recheck the radius sanded onto the back kerfing.

  3. Fit the back to the sides, cut the back center reinforcement strip ends for neck and tail blocks, and chisel out notches for braces.

  4. Sand the back and glue on label.

  5. Glue the back to the sides in the go-bar deck.


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