The Bass Bar, the Label, and Gluing the Back

July 28, 2001

Today I did a variety of tasks. I spent the morning fitting the spruce bass bar. I first scribed along the inside surface of the top with a compass, to mark the shape of the bottom of the bar. Because the top inner surface is not exactly flat, I made sure to scribe on both sides of the bass bar. Then I used a chisel to shape the bottom of the bar to the two scribed lines. Getting it so it fit exactly is not that easy, though --- it took quite a bit of adjustments to get it just right. But finally it fit, and I glued it on with hide glue. Tomorrow I'll shape the bar.

Next, I made the label and glued it (with thin hide glue) onto the inside back surface, under the f-hole on the left side of the violin. The quote translates to "In life I was silent -- in death I sweetly sing." It's part of the quote in the beginning of the Cumpiano book --- I've always liked it and hope my violin will live up to what it says!



Finally, I swallowed up my courage and glued the back onto the rims. I was kind of nervous about gluing it all at once (I was afraid the hide glue would gel more quickly than I could get the rim adjusted and all the clamps on), so what I ended up doing was what I saw Derek Roberts do on his violin-making site. I put a thin sizing of hide glue on both the rim/linings and the gluing ledge of the back. Then, after it had totally dried, I clamped the rim to the back. Opening up a few clamps at a time, I used a thin palette knife heated in boiling water to melt the glue in that section. Then I reclamped the section and moved on to the next section, until I had the entire back glued.

We'll see how it worked tomorrow....


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