Gluing the Top & Fingerboard Work

July 30, 2001


Here are the results of the work I did a couple of days ago --- the back is now glued to the rim, and the bass bar has been glued and shaped. The little Ibex fingerplanes really made shaping the bar easy!




Now it was time to close up the soundbox. I did it differently from the way I glued the back to the rim. I found I really didn't like that other method of using the palette knife to remelt the already dried hide glue. With the clamps holding the back to the rim, I found it was kind of difficult to slide the palette knife in between the rim and the back, so I was never really sure if I was getting to all the glue with the knife. Luckily for me, I only had a few spots where the glue hadn't melted; I simply went in there again with the knife (though it was still difficult) and remelted the glue.

So, although it made me nervous, I decided to glue the top by spreading the glue all at once and immediately applying the clamps. What I was nervous about was that I wouldn't have time to get it all clamped up before the hide glue gelled. (I'm totally new to hide glue.) But I gathered up my courage and began.

First, I did a dry-run by clamping it all up, so that all my spool clamps would be opened up large enough to just fit (so I wouldn't have to be fumbling around loosening the clamps while my hide glue was sitting there gelling!). I determined the exact order in which I was going to apply the clamps (and how many clamps would go in each section). I also had drawn a light pencil outline around the rim onto the top, so I would know exactly where to position the rim on the top. Once I felt as if I knew what I was doing, I took a deep breath, took my little brush, and quickly spread the hide glue on the rim and blocks, putting a little extra on the blocks. Then I got right to work putting on all those clamps!!! After I did that (and I went lightning-fast!), I wiped away any oozed-out glue.

I think it worked all right.....tomorrow I will remove the clamps and see!!!


Here's what else I did today. I worked on the fingerboard. It came oversized, so I first had to make it narrower, to fit the width of my neck. Then I made it thinner, by using the belt sander. Finally, I hollowed out a thin, shallow channel at the top of the underside, to reduce some of the weight. I also slightly deepened the lower hollow area (already sent that way), to make the lower end a bit thinner.



Don't worry --- it's not really glued yet!!! I still need to fit the neck to the body...


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