In the last post, I wrote about attaching the top to the sides. After completing that it was time to finally get the body completed and closed up.
In order to do this I first had to repeat the process of fitting the back to the sides and notching the kerfed linings to receive the back braces. I followed the same procedures as for the top described in an earlier post. The important thing here was to assure that the body length was 20″ from the neck block to the tail before cutting the notches. Even with the inside mold and the top applied, the sides still flexed a bit so, I made sure that things were aligned to the previous marks that I made on the underside of the back.
Once I had the notches cut for the back, it was time to finally remove the inside mold. I scored an X-shape into the cardboard with a sharp utility knife and pulled out the triangular pieces. This finally gave me a view of how I did on the top glue-up. I guess I did a reasonable job of estimating the amount of glue to apply because there was no squeeze-out on the inside of the guitar body!
One more thing needed to be completed before attaching the back. For reinforcement, strips of spruce were applied to the sides periodically along the perimeter of the guitar. These were simply cut to size to fit between the kerfed linings and glued. The clamping was a bit cumbersome because of the depth of the sides. As I went along on this I created some cauls with some scrap and added tape to the ends so that one clamp could apply pressure to the entire strip. The only thing I found that was problematic during this process was controlling glue squeeze-out . I tended to wait until the glue gelled and then scraped it off however, working around the clamps in a tight area was a bit tedious.
I made sure that the inside of the guitar was clean and then went about gluing and clamping the back. This operation followed much the same procedure as attaching the top. I used the same spool clamps along with a couple of Quick-grip clamps at the neck and tails blocks. In the first picture you can see the glue applied to the neck and tail blocks and the kerfed linings. The second picture shows the clamping masterpiece with the back in place waiting for the glue to dry!
I waited 24 hours for the glue to set, removed the clamps and inspected the joint all along the back. Things looked good so, there was one more operation to complete before I could move on to routing the channels for the binding and purfling. The last thing to do was to remove the little square of wood on the top that covered the neck mortice. I scored inside the edges of the neck mortice with a utility knife and then cut short saw kerfs with a flush-cut saw (just because that is the smallest saw have no hand, not because I was cutting flush with anything). I worked the end of the piece with the knife until I could snap the piece off and then cleaned things up with a sharp chisel.
As I said, routing the channels for the binding and purfling is next. That will be an interesting operation. It will require some jigging in order to do it properly. We’ll cover that in the next post. If you have any questions or comments, please either leave a comment using the comments link at the end of the post or send me an email at email@example.com.