Day 7: Back and sides

Today, I cut the MDF mould to the plantilla shape for when we laminate the ribs and I cut the outline of the jig for when the ribs are bent (MMG p.232). I then prepared the two halves of the walnut back for gluing by following the same method as the soundboard. I ensured the grain of the two book matched halves were nicely aligned and planed the two edges on a shooting board, before gluing and clamping. The main thing to remember is which side is which when planing the edges, checking for a tight joint, planing, checking, planing, checking and so on. A mark across the two halves makes aligning them easy and two crosses on alternate sides of each half helps to ensure the right edge is being planed. The two halves were glued, clamped and wedged tight.

The back of this guitar will be laminated for rigidity. We were going to use two layers of cherry veneer but Roy has some burr walnut and I thought that it would look nice to see the burr of the walnut through the sound hole and sound port, so we prepared one layer of cherry to glue to the walnut back and then a layer of burr walnut to glue to the cherry.

We then turned to work on the walnut ribs/sides. First I cut the wood and carefully planed it to the correct width. They were supplied 2mm thick so I then used a scraper plane to reduce them to about 1.8mm to make bending easier.

Roy had made his own thicknessing caliper with plywood and steel reinforcements. I will make my own too for about £10 in materials, including the dial gauge.

Today corresponded to Roy’s book pp. 218-219; 226-229.

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