Day 18: Arm rest, bridge finished, back on.

The end of the build is now in sight. Today, we started with the arm rest and despite what I said in my last post, I opted for four pairs of 15x3mm magnets in the end. After gluing on the Padauk to the Walnut and roughly cutting the Padauk to shape, I could put the arm rest in place and feel how effective the magnets would be. I still have to shape it and reduce the overhang of the Padauk but you’ll get the idea from the images. I will glue three pieces of felt to the arm rest that sit on the soundboard above the lining.

Next, I cleaned up the inside of the guitar and sealed the foot with a coat of shellac. I also gave the inside of the back a coat of shellac to bring out the burr of the walnut veneer, which can be seen through the soundhole and soundport. I took care not to apply shellac where I will be gluing. I wonder what effect this might have on the sound since it produced a more reflective surface.

Prior to gluing the back on, we checked the neck angle of the solera, which had been made to be flat (i.e. zero degree angle). Had the solera bent or twisted in any way since it was made, we’d have to reshape it prior to gluing the back on. Fortunately, it hadn’t moved and the back was glued on with no angle to the neck using the spool clamps I made from rolling pins, except the clamp for the foot.

While that was drying, I turned to the bridge. As I said previously, I’ve been making two bridges: one out of Madagascan Rosewood and another out of Padauk. I settled on using the Padauk for this guitar and so started to do the final shaping. After chiselling, filing, scraping and sanding (with different grades up to 1800 micromesh), I applied a coat of shellac. The final dimensions of the bridge are 27×79.3 with wings 2.5mm high and tie block 7.2 high. It weights 15g. This is slightly smaller and lighter than Roy’s standard bridge but I have been reading about the benefits of a light, stiff bridge and thought I would try to achieve one.

I finished the day trimming the back and soundboard flush with the ribs so that the purfling cutter could be taken around it effectively.

Today corresponded to Roy’s book pp. 255-263.

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