With the C-bouts in place, it's time to bend the upper and lower bouts and glue them on. First, the extra length of the C-bouts needs to be trimmed and the blocks need to be carved to make smoothly flowing corners. I've read that it is a common beginner mistake to make the corners too pointy, and I've certainly done this here. Another lesson learned! Yay!
Bending the wood for the upper bouts is difficult—instead of a “C”, the wood must make an “S”. I ended up cracking four strips of wood and burning one on the bending iron trying to make this curve. More learning! Yay!
After much colorful language, the bouts are bent. Time to glue them on.
Unfortunately, one of the upper bouts had a crack that didn’t show up until it was glued on--the stress of being held in place caused the wood to break. I had to break the piece off (hide glue allows you to do that), bend yet another piece of wood, and glue it on. Yet more learning! Yippee!
About this time, I found another mistake to learn from. The grain on the upper block is running the wrong way, so I’ll have to cut away most of the block and replace it. The learning never stops!
Finally, the upper and lower bouts are glued in place. The extra wood from the bouts is removed, and the corners are shaped using the plastic template as a guide. Almost done with the sides!