Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gluing up

Sheesh--I still haven't finished posting all the work I did at the violin workshop, and I still haven't been able to do any violin work here in Roseburg. Things are starting to settle somewhat, so hopefully I can fix both of those issues.

Let's see, I left off with a fingerboard that had been planed flat on one side and curved appropriately on the other side. That meant it was time to glue it onto the neck, and here's one of the places where the Book said to do it one way and Michael said to do it another. Being as how Michael was there and the authors of the book were not, I went with Michael.

When you attach the neck to the body, it's really useful to have the fingerboard in place. Otherwise, it's very easy to get the neck slightly skewed along one of several axes. On the other hand, if you want to do a perfect job of varnishing the body, it's annoying to have the fingerboard in the way. Also, if you want to have your fiddle catch some sun while the varnish cures, the fingerboard will absorb a lot of heat and warp. So, the Book recommends just using a dab of glue to attach the fingerboard. Once everything is all assembled and ready to varnish, you pop the fingerboard off; then, varnishing completed, you reattach the fingerboard with a full dose of glue.

Bosh, sez Michael. (OK, he didn't say "Bosh," but words to that effect.) What did the old guys do? They glued the fingerboard on, then they varnished the fiddle. You can see it when you look at their work. It's quicker and easier, and the people who check the varnish under the fingerboard are the ones who look for dust behind your oven.

So, there it is, setting with a bunch of spring clamps.

While that was in progress, it was also time to glue the top onto the body. That was heaps of no fun. Hide glue sets very quickly, and I did not have the sang-froid to do it all at once. So, a dab here, some clamps, pry open a little bit, a dab more, re-clamp, and so on all the way around. It turned out OK, as far as I can tell--no visible gaps or buzzes. Yet.

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