Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Day 98: Gluing Up the Bottom Front

Yeah, I said that - gluing up the bottom front. Or front of the bottom. Whatever. The point is, I've started putting the case bottom together and the first step is to get the front part completed. This consists of four 5" x 34" boards - before trimming to final size - that I cut and put into a guitar top/back gluing jig I made six years ago. The jig simultaneously pulls the pieces together at the glue joints while also pushing down on them. This is particularly effective for 1/8" thick pieces of wood, yet I thought it might do the trick here, as well.

As you can see, the jig consists of two oddly shaped boards, a few wedges, and some twine. The first step in using the thing is to protect it from glue sticking to it, creating a permanent joint that, while artistic, would defeat the purpose of this exercise. A great, cheap way to mitigate against this is to use waxed paper. A 75 ft. roll cost me $1.10 at Winco, which ain't bad when you have champagne tastes and a beer budget.

The photo above is the bottom of the jig waxed papered up and ready to receive the glued boards.

Once the boards were glued and placed, I applied more waxed paper to their tops before placing the top frame. When the frame was in place, I wrap twine around the legs (there are more elaborate, figure-8 approaches, but this works fine for me), leaving a little room for the wedges. Once the twine was wrapped, I pushed the wedges in, which tightened the twine, pulling the boards together while pushing them down for a clean joint.

Yeah, this is an old luthier's trick (the trick, not me) that I've used to joint guitar tops and back, table tops, and, now, a harpsichord case bottom. This goofy, little jig is the gift that keeps on giving. The next step will be, of course, to remove the jointed piece and lightly plane it with a Stanley #4 smoothing plane, which I'm hoping will happen tonight.

Until next time...

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