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Attaching the side to the top

Well first of all, I lost all my pictures for this session.
I took quite alot of pictures for this session and the SD card was unable to be read when I reach home...
Now all I can show is the end results of this session, which I took on another day.

In order to fit the MDF dome to the wood solera, I had to raise the height of the side supports.
I drilled the holes and cut the MDF into a small rectangular pieces.
The MDF piece will be inserted in between the side support and the pine solera base.
I grew to love the coping saw and the tenon saw: they are really a helper.
With proper technique, they can saw any wood as efficient as a Jig Saw and at a low noise operation.
Also, the manual sawing gives more control.

The assembled sides in a solera you can see the raised support.

Then in order to fit the sides, I had to bend the sides a bit more.
The process was rather quick as I had adjusted the side curvatures on a number of previous occasions.
With the solera (which I grew to appreciate), the main spring back (length-wise) can be contained with the side supports.
I simply tightened the screws abit and use the mallet to knock the sides into shape fitting the curve pencil mark drawn on the top from the template.
The fitting procedure was a breeze.

I chisel the heel area to fit the thickness of the top board so that the topboard would flush with the neck.
Then I use file to file it flat (causing my hands to blistered).
(Seriously I forgot totally about using the plane and scraper instead...)

I trim the sides at the center line first using a tenon saw.
Then I use Stanley T-bevel blade to mark out the angle of the Spanish foot slot and the sides.
Finally I saw the sides according to the marking and file the jagged edges.
The fiting was perfect (to my surprise actually).
I must give credit to LMII for provided such well-made necks.
The slot fitting was perfect with no gaps.

The heel. Noticed there is no gap between the sides and the heel. Kudos to LMII's pre-made necks.

After the fitting session, it was finally time to start the gluing process.
First of all, I glued the topboard to the neck making sure that the center line of both neck and topboard lines exactly.
I use mere naked eye looking down the line to ensure that both centre line are in line.
After apply the glue I use hand to hold them together for about 15 minutes or so before I apply the F-clamp to clamp them further.

After about another 15 minutes or so, I transfer the attached top to the solera and clamp it down there.
I fitted the sides to the heel slots and started the mallet knocking session.
The spring back is mainly lengthwise now.
So I adjusted the curves and determine the final location of the end block.

After being satisfied at the curves, I proceed to glue the end block.
I use the 2 F-clamps to clamp and a wooden plank down the sides to the top.
Finally, I glued the end block to the sides and down unto the top.

The end block.

After gluing the end block, the next step would be gluing the lining.
The lining which I used is a normal spruce kerfed lining.
The gluing is done in sections as divided by the end block, heel, and the traverse bar.
At first I used solely hand to hold the lining, but found a better way in the end.
I use a wooden block and clamp the block to the sides, pressing down on the kerfed lining.
As the kerfed lining surface is angled, and the wooden block is pressing on the angled surface, the force vector components will be applying to both the sides (horizontal) and the top (vertical).
After 15 minutes or so, the kerfed lining will be held in place and the clamp can be removed.

There are some sections which the struts extend into the lining gluing area.
I had to use chisel to remove part of the lining in order to fit nicely.
Overall, I like the smooth appearance of the lining.

Kerfed lining.

Detailed view of the open harmonic bar area

Top view

End view

Oblique view

Looking at the end.

View after removing from the solera a few days later.

Trimming the side
I started to trim the side rims's height using a block plane.
I slipped a few times and get a few bloody dings in my fingers.
Luckily the blood did not stain the top
Everytime after each making session I would be unable to carry out my routine guitar practice, due to finger ache or injury or blister.
Well seems like there will be no playing for the next few days.

Using a plane to trim the sides.

Now the main problem which I faced, not having a radius dish.
So, I can't really get a perfect curvature for the back.
However, I got some pretty good advice from a fellow OLFer, AlexM, on how to do it without a radius dish.
He did several guitars and the latest one sounded marvellous.
The lovely harmonics left a deep impression on me until that it sound he had added reverb to the recording...
Hopefully my guitar would turn out that good.

The curvature would be shaped by the back struts, with the center struts having slightly more curvature.
Then, using the back and do a dry fitting.
Use the file to adjust the sides to fit.
So long as the back is curved, it really doesn't matter if the curvature is not a spherical curvature (as in done in a radius dish).

The rims half done done.
You can see the uneven curvature.

Removing the back brace
Previously, I mentioned that the back has a crack.
Now I have decided to remove the current brace and use CA glue (super glue) to mend the crack.
Upon careful inspection, the crack might not be due to humidity swing problem but rather weakness inherent in the EIR wood itself.

Well first to remove the back brace.
I use my Japanese bevel-edge chisel to do the job.
It is a cheap and good tool for only just SGD2.
After chiselling away the brace, I then chisel the remaining spruce on the back
and use a scraper (paint scraper) to finish the job.

Chiselled middle brace.

Another view.

Close-up view. The glueing was surprisingly done quite well for the middle brace
The brace adhered full to the back.

Chisel away the remaining brace.

Chisel the lower back brace.
This brace wasn't well done.
The left side did not glue properly to the back.
I'm glad I decide to redo the back brace

Chiselling away the lower back brace

Using scraper to scrape away the remnants of the brace.

Another view

New back struts.
I made the lower back structs thicker because its a longer struct than the rest.

New tuner machine
I acquired Rubner tuner for AUD 66 from the Australian Luthier Supplies
They are a beauty with shiny brass back plate with simple elegant decorative border.
Together with a ebony button and black roller, and priced at AUD66,
the tuner is a good bargain.
According to a fellow OLFer, WaddyT, if we get in bulk from Rubner factory itself, we can get it for 20% cheaper.
If I go into making 10 more guitar, that's really a good option to think about.

New Rubner tuner with ebony button and black roller.

The Rubner tuner on the head

Look with back on

Close up at the crack