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Front Binding / Purfing / Fingerboard

Front Binding

After a long drought, finally mananged to find pockets of time to do up the front binding.
After the experience with the rear binding, I am more confident on how to go about doing the front binding.

But first I had to chisel the purfling rebate / rabbet at the part near the neck.
This time round I had bought a 2mm chisel by 2Cherries, and chiselling was a breeze.
The channel was well defined unlike the one at the back (I still have yet to solve that problem).

Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me when I did the front binding.
So I didn't managed to take any pictures.
Essentially the steps are the are the same as the rear bindings.
This time round there is an additional herringbone purfling to take care of.
I glued the purfling channel first before embarking on the binding.
It was a hard work trying to keep the purfling in place due to the spring back.
I bent it cold w/o any heat as I was afraid that heat might disintegrate the purfling.

This time round I make sure the purfling and binding was cut accurately to size.
So it was just a matter of glueing them up.
After glueing them besides the usual tape to hold them down (which isn't strong enough) I also employed rope.
Now I use 2 coils rather than only 1 coil.
The tension was able to keep the binding in place w/o much gaps.
Gaps are still present due to the lousy rebate which I did previously.
I guess there is no way remedying.

I use rope to add pressure to the binding tape (which isn't strong at all).

This time round I make sure I have sufficient length (2 rolls of string instead of 1). The tape is to increase the pressure abit more

Close up of the tying.

Another view

After removing the strings.

The tape removed. looks good :)

Close up at the waist region

Some gaps at the tail region. Still thinking how fill the gap.

Another view

Another one at the waist

At the neck region. The 2 mm chisel was very useful in chiseling the channel.
If not the binding won't fit so snuggly.

Another view

Upper bout

The whole view

Upper bout

From the neck

Some chips at the neck

Marks left by scrapper's edges...

Improper cut channel

Finger board
After working on the binding, I began to work on the fingerboard.
Unfortunately, I discovered something bad; the fingerboard had bowed....
Strange, I had kept it inside a humidity controlled box, and the ends are sealed.
Yet it still managed to be bowed.
The displacement was about 1 mm in the middle.

After consulting with experts at the Delcamp forum, I was told to plane it flat.
I kept my scraper (about 1mm thick) supporting the middle of bowed region and plane the other side flat.
At first I tried to use my #8 jointer, but to my horror I discover the jointer was faulty...
The adjustment screw was stuck to the frog.
Even with pliers, I did not manage to make it turn.
How unfortunate.
In the end I use my regular #4 Bench plane to do the job.
The block plane did not cut that well.
My wooden bench plane's iron was surprisingly very hard.
Ebony was definitely a hard wood to plane.
After some hard work, I managed to plane it near flat.
Now to fit the neck and cut to and plane to size.

Bowed finger board

Clamping to ensure that it is straight.

Next will be fingerboard and bridge.

Finally I get to work on the finger board.
After consulting my luthier friends in Delcamp forum, I decide to plane the bowed fingerboard flat.
I put a piece of support (my scraper which is about 1mm thick) undernearth the bowed region and plane the middle belly part.
After the part is flat, then I turn around and plane the other side flat at the ends.
Well after some work its nearly flat (still not exactly very flat), the gluing should the trick after that.

Now the next problem is to plane the fingerboard to fit the neck.
My neck is a pre-made neck and so I need to make sure the finger board shape fits the neck.
So I trace the shape from the neck and transfer to the fingerboard using a vanguard sheet.
As first I saw away the sides excess and plane away the rest to fit using the shooting board method.

Planing the side using the shooting board method

Another view

Then after I plane the part after the 12th fret the part which is in the upper bout.
At first when I join the neck to the body I made sure it was with no forward angle.
But after my careless mistake in the front binding all that, it ended up with some slight forward angle.
So I need to plane the fingerboard to fit.

I tried 3 planes for the job, Stanley #4, Stanley Block plane and my Taiwanese made wooden plane.
It ended up that the best fit tool was the wooden plane...
The block plane was good but the blade was too thin, and after some rounds of ebony planing the blade had kinks and needs to be sharpen.
The #4 was too bulky to use.
The wooden plane was light and handy to use.
Adjustment of the plane was simple too. (see below section)

To plane the part above the 12th fret region, I clamp a piece of wood which also acts as the stopper making sure that the blade will not plane within the 12th fret region.

The wood act as a stopper for the plane to ensure that the blade doesnt plane the region within the 12th fret region

Another view. The pencil line marks the 12th fret.

Another view.

Slight ramping down at the ends

In the end I use another piece of wood underneath for better support.

And scrap for smoother finish (still pretty rough though)

See the fingerboard on the neck.

Another view.

Closer up view

From the front

Plane blade
Surprisingly the cheap wooden plane which I bought was functioning exceptionally well.
The blade was hard and can plane the ebony perfectly.
The Stanley block plane was having trouble planing the hardwood (ebony).
After some pass the block plane blade was having some kinks in it.
Comparing the thickness of the blade it's not hard to know why.

The block plane blade. Note the kink in the middle

The wooden plane blade

Another lighting view

Comparing the thickness of the blade.

Setting up the wooden plane

1) Put the body on the table top.

2) Place the blade in the slot. Made sure the edge is touching the table top.

3) Put the wedge in.

4) Tap the wedge tight.

5) The blade should be just protruding from the bottom.

6) To loosen, simply tap the end of the block.

7) If the blade is skew slight can just tap the blade slightly to correct the skew.

Correcting the skew iron by tapping on the left

Correcting the skew iron by tapping on the right