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Thursday, October 25, 2012

The fourth rib of shame

Here is the fourth rib fitted to the lute. I am finding working with the yew much more tricky than the walnut I used for the bowl-back mandolin.  The grain is REALLY wavy, and this means that I can't use a plane to trim the edges of the ribs to fit them together - there is too much tear-out. Files and sandpaper are the only things that work. I have also found that the black stained veneer that I am using for the spacers is difficult to bend accurately.

So why the shame? Well, I tried to fit the fourth rib with conventional Titebond wood glue, using tacks to squeeze the joint together and rubber straps to hold the ribs flat, as I had done before and...disaster! Gaps everywhere, nothing stayed in place properly and there was glue all over the place. So in the end I took it off, cleaned up the mess, improved the fitting and used Zap-a-Gap cyanoacrylic glue to stick on rib number four. I did this by working in short sections and started by gluing the black spacer on, followed by the rib.

It looks fine now, after a pass or two with a cabinet scraper, but I don't think that this is a good way to proceed. I guess in the end, that it comes down to the mould - this needs to be perfect in order to get the ribs to join properly.

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