Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Gluing the bass bar
Posting early today...it's a SNOW DAY! Doesn't mean it's ALL fun and games, in half an hour I shoveled 15' of our driveway, still more than a hundred to go. Now on to the business at hand, gluing bass bars. I've never quite understood why makers throw so many camps on when gluing the bass bar. They will glue the center seam of the belly with a rub joint, and no clamps at all, but gluing the bass bar requires as many as they can fit in. My confession...all the bass bars I've done before this one are just rub joints. Can someone out there tell me why all the clamps are needed? No answer? Well, with my new assembly/tuning board I too can glue my bass bar on with clamps..round ones. Here's how I do it: I rough the height and shape of the bar done so it is still too tall, but not straight and fit it to the belly. When it is ready to glue I clamp a stick to the assembly board and measure from the stick to the bass bar. I cut an old wooden hanger post into seven dowels, (only used 6) and cut up 7 blocks to make into wedges the length left from the stick to the bar. I used the dowels to hold the wedges in place while gluing them to the stick. Once dry I put glue on the bass bar and belly, rub in place, and then rolled the dowels in place to hold it in position. Works really well. One point to remember. The dowels are just holding it in place. Don't put a lot of pressure on it, only enough to keep the dowel from falling down. I'll check it out tomorrow and see how it came out. The bottom of the photo shows my high tech glue warmer. A clay cup inside of another clay cup. Fill 3/4 up with water (both cups), and toss in the microwave for 2 minutes. I'm sure it is the same set up Stradivari used, but he had the old microwaves with low power, maybe was even faster to just use a kettle. Well loafed around for an hour and a half, time for more shoveling.