Gluing on the front.

Time to do this thing. First, I made sure that the rib assembly edges were true and square using a sharp jack-plane. Then I brushed hot & thin hide-glue on the exposed end grain of the end-blocks and corner-blocks. This should prevent the final joint being starved of glue, since end-grain is highly absorbent.


I let this dry overnight, and this morning positioned the ribs over the upside-down top on two saw-horses. After clamping the end-blocks, and then the corner-blocks, I took all the clamps that we’d made and distributed them around the entire perimeter, making sure that the edge overhang was at least 4mm+  all round. 


Now it’s time to glue. Not wanting to get into a state, I’ve tried to get everything ready: glue (hot, but not too hot), a kettle of hot water, a bowl of hot water, an old clean butter knife  (I think it came from my mother), with a thin flexible blade, a clean toothbrush and a supply of clean cloths. It seems that I am to start at the bottom block, and removing three or four of the clamps, slide glue into the joint with the hot knife and then replace the clamps. Then moving on to three or four adjacent clamps, repeat the process until I’m back where I started. 


Frankly, this all went a lot more easily than I thought it might. I’ll take the clamps off tomorrow morning, clean up any unnoticed glue inside, and then repeat the whole process to attach the back. I mustn’t forget to put in a label—I’m sure that Matteo didn't, back in 1720. I wonder what his label looked like? Ours will rather abashedly say who made this instrument, when and where it was made, and also the number  of this bass. For us, number 1 (of 1).

This is a bit of an experiment:

Next time we’ll try turning the camera 90°

Wednesday February 4th.