Friday, July 28, 2006

Glued in the tone bars

Monday, November 07, 2005

After doing a little more fine tuning on my bass side tone bar, I finally felt comfortable enough to go ahead and glue them in. My friend loaned me some clamps that are made of plastic and click like a ratchet, and you can release them with a lever. Not sure what they are called, but the clicks aren't variable enough to work for this purpose, one click might be too loose, and it feels like if you click it again, it feels like it would be too tight and might damage the soft spruce.

So... I bit the bullet and bought three large deep bite C clamps at Lowe's. Kind of pricey, but they do a great job. I clamped all 3 of them with no glue first, using cut up pieces of a leather belt to protect the wood from the C clamps, just to make sure they were going to work well. Then I put some Titebond wood glue on the bottom of the tone bar, wiped off the excess and smoothed out the glue with my finger, and set it in place. I was surprised to see how well the tone bar stayed in place almost immediately. This made it very easy to put the clamps in place and tighten them down. If I had more clamps, I'd do both at the same time, but since I don't, I put the top with the clamps on an old sheet to support it.

Funny thing, when it came time to glue them in, I found myself a little nervous, and my hands were kind of shaky. I guess it's because they are the first things I actually glued, and I wanted to make sure I got it right. The clamps are off now, and while I won't know for sure until I start shaping them, I think they are good to go.


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