Steam to the Rescue

I just removed the manilla rope that I had clamping the top and the resulting glue-up appears pretty good except for one spot.

It looks like this spot on the lower bout popped out of place during clamping. Now, I made the top a little thicker along the edges so I could trim it down after the glue-up so I wasn’t quite sure if this spot had popped up or if it was just extra thick. I had to see inside that body cavity.

I made these gadgets some time ago and, every time I use them, I am astonished how useful they are! One is a small mirror attached to a flexible, copper wire. The other is a low watt, low heat, light bulb that is small enough to fit in a ukulele sound hole.

This view is a little confusing but we are looking inside the body at the top where the top joins the lining. You can’t really see it in the photo, but it was obvious that the two surfaces didn’t really mate up. In this shot you can also see the transducer pickup glued to the top and one of the top braces.

I bought this handy tool after reading a fascinating article by Jim Ham printed in American Lutherie magazine. It’s a clothes steamer that is also very useful for liquifying hide glue.

I zapped the area in question with a good dose of steam while alternately pressing down on the top. I finally got it to budge and I re-clamped the top after pushing it down into it’s proper location.

Here’s a cool image of the side between the clamps. The work light on the inside is glowing through the sides! Pretty thin, eh?

Another view but this time from underneath.

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Published in: on July 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. wow so cool!

  2. That’s beautiful with the light inside!

  3. Fascinating for us geeks to see the process.


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