After many years I have finally built my jig for preparing soundboards and backs for joining. It consists of a metal straight-edge, a shelf for a router to run along, and a simple system for locating the wood to be straight-edged.
The photos show how holding the router guide against the straight-edge and moving it along its shelf straightens the side of the wood clamped in position. The two halves of the soundboard are clamped down together and machined in one pass; smaller pieces (as used for scantling or four piece backs) must be straightened individually and are held by a low clamps fastened into the board. They are low enough that the router base can pass over them.
The router cutter used is a large diameter straight sided cutter.
This replaces my previous system of passing the timber over a jointer – not always easy to control with such thin wood.
Brazilian rosewood neck
At the moment I’m stringing up two octave mandolins and a Martin Simpson model guitar. This guitar is unusual in that it has a dark old Brazilian rosewood neck, built from the same stock as the Brazilian used on scantling guitars. Below is the neck both before and after carving.
While playing tennis a few weeks ago I fell and hurt my hand. While not a serious injury, it kept me off work for a week or two and is still hampering me. I can only apologise to those of you waiting for instruments.