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Gluing on the Fretboard

" I seldom measure much, although I do use patterns as a guide, varying them to achieve different effects. I bore most of the holes by eye, although for the legs I use bevels. The result of working this way is that I have failures, chairs that are wrong. You can't have it both ways, and this is better than reducing the job to it's lowest common denominator."

John Brown, Welsh Stick Chairs, 1990


Today I glued on the finger board. It's always a little nerve racking while doing a dry run, I checked and doubled checked that the center of the fingerboard would line up with the center of the guitar and that the frets will be square to the location of the bridge. Once everything is aligned I drive in the indexing nails and then pulled them out so I can apply the glue. Then I hammer the nails back in and start clamping down the caul.


I am sure that I have mentioned that I pretty much use fish glue exclusively on my guitars now, it dries so incredibly hard that I have pulled up wood chips while trying to shave a drop of dried glue with a very sharp chisel. Fish glue, like hide glue is also reversible. Titebond never seems to dry as hard as this glue does and it seems like many high end luthiers worry alot about the energy transference of glue. Until this glue fails in a spectacular way, I'll continue to use it. I do use Titebond III to glue laminates to binding, it holds up well to heat and water.


It is always nice to accomplish something constructive during a day, knowing that I have completed a goal. Once in college, while I was having a bad bout with not being able to create, a professor told me that I should strive to accomplish one goal a day. She said, "That sense of accomplishment will allow you to complete other goals." Thanks, Ella, I still heed that advice 25 years later.

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