Construction - Body 2

Many builders glue the top to the rims before the back. I’ve always done the opposite—maybe just out of habit, but there do seem to be several advantages.

First, any glue squeeze-out between the back and rims, which may end up being visible through the f-holes, is easily removed.

Second, the maple back provides a greater degree of stability and workability to the partially assembled body. It seems all you have to do is look at a piece of spruce to dent, scratch, chip, or crack it!  Whether the top or the back goes on first, with one side still flat, a spindle sander works well to trim back the plate and true up the rims. If the back plate goes on first, trimming back the harder maple becomes relatively easy.

Third, 95% of the work in fabricating the inner scroll opening entails cutting, rasping, and sanding through the harder mahogany and maple of the headblock and back.  Again, tackling this step is much easier with one surface of the partially assembled body still flat. Once the top is glued on, matching the much softer spruce to the previously milled opening takes little effort.

Finally, though not a big deal, it’s easy to align the placement of the maker’s label




A few quality rasps can change a person’s life! This small one works well on the interior of the scroll.



Several instruments ready for the top plates.