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gluing jig for bookmatched top

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by mefgames, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. mefgames

    mefgames Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Oct 31, 2010
    North Bay, Ca
    Does anyone have a tried and true plan for a gluing jig for bookmatched tops ? I'm getting three sets in and need to have some ideas. The pieces are all about 1/4" thick.

    I have seen a method where wedges are used, but can't seem to find it anywhere.

    Thx, Mike
     

  2. I have my method that works for me that I dont use a "jig". I joint my edges and glue the book match together before I glue it to the body.

    I sandwich the peices clamped between blocks to hold it down in the middle with bar clamps putting side pressure. I put wax paper between the blocks and the book match peices. Afterwords I run it thru the planer again to make sure it is perfect before gluing to the body.

    I am sure there are more polished ways but it works for me.

    1514864829673.jpg
     
    CFFF likes this.

  3. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    ^ That looks about right.
     

  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I just joint the edges, apply glue, clamp lightly with bar clamps, and use a c clamp at each end's thickness to keep the pieces from moving. I do it with wax paper under it, on top of a flat surface. No jig. The next day it is thickness sanded and glued to the substrate material using brads and nails to keep it where I want it during clamp up, using cauls to flatten it and keep from getting clamp dings.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018

  5. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

    Traditional method :

    http://www.pegasusguitars.com/joining-tops--backs.html

    Also a little trick is to plane or sand the edges such that there is a tiny gap in the joint in the middle. When the pressure is applied by the wedges the joint will close up leaving s perfect joint. The gap should be just visible when you hold the two pieces offered up and with a light source behind.
    The reason for this is that there is a possibility with clamping or with the string that the pressure in the middle will cause slight gaps at the ends.
    Wood is quite flexible and moves more than you would think.
    This is not so crucial with a 5-6 mm drop top but is standard practice on acoustics.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
    guitarbuilder likes this.

  6. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    I follow Fletch's method. Start at about 6:00.

     
    ndeli55 and Amerman like this.

  7. mefgames

    mefgames Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Oct 31, 2010
    North Bay, Ca
    Thanks for the replies. Just reporting back in on the glue jig, I tried these methods and have come to the conclusion that the cord wrapping method is the clear winner, IMO. Just wanted to share in case anyone finds themselves needing one of these. The simplicity of this jig is great. It can be made for almost $ 00.00, and works perfectly. The jig with clamps worked well, but even with the clamped hold down piece on the centerline, it was still no match for the corded jig. The long triangular wedges make sure the edges being glued are perfectly flat. I used it again today for the quilted maple.


    IMG_5612.jpg IMG_5613.jpg IMG_5616.jpg
     

  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Just to add to the topic, I used the corded method with most of my early acoustic guitar backs and tops. That was the method I was taught by Charles Fox back then. It was probably the common method used by the guitar makers. I used to have 3 pairs of rectangular wood blocks that were a bit longer than the width of the guitar rop or back being glued. I rubbed paraffin wax on the center of each to keep the glue ooze from sticking. These 6 sticks and the 3 wedges and clothesline were all that was needed. It works great and takes up little to no space unlike a jig. If you work in a small space you have to thing about the amount of real estate a jig takes up.


    This guy's method down the page on the right is just about the same.


    http://routenguitars.com/category/uncategorized/page/6/


    The same clothesline cord is used to clamp down binding during glue up too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018

  9. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 27, 2015
    Da' Magic Mittin'
    The only advice I have is to sand the edges of curly maple, don't plane. The soft "curl" portions will tear-out even with a sharp plane.

    That drove me absolutely nuts.

    I did something similar to a bookmatched top recently. Because the boards are thin, the faces of the board will have a tendency to misalign along the joint, going proud at spots. The more pressure you can keep on the faces along the length of the joint to keep them aligned properly, the better. While glue may fill the areas where one board has gone shallow when you go to laminate it to your blank, sanding down on the other side where the board went proud is annoying. It requires you to use coarse grit sandpaper to even things up, and that had the potential to mar or gouge the boards in the process.

    Lesson learned on my part.

    I think the jig you made is the perfect solution.
     

  10. A tip I learned for power planing and jointing figured lumber like curly maple is to dampen the area to be planed with a damp cloth before running it through the machine. It softens the fibers just enough to minimize chipping. With sharp blades I no longer get any tear out in my figured wood.
     

  11. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    34
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    +1 works a treat
     

  12. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Admin Post
    I usually use a couple small nails or screws in the neck pocket area and where the bridge will be to keep things from slipping off center. The operative word being "usually"... Last top I did I forgot this and it went south on one end. Not too happy with myself about that. :(

    Besides that I clamp a couple pieces of 2x4 across the center and as many other clamps around the edge as I can fit.

    jcs108.jpg
     

  13. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 27, 2015
    Da' Magic Mittin'
    I'll have to try that. Thanks for the tip!
     
    eallen likes this.

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