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Plate joining

Top plate

The top plate halves are first thicknessed in the thickness sander. I generally thickness them to between .110" and .115". After the halves are thicknessed, the edges are run over a jointer and/or planed with a handplane to form a perfect joint. Glue is applied to the joining edge, and the halves are then glued together. Clamping is accomplished with pairs of wedges and two parallel boards clamped to a formica tabletop. The halves are placed together, and the wedges are squeezed together by hand to bring the halves together. Plastic wrap is placed over the joint, and a caul is clamped lightly over the joint to keep the faces aligned - this is the middle caul seen in the photo below. The wedge pairs are then tapped together to tighten the joint. The wedges can exert a huge amount of force, so don't tap them too much or the joint may become glue-starved. A couple of additional cauls are seen below, to keep the halves from bowing.

After the halves have been glued together, the top is cut to the shape of the guitar body on the bandsaw.

Back plate

The back plate is fashioned in the same way as the top plate. The only difference is that a binding and purfling strip is glued between the halves.

When the glue has dried, the back plate is also cut to the profile of the guitar body. However, it is cut about 1/8" larger all around to allow for the greater arching on the back. The expanded outline can be drawn by putting a small washer against the body profile template and putting the pencil inside it to trace the outline.

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