Both Plates Complete: Front installed!

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Back plate completed

Completing the Arching

When I last posted, the back plate was in progress, but even the arching was not completed, let alone the interior carving. Now it is all complete, the front plate has been installed, and the fingerboard, the neck and the tailpiece are underway! Things are moving along!

I did make a set of arching templates before moving on with the arching:

Set of cross-arching templates for the five-string double bass.
Set of cross-arching templates for the five-string double bass.

Those templates helped me to see the shape more clearly, and to know what changes to make, to improve.

So, here is the completed back arching, after scraping, so that you can see the flame in the Oregon Big Leaf Maple back:

Arching complete on back plate for five-string double bass .
Arching complete on back plate. Pretty wood, isn’t it?

Inside Carving

Carving the interior is always a daunting task…that is a lot of wood to move! But, one scoop at a time, it does get done!

Beginning the inside carving of the back plate for the five-string double bass.
Beginning the inside carving of the back plate.

 

Once I had the whole plate beginning to take shape, I carved “dots” all over the plate, checking thickness as I carved, until I had a pattern of correctly graduated “dots all over the plate. Each dot had a measurement written in the center, matching the graduation “map” I had chosen to emulate.

Then it was time to “connect the dots.”

Graduation
Graduation “dots” for back plate.

 

Connecting the dots for graduation of a five string double bass.
Connecting the dots.

 

Graduation of five string double bass back plate is nearly complete.
Graduation of the back plate is nearly complete.

 

It is always amazing to me how light the plates become after all that waste wood is removed. In this picture, you can see how thin the plate is, with the graduation complete.

Graduation of the back plate of the 5-string double bass is complete.
Graduation of the back plate is complete.

 

I took the plate inside, and stacked all the parts together so that I could see the progress:

All the main parts complete, and stacked on the garland of the five-string double bass.
All the main parts complete, and stacked on the garland.

What is next?

I needed to complete the neck, which means I needed to design, cut out, and shape the fingerboard and glue it to the neck block so that I could finish shaping them as a unit. Meanwhile, I could install the front plate, and get ready for the neck-set, once the neck was ready.

Front Plate installation

I completed a preliminary shaping of the blocks and shaped the linings, front and back. Then I carefully positioned the garland on the front plate, and temporarily clamped them together, using several spool clamps.

Garland and Front plate for the five-string double bass assembled and clamped.
Garland and Front plate assembled and clamped.

 

Then I removed the clamps from one area at a time, used a thin palette knife to slip hot hide glue into the joint, and re-clamped immediately, adding more clamps as needed. Then I moved to the next area and repeated that pattern. Soon I had the entire front plate glued, and secured to the garland with clamps.

Front plate and garland assembled, glued and clamped for the five-string double bass.
Front plate and garland assembled, glued and clamped.

 

And, when I removed the clamps in the morning, the project was beginning to look like a bass!

Front plate and garland for five string double bass.
Front plate and garland, with the clamps off.

 

I liked the looks so much, I stacked the parts together again, to see how it would look, all together. The back plate is just sitting there, again, not bent to fit the garland or anything. I will add purfling after installing the plate, I think, so I can be sure the overhang is correct, and that the purfling follows the finished edge.

Back plate sitting on garland assembly with front plate of five-string double bass.
Back plate sitting on garland assembly with front plate, and neck assembly.

 

There is still a  long way to go, but I will put more in the next post.

 

Thanks for looking.

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