Workshop: Crushed Swedish Beetle

I've been finishing-off this big, lute-shaped Levin guitar (1940s) and so I figured I should post some "before" pics. This one was sent from Sweden in a box that was barely larger than the instrument itself and had the scroll of its headstock sticking out of the top of the box. It, of course, was crushed... which added insult to prior injuries that it'd had before (there was a ton of gobbledygook glue smeared all over some of the "ribs" of the back).

Repairs like this drive me crazy because it's very, very difficult to get them aligned for gluing -- especially with joints and edges that have been cracked, chipped, and worn-away over time to begin with. I swear like a hundred sailors when I'm trying to put something like this back to some semblance of its original shape.

A ton of painter's blue tape is the way to get the shape, alignment, and half the "clamping" done. After this step I can apply clamps in places where they can actually be used to tighten the joints up even more.

Still -- there will be edges that aren't perfectly aligned and the next phase of "fixing" is to clean that stuff up and fill spots where anything has gone missing (there's quite a bit missing on this one, actually, but most of these bits are small).

There's a bit of goo from old repairs (and I haven't wiped excess glue off of these, yet), but a new set of cleats will help hold all that trouble together.

1 comment:

David Richard said...

That looks like a challenge(and I'm not the only one who at certain moments, swears in the shop?). How does it sound?