It's been 'interesting' this week. In the past I've had to partially separate backs and fronts for repairs, but I've always managed to fix splits with the top or back in situ until now.
So until today I managed to avoid removing a front or back completely. But this time there was no alternative, so it was time to get out the bending iron and an old dinner knife.
Yes, it all looks a bit Heath Robinson. I wanted to get the knife sitting as flush as possible to the top of the iron so it heated quickly and evenly. The bowl of water isn't needed for the job, but there for safety reasons... that iron gets HOT. If I was foolish enough to touch it a supply of cold water close to hand was helpful. As always, taking sensible precautions proved to be the best way to ensure you didn't need them
And here I am going for the kill, a hot knife through a ukelele
And here we are a few minutes later. Open Sesame !!!
It took about 20 minutes to work patiently around the back joint with the hot knife. But the still left the braces attached to the back and sides. So I concentrated on the point where the braces joined the back. And conveniently, they split away quite nicely. Leaving the bulk of the braces still attached to the body but neatly splitting along the grain to leave part attached to the back. That being a good thing, it helps maintain the body integrity and keep the back in one piece until I am ready to remove the remnants and repair the splits.
And here's the back held up to the light to show clearly how badly it has spilt.... and one of the splits doesn't show in the pic. You have to admit, it looks cool
What I need to do now is come up with a suitable jig to help clamp the back together properly. It will be a variation of the jig that I used to joining the fronts and backs originally, but because I need to minimise any potential damage to the back now it is cut to shape and size it needs to be fitted specifically. I have a few ideas already, but need to work out the details.
But all in all, despite the problems it's great to be back to work.
Largely, but not entirely, dysfunctional.