The first step for the sides is to thickness the bookmatched sides. In the kit, these sides are about 4 mm thick. They need to be brought down to about 1.8 mm thick. We first used something called a Safe-T planer which is a drill press attachment that can remove material very quickly. Just like a regular thickness planer it creates a big mess quickly.
A drum sander was used to get down to final thickness.
Next we jointed one edge of the sides. This edge will be the edge where the top sits. The back edge of the sides has a slight taper from where the waist of the guitar will be to the neck. This taper gives a first approximation to the radius on the back of the guitar. It will be refined later using a radiusing dish.
It was now time to bend the sides. We used the following jig to bend the sides.
Each side was first wet with water and then wrapped in moist paper towels. This was then placed on the jig making sure the taper was facing the right way. A rubber heating blanket and flashing was placed over the side.
As the wood heated up, the side became more pliable and could be bent into the shape of the jig.
A tail block was made with a slight curve to match the form that was used for the guitar. The sides were glued on to this tail block.
Next the sides were glued into the Spanish heel making sure to keep the top edge of the sides flush with the top side of the end of the heel block. It only took a couple of drops of super glue on both the top and back side of the heel to hold this in place.
Here’s the assembly in the guitar form.
Next, I scraped and sanded the inside of the sides to remove the marks left by the drum sander.
After planing the top edge of the sides and tail block so that these lay completely flat, the back edge of the sides, tail block, and heel block were shaped to conform to a 15’ radius. This was done by both planing and using a radiusing dish. I didn’t get a picture of this step, but I’ll have another chance when we radius the back braces.
With both edges properly shaped, the kerfing was glued onto the sides. To hold the kerfing in place while the glue dried, homemade clamps made from clothespins and rubber bands were used.