Lets just say that my first steel string has a rear exterior.
Or as some more experienced than myself would say, “its a box”.
I spared you the pics of bracing the back. Looks very similar to how the front is done, just less complicated. The center strip goes on first, in this case redwood. For strength, the grain in the center strip is perpendicular to the grain in the back, which would be impossible with a single piece. So the center strip is made of multiple short pieces with the seams strategically placed where the back braces cross. Seems logical to put them on after the braces, right? Nope, If you want them perfectly straight, its easiest to put them on first, aligned with a straightedge, then notch and chisel out the sections where the braces cross. Back braces are planed to a very slight arch and this time I glued them up with a stiff piece of foam as a backer so it would flex to the brace contour.
The rim is sanded flat on a big MDF board with sandpaper attached. Front on these is flat, the back is at an angle, but still sanded flat. Lots of guitars are sanded to a radius, typically 15’ on the back and 28’ on the front. This Gibson style is a bit older school and there is minimal doming, which is made simply by the arching of the braces alone. The rim (sides) are then notched to fit the bracing. This is also done for the front prior to glue up.
Glued this up on a work board. Didn’t have the balls to use hot hide glue. I think I need much more experience before I’d feel confident to do a large glue up like this with hot hide glue. Titebond for the front and the back, I say! Used clamps on the heel and tail block. Roped the rest of it down. I still think that roping is one of the best ways to get even pressure all the way around, and I get a kick out of doing it.
I did sign and date the inside under the soundboard, as this is the last time that’s possible. No pic of that. Nobody needs to see my chicken scratch.
All wrapped up like a xmas present. I’ll open it tomorrow. The others just need the back braces carved and the rim prepared and I can glue those up.