Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Applying the Apron
I like to apply the apron to the rear of the bowl before I remove it from the mould for several reasons. The rear of any bowl at this stage is very fragile. The glue joints can easily break open. Also the bowls are so flexible they will distort when the support of the mould is removed. Having the apron in place helps to insure the stability of the bowl.
The photo on the right shows all of the clamps in place. As the apron increases in depth it is necessary to use longer cauls and different clamps. Since I assemble the apron on the bowl from individual pieces I can not cut the characteristic design at each end in advance. This I do after the glue has dried and I have cleaned up my work. The photo below shows the finished design. I accomplish this by first making a diagonal saw cut across all of the pieces of the apron. It is very important not to cut into the rib below. I lay out the circular element of the design and score that with an appropriately size of gouge, cutting through the material to the rib surface. The excess apron material is removed with a hot iron.
This lute is No. 251, Musical Instrument Museum, Brussels, photo by the author.
Posted by Michael