It is inevitable that my instruments are damaged in one way or another. I expect to have one in my shop at any given time, but my clients are having a run of bad luck over the last few weeks. Here's the casualty list, all with loose bars caused by age or careless baggage handlers; 1983 ten course, baroque guitar, large Schelle model theorbo and most recently, as a rush item, a small theorbo with .... loose bars.
The story of the ten course is interesting. It was built by my early apprentice, Bruce Duncan. Bruce went on to study in England and returned to build lutes. This was one of them. He is no longer involved with lutes but stills builds early instruments - analog synthesizers.
I removed the three harmonic bars and the finger bars that support the underside of the bridge and made a template to guide my router. This is a handy machine. It is smaller and more manageable than many routers but more sturdy and accurate than the Dremel Tool. It is called a laminate trimmer and its industrial use is to remove the overhanging veneer or laminate that occurs in the fabrication of counter tops, shelves, etc. The 1/4 inch thick plywood template allows the circular base of the router to move freely, smoothly and precisely around the edge of the belly at a set depth. Just enough wood is removed to expose the underside of ebony half binding (left side of above photo) that encircles the edge of the belly.