Workshop: Clamps Doing Clamp Stuff

A local customer of mine was picking up her 5-string violin and commented, "...looks like you're the clamp king!" on the instruments laying-about after today's mix of repairs.

Compared to the average carpenter's stash of clamps -- maybe not! But I can always use more no matter how many I have.

The first shot is a Harmony/Silvertone H50/H53/S???? model electric. I was planning to do a refret on it today but when I picked it up I realized it had a few loose back seams, including a substantial part of the heel/back section unglued. No prob! Then I took the pickup out to check the inside and... the big pad of 1/4" ply that reinforces that section of the top had decided to de-glue itself along layers of the ply and its connection to the to top, so that needed to be glued-up. It's never quite as easy as one expects, is it?

The "Global" (Japanese all-ply J-200 copy) above got a neck reset (double-bolt + shim because it has... ick! ...a dowel joint) and replacement rosewood bridge, so there go half my bridge clamps.

My friend Tim gave me these cool green c-clamps and they're just about perfect for most ukulele bridges. This neat little teardrop uke was made by Harmony (I thought Favilla in the photos before it got here, but it's a Harm) and it got a neck reset, some seam work, some cleats for a back crack repair, and a new rosewood bridge to replace a damaged original.

New uses for duct tape, here! When regluing the bridge on the Global, I needed to use 4 of the skinny StewMac soundhole clamps to get the pressure right. Unfortunately, the darn things want to twist around quite a bit when you've got them on slightly-angled surfaces, so I'm using the duct tape against the giant aluminum bridge clamp to hold them upright and non-flopped-over.

A '60s Gibson/Epiphone Texan is using the rest of my bridge clamps (including the very cool new synthetic-material StewMac bridge clamps) to get its repro rosewood bridge glued-up. The big one on the side is just pressing the remnants of a small patch of original chewed-up top material back into place.


Michael Mulkern said…
Nice work, Jake. By the look of things, you must be related to Jed Clampett.