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 Post subject: Soundboard replacement
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:14 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:52 am
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City: Lawrence
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I have a 12 string that I built and would like to replace the top.
The top is cedar and way to thin.

At the 2015 ASIA Symposium Pat DiBurro gave a presentation on how he replaces a soundboard.

http://www.newenglandluthiers.org/conte ... ement.html

I've studied the process and will probably get started next month.
Those of you who have done this in the past is there any places to use extra caution?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:39 pm 
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Location: Southeast US
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I have one on the bench that needs a new top, it has mad rose binding that I really don't want to redo so I'm going to try Pat's way this time.

Last two I did I routed off the binding. First one worked well, it was a 1949 J45 and the binding pretty much popped off. The second one was only a few years old. While routing the binding I ended up puling off parts of the side wood. Fortunately it was on of my "experimental" guitars so not a big issue.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:00 pm 
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First name: Pat
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Different Pat here!

I re-topped one of my guitars a few years ago. I looked at John Greven's method, which, like the one linked to, saved the binding. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to control the router well enough with my setup to feel safe about the binding.

The binding on this guitar was some special Madagascar RW that I'd have trouble finding replacements for, so I decided to remove it and refinish the sides as well as the new top. I had used the old LMI white glue on the bindings and they were wood, so with heat they came off without much fuss. When I built the new top, I put the new braces--temporarliy, without glue--into the pockets on the linings, and stuck the top (wtih its soundhole and rosette) onto them with double-sided tape, giving me the exact locations of the braces when I pulled the top off again with the braces stuck on it. Then using locatiing blocks held down with go bars placed against the braces, I pulled the braces off the top and glued them to the top in the normal fashion, but using the locating blocks so the braces went back in in the same location as when they were stuck on with the ds tape. Glued the top on, cut the purfling and binding rabbets, preserving the original cuts for the binding. It went back together quite well. Now, someday if I get really bored, I'll pull the rosette pearl out of that old top.

Pat

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These users thanked the author Pat Foster for the post: pat macaluso (Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:56 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:00 am 
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I just successfully completed a retop saving the bindings and purflings based on an old memory of John Greven's method. Pat DiBurro's process looks well documented and descriptive. The only difference I could see between two processes was the order of the inside and outside router passes respectively on the old and new top. John mounted the new top on spacers on the old top and from the outside indexed to the rims routed the new top to just past the purfling line of the old top. He then removed the new top and from the inside still indexed to the rims routed into the old top just to the purfling leaving the purfling.

I found the process wet as described.

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