Shin Ichikawa and I started the day by fitting and glueing the back binding. Last night's fitting of the top binding was tedious, but the tricks we learned made the fit of back binding go smothly. I am amazed at how cleanly both bindings look. Some finish touch up will be required, but the overall appearance is more than respectable, especially considering what this guitar has gone through.
The most amazing aspect of the binding fit was how perfectly the single joint on the back came back together.
You may recall from earlier posts that the top and back had shrunken smaller than the rim, and that the circumfrence of the rim had to be reduced. I wondered if the binding had shrunk with the top or retained the size of the rim. Or did something different altogether. Fortunately it didn't end up smaller than the back. The top binding ended up longer than the circumfrence of the top, so the two bindings appear to have acted independently. Go figure.
While the binding was being refit, Cary Clements repaired the neck.
The fretboard-to-neck joint appeared to be sound, so a while ago we decided not to mess with removal of the fretboard.
A reinforcement patch under the fretboard extension had become partially unglued, and was removed and replaced with a new one. A new tenon was made and glued over the patch.
My necks are totally detachable, and are fit to the body with large two bolts connecting the heel to the body, and four small ones attaching the fretboard extension to the top. The tenon under the fretboard has four brass inserts that receive the bolts that connect the extension to the top.
Then Cary reset the neck. Neck setting is one of Cary's regular jobs, so, in the interest of expdeiency, I gave the task to him. As you can imagine, after taking a bath in the overflow of the Cumberland River, the Banjo Killer was no longer plumb or level. Cary knows all the tricks, though, and the neck now sits where it's supposed to sit, ready for frets.
Brian Durkin stayed a little late and reglued the Banjo Killer's original bridge. Bridge glueing is Brian's regular job so I brought him in for the same reason I grabbed Cary. After a couple of 12 hour days, I think Shin was happy to sit back and observe.
We're hoping to replace frets and do a preliminary setup tomorrow.
If all goes well, Shin's will get to play the Banjo Killer before heading back to Tokyo.