Made some big progress on the Princess Banjo-Mandolin over the last couple of days.
You may recall I had done the crack repair/fills on the headstock. Then I sprayed clear nitro on the headstock and the neck. And let the nitro cure for about 10 days.
Finally I was able to reattach the headstock veneer and the fingerboard.
I had actually made one attempt to glue the headstock veneer on and it wasn't aligned properly. The veneer wanted to slide around when I tried to clamp it. So I bailed out, cleaned up the glue and stopped to ponder a different approach.
If you look closely, you'll see where they're stamped "Waverly Musical Products Inc., New York." This was a nicely made instrument and used quality parts.
The other one is for the bottom.
I found in my first attempt that I needed steady pressure on the whole veneer. Using clamps in four or five spots didn't enable me to line the veneer up exactly, hence the cauls.
And guess what? If I ever work on another Princess like this one, I'll have a set of cauls ready to go!
The other caul is on the bottom - it's protecting the back surface of the headstock.
You can see the old hide glue that remained on the neck and the back of the fingerboard.
Need to get that off.
It looks disgusting but it comes off easily. That glue has probably been on the wood for 80 years!
The neck wood is a beautifully figured piece of maple.
Now we can glue the board back on.
So I used 2 small brads as alignment pins. Yes, they will leave small holes, but I can file a bit of the underneath part of the fingerboard extension to get some sawdust to fill the holes. They'll be invisible afterward.
You can also see that I stuck the rod back into the neck and used that as a support to hold the neck in a vise.
Tip: put the clamps over the neck first. You'll never be able to get them on the neck in time once the glue is on it. I had them pretty close to their final adjustment and ready to go.
Here's the fingerboard clamped up and waiting for the glue to dry.
You can never have enough clamps, by the way.
I wound up putting one at the very end of the board to keep it pressed down. Hadn't planned for that, but I was able to grab a clamp and put it on at the last second.
You can also see that four frets popped out during the reattachment. I'll probably have to glue them back in. The frets are small and don't have a lot of tang to work with. Shouldn't be a big problem.
I have half a mind to just refret the thing, but I think the original frets will be ok.