Today marked a major step forward on the fiddle – fitting the bass bar. The inside of the belly has been scraped and sanded to a pretty uniform thickness and the basic location for the bass bar marked out. A bit of chalk* on the plate and we’re ready to go –

The bar was already generally shaped when it arrived with the kit, and its measurements agree with Strobel so I saw no need for modification. I did not take pictures during the fitting because it was a lot of *sand lightly on the high spots, rub in chalk, check for high spots* repeat from * to * until the bar fits perfectly against the belly. There’s a good pictorial here.

There’s a bit of dried glue yet to remove, but it’s in and ready to move on to the next step – dealing with the back.

For those of you who keep track of these sorts of things, the top plate originally weighed 84 grams. After thinning/evening out and with purfling 77 grams. With bass bar the weight is now at 83 grams. A bit on the heavy side, but I can live with that.

* Yeah. Red chalk was a really bad idea, but it was what I had on hand. As you might guess, it’s pretty wet here on the Oregon Coast this time of year, and nothing stays perfectly dry, even in the house, and untreated wood is particularly prone to a bit of moisture retention, as I discovered upon wiggling the bar back and forth – the underside of the belly is now slightly pink. Sigh. I’ll do some more sanding to see if the pink will totally disappear and hope no one but me ever opens this fiddle! Live and learn 😉

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