Pinblock Fitting - Chickering
The five layered pinblock stock is made here at the shop. Chickering pinblock is in two pieces, while most of the blocks are in one whole piece. First step, make sure it is thick enough comparing to the original one. The shop owner, Jude Reveley, traces shape and chops the pinblock into two pieces.
On a band saw, adjust the table according to the surface angle on the original pinblock. Then saw the new piece on the line traced in the last step.
This pinblock (PB) has a step. The shop owner cuts a piece out of the old PB, double taped it to the new PB, then routed that step with a router, bearing against the old PB piece.
The plate is flipped upside down. Apply graphite on contact surface. Place new pinblock, check fitting, rub it against the graphite to make marks. Also check if the wood is rocking on the plate.
The marked spots show where the wood is contacting the plate, we call them high spots. Sand the high spots down, so the rest of the wood gets closer to the plate surface. Then mark again, sand, check. After a few hours of this, the marks are all over the wood which means the fitting is good (never enough tough depends how much time you are given). According to the shape of the PB slot on the plate, the smaller piece is fitted first and clamped down to be a locater for the larger piece.
Same procedure, rub and mark, and sand down high spots till the graphite marks are all over the wood. Also check from down under to make sure PB surface is just against the plate without any gap.
For the best PB to plate fitting, the shop owner prefers to smear epoxy on the edge of PB and clamp it down tightly till epoxy dries, usually over night.
On the next day, flip the plate around, clamp the new PB to place, mark for tuning pins with a transfer punch that fits tightly into the tuning pin holes. Remove PB, sand off rough edges.
Coat the PB surface with a layer of finish to protect the surface from moisture. Let dry, usually about 2 hours. Then drill for tuning pins. The PB to plate screw holes are still not marked yet. This is the first Chickering pinblock I've worked on. It is screwed to the plate from the bottom. Will see how the shop owner prefers to do the screw holes. We shall see.
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