Guitar Side Replacement Sequence--page 2

Soto clamp glue.jpg (16903 bytes) Harry cleans his fingers after gluing. The new contoured and carefully-fit mahogany side has been glued to the guitar. Several different clamping schemes were tried out "dry" before settling on the one shown. Note the set of specialized padded clamping cauls that were fashioned to spread out the clamps' effect, reducing the number of clamps that are necesary to insure gentle, but complete clamping pressure. How did Harry have the time to place this formidable array of clamps--and assure a perfect fit--before the glue dried? Easy: extra-slow-setting epoxy glue!
Soto side on.jpg (15149 bytes) Next day. Clamps off. Its an enclosed soundbox again, tight as a drum.
Soto side on 2.jpg (13869 bytes) View from the back of the newly-applied side. The "operation" was particularly succesful: the seam of the new side against the old back is tight and flawless, which was imperative since there will be no back binding to hide goofs.
Soto top rout.jpg (11574 bytes) The mortise for the new top-binding strip is now cut. A custom "routing table" is fashioned to allow the router base to cut the new binding slot unimpaired by the existing bridge and fingerboard of the guitar. It consists of a shaped piece of HDL (high-density-laminate) board that has itself been routed to clear the bridge and fingerboard. Luckily, we have an extra-length router bit, but had to place an extension on the laminate trimmer wheel attachment (seen in the shadows under the router base). A replacement strip of Brazillian rosewood binding matching the original in color and texture is cut from a scrap side, and bent to the proper contour on the hot pipe.
Soto binding on.jpg (15628 bytes) The new rosewood binding is applied, the side is carefully sanded smooth, filled and tinted to match its mate.
Soto side shellacced.jpg (15135 bytes) The side is prepared for finishing. After the filler dries overnight, the side is masked off and two light coats of shellac is sprayed on as a primary adhesion coat. Harry will need to toy around with tints in the finish to bring up the color of the side to match its mate--whose lacquer coat is well-aged and darkened by ultraviolet light over the years.
johnsrequinto.jpg (18985 bytes) The final result, in the owner's living room. 

The owner said that as a youth he played in a local band that included the now-world-famous guitarist Jose Feliciano. The owner recalls that Feliciano coveted this little requinto and asked to buy it several times from him.

Forty years later, the owner saw Feliciano for the first time since they both played together in their New York City neighborhood. The first thing out of Feliciano's mouth was, "do you still have that little requinto I liked so much?"