This morning I trimmed the belly plate to a profile better matching the installed ribs. I had originally planned to trim it with a guided router bit. I even drove to Lee Valley to pick one up that I thought would do the job. Unfortunately the top bearing mounting is completely different from the other bearing bits that I have. Finally I decided to just do it with a sanding drum on the drill press. That took only a few minutes. Lesson learned: sometimes the simple and obvious answer is the best.
A few days ago I had drilled alignment holes and made brass pins to fit. They’ll need to be trimmed to length, but I think they’ll be a nice touch in place of the usual ebony ones. Another unconventional thing was to apply a layer of Livos finishing oil to the inside surfaces. Finishing techniques have come a long way since the days of Stradivarius and Guarneri.
Open time is usually a problem with hide glue. Even working as quickly as possible, it starts to set up by the time the clamps are on. I’ll take off the clamps tomorrow and see if I got everything adhered properly.