This tutorial will teach you how to rough shape the solid blocking in preparation for installing the top skin. The goal in this step is to have a “fair” outline curve with a flat top that matches the fishbone’s profile and height. This step is easy if you set the outline shape first.
Rail strips attached
Stick at least 24″ long.
Steps: Setting the Outline First
The first step is to mark the desired outline on the bottom skin. Use a Japanese saw to remove the bulk of the excess material and then fair the curve with a spokeshave.
Try to work up to the line with a spokeshave. If you keep your line visible it is easy to get a fair curve.
A stick can be use as a marking gauge to mark the desired finish height. Make sure the stick is a similar thickness of the top skin and is long enough to span at least 3 ribs.
Close-up of how the stick is used during marking.
Nose block all marked with a series of reference marks. These marks are used for the bulk of the removal and then the stick is used as the thickness approaches the right thickness. A block plans and spokeshave should be used to remove the excess material. Pay attention to the grain direction as so that you don’t get tear out going against the grain.
Check the blocking is even side-to-side with your eye or a measuring tool before finishing. You can check by slowly dragging a stick from one side to the other checking that the blocking is flat. It is best to fix problems now so there won’t be any surprise when you glue the top.
This blocking is flat, symmetrical, and ready to glue.