With the rosettes in, the top can be thicknessed again and the Bridge plate and bracings glued into position. All details for this have been measured, and cross referenced from other Weissenborns from the same period and then templated, so that we get the exact same perfect results each time. Weissenborn used square bracings, and unlike modern building practices, no curve is put onto the bracing. The curve comes from the gluing mould, the hide glue and the dryness of the woods and humidity. Getting the perfect arch for both the top and back took time and patience, but once the gluing mould had the correct arch, both cross and lengthways, and the conditions recorded, we can guarantee the consistent and historically correct results for every instrument.
The same technique is used for the back arch and bracing pattern. It’s worth pointing out that strips of Koa were used for the back cross banding as well as the cross banding on the top and sound hole reinforcement strips. For the branding plate Holly was used to show up the original brand that measured 1.3/8 inch by 1/2 inch high.
It’s at this stage the headstock would be cut to size and shape from one solid piece of Koa, and glued into the sides ready for the top to go on.
Another point worth noting at this stage is the technique Weissenborn used when attaching the top and back. Instead of cutting slits into the linings for the bracings to sit, he would crush the very tip of the scallop at the end of the bracing into the lining.
With the top going on first, it’s the act of the back going on that really determines the final playability of the Weissenborn and unlocks the secrets of the sonic properties of the original instruments that make them so special.
We can now move on to the binding on the instrument body. Binding featured on the Style 2-4 from the Style 2’s Black phenolic binding to the iconic Style 3 and 4’s “Rope” Marqueterie. For this binding we again turn to the Holly for its brilliant white and the Rosewood for contrast as Weissenborn himself did. For the Marquetry around the body, a stained black Maple purfling of 0.020inch was used as a backing for the Holly, and Rosewood which was cut at 3/32 by 1/8 inch at an angle of 45 degrees. On the Style 4 this binding is extended around the top side of the headstock as well.
The fretboard is cut from one piece of Koa. For the fret markers Holly is again used for its bright white appearance. For inlays Abalone was Weissenborn’s choice for this era, but not the really coloured Abalone you associate with modern guitars. The Abalone used in the original instruments had little flicks of green and subtle shades of red. For the round dots ¼ inch was used and on the Style 2 and 3 a Diamond on the 12th fret, measuring 1.1/8 by 6/16 inch whilst the Style 4 also included a half diamond on the 1st fret measuring 7/8 by 7/16 inch.
In recreating the 5.5inch bridge from this period, our bridge is cut from a piece of Rock Maple and, as in all cases of the build templates we use for our Authentic Series, measurements have be taken and cross referenced from a number of instruments from the same era in our collection. Once shaped and sanded, the bridge is then ebonised and stained black, as is historically correct for this period. The Abalone dot used in the bridge is slightly larger than the dots used on the fret board at 9/32 inch.
The finishing on the original Weissenborns was an art form in itself. Weissenborns Nitrocellulose finishes were prefect, even mirror like. Hermann didn't have access to the kind of grain fillers commonally used by the builders of today. His technique came down to the long curing times of the lacquer before polishing and attention to detail when applying the lacquer to the large open grain of the Koa wood, thus reducing "shrink back" over time. Our hand-rubbed nitrocellulose finished will stand the test of time in the same way as the original guitars. Our attention to detail in all matters recreating these beautiful instruments is second to none and every effort has been made to guarantee our Authentic Weissenborn Series is a 100% true representation of the Originals in look, feel, tone and historically accurate timbers and build.
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