Do you see those three strips already glued together? One of the steps along in the process of stripping this side of the football was half way through, about the 6th strip in, you stop and make up the last piece (shown here) from the last three strips that are going to make up the football in the center. They are glued in place, 3 at a time but not glued to the 6th strip, just glued together so that they hold the curve of the football as it is essentially the same at strip 6 as it is at strip 11 (as these strips are strip 12, 13, and 14). The strips did not hold their shape perfectly as the glue is not rigid and you don't want to just assume that the curve will be perfect when determining your centerline on the piece. Since the curve did not hold, it wasn't the same as the previously laid strips, so the centerline could NOT be drawn as straight. So in this instance you lay the piece next to the football hole (what I was calling the smile).
Laying the piece lined up with the intersection points as best you can make marks every two inches or so in the same place on the cove of the piece and top of the previously laid strip. You then measure the distance from the previoulsly laid strip to the centerline cut on the upper lip of the smile and then take the compass and mark the distance on the corresponding mark from the cove of the piece. Do that at every mark.
After you have measured each and every mark, you connect the dots and you have your centerline! Notice that it is slightly curved? Now you plane down to the line very carefully leaving an 1/8" along it, or more if you are escared like me. Basically we fit one end, tweeking it along the way by planing it down carefully in like 8" sections until we had it planed the whole way and snapped it into place, eventually with glue!
Removing the top cove with this device that my dad made really made fitting the piece into place much much easier and allowed the cut piece of cove to remain intact so that it could be glued back in when the piece was glued in. It worked really well and the gap that would have been there at the cove top is filled! Awesome!! He effin made that shiznit!!!
Great work Cork!!!!!!!!