What to do; Fit the sides or add the soundboard to the neck first?
I have been over this in my head a million times and must confess that I have not been able to come up with a good reason to chose one over the other. It appear there are so many ways to go about this and they all have their strength and weaknesses.
However, In the end I decided on the less conventional of the two and start with the sides. The reason for this is that I hope it will be easier to bevel the edges of the sides to fit the domed top better, a practice that is not normally done on classical guitars.
I touched up the sides dry on the pipe. I find dry bending is a considerably slower process than bending with water and lends itself very well to make small corrections. More so, you will not have moisture leftover in the side and thus minimizing the chance of further movement. After the thouch up, I put them on top of the template and used it as a guide for marking the sides to proper length. Then I drew a line across the side with white pencil using the jointed edge, the one that is going to be attached to the soundboard, to rest the square against. Then the sides were clamped to the bench and the excess was cut off with a dovetail saw, slightly proud of the line leaving a little extra for final trimming with a block plane until they both fit perfectly within the plantilla created by the blocks on the solera.
Before going any further I had to flatten the bottom of the neck slots with a 1mm chisel. I had to get rid of a little hump in the center left from when they initially were cut with the saw. Once flat, I set my sliding bevel to match the taper. Next the distance from the center of the neck to the neck slot was measured and transferred to the sides and the sliding bevel was laid on top and the taper marked onto the side. I did this operation on each side individually as the taper of the two neck slots were slightly different. It was a little nerve wrecking to do as there was a lot to keep control off - which way to turn the sides, what taper went were etc. etc. Well, it wasn't really that complicated but I would have hated to cut the wrong bit of the wrong place. It could easily have lead to disaster!!
The sides where then cut and trimmed yet again in the same fashion as when they were fitted to the plantilla/solera-blocks. I also sanded the edge of the taper a little so the sides would enter the slots easier. One side was a bit tight in the slot and a little sanding should take care of that once they are ready for gluing.