Violin makers sometimes refer to an instrument that is assembled but rough as a “corpse.” Though it is an odd term it does seem appropriate – the instrument has not yet been brought to life.
Last night I was working with a dulcimer in such a state. All the major components are in place but there are many rough edges and raw surfaces to be dealt with.
The contours of the peghead need to be blended into the fretboard and any shaping and sculpting of the peghead happens at this stage. Most of this involves using a knife, file, scraper and planes.
The sides need to be cleaned up and the binding trued to the sides. I don’t know how I would get things done without using scrapers!
Fun, fun, fun!