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New Violin Continued

Late November 2017

Violin No.28 is moving gradually towards completion! 

2017 has indeed been an unusual year for this violin maker.

I hope you will enjoy this new set of photos and descriptions, with apologies in advance for being so engrossed in 

cutting the soundholes that I forgot to reach for the camera. That's a good thing, right?

Once the surface is planed flat, the rib set is once again used to mark for cutting out the plate, with an inner scribed line which will be a guide when assembling the violin later on.  The coping saw, with a new blade, makes short work of maple too. In the 8 years since I started out I have considerably reduced the time taken on this cut. Must be getting stronger. The rough arching has been done, with the edge now at 4mm. This 5x25 gouge works brilliantly since I commissioned it by making the back bevel much longer than Pfeil did.
First row of purfling is set 4mm from outer edge. I cut the channel with a scalpel - only one power tool in my workshop and it ain't a Dremel. As before, I am using scarf joins. Before cutting the channel for row 2 of purfling I take the fluting and top arching to 'almost there'. Fluting is the 'dip' you see and feel at the outer edge of a violin, top and back. This instrument is in memory of a special lady who died this year. The plan is to add a little decoration, beginning with this loop. Bending the 3 layers of purfling was a bit tricky!
The top and back are almost at the ready-for-hollowing stage. It is useful to view them in an oblique light at this point. When they seem to be just right they always need more work.. The back turned over, hollowing has begun. Thickness of back varies from under 3mm to 4.5/5mm, with all to play for in terms of tuning the plate. Much measuring and pencil marking.  At the scraper stage, weighing, measuring and tapping at frequent intervals. This back is producing a clear f in modes 2 and 5, at 105grams, for those interested :)
The hollowing process is similar for the top (spruce) except that I'm aiming for a more uniform thickness. oops, the ff-holes just appeared! Here I am chalk-fitting the bass bar. Some hours later, it is ready to be glued in. I have a flexible strip under there to protect the top surface when clamping, and a total of 5 clamps in play. Hot hide glue, of course. Shaping the bass bar I am looking for enough stiffness to keep the tap-tones rich and lively, but also a little lengthwise flexibility. The top plate ends up 68g, f (mode 5), e (mode 2)
Now for the scroll. I have squared the block of maple and will be tracing  this template, squared to the other side, marking dots for the volutes and peg hole placement.  This is where my one and only power tool comes in, drilling holes to make the sawing quick and easy. The flame of the maple is leaning a little to the top end, to echo the flame on the ribs Smoothing the outline using chisel and (for the 'hollow' area) my in-cannel gouge. I cut roughly half way then turn the work, to prevent the far edge chipping out.
I'm happy that the outline matches the original template and have marked the outline for the first cuts. It's not much more than a rough guide, giving me some boundaries.. because, as you will see in my next set of photos, it's not called 'carving a scroll' for no reason! This is a good point to stop for the day and check that my gouges are nice and sharp. So, this is the state of play - top and back plates finished and sounding good, ribs all cleaned up and blocks pared down to very light but strong. I'll be back with scroll carving pics.


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