Day Eight of the Violin Making Workshop

Days 7&8 were spent shaping the outer curves of the top and bottom plates. With the purfling done, the height of the outer edges is set. The purfling line will be gouged down with a small gouge (approx 6mm) and then a larger gouge will carry the curve into the body of the plate a bit below the edge line. This curve will then be smoothly extended to the top line of the plate.


This work is started with gouges, continued with finger planes, and finally finished with scrapers. Finger planes are small planes that you push with your fingers, the pushing continues for hours on various parts of the plates. Finger planes cause blisters and numb fingers by the end of the day, at least in this trainees fingers…


Once the outside curvature is near perfect we start the inside graduating. The graduations of the inside of the plate will go from 2.2 to 3.5 mm. This work is started with gouges, then finger planes, and finally scrapers. Once the spruce on the top plate gets down to 4.5 mm, light will shine through the plate, by holding the plate to a bright light you can see the thick and thin sections. We also measure with calipers, and use our (numb) fingers to ‘feel’ the thickness always striving for uniformity.

Below is the top plate inside graduations at about 4.5 mm.




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