The Plates

Friday, June 22nd, 2001

After attending an English workshop at school these past four days, today I got back to the violin. . .

Today I cut out the top and back. Last week I had jointed and glued the spruce and maple halves. Today I first planed the center, high portion of the outside of each plate down to about 16mm thick, using the Safety-Planer in my drill press. Then, using the rim still in the mold, I traced the outlines of the top and back onto the flat sides of the plates. The next thing to do was to mark another line about 4mm outside of that line, running a pencil in a washer around the rim; this second overhang outline was my cutting line. I then bandsawed the top and back plates.

Next I'm going to get back to working on the rims, cutting out the neck mortise and bending and gluing in the linings. (Go there.)

Wednesday, June 27th, 2001

The first thing I did today was to make the four basic arching templates. The top one is for the longitudinal arch; the lower three are for the arches across the lower bout, the upper bout, and the waist.

Next I used my marking gauge to scribe the 6mm starting depth of the plate's edge (it will become thinner later). I then marked a line about 10mm in from the edge; this will be the shoulder area of the plate.


Below is a photo of the plate after I have finished carving the shoulder down to the 6mm edge line. This only (!!!) took me all afternoon. I think the carving will take me a bit of time......

To the left I have begun carving the shoulder area down to the scribed line. As I carved with the gouge, I found myself sometimes unintentionally gouging my workboard as well as the intended object, the maple back plate! Even with a sharp gouge, that maple is pretty tough to carve! It took me a while to get the knack of which direction to go in the carving (so as not to tear out chunks of maple!), but I soon got the feel of it.

Below you can see how I am carving down to the 6mm scribed line.

Go to Carving Day 2


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