Monday, July 4, 2016

Violin Making 10: Back At It After Many Years Of Almost No Progress

So... my last violin making post was more than 5 years ago, yikes! In that time I have made some small progress, but have mostly focused on repairing and dealing. Recently I made my first violin bow, but I decided I really need to finish the violin. My real sticking point became cutting the purfling channels. For those that don't know, the purfling is the (usually) three stripe black-white-black inlay around the edge of the top and back plates of the violin. It is not merely decorative, but important structurally, acting as a binding to help prevent cracking. Traditionally the narrow channel in which the purfling is installed is marked and cut by hand using special knives and small chisels. Having just completed the channels on both the top and back, I can assure you it is every bit as tedious and seemingly endless as it sounds. It has taught me an important lesson- if ever I make another instrument, I go modern and use a routing set up to cut the channels- performing this task by hand is not my idea of a good time. The channels are now cut however, and I can begin the fun part of actually installing the inlay.

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