Derek McCormick’s Violin Blog

Making a violin and other violin-related topics

Starting the Back


The first step in making the back is to join the two matching pieces of quarter-sawn maple. This process was actually done before starting the blog and I will leave a full description until I come to jointing the front which is an identical process. Using the template copied from the plans, the outline is drawn on the wood. The outline is then sawn leaving a margin around the line for final finishing. I could use a bow saw for this - but I don't! I use a band saw - one of the few times that a pwer tol is used. A bow saw woulkd do the job just as well but in my hands it would take ten times as long. This is essentially just a "roughing out" process and I suspect that the 18th century masters would have done the same if the tools had been available!

I have now completed

I have now completed a very tough preliminary arching of the back. It is nowhere near the finished shape but its good to get rid of a bit of excess wood at this stage and it has left a thickness of about 6mm at the edge. The tools used in this process are firstly a "scrub" plane followed by large gouges. You can see that I have not reached the final outline of the back - it is still quite rough and will be refined soon.

At this stage

At this stageI have reduced the edge thickness to 4mm and used a chisel to create a flat platform where the purfling will be inlaid. The outline of the back has been refined although the corners have not yet been given their final shape.


December 17, 2008 - Posted by | (05) Starting the back

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