Derek McCormick’s Violin Blog

Making a violin and other violin-related topics

Arching the Back

For initial arching

I start the arching by drawing a "contour map" on the bottom flat side of the front. The lines represent the required arching height. As i carve the top I keep checking progress with the gauge. My aim at this stage is to get the arching shape right, but about 1-1.5mm above what will be the final surface. The main tools used in this step are the gouges shown at the top of the next photo.

These are the tools used in the arching process.

These are the tools used in the arching process. The gouges are used at the early stage and the little thumb planes and scraper at the final stages.

In these photos I have gone past the gouge and plane stages and i am using a scraper. This is an indispensible tool at virtually all stages of making. Thery are home made from good quality steel and the maker can shape them to suit the job. They are sharpened on all edges and drawn along the surface of the wood to remove fine shavings.

In these photos I have gone past the gouge and plane stages and i am using a scraper. This is an indispensible tool at virtually all stages of making. Thery are home made from good quality steel and the maker can shape them to suit the job. They are sharpened on all edges and drawn along the surface of the wood to remove fine shavings.

During arching templates sre frequently used to check progress towards the final shape

During the arching process, templates are used to check progress towards the final shape. I check the cross arching with five templates and use another one for the long arch.

The arching has now been completed - the edges will receive their final form later. Throughout the arching process it is important to see the work under conditions where light is coming in at a low angle to the work (a north-facing window is good). Without this it is very easy to miss unevenness or small lumps and bumps on the surface.

The arching has now been completed - the edges will receive their final form later. Throughout the arching process it is important to see the work under conditions where light is coming in at a low angle to the work (a north-facing window is good). Without this it is very easy to miss unevenness or small lumps and bumps on the surface.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | (07) Arching the back | Leave a comment