Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Violin Diary-7. Linings and Back Plate

I left off, in the previous Violin Diary post, with the ribs complete and plates prepared.  In this post I will complete the linings and start the violin back plate. The below youTube video provides an overview of the processes involved.

Fitting, gluing and planing linings 

Linings are little strips of wood that provide a surface on which the plates are glued to the ribs (the ribs themselves being too thin to fulfil this purpose on their own). While linings have no real impact on the sound of the violin and are nested inside the body of the violin, they need to be securely fitted and glued, so that they don't come loose and cause rattles once the instrument is closed. Regular pegs serve the purpose of holding the linings in place while the glue dries, as can be seen below.

Drawing rib shape on the back plate

In order to make the back plate of the violin, the rib structure is used to trace the violin shape onto the back. This is done by clamping the ribs securely to the back and then use a small washer to draw the shape onto the back. A bit like tracing really.

Sawing out back plate

The back plate of the violin is made from maple. This is a hard wood with a beautiful flame. The best or at least quickest way to cut out the violin form is with a band saw. The main challenge is to stick as close as possible to the line, but not remove it. I'm always afraid of injuring myself when I work with power tools, so I tend to be fanatically careful and wear protective eye and ear gear. The violin shape is rather complex with some sharp turns around the c bouts.

Marking and reduce plate thickness

The next step is to mark the desired plate thickness with a marker and then to reduce the thickness of the plate with a combination of planes and gouges. The form of the violin now starts to really take shape. The result currently looks as follows:

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