Channel cut and final arching begun

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Purfling channel and recurve begun, with final arching on the way.

Mark the crest, first

There are several ways to do this, but I used a compass, with the pencil withdrawn a few millimeters. I wanted to establish the crest of the edge about 40% of the way in from the outer edge of the plate to the edge of the purfling. In this particular case, the purfling is 5mm from the outer edge, so I set the compass for 2mm, and carefully traced all the way around the plate, so that I had a visible guide to follow with the gouge as I carved out the channel.

What gouge?

I used three different gouges: two have a curvature about like the ball of my thumb…no idea what specific sweep…one with a long handle, the other quite short. The third is a much smaller gouge I used specifically in the corners. Every few minutes I stopped and honed the gouges, or at least stropped them. You have to work very carefully to avoid tear-out in carving the channel on very curly maple. I used a rotating motion with the gouges, so that the wood and purfling was being sliced away, and was less likely to split.

What plane?

Once I had the channel cut all the way around, I switched to Ibex planes and began fairing the curve from the bottom of the channel up onto the highest areas of the plate. Occasionally I switched to a tiny flat Stanley plane to smooth out the ridges left by the curved sole Ibex planes.

It is still pretty bulgy, but looking better. All still quite rough…at this point I am more anxious to move a lot of wood than to move it smoothly. As I get closer to the final shape, I will take pains to make sure everything is smooth.

Here are a couple of pictures…not terribly clear, but I think you can see the progress.

channel and recurve cut...final arching begun

Still too high all over, but the channel is cut, and the final arching is begun.

Cello corner with channel cut and final arching begun

Same corner as before, with channel cut and final arching begun

I was getting pretty tired, so I am going to call it a night. I hope to get more done tomorrow night.

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One Response to “Channel cut and final arching begun”
  1. 03.06.2013

    Tonight I worked with the small planes until I was soaked in sweat and a blister was beginning on my thumb. All I got done was the longitudinal arch pretty close to final and all the cross-arch positions on the treble side fairly close (not done at all, just in the ballpark). I was hoping to get a lot more done, but I am calling it a night.

    Once I get all the cross-arching locations (1-5) as close as I want, I will have a checkered surface with bulges between all the cross-arches and along both sides of the longitudinal arch. But those “grooves” along the template lines will be my guides, so that I don’t go too deep anywhere. So I will plane the bulges down until all the curves fair together into one reasonably smooth continuum, smooth it all with a toothed Ibex plane, then a stiff scraper, etc. until I am satisfied, using a low-angle light source, that there are no bumps or hollows left to smooth down.

    Then it will be time to work the inside.


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