Beginning The Back Plates
Planing the Plates to Proper Profiles
Maple is a lot tougher to carve than Spruce is, and European Maple is tougher than the domestic maples. But it has to be done, so, we get going on it. I chose to carve the back plate for the Titian model violin, first.
Later, as I came nearer to having the plate correctly shaped, I switched to a smooth, curved-sole finger plane. I have two main toothed planes, to which I have affixed wooden handles, so as to distribute the force across my palm, instead of concentrating it on my fingers and thumb. I don’t need the handles as much, using the smooth planes, because I am usually making shallower cuts.
Checking relative curvature with a straight bar.
After the shape is nearly complete, I switch to scrapers, and try to accurately match my arching templates. Finally, I use a flexible scraper with which to smooth all transitions, and leave a finished surface.
It is interesting to see the different wood colors. I bought both from the same source, but they are certainly not from the same tree. That is OK. Both are good European Maple, and will work very well.
I was getting too tired to go further this evening. My hands were beginning to hurt, so it was time to call it a day. After I finish the scraping and shaping of the Plowden back plate, it will be time to begin the interior arching (graduation). Also, I ordered a different pair of neck blocks, because I realized that the pair of neck blocks I had were actually Viola neck blocks, and I hated to waste them. So, when the new blocks arrive, I will also lay out and begin carving the two necks and scrolls.
Thanks for looking.