Final arching is complete
Low-angle light and Scrapers
Today I used low-angle light to reveal all the humps and hollows, and used scrapers to bring all of them to a smooth continuum of curving wood.
Once I had the front plate fairly smooth, I laid out the f-holes, and incised them deeply. My reason for doing this is that every single instrument I have made, the arching proved to need correction, as revealed when I laid out the f-holes. Invariably the arching was too “puffy” around the lower ends of the f-holes, so I had to re-carve that area. Finally it occurred to me that if I cut the lines in, they would remain visible as I carved, and I would not have to lay them out over again. That turned out to work pretty well, so now I routinely assume I will have to correct the arching, and I incise the f-holes, then view the plate from the side: what I am aiming for is that the general shape of the f-hole will seem to lie in a plane parallel to that of the ribs when the instrument is assembled, rather than describing a lazy “S” from the side.
Here is an example from an unfinished viola, from several years ago:
It is not something “exact”, but more of a general impression. One way or another, it allows me to see when my arching is not right, and correct it.
So, here is the top plate with the f-holes incised. I will finish cutting them out after the inside carving (graduation) is nearly complete.
Here’s an end-view…doesn’t show much:
And a sort-of “3/4” side-view…trying to show the curves:
Here’s a close-up of the c-bout with the f-hole incision (I used a special f-hole cutting tool to incise the circular parts):
Annnd the back plate: (still may be a bit puffy in spots…I will work on it more later. Right now my hands are hurting from all the scraping) That’s all for today! I’m worn out.