Friday, April 22, 2011

Purfling channels and c-bouts

I used a Dremel tool attached to a router base to take out most of the purfling channel. I have, however, become more and more interested in the shape of the purfling as it approaches the corner, so I leave that to be done by hand.

Following a suggestion by a couple violin-making friends on Facebook, I have inserted the C-bout purfling before completing the channel from the upper or lower bouts. This is still a tough job for me, cutting the curves into the corner. Sharper tools and more patience! I did find a new use for an old tool I had -- the tool with the red and black handle is a fretting tool, used to clean old glue and such from fret channels when refretting a banjo or guitar. It is much thinner than the purfling channel, and is therefore really nice for getting wood out of the corner tips.

Things look a little rough here, with the glue still wet and the purfling proud in some places. I use the back of a ball-peen hammer to push the purfling into the groove, so when people ask how I get the purfling in, I can honestly say I hammer it in.


  1. Looking good Ken. I have always used my dremel but on my current instrument I forced myself to do the purfling groove by hand. It's been a good experience. Corner purfling shapes really are tricky and something that will take me many more instruments to really see what I need to do.

    Speaking of facebook, how many violin makers are on facebook these days? I don't have an account and I've often wondered what I'm missing out on. Are there groups on facebook just for violin making?


  2. Thanks, James. I've been really determined on this one to try to get a better flow into the corner, now that I'm starting to see a bit more of it. I can even look at some reasonably well-made factory instruments and say, yes, I don't like that way of handling the purfling flow.

    I don't know of any groups on Facebook, but there are many of the 'regulars' out there. It's not a daily thing, but ideas and photos pop up.