Friday, November 6, 2009

Finishing the pegbox and scroll

With the box closed, it's time to get the neck ready. First to finish the pegbox and scroll. Here's the neck, cut-out of a block with a bandsaw, shaped with files and knives.


Then it's time to clean up the scroll, undercutting the volute, and adding a chamfer to the edges.


I've laid out the centerline earlier, before cutting, and it needs to be refreshed from time to time. The pegbox, the hollow area between the walls, where the strings wrap around the pegs, needs to be hollowed out. I use a drill-press to make a series of holes, with the depth set to avoid drilling through the bottom.


I start with a narrow "U" gouge and remove the wood rather quickly. One needs to be careful near the walls, as this maple is highly figured and it's easy to tear-out. With most of the wood gone, I then move on to a variety of gouges to clean it up. It is quite hard to get under the scroll, near the A-peghole, so there I alternate between a curved palm gouge and a thin flat gouge.


The fluting then needs to be done. This is the double channel you see wrapping around the outside of the scroll. With the centerline clearly marked, I use the small palm gouge to make a double track up each, merging into one at the narrow places. These initial tracks are joined by carving with a larger gouge, all the time trying to keep the centerline sharp and straight, and the edges safe for errant slips.



We are so lucky these days to have access to good information on classic violins. In the background of the previous photo, you will not the February 2009 issue of Strad magazine, with a much larger-than-lifesize photo of the scroll on the cover. To the right, is the poster of the 1715 "Titian" Stradivari violin, again from this same issue. By constantly checking the photos and looking at your carving from various angles, you at least have a chance of getting something reasonable.

No comments:

Post a Comment