Jigs: Edge Fluting



This swivel cradle is ideal for edge fluting.  The cradle rotates in a vice.  It’s designed so that tightening the vice locks the rotation of the jig.

The jig is also useful for final shaping and finishing.  The jig is hollowed so that the inside of plates can be worked as well.

The four corner holders are lined with cork and are slotted so that they can fit a variety of plate sizes.

Its all about pitch (angle)

Hand planing is a fast and effective way to achieve a great finish on ribs.   Hand planes are also key for getting a good flat surface on plates, necks and the back of finger boards.  How well your plane works for you will depend on its setup, including the pitch angle.  Check out my new addition to the best practices page, Hand Plane Setup to learn about this topic.

Low-Angle Bevel-up block planes are great for a variety of tasks, but only with the correct blade bevel.  Knowing which blade bevel to use for which job will vastly improve your making experience.  Check out the page to learn more.


Traditional Bevel Down Terminology

Petition: British Airways & Musical Instruments


At Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on 4 June 2016, Cecilia Bernardini, a violinist flying from Amsterdam to London for a concert at the prestigious Wigmore Hall, was forced by BA staff to carry her 18th century Italian violin on her lap with no case, while her case (not designed for rough travel) containing three valuable bows was checked into the hold.

A change.org petition has been started to have British Airways update it’s policy with clear language around the allowance of Musical Instruments (and their cases) as carry on.  Sign the petition.


Cutting the Purfling Channel

I’ve tried a new method for cutting purfling channels, this uses Roger Hargrave’s interpretation of the Stradivari method.  Among Strad’s artifacts, now in the Museo Del  Violino in Cremona, Italy, are two single bladed purfling cutters.  Roger believes that Strad used these to cut independently the outside and inside edge of the purfling groove.

I used this method on my most recent violin and found it worked well on the back, but was especially useful on the top, where year growth rings can cause a freely held knife blade to be pulled into the soft summer wood.

To do this I re-ground two of the blades from an Ibex-style purfling marker to be double edged (pointed) so they could cut in both directions.  A narrow taper ensures the blades won’t over-widen as they cut around the turns and corners.  I then mounted each blade in its own purfling marker.  I added a small brass ‘L’ to act as a depth stop which meant less checking of my depth of cutting.  The cutters worked well, but I did occasionally use my knife.

To setup the cutting position, test with a scrap of wood with the purfling you plan to use for the instrument under construction.  Also in the pictures above you’ll see a file which i converted to purfling picker.