A cradle jig comes in handy during hollowing and base-bar fitting. I managed without one up until now, but decided it was time. I based this one on pictures from Courtnall. Its made to accommodate deep (high) arching, adjustable length (up to large violas), and interchangeable blocks. The wood is poplar, the adjustment knob is an old piece of ebony, all unfinished at this point.
These are some spool clamps I made on my lathe early on in violin making. These are maple and roughly follow the specifications laid out in Courtnall. I made 32 of them. I modified the design to include a raised area so that the stainless steel threaded rod does not come in contact with the edge of the plates. The rod is fixed on one end to ease installation. They are lined with cork with a diameter of about 25mm and have a capacity of 47mm. The finish is two coats of tung oil. This jar exactly fits the 32 of them, so that’s where I keep them. They work well!
An f-hole cutter is used to cut the circular holes at the top and bottom of the f-holes. This is the first step in cutting out the f-hole. Commonly an f-hole cutter is used to prevent grain tear-out. A pilot hole is drilled and the f-hole cutter is used to make the final cut, a bit from both sides.
My issue was that my f-hole cutter came in a bag. After honing the cutters, I had nowhere to put them neatly, so they wouldn’t get damaged. I solved this by building a small box. The box is maple with paduke top and bottom, finished with tung nut oil.