Purfling, Edgework and Scroll on a 15″ Five-string viola

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Purfling the 15″ 5-string Viola

Complete the slots

When I last posted, I had only begun cutting the outer purfling slots (I planned double purfling plus a weave for the back), so the next thing was to complete those slots.

Tools I used to cut the slots for the purfling in the Five-string viola.
Tools I used to cut the slots.

 

Front Purfling slots complete on the 15" Five-string viola.
Front Purfling slots complete.

 

Back purfling slots complete on the 15" Five-string viola.
Back purfling slots complete, including the upper and lower weaves.

 

Inserting and Gluing the purfling

The next step is to insert and glue the purfling in place, using hot hide glue. First I bend the purfling, using a hot iron, then I cut the ends to match the joints where the various sections meet. I insert the pieces dry, to ascertain that they fit, then, one-by-one, I pick the pieces back out and insert hot hide glue into the underlying slot, and quickly re-insert the purfling, forcing it to the bottom of the slot.

Front purfling dry installed on the 15" Five-string viola.
Front purfling dry installed in the Sitka Spruce top plate.

 

Close-up of glued purfling for the 15" Five-string viola, partially trimmed.
Close-up of glued purfling, partially trimmed.

 

Front Purfling glued on the 15" Five-string viola...no edgework done.
Front Purfling glued…no edgework done.

 

Back Purfling glued in place in the 15" Five-string viola.
Back Purfling glued in place.

 

Upper Weave complete on the 15" Five-string viola.
Upper Weave, in heavily spalted Big Leaf Maple back.

 

Lower Weave completed on the 15" Five-string viola back.
Lower Weave. No edgework, yet.

 

So that was the completion of the purfling. Edgework was next, shaping the channel through which both purfling slots will travel, as well as the outer edge and how the channel fairs into the front and back plate curvature. I used gouges, small planes and files, to get the edges to the required shape of a finished instrument.

While all this was happening, I was also getting going on the scroll, pegbox, and neck, but I will save that story for another post.

Beginning the scroll-carving for the 15" Five-string viola.
Beginning the scroll-carving.

 

Thanks for looking.

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