5-String Fiddles Nearing Completion
First, I apologize for the long hiatus. Lots of things have been going on, so I haven’t taken time to post progress reports on the two instruments I began in late July.
Initially, I had anticipated being done with both by the second week in September. Unfortunately, there have been sufficient interruptions and side-tracks that I am still not done. (Rats...)
When I last posted, I had just recently set the necks in the instruments. Initially, I progressed fairly rapidly for a bit, thereafter, but failed topost progress reports for “Show and Tell.” Therefore…I will try to catch-up.
First, I carefully removed the molds. Then, I cleaned up the interior of the two fiddles, so they were essentially finished. Next, I bent and installed the back linings. Usually, I try to use willow for my linings. I had thought these were willow, but I am beginning to believe they may be some species of poplar.
The next step was to install the back plates. I had already laid out and installed the back purfling weaves, but, because the rib garlands sometimes change shape a little after the molds have been removed, I avoided “locking in” the shape of the back plates until the plates were already installed. After that, I could do any final trimming of the back plate, and afterward lay out, cut and install the remaining purfling.
Subsequently, I went ahead and installed the back plates, and trimmed them to accurately match the ribs. Then I began layout and installation of the back purfling. I bent the purfling, using heat, then began gluing the sections in place in the proper order.
Final Varnish Preparations
Before I could begin varnishin, the purfling channels and all the edgework remained . Also, I turned off the artificial lighting, and used the dim light from a window to cast soft shadows across the wood, and reveal any humps and hollows I may have missed earlier. After completing all that work, I could begin the varnishing process.
I will outline the process and show pictures in my next post.
Thanks for looking.