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Carving a scroll - step by step - part VIII

June 23, 2009 at 9:33 PM

Undercutting the turns... notice that I'm leaving a flat area near the edge of the turns to be chamfered later. The gouge (a small gouge, Stubai, with a small mushroom handle) rotates around the turns, the sweep of the gouge must conform to the turns diameter. The gouge is rotated "down" the turns:

I draw a small circle with a divider for the last turn. The pin mark of the divider can be seen in many Italian scrolls. You can leave it or scrap it later:

For the last turn, in the eye, it's impossible to work with the saw, So I work with a gouge that has exactly the same diameter of the eye. I rotate the gouge upright and then undercut:

I use a small chisel here:

to get this:

The last gouge stroke in the end of volute is quite important. The eye of the expert will be directed to this point instinctvely. I do that with two gouge strokes, the idea is making this, and making it deeper:


I  undercut a bit more:

Here I have cleaned the surfaces with a small shaped scraper and now I'm reworking the throat, a quite  important region in terms of style (notice for instance how the throat on Del Gesù's (Catarina Guarneri, more probably) Leduc points down):

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on June 23, 2009 at 9:49 PM

Thanks!   Again, nicer and nicer each day! Just for my curiosity, how many did you scraped (while learning) to be able to succeed nice scrools like this?   Must take so much practice!  



Posted on June 23, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Thanks! I think the third I carved was already ok,  but I'm making instruments since I was 13 years old.  I love carving scrolls.

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on June 24, 2009 at 2:26 PM

 That is called talent!  I think I would have to crave a little more...!



From Royce Faina
Posted on June 24, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Carving since you were 13.  It shows!  Only someone carving scrolls for as long as  you have  can make it look so easy! You sure have carving the scrolls down! 

From Rosalind Porter
Posted on June 25, 2009 at 12:23 AM

This is one of the most interesting blog series I've read for ages in any subject, not just music.  I have to say that I was really fascinated to learn about the divider marks on the back of the scroll, and also on the eye of the scroll.  I never knew about that before. 

Getting Johannes the violin out his case and looking really carefully, I can now see exactly the same marks - at the same proportional distance apart  as with your instrument - on the back of the scroll.  Also, interestingly right on the eye of the scroll where you use just one central mark - the same divider marks appear, but in the form of a very small and accurate equilateral triangle.  I guess this must have also been a visual aid of some kind for Mr Cuypers the maker for that final finishing touch?

It really makes my violin come even more alive when you can actually see and understand these little "personal" touches of the maker at work. Brlliant!   I'm especially looking forward to seeing how you work out the peg-box and peg-holes.

More soon please!!  When you've finished the scroll - I think we need to know how to make the rest of the instrument too!

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 11:50 AM


Thanks Rosalind! Cuypers is quite a fine maker, I think.  Cuypers' divider (probably made by himself, one of the first things pupils did was builidng their own tools) may have had a triangular point, that is easier to make than a circular one.  And you are right, these details are fascinating. Ciao! 

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