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Carvinga a scroll - step by step - part XIV

July 14, 2009 at 8:07 PM

As I've mentioned before, I'll mention something about scroll's styles here.   Maestro Carlo Vettori, from Florence, published a quite interesting book called "Linee Classiche della Liuteria Italiana". If you happen to visit Florence go to visit him in his workshop on Via Guelfa, he is an expert in the Florentine School. He works with restoration and make many new instruments as well. I'll quote some parts of the above mentioned book regarding the scroll, and attach a pic of the book's page:

"Fig. 31 represents the front view of a scroll. This is the sort described as "aggressive" since the narrowest part of the chanelling (visible in fig 32) is moved forward by two centimetres from the centre. From this change of position comes the predominance of two curved lines (see the dotted lines in fig. 31). Many of the greatest Italian makers have employed this type of scroll not least among whom are certainly the members of the Amati family." (Carlo Vettori, "Linee Classiche della Liuteria Italiana", Giardini Editori e Stampatori in Pisa, 1980, pages 66, 67, 70 and 71).

I'll quote again the Maestro Carlo Vettori:



Just when I'm totally satisfied with the side views, front, skew, front, back, all views; and when I find that the two lines of the chamfer are running parallel  I will start carving the channels:



Notice the position of my hands:




Here I'm using a shaped scraper again:



Again, notice  the position of my hands, some will get these positions intuitively, others not, and it's a quite important: thing in violin making:

From Royce Faina
Posted on July 15, 2009 at 11:04 AM

OMG- I can just see myself slicing my hand open!!!!  Recently I had a florecent light break while I was removing it and had to have 5 stitches put into my thumb!  I bet keeping the tools sharp can be just as much of an art as making violins.  I can put a nice edge on my knives but tools always seemed to be a challenge for me personaly.

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on July 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Yes Royce, it is relly hard to work with any tool!  I can hardly cut peelings of a potato without beeing scared to cut my thumb...  I have my non conventional methods to compensate...  But a scrool is such precision!  Bravo it is nicer and nicer always!


Posted on July 15, 2009 at 1:35 PM


Every instrument we make will have our blood in some part of it...   but in the way I'm holding the gouges I can't hurt myselft because the tool will move just one centimeter or even less, so it's iimpossible to reach - and cut - my other hand .


From Royce Faina
Posted on July 15, 2009 at 2:35 PM

The proper way is usually the safest way!

From Rosalind Porter
Posted on July 15, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Another fascinating instalment Manfio - how many hours in all does it take you to complete the whole scroll from beginning to end.  I think looking at these pictures makes us violinists much more aware of all the hard work that goes into the instrument! 


Posted on July 15, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Thanks! I can carve a scroll, neck and prepare the fingerboard in about 3 days, but working more than 8 hours a day.

From Fyoder Larue
Posted on July 16, 2009 at 3:17 AM

Are the shaped scrapers tools you create yourself?

Posted on July 16, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Yes, many of the tools we use are made by ourselves. My latest one is a squirel tail plane, I think I posted some photos of it in my blog here.

From Royce Faina
Posted on July 18, 2009 at 12:33 AM

Make your own tools... That I did not know!

Posted on July 19, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Yes, we have to make and adapt many of our tools. We have to make also our forms and templates.

Violin making is a kind of solitary journey....   you may study it a lot but eventually you are alone with the wood in front of you and a gouge in your hand...


Posted on July 19, 2009 at 5:26 PM

oops, double post! 

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