Printer-friendly version
Jonathan Hai

Violin Maker's Wife - Cutting the “f’s” Step By Step – A Picture Blog

June 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Post no. 18

As I wrote last time, we spent last Saturday at the Open Shabbat in the Artisans’ Compound at Kibbutz Ein Carmel, where Yonatan’s workshop is located. There were not that many people, which was surprising on such a beautiful summer day, but thanks to this Yonatan had some time to actually work. So while the kids kept busy – Itamar building a sword and shield from scrap pieces of wood with a friend of his who came along, Yaara creating “a vase” out of clay that our friend Michael gave her and Alona making as much mess as humanly (or rather “babily”) possible – he started cutting the “f’s” on the viola.

Instead of explaining the process in numerous words, I decided to show you the pictures I took while he worked. I think they tell the story more eloquently than I ever could …

First, he drilled a tiny hole to open the first “f“:

DSC_0079 (2)

Then, he cut the general shape of the “f‘s” with a special, very thin, hacksaw:

DSC_0087 (2)

With extreme precision he cut around the edges of the “f“, leaving just a bit of wood on the inside of the line he initially drew:


…and then he repeated the entire process in the second “f“:


Then began the really challenging part – Yonatan went over the outline of both “f‘s” with a special, razor-sharp knife, until they became perfectly smooth:

DSC_0115 (3)


…and that’s it!


One last word of advice – don’t try this at home, it’s not at all as easy as he makes it look ;)

Have a great weekend!

From Gene Huang
Posted on June 25, 2012 at 9:40 PM
I always wondered how those f-holes were cut!

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine