In the first post of this series, I had completed the mold and had cut and thinned the ribs to size. The ribs and their reinforcements are soaking in a large tub ready for bending into shape.

In the meantime, it was time to extract some maple from a small maple tree we brought down after the 2003 Canberra bushfires (the Great Fire of Canberra). After sharpening the electric chainsaw I set about cutting two slabs free-hand from a log. Please note – chainsaws cut much better when the chain is installed the right way round!

Then I trimmed the short slabs on the Triton Mk3 table saw and did some rough smoothing through the thicknesser. I dressed the edges on the jointer and then thicknessed them down to about 19mm ready for shaping into front and back pieces of the pochette belly.

I was disappointed to find three small knots in the centre and I shall have to see if I can work with them rather than having to cut new boards. I should be able to re-saw and joint the boards to remove the knots. These boards are just over 120 mm wide and 350mm long. I will cut them down further to just over 100mm wide while retaining the length, to make a narrow-bodied violin. On a knock test the boards ring in a fairly satisfactory manner so I’m still hopeful of getting a reasonable sound from the finished instrument.

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