Rough’n it

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Violin bow no. 4 in progress. Using various planes, we bring the stick down to about 1.5 mm to 2 mm above dimension. The use of various planes are nice in that different parts of the stick work differently in different directions of planing. I like to use the Stanley 9 1/2 to take off most of the bulk, and use the scraper planes over difficult grain. The mini ebony plane is just so darn cute and I will sometimes use it just for fun! Planes, knives, and chisels are the bow maker’s three best friends, I have about a half-dozen more planes for various operations in the shop. At this point, much is learned about the stick you are working with, which will help with decisions regarding camber and graduations. Notice the nice coiled shavings, this is a sign that your planes are working well and that you are using the proper technique. This work should be done with minimal tension in the body, all motions should be fluid and smooth. At this point in my day, the French makers would have already had a glass of wine. I’ll just stick to my tea.

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