Preparing the blocks
I split some willow to make the blocks and set them at 32mm high at the bottom tapering to 30mm high at the neck and after getting them good and square, glued them into the form which I supported on a few pieces of plywood to get the form more or less into the centre of the blocks.
Then I used the perspex template to mark the outline on the blocks ready for carving.
When the glue was dry I carved the blocks down to the marked outline with a chisel and finished with a round file. The split willow carves very easily but because they are so small this is so much quicker to do on the violin compared to the cello – although you have to go slowly to get the accuracy required!
Preparing and fitting the violin ribs
Next I thinned the ribs down to 1mm with a combination of the drum sander and then scrapers. The figuring has to be matched up so the stripes all point upwards when looking at the back. Next the pieces were cut to size and carefully bent after damping in a wet tea towel and then finally glued to the blocks using pre-shaped cauls.
Then I planed the edges of the ribs down to make sure everything was perfectly flat.
Adding the Linings
I thinned the willow linings to 2.1 mm on the drum sander and cut them 10 mm wide on the band saw (aiming for 8 mm finished depth) to leave a few mm proud for trimming back flush to the ribs.
I was able to re-use the peg clamps I made for the cello and just substituted a thinner pivot piece to get a parallel clamp on the 1 mm ribs + 2.1 mm linings.
Now to move onto the back where I have some gorgeous maple to play with!