Cutting the f-holes
  1. Mark the center of the four circles with a point.
  2. Drill the four leading holes using a small, 2 mm drill bit at right angles to the arching.
  3. Use a f-hole cutter of suitable diameter to cut out the four holes. To make the cut as smooth as possible, with each hole, start at top of the plate, cut half way, then continue from the bottom and make the finishing cuts again from the top. Make sure you are cutting at right angles to the arching in place. Apply only moderate pressure to make a clean cut.
  4. With the f-hole eyes cut out, use a coping saw, with a fine-toothed blade, to cut out the rest of the shape /the stem and the wings/. See Fig. 1. for the cutting order. Again, cut at right angles to the arching. Start in the no. 1 position and end in no. 2. It is good to lay the plate down onto the fixed plank you used to cut out the plate outline before. This allows for easy access and support while you rotate the plate as needed.
  5. Using a sharp pointy knife, start cutting the f-hole walls to their final dimensions. Always work with the grain. Make sure the broadest area at the notches is at least a little over 6 mm wide, so that the sound post /6 mm wide/ can be inserted through there.

The angle of the f-hole walls depicted in Fig. 2. is more or less the modern standard and it can vary depending on the violin model. The gaps at the wing tips should have the width of about 1 mm.
  1. Sharpen your knife extra sharp and finish both f-hole outlines to perfection because later, you won't have the free access when the plate is glued to the ribs.

Cutting the notches

To cut the notches, first make a cut in the middle, then two cuts at angles to the first one. It is always better to make the initial incisions small and work towards something bigger. The size of the notches on the template in Fig. 1. can be considered ideal.

Category: Front