Paul Noulet and Benoit Dupeux on how 21st-century technology can add to the luthier’s arsenal of violin making tools
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It is fascinating to note the amount of time taken by luthiers on preparing their tools. We can spend longer making templates and jigs than on the actual carving of the wood that makes up the instrument. It might not be the most rewarding part of the job, but the quality of the finished product can often depend on it. For this reason, we believe that utilising modern technology in the violin making process can relieve luthiers of these tasks while bringing higher precision to the end result.
This was our starting point when we decided to demonstrate how traditional and modern methods could be combined in a clever and constructive way, without ignoring the technical requirements of conventional lutherie. At first we simply intended to manufacture an accurate set of custom templates and moulds using modern tools such as computer-assisted design (CAD), computer numerical control (CNC) machining, and laser cutting. But as work progressed, we both realised that we could take our experiments much further – in fact, an immense new field of possibilities was opening up to us…
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