Mike Dunham describes a purfling process proposed at the Oberlin workshop in 2022
The black lines around the edge of nearly all instruments in the violin family are called purfling. This decorative inlay also has a practical purpose – to minimise cracking of the thin top and back plates near their edges. What looks like a set of parallel black lines is usually the edge view of a black–white–black wood sandwich, placed in a carefully carved channel in the plate. While the ‘white’ layer is a naturally light-coloured wood, the black layers are usually dyed black to obtain the strong contrast between the light and dark layers. The sandwich can be pre-formed into a laminate strip, as shown in figure 1, or applied as three individual layers and glued into the channel…
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