Trade secrets: cutting f-holes

f holes 2

A methodical way of completing this elegant but delicate part of the making process by WILLIAM CASTLE, luthier based in Whitchurch, Shropshire, UK

One of the key features in defining the visual character of an instrument is the position and shape of the f-holes. Unlike many other processes in making an instrument where the tools themselves control how much wood is removed, most parts of the f-holes are cut freehand, so their final flow largely relies on the violin maker’s ability to control the knife as it cuts through the hard and soft grains of the belly.

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