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.

 

Sign up for a free 7-day trial to read this article in full

Strad subscription

 

This article is usually available exclusively to subscribers.

For a limited period, you can enjoy all the benefits of an online subscription free for 7 days. Sign up now to read this article in full and to enjoy unlimited access to all premium online content, a digital edition of the latest issue, plus an online archive of more than 100+ back issues.

 

If you are already a subscriber, sign in here.