Derek Roberts Violins

Violin Making
Day 11 Finishing the outline

This is one page in a series about violin making by hand in the traditional way. Please see the introduction for more, and our violin making courses if you are inspired to make a violin yourself.


Today violin maker Derek Roberts finishes the outline of the violin. First the front and back plates must be aligned with the rib structure.

In the violin back, Derek drills holes for two small wooden pins. These locating pins are used to position the front and back accurately on the rib structure of the instrument.


The front, back and rib structure are placed together.

The front and back plates overhang the rib structure by a small margin. With the plates pinned in place, the overhang is checked.


The plates can be taken apart to make adjustments to the overhang, and then easily repositioned on the rib structure using the pins.


Derek has taken the back plate off the rib structure to file the edge.

At this point he is making the final adjustments to the outline of the instrument, making the overhang even throughout and ensuring that all the curves flow perfectly.


Derek shapes the corners. An accurate outline is critical for inlaying the purfling.

In the next stage Derek inlays the purfling in the plates.

Are you interested in learning to make a violin, or developing your violin making skills? See our Violin Making Courses. Our resources page has recommendations for books and suppliers for violin making.

All material on this site copyright Derek Roberts, Leamington Spa 1999, 2000, 2001, 2014