Derek Roberts Violins

Violin Making
Day 10 Finishing the scroll

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 scroll which was carved in the previous stage.

First the pegbox is hollowed out with a chisel. Then a skew chisel is used to cut the flat inside surface of the pegbox cheek. Above you can see the two tools, a left skew chisel and a right skew chisel, one for each cheek of the pegbox.


Derek uses a file and a knife to put a chamfer on the edges. This is the final stage in shaping the profile of the scroll.


Two flutes are carved around the outside of the scroll head and down the back of the pegbox. Derek cuts one of the flutes with a small gouge.


Finally all the surfaces are given a smooth finish with steel scrapers. Violin makers prefer to achieve a fine finish with scrapers, rather than sandpaper.

Scrapers do less damage to the surface fibres of the wood than sandpaper. This helps the figure of the wood to show to its best advantage after varnishing.

All that remains to be done is to ream the peg holes. This will be done at a later stage.

In the next stage, Derek will finalize the outline of the front and back and shape the corners.

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