I TRIMMED THE 3/4 INCH THICK back today and began to carve it into a slightly arched shape. Faced with all that hard and curvy tiger striped maple I turned to modern technology for a little help.
Stradivari would be horrified at this lack of old world craftsmanship but I saved myself a lot of time and hard work by hogging out much of the wood 0n the "slope" of the back. I deepened the cut as I progressed outward- worked fine and will make the final hand-work much easier.
But rest assured that there will be plenty of hand work invested in this back. Here, driven by guilt, I abandoned the router and turned to the leather glove and the rasp-and I am feeling better already. This is going to be a lot of exercise-but I can feel where I am going as I rasp the proper curve into this back. I am using a rough rasp , graduating up to two grades of finer rasps until I get this to the sandpaper stage. I am optimistic. So far so good.