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I use a mini milling machine for the purfling channel (better control than a hand-held router), with the corners naturally done by hand.

Ah, I thought it was a bit clean for hand-work on your first violin. Try it with hand-tools next time, frustrating but strangely fun at the same time. There is something really satisfying about peeling off a smooth thin layer from the bottom of the channel with a pick. A bit like slicing waxy cheese (OK I'm getting carried away, I'll have to make a romantic video about myself). And you also get to scream a lot when tiny splinters come off the sides occasionally :-)

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I think I'll stick to the machine for the bulk of the purfling grooves... I still have enough "fun" doing the corners.

Bruce, I didn't have it at the last SCAVM meeting, and I wasn't there, either (had some other unavoidable thing to do). I should be able to get to the meeting in June during the Darnton workshop.

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