While not officially considered a guitar building tool, it is a luthiers tool and that alone will qualify it as a valuable tool for us guitar makers to tap into.
Violin Finger Planes are designed primarily to carve both the interior and exterior of the top and bottom arched plates of a violin. You will find them in a wide assortment of sizes and sole (bottom) configurations.
They can be a very valuable tool for the instrument builder and it would be wise for you to have a few of them on hand to help you with some of the tasks we will talk about in this article.
Here is a listing of the Violin Finger Planes That I Use:
Ibex Precision Plane:
This is a great little plane. I use it to shape braces for both the top and back plates. The steel that Ibex uses for these planes is top notch and you can really get a great edge of the blade. You can set it very precisely so you can peel just a whisker of wood off or a medium sized curl.
The wood shavings are fun to watch coming off this great little plane. Being a finger plane gives you a lot of control over the fine areas so you can really detail things very nicely. For this task, I would take this over the finest chisel any day.
These planes are made from cast bronze with the highest quality steel blades. This plane model has a flat bottom, which is different from the curved sole plate of the other Ibex planes. The size of the Ibex Precision Plane is about 2 3/8″ long with a 7/8″ blade. I just love this little plane for doing all sorts of projects.
Ibex Violin Makers Plane 12mm Blade:
Another of my favorite planes by Ibex is the Ibex Violin Makers Plane, 10mm Blade. Still having the cast brass body and fine tool steel for the blade as in the Precision Plane above, this plane differs in that it has a curved sole that is used for carving violin arches.
I use mine to carve out the scalloping for the top and back braces or to contour the scalloping for tone braces. With the curved sole it is just the ticket for those areas that are hard to shape with a straight bottomed plane or a chisel.
Another area I use them is the final carving for the guitar heel and the foot area of the Classical Guitar neck. They are also great to use in the transitional area from the neck to the headpiece. Being that the blades are so sharp, you can really cut through the end grain with little effort.
Ibex Violin Makers Plane 8mm Blade:
Finally I just purchased one of these little jewels about 6 months ago. It is quite a tiny plane, but it gives you great control to get into those tight areas, like shaving down the scallops of fan braces or putting the finishing touches on the top braces.
I’m sure to find more and more uses for the Ibex 8mm Finger Plane and I’m sure you will too.
Wrapping up this article, I can’t say enough good things about these little finger planes. I would easily give them 10 out of 10 stars for my rating because of quality workmanship, quality materials and the superb result they give you. These would be three planes I would not to be without.