Today at school I finished my edge thicknessing. I used a fingerplane, uneven divider, and channel gouge to slowly bring the edge to 4.2 on the maple and 4.4 on the spruce. That gives me .2mm to file on each. Which I will be doing tomorrow, so yes that is all I have been doing for two days now. One thing I have to constanly keep in mind is grain direction. It the grain and tool don't agree, one thing that may happen is tear out. Instead of taking out nice slivers of wood, you end up taking chunks.....not ideal.
In one of the earlier steps of sawing out the rough shape of the violin, which we established with the rib assembly, we used a bow or frame saw...another handy hand tool. I really liked this saw. It had twine that you would twist to put tension on the blade which you need to use it, and the blade could also move for cutting curves and C bouts. There are still techniques on using it that we were showed, but it was definitely less terrifying than a machine. I felt very in control. It is something I could see myself having in the future.
I also asked my teacher about why he has stuck with using hand tools for so long and what he thought about tuning the plates. He says the note the plates ring at is not as important as FLEXIBILITY, but I can see how they might go hand in hand. And for the reason he does not use machines.....he is a purist and has been there, done that. I admire that he only uses hand tools, but I'm not sure what road I will be taking, but then again I have just started and don't have much choice right now anyway. We are becoming good with hand tools and using our eye which will inevitably help us be better machinists if that's the route we take.
I thought I would have more free time not working anymore...nope I am excellent at filling that up. Haha and now my roommate wants his computer back so so long everyone!