The Stew Mac kit came with a super rough machined top and back.
I had to carve the top of the top to the preferred amount of recurve, and then the back of the top to the proper thickness. I used a 10mm ibex finger plane for all of it and I can now say this is my favorite tool.
For the top I started by drawing a line around it using the rim set and then drew a second line an ¾ inch in for my recurve location, as well as another just a bit in to account for the binding. Keeping the plane between the ¾ line and the binding line I carved out a recurve to as close the recommended depth as I could get in that width. Blended from the top to the recurve and then moved my ¾ inch line another quarter inch in and carved the recurve to the desired depth, and blended again. Finished up by sanding out the carving marks. From there I started work on the back of the front.
I used the rim set to draw an interior line so I would know where to stop, you don’t want to carve where the kerfing meets the top. I clamped the piece on some wood blocks so I could easily use my calipers to check thickness as I went. Starting with getting close on the plan thickness around the edges and in the center, I then blended it down.
Using a template made from the plan, I drew out the scroll dimensions, as well as the binding line and using a coping saw, cut the scroll out. From there using a gouge and my finger planes I cut out the shape of the scroll and sanded out any imperfections. I still worry that I didn’t cut enough space there but I am okay with a beefy scroll. I then used the top as a template to draw out the scroll cut for the back.
I repeated this same process on the back. HOLY CRAP, curly maple is a lot harder to carve than spruce, had to take a day off because of finger blisters.
Top and back carving was now complete.