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cigar box fiddles
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SaraO
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August 31, 2011 - 8:03 am
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Neat! I know some guys in a jug band and they have made a few instruments. Currently, they are making an upright bass with an old leg from a claw foot table (for the neck and scroll). I forget what they are using for the main body piece. I can't wait to hear and see how that one turns out.

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Fiddlerman
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August 31, 2011 - 8:36 am
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I only wonder if there is something inside the cigar-box for reinforcement. How can it hold the tension of 4 strings tuned as hard as they are for our instruments.

The sound is actually quite interesting. Very folk-like. serenade

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Fiddlerman
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August 31, 2011 - 9:27 am
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Sounds like fun Barry. These are things that I would like to try if I had the time. I would probably first build a normal fiddle though. Look forward to hearing about it.

violin

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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pky
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Fiddlerman said:

I only wonder if there is something inside the cigar-box for reinforcement. How can it hold the tension of 4 strings tuned as hard as they are for our instruments.

The sound is actually quite interesting. Very folk-like. serenade

I don't think it needs anything inside the cigar box, if you look carefully, her cigar-box violin is made of two cigar boxes, if you find some good cigar boxes, they are pretty well built. The two boxes are probably strongly glued together and I notice that the side (rib) is strongly taped.

 

Personally, I think these guys who created these balsa violins and cigar-box violin are pretty creative. I think the cigar-box would be stronger and last longer since cigar boxes are made or better wood and are better and stronger built than the balsa violin. I felt like the balsa is like my daughter's $10 guitar that would not be a vintage or heirloom in the future. However, it really would cut down cost for those who cannot afford a vso like my cvn. To be honest, they both sound pretty good. Just wait to hear from MGN's fired luthier and see what he would have said about them:)

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Sofia Leo
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Barry said:

The problem with building a normal fiddle is some of the tools required and I cant fund that at this time. A bender is a must for making the ribs.(even the old masters still had to bend the wood) Also things like the gouges and such can get a little costly. I like the cigar box fiddle because it still allows me to build the neck and i may well build the box also. The measurements from  nut to bridge must still be accurate as well for proper intonation as well as neck angle.
I think it would be a fun project and a cool conversation piece.

Actually, you don't have to buy expensive tools, not even for bending the ribs - they are only 1 mm thick and can be bent "cold" (see Bruce Ossman's book) or using a very hot curling iron or other homemade "bending iron".

If you start with a kit much of the hardest work is done for you. If you start from scratch, many of the tools can be made yourself or found used for not a lot of money. If you're a fan of coarse sandpaper (as the man at my address is) it works just about as fast as an expensive finger plane.

I've got a million links if anyone wants to delve into the subject of DIY...

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pky
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August 31, 2011 - 3:40 pm
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I have been thinking about making a violin, either from a kit or from scratch. As a kid, we had made many instruments ourselves, like guitar with elastic bands out of shoe boxes, drums with tin cans, flutes out of bamboo or stems from elephant grass, etc. When I was a preschool teacher, I also let kids make their own instruments, like rain sticks, shakers, the ding-dong drums, drums, etc. We loved them and kids loved them - i guessed it involved the ownership of making your own instrument, and we had fun making them and playing with them. Most never last too long, but by then you moved on to something else, or you could make another one. Maybe Huey could make one of her own before she buys one for herself:)

I'm very tempted to try the cigar-box violin, we only have one cigar box, and it's my daughter's, she inherited it from her grandfather, so that's out of the plan:((

 

Hmmm....Maybe I could buy some cigars LOL

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SaraO
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You can buy empty cigar boxes. laugh

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Sofia Leo
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pky said:

I'm very tempted to try the cigar-box violin, we only have one cigar box, and it's my daughter's, she inherited it from her grandfather, so that's out of the plan:((

 

Hmmm....Maybe I could buy some cigars LOL

Check out your local liqueur store or smoke shop - they sell the boxes here for $1.00 each, even the wood ones. Some of them have great graphics on them, too. Others are shaped like little jewelry boxes. I have a bit of a "problem" with boxes, or so the man at my address would have me believe...

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GennaLea
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CatMcCall said:

Actually, you don't have to buy expensive tools, not even for bending the ribs - they are only 1 mm thick and can be bent "cold" (see Bruce Ossman's book) or using a very hot curling iron or other homemade "bending iron".

If you start with a kit much of the hardest work is done for you. If you start from scratch, many of the tools can be made yourself or found used for not a lot of money. If you're a fan of coarse sandpaper (as the man at my address is) it works just about as fast as an expensive finger plane.

I've got a million links if anyone wants to delve into the subject of DIY...

I'd love to have the links CatMcCall. My hubby was toying with the idea of building a violin. Any information you have would be awesome!amuse

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myguitarnow
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Well... It sounded pretty good, but how will instruments like that last and get better with age? 😉

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pky
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MGN,

this would be a fun project, not a long lasting project. Like I said, those instruments we built as kids never last too long. However, a cigar-box violin may last a long time if you take good care of it.

Cat, I would like the links, too, even though I don't know when I will start my project. Thank you for the tool list! I'm sure i will fine a lot of tools around my house (my husband is a tool geek:) I really appreciate your sharing!

 

Off topic:

BTW, Cat and MGN, no offense, okay?! I used to think MGN is a woman and Cat is a man, but i think i got you both wrong. I found out MGN is a man when he posted his photo:) and was really surprised LOL. Cat, you can still keep it as a secret or your privacy.

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myguitarnow
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I understand pky, I just don't have the time to experiment with different things and materials to make fiddles. My hobby is writing songs and it turned out, that's how I make my living too. If you feel a passion to make an instrument go for it. Our world needs people like this! "If it's not built, you can't play it". Just another quote by me.devil-violin

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Sofia Leo
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pky said:

Off topic:
BTW, Cat and MGN, no offense, okay?! I used to think MGN is a woman and Cat is a man, but i think i got you both wrong. I found out MGN is a man when he posted his photo:) and was really surprised LOL. Cat, you can still keep it as a secret or your privacy.

No offense taken smile I am female, 42 years old, designer/drafter by trade, beginning fiddler, wool hoarder, soon-to-be weaver, partner to an OCD wooden boat builder/restore-er, located on the beautiful Oregon Coast. No secrets here cheers

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pky
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CatMcCall said:

No offense taken smile I am female, 42 years old, designer/drafter by trade, beginning fiddler, wool hoarder, soon-to-be weaver, partner to an OCD wooden boat builder/restore-er, located on the beautiful Oregon Coast. No secrets here cheers

Wow, impressive!! I crochet and knit, was going to learn how to weave, but with a 5-year old and working fulltime, timewise, it's impossible 

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Sofia Leo
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pky said:

Wow, impressive!! I crochet and knit, was going to learn how to weave, but with a 5-year old and working fulltime, timewise, it's impossible 

I also knit (my wrists won't let me crochet) and design knitting patterns, spin, raise angora rabbits, sew, quilt, work on boats (I loathe and despise sanding!) garden and the list goes on and on. I guess you could say that I have a short attention span...What? confused

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pky
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CatMcCall said:

No offense taken smile I am female, 42 years old, designer/drafter by trade, beginning fiddler, wool hoarder, soon-to-be weaver, partner to an OCD wooden boat builder/restore-er, located on the beautiful Oregon Coast.  

have thought about driving to Oregon, i would love to drive through gigantic redwood! Then will i (hopefully then the cigar-box violin maker LOL) get to meet the great 6-foot violin maker?


myguitarnow said:

I understand pky, I just don't have the time to experiment with different things and materials to make fiddles. My hobby is writing songs and it turned out, that's how I make my living too. If you feel a passion to make an instrument go for it. Our world needs people like this! "If it's not built, you can't play it". Just another quote by me.devil-violin

Good quote! My hobby is to try out new things:) That's how I try so many different instruments. One of my professors once hint me not to be a course collector:) Then, it's like one of my brothers-in-law's comment, "you have lots of knives, but none of them is sharp."

 

Hmmm...i'm still very tempted, just tempted.

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GennaLea
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CatMcCall said:

I also knit (my wrists won't let me crochet) and design knitting patterns, spin, raise angora rabbits, sew, quilt, work on boats (I loathe and despise sanding!) garden and the list goes on and on. I guess you could say that I have a short attention span...What? confused

drooling.... that's all I have to say about that. wink 

 

Short attention span? Naw, just ambitious. amuse

 

Aside from violin, I basically just make friendship bracelets, write, and sing. I've tried knitting, but it doesn't like me.dunno I dabble in sewing a little bit (but I have a 1950's Singer, so I have to be careful not to break anything LOL). I tried gardening, but I get bored with it... I don't like to wait. 

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Sofia Leo
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pky said:

have thought about driving to Oregon, i would love to drive through gigantic redwood! Then will i (hopefully then the cigar-box violin maker LOL) get to meet the great 6-foot violin maker?

Good quote! My hobby is to try out new things:)

Mine, too! Life is short - have fun and try everything. Well, maybe not liver and onions smile October is usually a good month to visit here - the rains haven't started and Tourist Season is over...

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Sofia Leo
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GennaLea said:

Aside from violin, I basically just make friendship bracelets, write, and sing. I've tried knitting, but it doesn't like me.dunno I dabble in sewing a little bit (but I have a 1950's Singer, so I have to be careful not to break anything LOL). I tried gardening, but I get bored with it... I don't like to wait. 

I've got several of those old iron beasts - they are virtually indestructible and parts are still readily available (especially the old black Singers.) They were made to last forever and fixing them up is a snap. Really. I've got an old Pfaff on the table now for re-wiring. Easier than building a violin, that's a fact!

 

Wow. This thread is making me sound a bit schizophrenic dazed

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myguitarnow
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And Cat, That Oregon coast...The big cliffs, big waves and scary bridges around the edges of the coast. It's a beautiful area. I f you like fish just follow the streams and get yourself a rainbow trout ;-0.

I drive from OC. California to Seattle 3 or 4 times a year. We always take a break in Oregon.

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