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New project
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Svento
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February 4, 2012 - 7:37 pm
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First steps...

Dyed the soundboard whiteish and painted a thin golden stripe all along the top and the bottom. No varnish yet.

 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 4, 2012 - 11:43 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Cool,

Keep us posted. I'm anxious to see the finished product and then the sound.

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

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Kevin M.
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February 5, 2012 - 11:08 am
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Did you paint the bridge gold?

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Sofia Leo
Lebanon, Oregon
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February 5, 2012 - 2:39 pm
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Did I miss the thread that talks about this project? Where are the details? smile

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Svento
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February 5, 2012 - 5:37 pm
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Kevin M. said

Did you paint the bridge gold?

Yes!!! I couldn't keep myself from it...

But that's temporary, it will be replaced by a true metal bridge. Brass or maybe aluminium.

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Svento
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February 5, 2012 - 6:00 pm
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CatMcCall said

Did I miss the thread that talks about this project? Where are the details? 

This is the thread.

Around 2003 or something I visited the homepage of mr Edward Hagan, The Flying Farmer. I dropped him an e-mail to say some positive words on his creation. We exchanged some mail discussing the uniformity in the making of fiddles and I mentioned some about how I'd like a fiddle fiddle to be and how impossible it is to find a fiddle matching your actual needs, not the needs of some Stradökeidnwui guy many hundred years ago. This ended up in him making an instrument similar to the imaginary one I'd described. Back and ribs are made from walnut and the soundboard is maple.

We've had some contact now and then, and this summer he decided to send me this fiddle - or at least a body with a neck.There was a lot to be done - and still is - before it's a playable instrument. The instrument is huge, so I needed I viola case and extra long screws for the chinrest. The chinrest also needs to be raised because of the radical arching of the soundboard. Finding a fivestring tailpiece also took some time. Besides I decided that I wanted it pigmented somewhat. The white soundboard will make a nice contrast to the natural finished walnut and the golden stripes.

This week I'll spray some coats of clear varnish on it. I'm also waiting for the pickup which has caused some problem. The stringspace is very small, and the coils are too big, so they must be positioned diagonally. I'll probably cut the fingerboard diagonally too, to make it look better. The chinrest has a hole for the telejack so I won't open the ribs. The cable will be drawn on the inside though, so there will be two holes in the soundboard, one at the end of the fingerboard where the cable goes down and onte hidden behind the tailpiece where it comes up again.

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Svento
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February 8, 2012 - 6:22 am
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I raised the chinrest a bit with epoxy so it won't touch the soundboard. I wonder how the shoulderrest will fit... The fiddle fills up most of the space between chin and shoulder, so the shoulderrest must be set extremely low, probably touching the bottom of the fiddle.

A normal chinrest, one without a telejack in it, wouldn't need to be raised at all. So again I think about making a hole in the ribs instead and use an other chinrest.

Still waiting for the spray cans... I haven't drilled the small holes in the soundboard yet, where the cable will be drawn. I want to have the pu first so I know exactly where the first hole will be taken up.

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Svento
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February 11, 2012 - 11:13 am
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I've removed all the white paint. I couldn't get it even over the whole surface.

I'd already started the clearcoating when I realized it wouldn't work. So I've sanded through two layers of clear varnish and deep down into the wood to get rid of the color. I've also damaged the golden stripe along the top, so my work tonight will be restoring that one.

I have a can of white-pigmented laquer and maybe I'll make a try with that one and hope for better results than with the water dye.

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Svento
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February 13, 2012 - 5:09 am
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Managed  to get some white pigments on the soundboard at least. A slight bit more blondish than the naked maple. It doesn't look good though, there are still stains of solid white. But I don't care much, I won't sell this instrument. If ever I do something about it, it will be sanding down a bit an get some real solid white, car paint or something, on the top. The stains are too deep to remove, I believe.

I hope I can get this instrument playable soon, because the electronics of my old electric seem to have given up. When I rehearsed with the band, the sound disappeared completely every now and then, which makes my situation desperate. The pickup will probably be ready soon and there are just a few layers of clear varnish to be done on the fiddle. There may still be problems with the shoulder rest though. Like I said, I raised it a bit, but it may still be touching the soundboard.

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al_th
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February 13, 2012 - 5:53 am
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We see a lot of text but no photos !

Is there any way we can SEE how your violin is looking like step by step ? 😀

 

Alex

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Svento
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February 13, 2012 - 4:25 pm
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Not much to show yet, except laying layer after layer of clear laquer...

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Svento
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February 17, 2012 - 4:54 pm
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The treatment is far from perfect. I got some white dye-laquer over the top and sanded most of it off. The top has a pleasant blond color but stains of solid white. It's good enough for me, but one day I may wish the top had a perfect look. The only way then is probably solid white all over the top.

Maybe I should have waited yet one week or two for the paint to harden, but a package of viola strings arrived and I put them on along with an E string that came with the fiddle.

I discovered one minor error in the construction, tailbutton is not in line with the middle string, so the tailpiece is not really straight. Doesn't seem to affect the sound though and it's not extremely appearant visually either.

Have no shoulder rest yet, so I can't really play all my usual things. Five strings will take some time to get used to... I always have problems hitting one string, and the tighter the strings are grouped together related to fingerboard radius, the harder it gets. On my old acoustic, string space is standard violin and fingerboard radius is classical style. This one has a very flat fingerboard and string space is small, so I must learn to be gentle with the bow. I might try a bridge with a more radical arch, but I believe the bridge arch should be related to the fingerboard arch, otherwise there will probably be intonation problems. The extra bass string opens up a new world though. I often play in the key of E minor, and when I play the Bm chord, I've always wanted a low F# in the bass. This tone I have on the C-string.

Haven't played it much yet but the tone seems to be excellent. My old one has a harsh dry and short woody tone while this fiddle sings. It almost has an aftertone like plucked instruments. I look forward to trying it with a brass bridge in the future. Dense materials tend to have very high and painful tone, but in this case, with the depth of the instrument itself, this should be no problem. If this becomes a problem, I could perhaps solve this making the bridge thinner.

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 17, 2012 - 11:23 pm
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You know it's just not fair to us if you describe your fiddle's sound without sharing, right?

 

smile

 

Can't wait to see/hear the finished instrument!

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Svento
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February 18, 2012 - 5:03 am
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I will take some pictures, and when I've learnt to play this beast, some clips will hopefully show up on Youtube.

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Svento
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February 18, 2012 - 9:30 am
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DSC01609min.JPGImage EnlargerDSC01615min.JPGImage EnlargerDSC01617min.JPGImage Enlarger

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 18, 2012 - 9:43 am
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That's very nice.  For what it's worth, I like the way the top looks.

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Late bloomer
Dallas Texas
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February 18, 2012 - 9:58 am
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Thats a very interesting violin, cant wait to hear it!

No matter where you go, there you are!

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Cliff
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February 18, 2012 - 10:55 am
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The body looks more like a cross between a violin and an electric guitar. Cool! I love the paint job so far and I hope to see it once it's finished. Love the gold bridge and tailpiece dancinbunny

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Svento
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February 18, 2012 - 12:55 pm
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The idea was not really to make something like a Les Paul, but rather like those hollow archtops that preceded the solidbody electrics, like Gibson L5 or later archtops like Gretsch. A jazz or rockabilly fiddle so to say.

The fiddle is finished. No high polished shiny treatment but still some ten layers of cellulose laquer. In the future the top will probably be painted solid white and the back, ribs and neck will maybe be stained deep wine red.

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Sofia Leo
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February 18, 2012 - 7:32 pm
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Have you given any thought to playing it like a viola de spalla? It would solve your chin rest/shoulder rest conundrum...

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