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>>Are you learning to make fiddles too Mary?
Thanks for the link.<<
I am, in fact. Seems any new subject of interest leads down so many other roads. I'm starting with a kit for the first fiddle, but the next two will be totally from scratch. The ground coat (non-traditional, post to come soon) and first layer of shellac are on and I hope to get the finish done by the end of the week. Then it's hours and hours of drying time before I can set it up and see if it makes any sound 😉
I bought the kit from "bezdez" on eBay (although it looks like they aren't listing any right now) for $48.00. Similar to the kit from Stew-Mac, it included fewer extras and I had to buy glue, strings, varnish, etc, but I read that the SM fittings were not great quality. I wanted to keep it "blonde" so opted for boxwood fittings and will use clear varnish. The kit included ebony pegs and endpin, but no chinrest.
All in all, I think I got a good deal at a good price, provided it sounds good when finished 😉 Not as great as some of the fiddle outfits you can get from China (which is where the kits come from) with bow, case, etc., but still a good deal if you want to personalize your instrument.
Construction is pretty easy, if a bit time consuming, as the hardest parts are done for you. The plates are rather thick, as are the ribs, I assume to make it easier for someone with no woodworking experience to assemble without mistakes, and they can be improved if you want to research traditional methods.
It certainly has piqued my interest in making an instrument from scratch!
Room? Workshop? Hahahahahahahaha! I wish! I have a tabletop, but the majority of the work is done outside because of the dust and/or noxious odors. Only a few tools are needed - it could easily be done in a very small area, provided you aren't looking to set up as a business...
What kind of glue did you buy (brand) ? So far, I've seen Franklin liquid hide glue on line but none available locally. Also find that Titebond is used for guitar necks.
Did you think about starting with a violin in-the-white rather than a kit and, if so, why did you go with a kit? For the education and the fun of it?
Your project looks neat so far.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
I bought no-name hide glue crystals from the same seller on eBay so I could mix it myself and experiment with different thicknesses. I've heard that the liquid hide glues can be unpredictable and Titebond is a no-no as you wouldn't be able to take the fiddle apart for repairs or adjustment later. One pound of hide glue will last for a good long time and it stores easily in a jar with a tight lid.
I decided to go with a kit mostly because of price - the idea was to make a fiddle as cheaply as possible and the violins-in-the-white are quite a bit more expensive, although I hear they are better quality than the kits. I also wanted a chance to do a bit of building, rather than just the finishing - the project feels much more "mine" this way, if that makes sense.
Got the first coats of varnish on at last -
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Still lots of sanding and more varnish coats, but it's starting to look like a "real" violin 😉
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