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Making a violin.
A journey into the unkown.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (44 votes) 
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Retired
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October 14, 2021 - 11:55 am
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Hi,

I've done many and varied projects over the years but this is new to me because until about six weeks ago I'd never touched a musical instrument; my lovely wife bought me a new violin for my 74th birthday and shortly after I bought a second hand violin so now have two violins which I now practice playing at least once each day.

My dream is to play "Lara's Theme" on a violin I made myself; something ambitious to work towards considering where I'm starting from.

I'm not in a hurry or under any pressure to make a violin just wanting to do it to see what I can do and for fun. I've got a very well equipped workshop and have just created a new studio where my wife Bron (Bronwyn) and I can work in comfort this coming winter so I'm now gathering tools and materials; spruce and maple wood are due to arrive from Poland next Monday at a cost in total of just under £100. I'm going to be putting lots of time and effort into this project so don't intend to skimp.

I've got extensive woodworking skills including furniture making so in this respect I'm not an absolute novice; I'm not an expert in anything but by trade a mechanical engineer and was taught to use my head and hands and to think for myself. Please accept this thread as intended it just being me venturing into a new project; in my usual style no doubt it will ramble on.

Where to start; well how about equipment such as machinery and tools etc I already have and where I'll be doing the work;

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My workshop beneath our detached bungalow is the garage but now the car sleeps out it's now a fully equipped workshop crammed with so much I can't fit much else in.

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The workshop from the other end. I can't stand being untidy and twice yearly use the compressor airline to blow dust and debris onto the driveway where access to it is easier; generally I use brush & dustpan a great deal also a cyclone dust extractor I made but the airline gets into all the corners.

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The new strudio I've just created and where I plan to spend winter making the violin; any machining needed will be carried out in the workshop.

Studio-completed_0002.JPGImage Enlarger

Bron's crafting area. The studio is lit with LED strip lights; has central heating and I've installed a car radio allowing favourite 60's songs to be played in MP3 from memory stick; this should be much different to getting the usual soakings as I head into the workshop in winter; comfort at last.

Machinery and tools etc to follow leading up to making a start on the violin; I've no fixed plan just making it up as I go along; it's not going to all happen overnight but I'm stubborn enough to stick with it however long or wherever it takes me; I love leaving my comfort zone to try something new. Now I've started this thread I'm committed to making a violin.

Kind regards, Colin.

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October 14, 2021 - 2:52 pm
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Hi,

Today I've been turning file handles from pitch pine; I've got lots of engineers files in the workshop but have used these on metal; new hobby so a good excuse to splash out on new files and I bought £52 worth which should get me going; I made six handles and have been looking around at tools and machines I'll be using;

Violin-making_0001.JPGImage Enlarger

The selection of  new engineers files as bought.

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I was taught never ever to use a file without handle because so many have ended up in A&E with a file tang having gone through the palm of their hand and I've adhered to this safety warning for a lifetime but then I've always filed metal.

Violin-making_0002_01.JPGImage Enlarger

I wonder if I can rig up a frame to hold the DTI (Dial test indicator) then I could use it to check thickness of the plates as I work; digital vernier calipers with fret and coping saws; I have a good selection of blades to fit these.

Violin-making_0003.JPGImage Enlarger

The fully restored Garduate woodturning lathe and Wilmac bandsaw both will be very useful; I've got lots of woodturning tools so might be able to use gouges I already have.

Violin-making_0004.JPGImage Enlarger

My home made saw bench which will save no end of arm ache it cuts to 4" with a 4hp motor so for sawing wedges it will go most of the way through by flipping the wood over then to finish the cut I have a selection of other saws.

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The fully rebuilt industrial drill press with back gear; I'll be using this to drill the plates saving lots of worrying about going too thin.

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My home made 2" belt grinder I use a lot for tool grinding; the grinder I made from offcuts but the assorted belts cost a fair amount.Violin-making_0007.JPGImage Enlarger

My fully restored Wolf double ended 6" bench grinder and my home made 4" belt sander; I like to buy scrap machines and fully restore them often they are then much better quality than modern tinny machines.

Violin-making_0008.JPGImage Enlarger

My second but smaller woodturning lathe; Bron kindly bought me this brand new many years ago whilst we had little money it costing at the time £200 as a Christmas present a week later these were on sale at £100 which indicates the kind of luck we enjoy.

Violin-making_0011.JPGImage Enlarger

Turning the file handles before parting them off.

I admit I'm a tool and machinery junkie but every tool and machine I have owes me nothing due to the work they do. I'm adding details of my kit because I've no intention of doing this project just using hand tools which I could do but it would take considerably longer and I'm already always chasing time.

Making a violin from scratch will allow me to use lots of the kit I have and which I enjoy playing with; if I find I need a tool I need but don't have I'll either buy or make it; I've also got a fully restored very rare expensive Lorch Schmidt precision engineering lathe that I fully restored and this too will be very handy; I'm thinking of using this Lorch to make violin clamps but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I'm getting fully sorted before jumping straight in to make a violin; sometimes it pays to go slow and I think this is one of those times; a bit of patience often works wonders.

It's been another very busy day and I've just enjoyed practicing playing my violin again; time now I think to settle down to some quality time with Bron.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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October 15, 2021 - 3:10 am
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Hi Colin,

Welcome to the friendliest fiddle forum.

A little tip about files, their tangs and handles: sometimes, the handle gets in the way of the work and as you've rightly pointed out, one slip and the tang of an unhandled file will enter your wrist. The solution is to keep at least one file (a half-round, perhaps) with its tang cut off with a grinder. Dress the cut end rounded, and you can now get the file down flat onto the work if required.

Sometimes you find files which aren't perfectly flat, and occasionally one which is just plain bent. I cherish these and they have lots of odd uses where a gentle scoop or rise is needed.

Like your good self, I came into lutherie as a metalworker (as a side-hustle from my principal occupation in electronics) and learning to work with such a dynamic and varied material is immensely rewarding.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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October 15, 2021 - 4:42 am
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Hi,

Many thanks Peter for your kind welcome and file information.

I couldn't agree more regarding files which are bent; I have a number of these and as you rightly say they are so useful. I use modifield engineers files for woodturning these being cheap and can easily be ground to the profile needed. I normally buy aero space quality files and drill bits from a stall inside the big hanger at Rufforth Auto Jumble near York (UK). The jumble is held first Saturday of each month and the weather was so bad I gave it a miss hence I bought the new files through eBay; I was also going to buy round nosed end milling cutters to try out for drilling the plates as thickness guides; I'd thought of doing this but since have seen YouTube videos where standard twist bits are used; you'll understand what I was thinking Peter being involved in metalworking. I like to buy top quality tooling which is the cheapest long term; the stall at Rufforth has just about every kind of drill bit ever needed and at much reduced prices. I've had a cobblers flat file/rasp for a lifetime; everyone had these when I was a kid.

I'm unsure at the moment as to what tools I'll need but I'm gathering tools which I think will be handy stocking the new studio before winter kicks in; it's a real pain having to keep popping down to the workshop if I've got to wrap up well against the weather. I've got lots of scrapers and wood chisels etc which I need to bring up to the studio; I've already dug out my traditional hide glue double cast iron pot and I have a single plate electric hob to heat it with also I've bought a kilo of pearl glue; it's surprising the amount of time involved to get everything together; I've bought 144 spring wooden pegs and a 1/40 reamer for the peg holes so I'm moving forward nicely; having introduced my machinery I'll show any other smaller tools as I use them.

I'd like to make it clear all the kit I have isn't needed to make a violin after all the great makers didn't even have electricity; it's not a case of if you've got it flaunt it but my workshop has been evolving since my first shed before I was 15 years old; there are lots of videos showing violins being made solely by the use of hand tools so please don't let me put you off making a violin in fact I'd encourage anyone to have a go; I like playing with all my toys.

I'm watching lots of YouTube videos showing violin making and I've also bought a book entitled Violin Making. A guide for the amateur by the author Bruce Ossman.

I don't have any patterns/templates yet regarding marking out and I'd be obliged if any member could offer advice as to a really nice violin to copy together with source of patterns; both my violin's from different makers appear to be clones regarding shape; please excuse my ignorance as I ask what could be regarded as silly questions but by asking this is how I learn so much; also any particular tool which is deemed essential; by asking I could possibly save lots of time and expense. I've a lifelong habit of making every mistake possible and falling down all the holes before getting it right and I even make the same mistake many times; possibly because I'm not the sharpest tool in the kit but I make up for this with determination to succeed so I don't know what's ahead but I'm sure going to find out.

The only sure way to fail is never to start and the number of times I've been told by people looking at work/projects I've successfully carried out "I can't do that" if only they realized how right they are.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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October 15, 2021 - 5:17 am
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Thanks, Colin,

Making a traditional acoustic violin from the ground up is ambitious, but all you need to succeed is ambition (and time + wood). I've rebuilt and repaired my old German violin to a satisfactory condition, but the only violin I've built from scratch is a solid electric fiddle which has become my instrument of choice. I'll be watching your progress with interest.

I've never owned a musical instrument that I haven't had to do significant work on. Even the best instruments are made for the ideal individual, and like most people I do not approach that ideal. Making your own allows you to create a musical tool which has only such compromises as you allow, and (forgive the cliché) becomes an extension of you. My collection of guitars, basses and violins are very much me. For electric instruments this principle extends throughout the signal chain; I make some of my own pedals and amplifiers, and the ready-built ones always get customised to my needs.

There are some inspiring and very helpful luthiers and committed amateurs on this forum, and I'm sure they'll jump in and help when you need guidance.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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ELCBK
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October 15, 2021 - 9:27 am
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@Retired -

This is SO MUCH FUN!  

Here's some stuff to keep you busy. 🤣

Don't know if you can find something comparable to this site in the UK. 

They have EVERYTHING you could possibly need. 

International Violin - Patterns, Molds, Templates

Here's GREAT info from Noname Music! 

21 Homemade Violin Plans You Can DIY Easily

wikiHow is simply amazing!  

How to Build a Violin

You might find this link VERY interesting! 

“One of the most groundbreaking and comprehensive studies of the violin form ever conceived ” –The Strad Library

Strad 3D

Lutherie books and posters at The Strad Shop. 

The Strad Shop

Reproduction Drawing Posters of famous violins.

Ashmolean Shop

Maybe you can find a site like this one in the UK? 

Guild of American Luthiers - Instrument Plans

This link isn't going to directly help you, but it's so much fun to look here! 

Print of a 19th Century Violin Maker's Plans

Look up 'violin plans' at eBay! 

 

 

...when I was a little Kid - my Father got pretty mad at me for turning wood on his metal lathe! (lol)

I definitely prefer rotary tools over hand tools for carving - I just don't have the patience... 

- Emily

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October 16, 2021 - 6:08 am
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Hi,

Thanks Peter; your solid electric fiddle must have been an enjoyable project and is now your favourite; well done. Making amplifiers too is a nice hobby ( can be dangerous) do you use valves (tubes) or make them solid state with a circuit board. I spent ten years restoring vintage valve radios and have made things like power supplies using discreet electronics with point to point wiring. My friend Tony was well into designing and making amplifiers; I was priviliged to watch these as work in progress he used valves.

I'm already enjoying membership of this wonderful forum receiving lots of generous help which I truly appreciate.

WOW Emily; thanks so much for taking a lot of time and effort to post all the interesting links; I looked at three of them last night and today I'll look at the rest; in one of the links I noticed British Violin Making Association which I was immediately attracted to and this morning I've had a look but need to delve deeper because I couldn't find actual violin making; it's new to me so possibly I'm missing something.

Looking at the links though there's so much regarding all aspects of violins readily available in America; here in the UK I really have to search for anything I want; so many of my favourite places have closed including scrap yards I obtained lots of my raw material from just paying by weight. Time costs money and I've looked online at the larger music stores but these don't cater for novices like me; understanably they want to make as much profit as possible so are more interested in selling expensive instruments.

I was interested in the first link and especially "Patterns" patterns are available cheaply and were marked in Sterling but I was very reluctant to enter my details like email address before reaching the shipping cost so I backed off; I'm keen regarding giving out my details; had the shipping cost to the UK been shown up front and not too expensive I'd have gladly jumped in.

Bron and I like the adorable kitten; we're both cat lovers and although we no longer have a cat of our own we feed and make a royal fuss of all our neighbours cats spending around £20 weekly spoiling them all.

Back to the plot and with your encouragement Emily I've been browsing UK websites and UK eBay for plans/patterns but wasting lots of time just wanting paper plans so rather than buy ready made Perspex templates which don't come as a full kit but sold seperately they are expensive so I've just bought this book which includes a full set of plans; I've got lots of sheet aluminium so hopefully I can make a complete set of aluminium templates shortly to get me started; taking measurements from my violins would be a last resort but not impossible;

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/403.....SwDPxhTKS-

I'm not surprised your dad wasn't happy with you turning wood on his metal lathe Emily; good on you though for having the interest to do it; I have two woodturning lathes and one precision metal lathe; I like turning brass on the metal lathe but dislike cleaning the lathe when done; I always end up with just a tiny shard of brass in a finger which is difficult to locate by eye but makes it's presence known by electric shocks.

I've already enjoyed half an hour practicing playing my violins this morning but it's amazing how fast my days are flying by; I'll wander down to the workshop today and collect wood chisels and cabinet scrapers etc; I might start making the violin quicker than I expected.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Jim Dunleavy
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October 16, 2021 - 6:44 am
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Hi Colin, I'm just up the road from you in Tyne & Wear.

I've been following this and your other threads with interest and looking forward to seeing your progress on this ambitious project. I've often fancied having a go myself, but my skills are limited to cutting a new bridge and fitting pegs.

Anyway, good luck with this. :)

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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October 16, 2021 - 10:00 am
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Thanks Peter; your solid electric fiddle must have been an enjoyable project and is now your favourite; well done. Making amplifiers too is a nice hobby ( can be dangerous) do you use valves (tubes) or make them solid state with a circuit board. I spent ten years restoring vintage valve radios and have made things like power supplies using discreet electronics with point to point wiring. My friend Tony was well into designing and making amplifiers; I was priviliged to watch these as work in progress he used valves.  

Hi Colin,

I do both, but the majority of my amps are semiconductor; they have a better power-to-weight ratio and much greater longevity than valve amps. I'd better qualify that: valves wear out, silicon devices don't. The only valve amp I have here at the moment is a little 6J6 / 6CL6 single-ended practice amp; lovely tone, and a true book-case amplifier with a 6" speaker. Some of the components came from an old Heathkit amateur radio transmitter (DX60-B) which I had no further use for, and those old boat-anchor radios have no significant second-hand value unless it's something special.

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Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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October 16, 2021 - 10:50 am
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Hi,

Thanks @Jim Dunleavy for your good wishes; with winter imminent now would be a good time to do as I'm doing and get stuck into making your first violin after all you're already ahead of me having cut a new bridge and fitted pegs; I'd like company along along the way. We're only about 100 miles apart; Bron and I are in West Yorkshire; if we lived in America this would make us next door neighbours.coffee1

Thanks Peter for your reply and amp picture; did you ever wind your own transformers; I used to have lots of kit including AVO and German Aumann coil winders; vintage radio restorers were always scared when the mains transformer primary went open circuit because it cost so much to repair often the repair costing more than the radio was worth. The bottom fell out of the vintage radio market years ago but I was only in it as an hobby; I never trust anything with a circuit board or batteries but then I was brought up with reliable steam power and coal fired Lancashire boilers. thumbs-up

It's becoming increasingly difficult to use my computer; logging onto my emails and even this forum means I now have to play computer games with I'm not a robot; then pictures of taxis; cars; cycles; fire hydrants etc; these pictures are of poor quality and small; it took seven attempts with the Capcha before I could log on plus entering my details twice; as I say not just this site but increasingly other sites too; possibly because I use a VPN and also have an ad blocker?

I've received an email saying the book will be posted Monday so I should have it early next week; I'll update once it arrives because I've a feeling it's going to be an important asset.

The wood I've bought is one piece each for the plates; I believe one piece costs more due to the size of the tree involved these needing a larger diameter tree.

It's been another busy day doing small jobs but this evening I'll enjoy my regular half hour violin practice and now I'll do a bit of browsing of the links Emily kindly posted.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Peter
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October 17, 2021 - 6:35 am
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Retired said
...Thanks Peter for your reply and amp picture; did you ever wind your own transformers; I used to have lots of kit including AVO and German Aumann coil winders; vintage radio restorers were always scared when the mains transformer primary went open circuit because it cost so much to repair often the repair costing more than the radio was worth. The bottom fell out of the vintage radio market years ago but I was only in it as an hobby; I never trust anything with a circuit board or batteries but then I was brought up with reliable steam power and coal fired Lancashire boilers. thumbs-up ...

Heh! I haven't the patience or equipment for coil-winding; I do admire people who make their own transformers and pickups. As a radio amateur (emeritus) I made most of my own IF and RF transformers, but there the turns required are well within hand-winding range. The mains transformer and HT choke for the little valve amp were from my radio junk-box.

As for printed circuit boards, I have limited confidence in them. All but the better military-grade PCBs are inherently unreliable: my favoured electronic structures are the older ways; turret-lugs and point-to-point wiring. I also used the very direct 'ugly construction' method beloved of radio ham experimenters, with components soldered directly together over a solid copper foil ground-plane.

Steam? I grew up with Napier Deltics!

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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October 17, 2021 - 10:15 am
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Hi,

Thanks Peter for your interesting reply; I grew up with the likes of Mallard this obviously steam whereas the Deltics were diesel; the sound of the Deltic was something else; I'm sure you and I could ramble on forever having similar interests but back to violins.

Next week should bring a bit of positive progress; the wood for the violin is due to arrive tomorrow unless held up due to the current shortage of drivers; it's coming via UPS. The violin making book together with violin plans should also arrive next week so once I have these I can seriously make a start which I'm looking forward to. I think a good place to start is to make sheet aluminium templates so I hope the plans with the book open to full sized violin and where better to start making a violin than with Stradivarius patterns; I don't want to complete making the violin quickly rather take it nice and steady and enjoy the experience whilst learning as much as I can.

Can any UK member please recommend a good supplier of violin quality wood and anything I'm likely to need because I waste considerable time at my keyboard; the clock is ticking and just the wood I bought was ordered and paid for in full on 15th Sept; days used to fly by when I was working full time but now in retirement it's years which are flying by; I've been retired 20 years and wonder where the time has gone.

Many thanks once again Emily for all the links you kindly posted I've enjoyed looking through them all.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Peter
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Hi Colin,

I can tentatively recommend Touchstone Tonewoods; I last used them 40 years ago as a source of high-quality Japanese solid guitar parts (necks, bodies) and as I lived local, I visited their old premises in Reigate in Surrey personally. Very helpful and an amazing stock. They used to be opposite the old bus garage in Lesbourne Road, but apparently they were bought 30 years ago by Stentor and moved across town.

Violin Tonewood - Touchstone Tonewoods

Doubtless other luthier vendors are available, but I'd look at Touchstone first.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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October 17, 2021 - 2:46 pm
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Hi,

Many thanks Peter for the link which I've just been looking at; one thing about making a high quality violin it's not going to be cheap but you can't skimp on materials for a best job and given the many hours work involved in making a violin and the pleasure derived from it the cost of materials soon fades away. I'm informed by the seller of my wood in Poland the figure of the wood isn't the best but the sound should be excellent. I hope I can make a good job of my first violin then use the newly aquired skills as a stepping stone. I'd like to stop talking about it and start doing.

What a shame I don't live so near a supplier otherwise I could visit for advice and to choose my wood; I'm heading in the right direction though and I've just enjoyed another short violin practice the third today.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Peter
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October 18, 2021 - 3:45 am
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I hope I can make a good job of my first violin then use the newly aquired skills as a stepping stone. I'd like to stop talking about it and start doing.

Hi Colin,

This may be your first, but it's unlikely to be your last. You will want to improve, or at least make others which accentuate different qualities; you may also be inspired to look at other instrument types. I started as a solid electric guitar builder, then made a semi-acoustic, and then moved onto violins. The past year has seen me make two bass guitars and my next project will most likely be an electric upright bass (full scale, 44").

I will watch for your progress reports if you care to give them. I monitor this forum most days. Good luck, and enjoy the journey!

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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October 18, 2021 - 6:26 am
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Hi,

Many thanks Peter for your continuing interest. You're light years ahead of me regarding instrument making but I think you could be right in making my first violin won't be the only stringed instrument I make. I've seen many YouTube videos of violin makers/players who have racks of what appear to be violin clones; I've only just started with violins and already have two but I want to make my first stringed instrument and it's got to be a violin but as you suggest I'll be interested in making other instruments and I'm ambitious if nothing else because I'm also interested in Russian Balalaika's,

https://russiapedia.rt.com/of-.....balalaika/

I've said a number of times my burning desire is to play "Lara's Theme" on a violin I've made myself but tied into this is a balalaika; I was so moved by the movie Doctor Zhivago many years ago it's haunted me especially the music;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.....ago_(film)

Many years later I still feel very emotional every time I hear this music and never tire of hearing it/

Bron and I have just returned home; first job for me was to check our front porch but the wood hasn't yet arrived so I've looked online and UPS has the wood out for delivery today. Making the first violin will of course prove the most difficult in many ways; not just in making but pulling materials; tools and information together; it all takes so much time.

There's so much to learn at one go but I'm not new to woodworking and have cabinet making experience; there are differences in terms used though between cabinet making and string instrument making; as an example "stringing" is used on cabinets but "Purfling" is used on stringed instruments; identical though regarding making my own;

Completed-veneering..jpgImage Enlarger

TV cabinet I fully veneered using home made stringing with crossbanding.

Cutting-first-string..jpgImage Enlarger

Cutting the stringing; I've still got the cutting tool which I made so it will prove very useful.

Home-made-router-cutter..jpgImage Enlarger

Being a cabinet I could create the stringing grooves using a router but seen here I made my own router cutter to match exactly the width of the new stringing.

Laminated-stringing.jpgImage Enlarger

The glued veneers; I wasn't aware heating could be used to form these as I've now seen in violin making videos.

Laminated-strings.jpgImage Enlarger

The new stringing roughed out using a bandsaw.

Laminating-former-1.jpgImage Enlarger

Here are the softwood formers used.

Contrasting-Veneers.jpgImage Enlarger

Contrasting veneers used for making the stringing.

I used hot hide glue throughout all my restorations so I'm off to a good start knowing how to make purfling and use hide glue.

Will you be making the proposed full sized electric upright bass this coming winter as a project Peter?

I'm passing a bit of spare time before dinner is ready; I think I can squeeze in a bit of violin practice.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Peter
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October 18, 2021 - 6:47 am
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Hi Colin,

Good to hear that your wood is approaching.

The purfling of a violin top is something which has 'levels' to it; the way the purfling is finished into the corners by the C bouts is the real measure of skill.

The EUB project is something which is suspended until I've thoroughly practiced for my current repertoire needs; I joined a local punk rock band (!) a month ago, and I'm reliving part of my miss-spent youth learning their numbers as their bassist. The music is all original (no cover material) and quite challenging. The other two band members are of my age group (55 - 65). Once I'm comfortable, I can start planning the big bass, and then on to light classics, blues, and some cool '50s Bebop after creating that.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Hi,

Thanks Peter; I think I'm in for some fun fitting the purflings once I reach that stage but I've a fair way to go and lots to learn first.

You sound like you need more hours in a day with your endeavours; I find in retirement the days; months and even years get shorter; I've blinked and 20 years of retirement shot by.

At last my new kit form flat pack violin has just arrived via UPS; I can now say the wood is from Drewbas Tone Wood; location Stronie Slaskie, Poland. I ordered and paid for it on 15th September but with my usual luck there was a shipping problem but Konrad has been very decent indeed rapidly replying to my messages and to make up for the delay Konrad has generously included a second set of ribs totally free. I'm happy.

The wood is marked "AA" and not the cheapest wood to experiment with so I'll practice with cheaper pine to stock up our neighbours woodburner.

Violin-making_0001_02.JPGImage Enlarger

Now I need the violin book to arrive with plans; it's all coming together and what I'm experiencing I'm sure all those making their first violin must also experience too.

I can already see my first real challenge; it being to cut the wedge; my big sawbench cuts a 1/8" wide kerf and this being the first wedge I've ever handled appears to be quite thin at the narrowest part so accuracy of cut is demanded; my bandsaw won't cut deep enough.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Peter
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I can already see my first real challenge; it being to cut the wedge; my big sawbench cuts a 1/8" wide kerf and this being the first wedge I've ever handled appears to be quite thin at the narrowest part so accuracy of cut is demanded; my bandsaw won't cut deep enough.  

Hi Colin,

Perhaps your local Men's Shed / Maker Club has a bandsaw with a bigger throat? The downside to this is if you are like me, too self-reliant (sinfully proud...) to ask! Another alternative is to go 'unplugged' and use a good, old-fashioned large-frame coping saw; I imagine that only the blade need be bought: the frame could be homespun. Once the book arrives, a workaround may present itself in the text.

Oh, time. I'm somewhat behind your position on that curve, but I feel it too. It's best not to idle too much, and get on with it I've found. In a moment of reverie yesterday I totted up the annual cost of rehearsal room rental and it's horrific; I should have remained ignorant. Unlike my violins and one-Watt guitar amplifier, a rock band practicing at concert pitch needs a dedicated space if neighbourly concord is to be preserved. Perhaps we can buy our drummer an electronic kit to make low-level practice a possibility.

Anyway, congratulations on procuring quality wood from the Baltic. It's become a very rare and expensive resource.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Hi Colin,

You asked in one of your earlier posts about plate thickness measuring. Could you make a frame like the one in this picture from some reasonably stable sheet material? Just add a post like the one on your mag-base to secure it to the release lever.

thickness-of-the-scale-for-measuring-violin-piano-plate-thickness-calipers-200-mm.jpgImage Enlarger

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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