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The Red Fiddle
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Kevin M.
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October 16, 2011 - 8:57 am
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That is how I build them by setting the top first then you don't have to worry about the heal.

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Chinny
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SaraO said:

Chinny said:

Think you can buy a sculpted scroll neck off ebay and create your own personalised modified violin? 😀 😀 😀 that'd be even awesome-r

Are you going to be her next customer, Chinny? violin

Haha I wouldn't mind actually. But I guess it also depends on the shipping fee. Australia is pretty detached from the rest of the world so postage is bound to be expensive

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Kevin M.
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They have a lot of violin parts in Australia.  What part are you from?  We have good friends in Adelaide.

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Chinny
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Perth? We're pretty much woop woop

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Sofia Leo
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Kevin M. said:

That is how I build them by setting the top first then you don't have to worry about the heal.

That's one disadvantage with the kits - they all have the back glued to the ribs. The instructions have you closing the box and then setting in the neck, which is "traditional," but it's much more difficult than it has to be, IMHO - gluing the belly to the ribs and then setting the neck would be more logical, but then fitting the bass bar would be more difficult...We get what we get and have to make it work amuse

Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com

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Sofia Leo
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Chinny said:

Haha I wouldn't mind actually. But I guess it also depends on the shipping fee. Australia is pretty detached from the rest of the world so postage is bound to be expensive

Fiddles don't weigh that much wink It would have to be shipped in a good case (extra charge) for that distance. USPS is not very helpful, but I think it could be done for about $50.00 for air-mail shipping.

Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com

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Mad_Wed
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CatMcCall said:

We sometimes say a person who is not handy is "all thumbs." Really, if you take your time it doesn't require Mad Woodworking Skilz wink Slow and steady wins the race...Being a little OCD sure helps, too!

Sounds cheerful! I think dreams born to became real! Maybe someday... after i ruin a couple of kits... don't know what OCD is, but hope i can get it tooduncecap

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Sofia Leo
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Mad_Wed said:

Sounds cheerful! I think dreams born to became real! Maybe someday... after i ruin a couple of kits... don't know what OCD is, but hope i can get it tooduncecap

OCD is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is sometimes used to describe people who are obsessed with the tiny details of a project, or the research before beginning any work, often not able to see the Big Picture, which describes my personality pretty well.

My OH builds and restores wooden sailboats and is always trying to get me involved, saying that it would be a natural fit since I love to do the tiny, detailed work that he hates. Unfortunately it usually involves hours and hours of sanding in a tiny space while laying upside down, debris covering your face, which I loathe and despise!

Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com

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Mad_Wed
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LOL!! Now i don't want to get OSD! Unless it really helps to build (and maybe play) violin!roflroflrofl

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Sofia Leo
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Mad_Wed said:

LOL!! Now i don't want to get OCD! Unless it really helps to build (and maybe play) violin!roflroflrofl

It certainly helps with practice - the need to play that particular phrase perfectly before quitting for the night...It has bad points, too, though when the fingers are just too tired to go on...

Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com

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Kevin M.
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Actually I cut the f holes and set the bass bar then glue the top to the ribs.  I had read somewhere that Stadaveri actually did it that way and supposedly put a screw into the neck before putting on the back. I also cut the purfling on the top after the top is assembled to the ribs.  This way I can make sure I have the proper overhang of 3mm. Once the purfling is done I then install the neck. Next I glue on the back make the overhang is correct the cut my purfling groove and finish off the edge.

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Sofia Leo
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Kevin M. said:

Actually I cut the f holes and set the bass bar then glue the top to the ribs.  I had read somewhere that Stadaveri actually did it that way and supposedly put a screw into the neck before putting on the back. I also cut the purfling on the top after the top is assembled to the ribs.  This way I can make sure I have the proper overhang of 3mm. Once the purfling is done I then install the neck. Next I glue on the back make the overhang is correct the cut my purfling groove and finish off the edge.

Right - I meant that the people who make the kit could glue the top to the ribs after the FFs were cut, but before the bass bar was glued in, which would make it harder to get a good bass bar fit. It must have something to do with ease of mass production amuse Sure makes setting the neck a PITA, though.

Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com

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Sofia Leo
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A bit more progress on the Red Fiddle. Before fitting the purfling, there were a few cosmetic flaws to clean up on the belly plate that appeared to be dried glue.

Image Enlarger

While scraping the flaws, the grain started to really pop, which is a joy to see.

Image Enlarger

It's hard to see in the photo above, but is very visible in person - the darker grain lines are now even darker and more defined - no more "fuzzy" look. I plan on finishing the belly with a scraper (no sandpaper) so I hope you like a "corduroy" fiddle top, MGN smile

Next up was to fit the purfling. The purfling is the black/white/black strip that goes around the edges of the top and back plates and helps prevent cracks from traveling from the edges into the plates of the fiddle.

With this particular kit, the purfling channels have been cut (quite badly in some places - see the corner in the photos above) just this much too narrow for the purfling to fit. Argh! Here's where patience (and OCD) come in very handy - it's scrape, cut, scrape, cut, a little here, a little there, while using a small piece of purfling as a gauge until the entire channel is the right size.

Finally it was all dry fitted in, with the corners mitered and the bee stings lookin' pretty good, even if I say so myself -

Image Enlarger

A nice batch of fresh hide glue later and it was ready to carve down to the proper level. Ignore the break in the purfling strips at top and bottom - the purfling in those areas will be removed to fit the neck and saddle.

The purfling is quite hard, being infused with glue of unknown origin. The outer black strips are "fiber," whatever that is, the inner white strip is wood of some sort. The best way to take it down quickly is with a very sharp gouge -

Image Enlarger

Followed by a finger plane and scraper. Sandpaper is a very bad idea (hard lesson learned, there!) as the black "fibers" embed themselves into the pale wood of the spruce belly and take freakin' forever to sand out. Look at that bee sting! dancinbunny All four corners look just as good and I couldn't be happier.

And then I cut my thumb wide open* with my new (very sharp, obviously) carving knife so building has been suspended until the gash heals up a bit. Darned inconvenient, I tell you - can't even hold my fiddle bow comfortably.

 

* Don't worry, MGN, I didn't bleed on the fiddle - everyone knows the blood goes in the varnish, right? wink

Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com

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Fiddlerman
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October 28, 2011 - 7:47 am
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CatMcCall said: 

* Don't worry, MGN, I didn't bleed on the fiddle - everyone knows the blood goes in the varnish, right? wink

I didn't know that, but then again, it's called "The Red Violin" right? violin

"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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CatMcCall said: I plan on finishing the belly with a scraper (no sandpaper) so I hope you like a "corduroy" fiddle top, MGN smile

 

Why do you call it corduroy.  Is that because of the look of the grain or is it because the grain is popping up and begoming rippled?  If it is because it is rippling, use very little pressure on the scrappers.  Too much pressure will undercut the growth ringd and give a rippled surface.  I learned that from messing up a top myself.

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Kevin M.
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I have a violin that I cut my finger on and being on comadin I bled like a pig.  Inside it looks like the Texas Chain Saw Massacre.  You just can't get the bllod out but at least it's on the inside.

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Sofia Leo
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Fiddlerman said:

I didn't know that, but then again, it's called "The Red Violin" right? violin

In the movie the violin builder added some of his wife's blood to the varnish, basically infusing her spirit into the violin, which explains the Gypsy woman's predictions.

Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com

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BCShalom
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This Topic is really interesting.  I saw some of the violin kits and thought it would be impossible, but what great fun it would be to build and play your own violin.  I may have to look into this.  I will, after all, only have a Cheap eBay fiddle.  LOL

Fiddlerman has encouraged me on that front however! crossedfingers

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Sofia Leo
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Kevin M. said:

CatMcCall said: I plan on finishing the belly with a scraper (no sandpaper) so I hope you like a "corduroy" fiddle top, MGN smile

 

Why do you call it corduroy.  Is that because of the look of the grain or is it because the grain is popping up and becoming rippled?  If it is because it is rippling, use very little pressure on the scrappers.  Too much pressure will undercut the growth rings and give a rippled surface.  I learned that from messing up a top myself.

It's not my term, corduroy, but something I've heard other builders use. The Old Masters did not have what we know as sandpaper and so did their finishing with scrapers. Of course, no one knows if the belly surface was textured from the beginning, but many truly old violins now have a textured belly with very thin varnish, and that is the look I would like to achieve.

Having daily access to a cheap factory fiddle that was sanded and finished with a spray gun, I would love to end up with a finish that looks more hand crafted, more alive, if you know what I mean. If only I could get my hands on a truly old, well made violin to examine the textures and finish for myself...

Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com

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Sofia Leo
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BCShalom said:

This Topic is really interesting.  I saw some of the violin kits and thought it would be impossible, but what great fun it would be to build and play your own violin.  I may have to look into this.  I will, after all, only have a Cheap eBay fiddle.  LOL

Fiddlerman has encouraged me on that front however! crossedfingers

Welcome to the forum, BCShalom! You should give fiddle building a try - it's not Rocket Science and it is a lot of fun. A bit of research (lots of links on my blog) and a few sharp tools and clamps, and you can end up with something much better sounding than a cheap eBay fiddle (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

Anyone else want to have a build-along?

Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com

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