Please feel free to share. “The Little Drummer Boy Project”
CatMcCall, what tools would I need if I'm going to start with a kit?
It all depends on how much you want to modify the kit to make it better. I've documented the tools that I used/made on my blog, The Fiddle Project.
A couple of scrapers are nice to have, and you can make your own for a fraction of the cost of "real" scrapers, not to mention that you can shape them to suit yourself and I bet you'll find a million uses for them once you master the concepts.
Hide glue - can be found very cheaply on eBay. Yes, you really, really, really do want to use hide glue.
Something to heat the glue in - I use a tiny potpourri candle holder, a metal jello mold and a tiny canning jar - total cost $2.24 and it works just as well as an expensive glue pot.
Spool clamps are nice for "closing the box," and can be made very cheaply.
A neck gauge is handy and can also be made from scrap wood, or you can use a couple of steel rulers.
A curling iron to bend the purfling - not totally required, but it sure makes setting in the purfling easier.
An x-acto or similar knife will clean out the purfling grooves easily and cheaply. It will also shape the edges and to a number of other tasks that "they" say require special tools.
A flat chisel, 1/2" wide to mortise the neck. I borrowed one from a woodworker friend until I decide just what kind I want to buy.
A small, sharp saw for cutting down the heel.
A tiny drill and bit to drill the string holes in the pegs - I use a tiny hand drill that I found at a craft store - works fine, I think it cost about $2 and it came with several tiny drill bits.
Shellac and varnish. Bull's Eye de-waxed shellac can be found at your local ACE hardware, as can Spar Varnish (not the poly-whatever!) which works just dandy if thinned a bit.
You can make do with the above, or buy a bunch of fancy tools if you choose. You may have what you need laying around the house - be creative if you have more time than cash (don't we all!) and find a way to avoid purchasing specialized tools that you won't be able to use for anything but fiddle building. I mean, what if you don't like it?
Cool Cat! I'll send you an email. A kit would be fine. I can stamp it made in the good old USA!
Uh...well, it could be stamped "assembled in the USA from Chinese sourced materials" My label actually says "Fecit in Oregon" and I guess I should add a USA onto the end of that.
David Burns said:
Assembled in USA from Chinese parts?
The kits come from a factory in China - complete with a red stamp in Chinese lettering.
Technically, I think if it's assembled in the USA, no matter where the parts come from it can be labeled "Made in the USA." There is quite a row going about textile products being assembled in other countries and then having a "Made in the USA" label sewn in as a last step before sale, and it's enough to qualify. The rules are always changing.
I think it's incredibly deceptive to label a foreign product as domestic for sale - there are many of us who prefer to buy things that actually were made in the USA, and would reject those products only labeled as being domestic out of hand.
Unfortunately, there aren't any fiddle kits that are made in the USA that I have found. Even respectable violin shops source their fiddles overseas, finishing them in the shop and calling them "shop made." The whole industry is a bit crooked if you look too hard...
Coming from the electric side of things with basses, I've always wanted to make my own bass, and through research, I've always preferred swamp ash for how light it feels but how dense and tight it plays. My Yamaha RBX300 is constructed like that and I've really enjoyed how distinctly it carries each note, especially with Seymour Duncan pickups in it.
Now, how that would translate to a violin, and especially and electric one, would be an interesting exploration. I've enjoyed looking at your work and reading on your blog! Thanks much for sharing!
One wonders if the damage would have been as severe had the chicken not been tied to the barrel.