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Shopmade Luthier Tools #23: Violin Crack Clamp

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 06-21-2017 09:19 PM 1437 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 22: Rotary File/Hole Chamfer tool Part 23 of Shopmade Luthier Tools series Part 24: Brass sound post plier »

Last week I found a violin in the bone pile that looks like it’s trying to crack in half lengthwise. Not having any appropriate clamp to hold such a thing together for gluing, I put my mind to it and came up with this clamp.

I made it out of 3/4 inch mahogany, using two pieces on each side. I did that so that I could easily create the groove on the inside of the curved parts to engage the lip on the edge of the violin. The groove is shallow so the clamp body won’t press on the rib/sides of the instrument. I lined the inside with leather to prevent marring of the finish. A 1/4 inch bolt runs through the one end of the clamp to provide pressure. The shape of the clamp, causes it to ‘hug’ the instrument. If needed I can always put a bar clamp on the other end, but I don’t see that as being necessary.

The only down side of this kind of clamp is that I will have to make one for each size instrument. This one in particular is for a 1/2 size violin. Most of the instruments in the shop are 3/4 or 4/4, so I’ll need to make at least two more of these sooner or later.

More Pics:

Mandatory Glue up pic:

Check out the other tools I’ve made for this craft! [link]

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!



5 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2659 posts in 2241 days


#1 posted 06-22-2017 12:26 AM

Well done, great thinking.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1715 posts in 2239 days


#2 posted 06-22-2017 01:30 AM

Thanks!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

5141 posts in 2254 days


#3 posted 06-22-2017 03:03 AM

Very GoodDave,

It could also double as a head rest when you are having a snooze in the workshop!

No on a nore serious note, (thats a pun)

What brand are the orange clamps I see they look like very good quality .

A possible hint: Make the clamp for the bigest instrument and then use EPE or similar as a size filler when working on smaller instruments.

-- Regards Rob

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1715 posts in 2239 days


#4 posted 06-22-2017 03:50 PM



Very GoodDave,

It could also double as a head rest when you are having a snooze in the workshop!

No on a nore serious note, (thats a pun)

What brand are the orange clamps I see they look like very good quality .

A possible hint: Make the clamp for the bigest instrument and then use EPE or similar as a size filler when working on smaller instruments.

- robscastle

The orange clamps are Jorgensen (light duty) bar clamps (6 in.). I bought then from Sears for about $6 ea. They haven’t disappointed me yet and I keep them handy right on the work bench.

[reminds me that I should do an article about my workbench. It’s not perfect yet, but I generally like it.]

I’m not sure your suggestion would work, but I may try it. I’ll be making a similar clamp for my 4/4 size fiddle and I’ll try your idea with that if I should need to clamp a violin smaller than that. It’s likely to happen. 3/4 violins are very common in school rentals.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1715 posts in 2239 days


#5 posted 06-24-2017 12:22 AM



Very GoodDave,

What brand are the orange clamps I see they look like very good quality .

- robscastle

I might mention that I call those clamps ‘Fred’ clamps because they are F-style clamps.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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