Violin construction has always intrigued me and I got a bug in my bonnet about 10 years ago to make a violin. No, I haven’t actually made one yet. Just a lot of false starts. I have carved a couple of tops and backs. first top I made I modelled (unwittingly) from a 3/4 size violin, I carved a back out of maple. I’d read somewhere that’s what the backs and ‘ribs’ the sides are made of. Turns out they are made of soft maple and I used hard maple. I made myself an inside mold and built a couple set of ribs. This time out of nice soft silver maple, but they have since fallen apart or been lost over several moves. All in all I’ve been having a great time dabbling here and there in my ignorance.
If someone’s goal is to make a violin I would strongly suggest attending some sort of violin making school, but making a violin isn’t really my goal. My goal is to revel in the process, re-invent the wheel, have a project with absolutely no time-line or deadline, get in over my head, push the boundaries of my woodworking skills. Probably right off the cliff.
About a year ago my parents had a big old silver maple cut down in their yard. I had them a save a couple of good sized logs, and we split them into wedges. I’d set this wood on the back porch about a year ago and was reminded of it recently when I came across a broad axe for six bucks one of those consignment antique/vintage crap stores. I hit gold, the broad axe, a couple of socket handled chisels for 50 cents each, a little smoothing plane for eight bucks. and a craftsman adjustable brace bit for a buck, but I digress.
I trimmed them down with my new broad axe, knocked of the real high points with a makeshift scrub plane, then quickly gave in to temptation and jointed the pieces on the big ole’ 8” jointer.
Now I have my book-mathced quarter split blanks. Just need to figure out where to buy some hide glue locally. to glue them up.