Making a violin....maybe #3: Plugging away

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Blog entry by Ted78 posted 01-08-2013 06:50 AM 1623 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Day Two, glue,making ribs, and blocks. Part 3 of Making a violin....maybe series no next part

I have have all the ribs formed, and glued onto the blocks. Wife’s old curling iron (shhh) makes a fine bending iron. The linings were more difficult than I anticipated. I ended up using a small branch from a goofy tree in my backyard. I think it’s some sort of cultivated form of birch, but it has pendulous branches like a willow. Whatever it is it worked alright. Still not thrilled with the how they came out so might take them out and try again. Practice makes,,,,,well an improvement over the first attempt I hope.

-- Ted

6 comments so far

View PhiltheLuthier's profile


56 posts in 1551 days

#1 posted 01-09-2013 02:38 AM

Looking good! I think the linings were tough to bend because they look quite thick, normally on a violin you’d make them 1.8mm, and even then they can be pretty difficult to bend without cracking or compressing. You can file out little kinks in the ribs, just don’t get them too thin, I wouldn’t let them get less than 1mm. Are you planing to put the linings on both sides before you remove the mould? I’ve heard that some people do that, apparently the whole thing is flexible enough, though I’ve never done it that way. I use a collapsible form to make removal easy.

View Ted78's profile


160 posts in 782 days

#2 posted 02-06-2013 07:07 AM

Haven’t had time to work on it lately been busy but, thanks for thei input on the ribs. I’ll go thinner. My in-experience is rearing it’s ugly head again. I actually have the mold flush with the bottom of the ribs, seemed like a good way to keep things ‘square’ at the time, so I’ll have to take the mold out before putting in the bottom linings. The prospect of taking the mold out is scary enough w/o the linings in my way anyhow.

-- Ted

View PhiltheLuthier's profile


56 posts in 1551 days

#3 posted 02-06-2013 02:22 PM

Back/front, it’s all about the same thing, just flip it around and say you did it right. Unless you symetry too far off and you’ve already cut out the plates. In that case you can glue the top permanetly first, remove the mould out the back add the linings and glue the back. You could also do it like the baroque guys, and glue the ribs to the plate sans mould. You’re doing great.

View helluvawreck's profile


16102 posts in 1649 days

#4 posted 02-06-2013 02:25 PM

I don’t know how I missed this blog. It looks like you are doing a fine job on this violin. I think I will look at the other parts because even though I don’t know much at all about making musical instruments it is fascinating.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View DS's profile


2140 posts in 1203 days

#5 posted 02-06-2013 03:38 PM

I just discovered this blog and want to encourage you to keep pressing forward.

My first violin was made by following along in a book about violin making. It is not a very nice playing instrument, but, I learned a lot of lessons on it. It looks very nice hanging on my wall but doesn’t sound so good.

My second violin benefited from all the lessons of the first and was a moderately nice instrument.
By my fourth violin, they were starting to look and sound like something someone might want to cherish and play.
I still consider myself an amatuer violin maker, but my instruments now are far superior than my original efforts.

You seem to have the right mindset about this. There really is no hurry to complete them. Take your time, develope your techniques. Don’t be afraid to take risks – even if they don’t turn out. What you will learn will be more valuable than the instrument you make.

I’ll be following along with interest. Thanks for sharing.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Ted78's profile


160 posts in 782 days

#6 posted 02-07-2013 01:05 AM

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement everybody

-- Ted

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