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Woodworking blog entries tagged with 'violin'

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Violin Kit #6: Putting finish on

04-23-2018 11:12 PM by Dave Rutan | 7 comments »

Warning. Appalling methods below I finall got to the point where I feel I’ve finished the finish on this kit violin. I used water base mahogany stain and water base polyurethane. Purists will definitely not approve. The fiddle looks aniquey and old to me which is sort of what I wanted. One of the things I’m counting on with this finish is that the polyurethane will yellow over time. This should improve the look. Plus the wood should darken a little bit. The wood for the kit wasn’t the be...

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Violin Kit #5: Creating the saddle

04-14-2018 12:43 AM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

The only part of this violin kit that was not included, not mentioned in the auction description, not in the photos, etc., was the saddle on which the tailpiece anchor rides. I decided to make one from a piece of cherry that I got when a tree was taken down at our church.

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Violin Kit #4: Attaching the Neck

04-11-2018 08:44 PM by Dave Rutan | 3 comments »

First thing is to cut down the back button closer to the shape it needs to be. This will be trimmed after the neck is glued on. Glue is applied to both pieces and the neck is clamped into position. Not much pressure is needed for this. Where the neck joins the body, the gap is supposed to measure 6mm (or whatever the Imperial equivalent is). At the end of the fingerboard, the top of the fingerboard ‘should’ measure about 7/8 of an inch. Mine is a little bit hi...

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Violin Kit #3: Fitting the Neck

04-11-2018 08:22 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

The main part of this violin kit is fitting the neck to the body of the instrument. To do this a mortise must be created in the neck end of the instrument (the one opposite the end button end) that not only fits the neck root as tightly as possible, but also holds it at the proper angle and height. You start by cutting the overhand off the top plate, holding the neck in place for straightness and marking where it should go. Then you cut within your lines to a depth of about a quarter...

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Violin Kit #2: Small step, end button installation

04-10-2018 12:24 AM by Dave Rutan | 4 comments »

I decided to start by simply drilling and reaming the hole for the end button of the fiddle and fitting it in place. jj Next up, the hard part, fitting the neck.

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Violin Kit #1: Unboxing

04-05-2018 04:38 PM by Dave Rutan | 9 comments »

I decided to buy myself some education on lutherie. This is a kit that I bought from eBay, though it apparently is the same kit that you’d get from tomtop.com [link]. The body of the violin comes pre-assembled, but unlike the more expensive stew mac version, the purfling is already installed. I was actually expecting painted on purfling, so this was a pleasant surprise. I’ll need to create the dado into which the neck is fit and fit the pegs and drill a hole for the end button. The only t...

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #32: Brass violin crack clamps

02-13-2018 02:06 AM by Dave Rutan | 3 comments »

This is my violin posing with a set of violin crack clamps that I made with brass rod and plastic cut from a 1/2 inch thick cutting board. These function like flexible, light-duty bar clamps. I’ll meed to make another, smaller set since many of the instruments I repair are fractional sizes. Oh, no! Not more clamps!

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #31: Brass F-hole cleat clamps

02-09-2018 11:37 PM by Dave Rutan | 3 comments »

Who doesn’t love clamps? I made these 5 light duty clamps so that I wouldn’t have to buy them. You can get the comercial variety for $16-$20 each plus shipping. Mine came in at about $5 each. I made them from 5/32” brass rod, 10-24 threaded rod, nuts, a 6mm t coupling for air lines, and some JB Weld to put it all together. The cleats involved are very very small, designed to simply bridge a crack which has already been glued together in order to add some strength to the mend...

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Adventures in Lutherie #15: Methusela

02-07-2018 06:48 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

I resurrected this 1/2 size violin that I pulled from our bone pile. It just needed everything aside from the scroll, neck, fingerboard, and body. I scavenged parts from our used items, including a set of strings.

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #29: Brass bridge templates and bevel gauge

09-05-2017 06:17 PM by Dave Rutan | 4 comments »

To badly mis-paraphrase a character from Babylon 5, “Zathras wants to have something nice.” A while ago I made a set of templates out of plastic for creating the arc that is on the top of violin and cello bridges. I was determined that eventually I would replace them with brass ones once I found a source for the brass. Well, eBay sells this 5-inch brass ruler that is an inch wide for less than $2 each… So I decided to start with a template for a full size viol...

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