A Special Guitar Those of you who have read my past blog entries know that my family heritage and the tradition of woodworking passed down to me by my ancestors are very important to me. Some of my relatives came from the great tool making city of Sheffield, England, and many of those who found their way to America worked as carpenters, operated sawmills, or were fine craftsmen. My father, Seth Milton Summerfield, Jr., was not only the most recent of this line of woodworkers, but he was al...
Making a violin....maybe #1: The begining. A hair brained idea at attempting something kinda crrazy.
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 myse...
Lately I’ve been looking around trying to find inexpensive ways to make clamps to use in the shop. I think of my purchased commercially available clamps I own two 3 foot bar clamps and three Quick Grip clamps, plus two old c-clamps. Bar Type Clamps: The first information I found about making your own clamps was Alex Harris’ video. I made one of these out of some second hand wood I had, though I did fudge the screw in favor of my own variation. Spool Clamps: I ...
Among my hobbies is playing fiddle at acoustic jams. What I have noticed when a bunch of fiddlers gather is that everyone “ohhs” and “ahhs” over the cases. I think this is because all of the fiddles look the same. Sure some have a prettier finish or grain than others, but none really jump out at you. There is always someone with a crocodile vintage case that wins the show. Those are hard to come by, so I thought I would try building a wooden case to try and keep ...
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,,,,,wel...
My father being an all-around musician, bought 3 violins for us. Of the 3, mine was totally destroyed, My brother’s was already restored (I have already done it.) but the last one which was my father’s is now in my possession. This is so much special as this was loved by my father and been played much older than me. The only problem that I have seen is the glue which had given up due to time. Here is the situation after I had disassembled it. Regret that I was not ab...
Took me a little while to do the steel work on the jig. Have to make the somewhat C-clamp with push block. Cutting threaded bars and looking for the nuts. Shaping the push blocks (made from ebony) become tiresome after making 16 pieces. These are made from scraps. Here are some self explanatory photos… I give notes on some important aspects and ideas that you can grab suited for your project and availability of materials: Notes: 1) The piece that was bended was narra ripped by ...
Here is the progress of the violin restoration as the continuation of this blog. In the process, the need for making the ribs of this violin is a must. After several try of bending the wood, there is no way but to make a jig that will hold the steamed wood while it is hot. So here are some of the photos: I made this using a two boards cut into shape of 3/4 inch plywood and laminated together. That was too thick. I realized later that the correct thickness is just one and 1/4 inch so ...
With some great advice from some LJ members I cooked up some Knox gelatin glue to put the back together. I mixed up one packet of gelatine with some water in a little glass jar and stuck that jar in the crock pot with a few inches of water in the bottom. Then I brushed in onto the to the two halves and rubbed them against each other while sitting on a flat surface, in this case the bed of my jointer. (My bench isn’t very flat, and I don’t think the glue will stick to the ...
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