violin making


After  Many years of repairing and restoring violins and violas, and making  replacement parts during the process, I'm going to put it all together,  and make a violin. I'll be posting progress here. No guarantees on the  final outcome. 


 The  violin build has started. Willow blocks were split out from some wood  that I cut 3 1/2 years ago. The blocks were glued to the mold.


-- and then  carved to match the final internal outline.  


 The  ribs come next. The rib stock comes about 2mm thick, and needs to be  thinned down to about 1.2mm thick before bending. I'm using a plane with  a toothed blade, followed by a scraper to do the work. 


 Using a low angel light, you can see the grooves left by the toothed plane, and tell when scraping has removed the grooves. 


 The  rib stock is moistened, and bent to shape around a bending iron, heated  to about 450 deg. F. The C bouts are being done here, and glued to the  blocks on the mold, with hot hide glue. 


 The rest of the ribs have been bent, and glued to the blocks on the mold 


 Putting  in the linings is thee next step. I'm using some Willow that I cut  several years ago. These thin strips get planed down to 2mm x 8mm, and  get heat bent to fit the exact shape of the ribs. 


 The linings have been glued in, and after the glue dries overnight, the other side will be done. 


 The  linings are in, and the two halves of the front have been carefully  joined, and glued together with hide glue. The outline of the ribs, with  an overhang allowance, has been marked on the front. 


 I'm  going a little off script here. "The Art of Violin Making" says to  mount the front, upside down, on a beam, clamped to the bench, and  sawing by hand, with a coping saw. I've lightly glued some cedar wedges  to the crowned side of the front, so that it will sit flat on the  bandsaw table. I can then cut it out that way. 


Cutting out the front, with the wedges attached, on the bandsaw


 Starting  to carve the belly. I made up a set of arching templates yesterday.  These will be used to determine the final shape of the belly of the  violin. I need to get some purfling (the little 3 part black and white  stripe around the edges of the front and back) before I go too much  further. 


 These fingerplanes are great for doing this arching work. As with all of the tools, the blades are kept razor sharp!. 


 Purfling  is made up out of three, very thin strips of wood (outer black, center  white), that is about 1.4mm thick. A tool with two sharp blades, spaced  the width of the purfling, is used to mark the channel. The lines are  cut deeper, and the channel is cleaned out to a depth of about 2mm. 


 The  purfling is glued in, and the arching is getting close to finished.  After the arching is finalized, I'll move on to hollowing out the inside  of the plate.