Last Friday I took my Ole Bull (number 6 violin) to a violin shop down in the city. I didn't send it to Oslo because of the price of shipping. The owner didn't like much about it, except he thought the archings were nice. Score one for me.
He didn't care for the varnish, thought it was too thin (Joe I have to get back to you!). Uneven overhangs bothered him, purfling that was broken and pushed back in was frowned upon, and he just didn't get purposly putting the scroll on an angle! He suggested I make a Strad model, out of real violin wood, not sycamore, and bring it in. That's where I am right now. I'm thinking of getting some red maple and red spruce from Old Standard. Either that or European stuff from International violin. I like the idea of more local wood and the wood at Old Standard looks pretty nice. At the suggestion of the shop owner I'm going to buy a belly at about $25 and the back neck and ribs at $65.
Here is step one:
Get your Strad poster and try to figure out all you can from it. I don't want to just copy it. I want to have more of an idea of what I'm really looking for. I drew it up on AutoCad, because I have it, but paper works fine. I just draw up the mold. The outline of the instrument will be a direct result of that. I take out the asymmetries and try to find something where all the major dimensions and points relate to each other in some simple way. Here is my mold drawing, with the layout of the ff holes in red. Yesterday I made the mold out of the new world species MDF. It is a very new species, probably a hybrid, that wasn't even around when I had woodshop in 8th grade.
I'll add photos later, have to go to work.
Anyone out there who know how to add pictures? Let me know!