Yikes, I went back and lost everything! Let's try it again. I am a CNC machinist/programmer/setup guy. I do it all. I started violin making about 10 years ago. Didn't have a clue. Found maestonet and Strad posters. Helped immensly. I've made 7 violins so far, the last 3 a Montagnana, an Ole Bull and the Titan seem pretty good to me. I make them inside out. Did it before Torbjörn wrote his article in the Strad. I wrote a blog My link about making the Titan that has over 30,000 hits! Crazy for a guy who's only built 7.
I've used mostly Englemann for the bellies and maple, american sycamore, and birch for the backs. I've also made all different models: early Strad/Amati, Bergonzi (not very well), Ole Bull (very full sound, sycamore), Montagnana (very dark rich sound, birch), Titan (need to string it up!). Now I think I know what I'm doing, and go about it deliberatley, and not just copying.
My latest projects are the Plowden (I have a lot of ideas on that one) and a Guadagnini viola out of a cool piece of cherry, with cherry sides and neck and a crazy bearclaw Sitka belly. If it sounds as good as it's going to look I might have something.
I've also gotten more spiritual the last 3 years. I started writing songs and poems and started an online daily devotional http://www.kensdevotional.blogspot.com/ to fill that area of my life out. I only stay 1=4 days up on posts so it won't be done until Christmas 2012. That takes 1-3 or more hours of my day, writing, finding a bible verse, finding a song, getting lost online for a while. But I find that everything I do now comes out better. I've slowed down, but the quality has gone up.
Anyone is welcome to drop me a pm anytime. Whether it's about inside out, or wood, or tools or spiritual stuff I won't rat you out.