HonestEngineer

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  1. Thanks everyone for the interesting discussion. I've gone with scaling the Cremonese circle template up by 10% and a total width of 46mm. I've just roughed one out of softwood and offered it up to the body, and it looks nicely balanced, so I'm happy. I'd still be interested if anyone has any thoughts on how the original Cremonese template was generated?
  2. Yes, I'm almost certainly overthinking this... but that's the way my mind works and I've learnt over the years to roll with it. I've really enjoyed designing the body of my viola using a mathematical approach. Something about having a viola that follows a mathematical pattern appeals to the nerd in me. I could have just used one of the many existing designs out there, but it feels more of a sense of achievement if I've created everything, including the overall shape of the instrument. Having studied engineering drawing many years ago, I also love the idea that the entire instrument shape can be created with nothing more than a pair of compasses and a good understanding of geometrical construction. Hence I got rather frustrated when I couldn't find any pointers on how to do this with the scroll. As for risk tolerance, I'm building this instrument for myself so I can do whatever I like so long as I'm prepared to live with the results! Thanks everyone for your responses... I need to go away and process it all now.
  3. Great thanks. That looks like just the kind of article I need. Bed-time reading for tomorrow evening I think.
  4. Hi Torbjörn, that sounds really interesting, but the dropbox link doesn't work unfortunately.
  5. I'm currently trying to design a viola scroll and have been looking for inspiration but have found very little. There seems to be lots of discussion about the side-on view of the scroll but very little on the widths of each part of the scroll. I've found a few templates for the first turn. I've also found lots of references to a 'cremonese' approach that involves transferring circles from a pattern to the various parts of the scroll to form the widths. But while I've found one example of the actual radii of these circles for a violin, I can't find any for a viola. I really want to design this from geometric first principles but I've found no discussion at all as to the mathematical approach to developing the scroll widths. Can anyone shed any light on this area?
  6. Thanks all - an interesting discussion. I think that allows me to be comfortable with doing what my instincts were telling me to do... make ribs and blocks perpendicular to the back and deal with the taper on the belly side of the ribs/blocks. I'm intrigued by the idea of concentrating the taper in the upper bout. Does that not put a spring in the belly such that the joint between the upper bout ribs and the belly wants to spring open?
  7. The engineer and mathematician in me likes every last miniscule detail to be tied down rigorously. As I get close to assembling the ribs on my viola I find myself asking the following question: The surfaces of the back and belly plates as they glue onto the ribs won't be parallel to each other (the ribs will be 40mm tall at tailgut end and 37mm at the neck end). So should the corners be perpendicular to the back plate, perpendicular to the belly plate, half way in between or even slightly closer to perpendicular with one plate than the other? My logical mind keeps telling me the differences are going to be so miniscule as to be perhaps irrelevant. But some instinct tells me that getting this wrong might harm the aesthetics (or worse still the tone) of the instrument. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
  8. Thanks everyone. I'll try the 3M spray adhesive and leaving a very small gap.
  9. Anyone got any ideas where I can get a large sheet of sandpaper suitable for sanding blocks and rib edges on a 16 inch viola? I've tried gluing several smaller sheets to my board butted together but they tend to tear at the joins.