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Any good Ideas on a violin carving cradle?


Nemo
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Here is what I made. It's made of 1/2" birch plywood and MDF. The back/top is held in place by the MDF pieces I fixed on the top. The lower MDF piece is adjustable by about 3.5mm to fascilitate the rough back/top, which are eventually trimmed to the final outline. On the back is a block of Mahogany so it can be held in a vice:

v134.jpg

v135.jpg

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For carving the arching, I get the same result just screwing a block of wood to the bottom of the plate (be sure you're only drilling/screwing into the waste!), and clamping that in a machinist's vice so it can be turned and angled this way and that and locked down. There was an idea posted awhile back about drilling a hole in the plate to fit a dowel set in the bench so you can move the plate around quickly, I'd like to try that for fine work.

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OK, there seem to be many ways to hold the plate for roughing the outside of the plates . But, what about holding the plate while roughing out the inside of the plate? I can't picture any way of doing this besides carving out a thick piece of wood to form a mold matching the arching and then somehow securing the plate in the mold.

How do makers tackle this?

--

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Brad

OK, there seem to be many ways to hold the plate for roughing the
outside
of the plates . But, what about holding the plate while roughing out the inside of the plate? I can't picture any way of doing this besides carving out a thick piece of wood to form a mold matching the arching and then somehow securing the plate in the mold.


Mine works fine for both outside and inside:

v352.jpg

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Brad.. you did not read the remaining of the link.

You can simply reverse your plate. The cradle is hollowed to allow the arching to fit.

13.jpg

It can be bought from www.bcbows.com in Italy.

GMM22... I don't own one. But I heard from Claudio, the owner of the posted photos, there are some movements during carving. It is not perfect. He is willing to live with it. However, it does bring great advantages being able to rotate the plates at will with any inclination of the platform. You will be able to see and feel your archings much easier than the stationary cradles.

You don't have to buy this cradle. It can easily be made. I have posted this site before. I will post it again here.

This is completely hand made:

cremona_inf25_12.jpg

The site belongs to a Japanese violin maker resides in Cremona, Takahashi. It shows the process.

http://www.interq.or.jp/gold/akiravln/cremona_inf25.htm

He also made a cradle for Cello plate carving as well:

http://www.interq.or.jp/gold/akiravln/cremona_inf32.htm

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Mine is simply a chunk of 2 x 12 with a "guitar-shaped" cutout going all the way through the plank, so that the flat edges of the violin can sit on the edges of the hole, and the arched portion either hangs through the hole, or is up above it. There is a piece of thin plywood cut to fit the outer perimeter of the plates--it is fastened with glue and brads from my air-nailer. The cradle rests directly on the work surface, and wedges against a bench dog, or the like. The arrangement works for both fronts and backs.

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Ispirati and Matt,

Thanks for the replies and images. I am gearing up for my first fiddle and am trying to think out the processes. I guess I was incorrectly assuming that the plate would need physical support from the cradle not only on its edges, but also along the middle areas of the plate. Am I correct in now supposing the plate is thick enough so it won't be damaged during the initial roughing out of the inside, and that the subsequent finer graduations, done by finger planes and scrapers, do not exert enough force to damage a plate only suspended from its edges?

Nice cradle, Matt.

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Here is a simple cradle I use. I clamp it in the bench vise.This holds it secure and I can turn it to whatever position I want. It also projects forward from the workbench making it easy to work on. Brad, notice the cardboard shims laying in the bottom of the cradle, this is to give support to the plate while hollowing out the inside,more or less shims can be added according to the arching.http://i25.photobucket.com/alb...sher/P1010320.jpg[/img

P1010319.jpg

P1010318.jpg

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I think Brad's point about supporting the full arch of the top when hollwing the inside is important. Maybe not absolutely critical, but plate deflection during carving is an issue, I think. I have two cradles that I've made. One is basswood and carved to the arching of the top so that it supports the entire top. The other was made using plaster of paris poured into a dam and then a already carved plate was used to form the plaster while wet. Once it dried, it was lined it with felt. Both work well. I'm sure Matt's also works well. I just preferred to support the plate with no significant gaps anywhere.

Claudio's fixture is very fine. Maybe the ultimate--like a Tormek, not necessary, but nice to have.

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  • 2 months later...

M_A_T_T,

Your carving cradle looks simple and very functional. Nice work!

What is the purpose of the relief in the cradle across the C bout?

Does anyone have dimensions and info on making a cradle for cello plates?

For instance, how much support should remain between the plate edge and the cutout area?

Any other general tips, options for hold down clamps, etc.?

Also, how flat must the rib face of the plates be and how is the flatness best measured?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

v352.jpg


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I have a device for holding violins, but when I make a viola, which is rarely, I do this

http://darntonviolins.com/ethan/gougearch.jpg (two bench stops and a clamp)

and this

http://darntonviolins.com/ethan/topandback/gradback.jpg (two clamps and three blocks of wood--one block wedged under the c-bout to keep thw whole plate from rotating).

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Brad, for roughing inside of the plate, many makers using the simple setup shown in Feng Jiang's web site. You can measure the thickness without removing the plate. I don't use any craddle at all. I have home made gouges desinged for one hand operation. I clamp a pine board on the bench as a stop. I use my left hand to hold the plate and right hand to carve.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Jimbow

Matt,

Is the 3/4 " MDF board flat enough to use as a basis for gaging cello plate flatness (on the rib face)?

I am particularily concerned with flatness of the 2 piece top which will certainly need significant planing after gluing together.

I'm not sure where you say I use 3/4" MDF. Anyways, if you want to gauge plate flatness use a GOOD straight-edge, that's what I do.

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quote:


I'm not sure where you say I use 3/4" MDF. Anyways, if you want to gauge plate flatness use a GOOD straight-edge, that's what I do.

I didn't mean to put words in your mouth, Matt. You mentioned MDF earlier and I bought the thickest MDF available here in the U.S. which happens to be 3/4 inch thick, thats all!

Others have occasionally suggested using a straight edge but I wasn't sure that was enough to establish a plane surface. It's been many years since my geometry classes but I do recall that a cone is made up of many straight lines but those straight lines certainly don't establish a plane, or flat, surface.

Maybe a straight edge check in many positions is a valid check---apparently it works for you and others.

As a newbie to "making", I just want to do things correctly and must occasionally ask some dumb questions.

The books are of little help so please bear with me!

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