priya

violin linings

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I tried spruce for the the linings of my first violin. On another I tried red cedar for some reason. That was very hard to bend without breaking. Lately I use poplar. I seem to always have scraps around because I use it for paint grade cabinets, and it's readily available on the west coast. It's fairly light, bends nicely and is easy to trim to shape after it's in.

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1 hour ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Make sure you select a low(er) density wood for linings and blocks, so as to not weigh down your garland. 

Agreed. And it doesn't get much lower than Paulownia.

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4 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Agreed. And it doesn't get much lower than Paulownia.

Aside from providing a larger gluing surface for the plates, do the linings also provide stiffness for the ribs?  If this is the case, is there a point where choice of lining material can be too low in density?

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I don't know.  Guess I'm chicken.  I would only ever use willow or spruce, because those are the only ones I know great instruments have been built with. And there is no reason not to use these.  For a violin maker, availability of spruce can't be an issue. I don't think it matters much between those two, but I've no idea how far you can stray without negative result, or at least at least a change of character.

The woods chosen classically are at least four things: light, elastic, strong, soft.     I would not use a hard or brittle wood, or a heavy one.  Even with light woods I would want to make sure they are very elastic also.

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Possibly, though I'm not much of a scientist (to my chagrin). Paulownia is weird stuff. Yes it's light, but it's really strong and pretty stiff. Get some and play around with it, it's cheap. 

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8 minutes ago, David Beard said:

I don't know.  Guess I'm chicken.  I would only ever use willow or spruce, because those are the only ones I know great instruments have been built with. And there is no reason not to use these.  For a violin maker, availability of spruce can't be an issue. I don't think it matters much between those two, but I've no idea how far you can stray without negative result, or at least at least a change of character.

The woods chosen classically are at least four things: light, elastic, strong, soft.     I would not use a hard or brittle wood, or a heavy one.  Even with light woods I would want to make sure they are very elastic also.

For what it's worth, Paulownia (called Kiri in Japan) is prized as a tonewood for a variety of east asian lutes and zithers.

Edit - in my admittedly limited experience (two violins so far) Paulownia ticks all your boxes - it's light, elastic, strong, and soft. It cuts well, bends well, glues well, etc. If you want I'll send you some to play with.

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1 hour ago, David Beard said:

I don't know.  Guess I'm chicken.  I would only ever use willow or spruce, because those are the only ones I know great instruments have been built with. And there is no reason not to use these.  For a violin maker, availability of spruce can't be an issue. I don't think it matters much between those two, but I've no idea how far you can stray without negative result, or at least at least a change of character.

The woods chosen classically are at least four things: light, elastic, strong, soft.     I would not use a hard or brittle wood, or a heavy one.  Even with light woods I would want to make sure they are very elastic also.

Paulownia is also not good for the end blocks, it is to flemsy, I had issues with the tail piece peg because I used Paulownia , the corner blocks did fine.

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Just now, carl1961 said:

Paulownia is also not good for the end blocks, it is to flemsy, I had issues with the tail piece peg because I used Paulownia , the corner blocks did fine.

Yes, and this is key - it's crushing strength is about 3/4 that of Willow. Better to use something more conventional for the upper and lower, Paulownia for everything else (if you want). Again I think block and lining choice is, within reason, not very important overall.

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I got to thinking about Paulownia for the end blocks. For the tail block, you could bush it before construction, but the weight of the Paulownia and boxwood bushing probably adds up to Willow, hah! 

Tomorrow I'll test my other idea, which is to take some water thin cyanoacrylate and saturate the endpin hole and see how much weight that adds to a test block, as well as how helpful it is. 

For the neck block, after finalizing the neck mortise you could set in a maple reinforcing bar (say 4x4, as long as the block is wide) along the very top edge of the mortise, where it would help to diffuse the pressure of the neck as pulled forward by string tension across the full width of the block. But that sounds like a pretty stupid use of time and effort for a couple of grams shaved. Forgive my foray into the theoretical! I'm finished now.

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7 hours ago, David Beard said:

I don't know.  Guess I'm chicken.  I would only ever use willow or spruce, because those are the only ones I know great instruments have been built with. And there is no reason not to use these.  For a violin maker, availability of spruce can't be an issue. I don't think it matters much between those two, but I've no idea how far you can stray without negative result, or at least at least a change of character.

The woods chosen classically are at least four things: light, elastic, strong, soft.     I would not use a hard or brittle wood, or a heavy one.  Even with light woods I would want to make sure they are very elastic also.

Some great Prague violins use walnut - the only reason these are not regarded as violins of the first quality is because they are not Italian.

Matthew Hardie used mahogany - I would not argue for him as a consistently great maker but a few of his violins sound tremendous ... so in principle mahogany can be used.

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