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Matthias Lange

Building my second violin - photos

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Last week, I started to build my second violin.

I will make some photos of the process and post them here.

The first two photos show my workshop, it is small but has everything I need.

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The next one shows the wood

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I started by drawing the Stradivari PG mold with the help of Francois Denis' book.

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Then i cut it out and glued the blocks to it.

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Joined and glued the top.

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Then I planed the underside of the top flat.

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Next I planed the ribs,

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marked the thickness of 1,1mm with the drill press

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and planed the ribs to thickness.

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Then I bent the sides. I made an extension for my bending iron, that fits the c-bout curves better.

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After that I shaped the blocks

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and glued the c-bout ribs.

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Then I shaped the rest of the blocks and glued the remaining ribs.

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Currently I am glueing the linings.

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Matthias

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Good! I loved your old wooden clamps! There is just one problem.... I see no wood shavings in your floor, you are an organized guy! I envy you! Good luck!

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Very nice, Matthias! You've got some beautiful wood there. Looks like you're very professional in your work - have you had training? Like Manfio, I envy you in many ways...

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Then I shaped the rest of the blocks and glued the remaining ribs.

vm_15.jpg

We typically glue the ribs at the lower block first to get a better joint, but it looks like you're doing well. thumbsup.gif

Congratulations on being skillful enough with a plane to be able to thickness ribs. :)

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Then I bent the sides. I made an extension for my bending iron, that fits the c-bout curves better.

vm_13.jpg

Matthias

How did you make that extension? Bandsaw? I don't see a CNC milling machine in your shop photos.

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Thank you!

I like these old clamps very much, too. I got them for 5 Euro on ebay.

Tim, I'm self taught. I learned from books and I learn very much from this forum, every day.

Thank you for the rib-glueing advice, David. That should make things easier, next time...

I honed a 50° bevel on the blade to plane the ribs. No problems with tear-out, there. :)

I made the bending iron extension from aluminium. I used a beltsander, to do the rough work and finished it with a file. What is EDM, Anders?

Matthias

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Hi Matthias,

EDM is 'electron discharge machining', a sophisticated relatively recent technology (although a constant contrarian would no doubt fall to the temptation of pointing out that there are recipes for doing it at home :) )

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Last week, I started to build my second violin.

I will make some photos of the process and post them here.

<snip>

vm_9.jpg

Really nice, both work and work place. I suspect you would be appalled at the conditions I work in. :) At least I'm consistent, my desk is a mess too.

I have found one piece moulds a bit of a pain. By having a mould made from four pieces I can fit top and bottom linings with it in place and so reduce the trouble I was having with the ribs not holding their proper shape. Once the linings are fitted the mould can be disassembled and removed without any drama.

Regards,

Tim

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Yes, I too am a sucker for photos of other peoples shops.

Nice set up Mr. Lange, thaks for the post.

I do have a question, though - It struck me that your ribs seem to be a bit thick from the band saw and to the hand plane. Not that the final product looks wrong, but;

Are you using the widest available band saw blade, feeding the wood very slowly, and smoothing the surface of the block prior to feeding it in to resaw?

When I resaw with my admittedly bigger (12") bandsaw, it seems that I pretty much only need to scrape the one surface with a sharp scraper to end up where I want to be with the rib thickness.

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The ribs had been sawn by the supplier. Judging from the toolmarks, on a table saw.

I had a bit of distortion in one of the lower bout ribs. By bending the lining so, that it counters the distortion, I got it back into shape. (at least nearly)

I may try the four piece mould next time. Thanks for the idea.

Matthias

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Hi, Matthias

Seeing your initial pile of wood makes me want to order a set for a 2nd violin. It's a big pile of potential!

I guess I better get the finish on my current one first.

I also really enjoy seeing work in progress pictures so keep em coming.

Nice looking work,

Chris

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I have found one piece moulds a bit of a pain. By having a mould made from four pieces I can fit top and bottom linings with it in place and so reduce the trouble I was having with the ribs not holding their proper shape. Once the linings are fitted the mould can be disassembled and removed without any drama.

Hi Tim,

Can you post a picture of your 4 piece mold?

Matthias,

Your workmanship resembles your workshop .. very clean! Further to what David suggested: I glue and fit the upper bout top joint first (for extra practice) even though the joint does not need to be precise. After that dries I fit the upper corners. Then I repeat the process for the lower bout joint. I made a small bench hook for fitting the upper / lower ribs which allow me to use a sanding stick to clean the edge.

post-24376-1240887438_thumb.jpg

I have seen one maker's mold that only has 2 holes for clamping the C- bouts. He uses the corner and end blocks as clamping surfaces for the upper and lower bouts!

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Is that a skylight over your bench? That must give you great natural lighting.

Yes it is a skylight. It is very good, except for shaping the arches of the plates. I do the arching by night. At least the fine work.

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I leveled the ribs on a sanding board today. I did this with a plane on my first one, but it was very difficult. If you setup the plane to cut the endgrain of the blocks well, then it tears out the flames of the maple and vice versa.

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This is the finished underside of the ribs.

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After that, I trimmed the linings.

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Then I planed the back and checked that it is flat with a straightedge.

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Next, I will cut the corners to their final length and draw the outline of the backplate.

Matthias

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Hi Matthias,

EDM is 'electron discharge machining', a sophisticated relatively recent technology (although a constant contrarian would no doubt fall to the temptation of pointing out that there are recipes for doing it at home :) )

I set up and ran an EDM for my father's tool & die business. It works only on metal and functions like any CNC (CAD/CAM) machine. They're pretty damn impressive.

Mike

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You are right, Manfio. The corners were still much too long.

I cut them to size and traced the outline around the ribs.

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The next step was drawing the corners. They are still a bit square. I lie them a little bit rounded. But that's is only the first drawing.

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Then I made a really dumb mistake. :)

I cut out the back on the bandsaw and cut away the button.

As I understand it, the button is really important for the neck joint. Is there a way to save the back or do I have to make a new one?

It would be a shame to have ruined that nice piece of wood.

vm_24.jpg

Matthias

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No need to waste the wood, Matthias. You're hardly the first person to make that mistake. Search here on MN, and I'm sure you'll find posts about it, and solutions and advice.

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Matthias;

No time like the present to learn how to do a button-graft. Just cut the wood from the section adjacent, where the real button WOULD have been, and enough oversized to allow a long overlap into the plate. Do keep the wood turned the same direction as it was when it was attached to the plate, or it will change the way the light reflects, and look bad. I have done this backward a few times, and it sticks out terribly.

My button grafts extend up to the purfling line, so that there is no visible seam there, and then parallel the grain beside the engrafted button, so that those seams are invisible. You have limited depth available, front to back, in the plate itself, so do not extend the depth of the graft too far-- in fact, it would be best if it tapered to nothing, somewhere the other side of the block location...

Sharp tools, obviously; hot hide glue, don't run with scissors, some settling may occur during shipping, all the usual disclaimers.

Probably someone has explained this more clearly elsewhere...

Good luck...

Chet

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Then I made a really dumb mistake. :)

I cut out the back on the bandsaw and cut away the button.

As I understand it, the button is really important for the neck joint. Is there a way to save the back or do I have to make a new one?

It would be a shame to have ruined that nice piece of wood.

Matthias

Congratulations! You are officially on your way to being a violin maker. :)

Although I'm sure they exist, I have never personally met a maker that hasn't cut off a button.

But only once!

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