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Matthias Lange

Building my second violin - photos

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AHA! I have yet to cut off a button :) . But, then again, I am only working on #1 :) . I'm sure it will happen, though. Hopefully not when I make a batch of 5 at a time.

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I threw away the aluminum piece on the Ebex bending iron because I would never make a cello. I drilled a hole at the center of a smaller aluminum piece (like your extension) and fit it on the heating capsule. I once lived in the attic of a house near Erlangen. Your photo reminds me the sky-light/window on the roof. My landlady cooked quite often pork shoulder and leg in a big pot; she would cut the meat in thin slices for breakfast. The juice in the pot reminds me the hide glue, it's sticky.

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I threw away the aluminum piece on the Ebex bending iron because I would never make a cello. I drilled a hole at the center of a smaller aluminum piece (like your extension) and fit it on the heating capsule. I once lived in the attic of a house near Erlangen. Your photo reminds me the sky-light/window on the roof. My landlady cooked quite often pork shoulder and leg in a big pot; she would cut the meat in thin slices for breakfast. The juice in the pot reminds me the hide glue, it's sticky.

Nice Story! Did you like the food?

Thank you for the replies, Tim, Chet, arglebargle and Don noon.

Good to know that I'm not the first one to cut off the button.

I've been reading through the older posts.

I think I could make a nearly invisible repair , if I do it like this.

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I plan to make it a little bit tapered to make it easier to fit to the sides.

Also I want to make it so, that the joint falls into the purfling groove.

Is it correct like this?. Will the glueing surface be sufficient?

Thanks,

Matthias

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Matthias I think it is easier to do the repair in two stages so you are not trying to fit two very complex compound surfaces together for a perfect joint.

Do the outside as you have it, with the joint at the purfling (use the same wood from your offcuts if you can), then do the reinforcement on the inside. A taper from the outside in does make fitting easier.

I think Michael Darnton posted a sketch of the procedure in one of the threads on the topic. Ah yes, here. The drawing illustrates a technique to use if you don't want to have a crown on the button.

Buttonectomy!

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However you add the replacement button, I would also add an ebony crown to the new button.

It will really help hide the joint, draw the eye away, and add a touch of "class" to an unfortunate situation.

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i'm sure your a nice guy, but....i don't know if i could trust someone who keeps their shop that clean :)

but, if you would like, if your ever in the bay area, i have one that you would have a blast cleaning and organizing :)

looks good, very "clean" work :)

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ah yes the button....

i suggest always really marking in out well and also cutting it first....extra dark pencil lines are like "hey buddy, over here,signal flags, hey cut me first, orange caution tape, road construction, etc" you get the idea....

when cutting plates it is easy to get mesmerized by the curvature of the line, very much like walking in concentric circles...

by cutting the button first when you come to it, the trance will be broken when you see the cross cut gap....

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Before I made the button graft, I roughed out the back plate and finished the outline.

To rough out the outline, I drilled a series of holes. This way it is very easy and you can work very fast.

Maybe I won't need it anymore when I have made a few more violins and have a better sense for the arching.

The holes are not drilled to the final depth. I left about half a millimeter, so that I can still adjust the arch a bit.

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Then I marked the edge thickness

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and started to rough out the plate.

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As I got closer to the ground of the holes, I switched to finger planes.

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Then, after all the holes are gone, I smoothed the surface with a scraper.

The arch is still a bit bumpy. I will finish it after the purfling is installed.

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Then I cut the outline. I used a knife to cut close to the line and finished it with a file.

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This is the finished outline.

vm_33.jpg

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Looks quite good! Where did you get this wood?

What I do in this point is lightly glueing the rib cage to the back (I apply some glue drops just to the upper, lower and corner blocks, I use pieces of paper betwen the back and the blocks to make the further remotion easier) to adjust the projection of the back corners over the ribs.

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Now it was time to do the button graft.

I practiced it on another piece of wood first, but could not get the "bath tub" patch to fit properly.

Therefore I decided use the method from my drawing.

First I marked a centerline on the back plate and the button, so that the anual rings will match.

Then I marked the taper on the button.

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Then I planed the sides of the patch, so that they are straight and square.

Next, I positioned it on the back and transferred its outline.

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Then I glued a piece of plywood to the underside of the patch, to prevent it from breaking or bending and cut the taper.

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After that i cut the mortise on the back.

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And chalk-fitted the patch.

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Glued it in

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and planed it .

This is a photo of the finished top side.

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and one of the underside

vm_41.jpg

Matthias

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Thank you, Manfio.

I got the wood from a ebay seller here in Germany. If you check his shop often, you can find really nice wood for a really good price. This piece is Bosnian maple from 1999. I paid about 60 Euro for it. (Including neck and ribs).

One thing that I noticed is that the corners look quite a bit different, although they are very symmetrical.

I think this is due to the different angle of the flames in relation to the corners.

I thought about compensating this. But then the corners on the top would look strange.

Maybe it will become less apparent, when the purfling is installed and the fluting is cut.

How do you deal with this problem on one piece backs?

Matthias

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Good wood for this price!

As I mentioned on my corner shaping tutorial, I shape the corners with the ribcage lightly glued to the plates, and sometimes the corners get some "independence" from the rib lines, as mentioned by Roger Hargrave on his article on Del Gesù. I draw lines with the aid of a divider to guide my eyes too, as explained in my tutorial.

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I cut the purfling channel today.

First I used the purfling knife to mark the outer line, which is 4mm from the edge.

Then I used another knife to cut this line.

vm_42.jpg

Then I marked and cut the inner line. I set the purfling marker to 5,1 mm for that.

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Then I chiseled the purfling channel to a depth of 2mm.

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The purfling channel became quite a bit wider, while I was cutting. There is some space on either side of the purfling, now :)

I was expecting that the purfling channel gets wider, but not that much.

The purfling, that I use, is 1,2mm wide.

I hope the wood will swell a bit and close the gap. :)

Is there any trick, that makes it easier to get the right width?

Matthias

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I just did the same thing yesterday. I set the purfling cutter with a .05"shim between the blades, marked them, cut them, cleared them out, and they are about .06+" wide. I just measured the marker and they are .055 apart, can't trust the shim. Before I marked one side at a time on a piece of scrap, cutting the groove and checking the fit. That works. That last one was a lot easier. This one I fixed by using 3 loose .02" veneer strips instead of the pre-made purfling I was going to use. Your corners (bee stings) look better than mine, I have to work on my details.

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Thanks!

You are right, I'm working much faster than on my first one.

I fitted the purfling miters, until the joint looked good.

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Then, I glued it in. I couldn't take a photo, while I was glueing the purfling, so the next one shows the cutting of the scoop around the edges.

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The finished scoop.

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And a photo of the edges. I think the purfling came out pretty good.

The upper left corner is the worst of the four corners, because a little bit of the maple broke off. The lower left corner is the nicest. :)

The others are in between.

vm_50.jpg

Matthias

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beautiful work!

I'm just a woodworker and not a luthier so I can get away with this novice question.

why a one piece back? Acoustical difference?

Aesthetically I would rather see a bookmatch so the grain is ballanced.

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Thank you!

I don't think that a one piece back is superior acoustically. I think both, one piece backs and bookmatched backs, can work well.

I use it, because I like how it looks. It breaks up the strong symmetry you have on the violin.

Matthias

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It's been a while since I last posted something here.

The reason is that I have to prepare a lecture at the university. Therefore I do not have so much time left for violin making.

But I sometimes find the time to do some work.

I finished the arch on the back,

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Drilled the graduation marks and started to hollow out the plate.

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More graduation.

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The nearly finished back.

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Then I started to make the top.

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I did not have my photo camera for the last two weeks, so there are some steps missing. But it is basically the same as on the back.

The inlaid purfling.

vm_57.jpg

And the (almost) finished arching.

vm_58.jpg

Matthias

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Thank You, Tim!

I held the lecture this week, so I finally have time to continue working on the violin.

I drilled a few graduation holes and roughly graduated the top to a thickness of approximately 4mm.

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Then I located the position of the f-hole eyes and marked the f-hole outline.

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I drilled the eyes,

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and used a coping saw to rough out the f-holes.

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I used a sharp knife to finish the f-holes,

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cut the f-hole fluting with a gouge and finished it with an scraper.

vm_67.jpg

Matthias

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I continued graduating the top plate.

vm_68.jpg

This is the finished plate.

vm_69.jpg

Next, I tapered the ribs in the upper bouts. I used the sanding board and a shim under the lower corner blocks to do this.

I also tapered the frame, that I use to fit the bassbar, in the same way.

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Then I began to fit the bassbar. First I planed it to 5,5 mm, then I positioned it on the top and scribed a line on both sides of the bassbar. I used the little block of wood, that has a pencil fitted to it, to scribe the line.

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This way, I can draw a pretty accurate reproduction of the arching on both sides of the bar, which makes it very easy to rough-fit the bar.

It takes only about 10 minutes to roughly fit it.

The next photo shows the roughly fitted bar.

vm_73.jpg

Now I have to do the chalk fitting of the bar. That will take much longer.

Matthias

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Beautiful work, Matthias! Quick, too. Sure wish I could get back to my #2 - it's been weeks now, just too much work and other stuff getting in the way. Soon, though...

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Matthias. I envy your beautifully mitered purfling corners. Did you use a jig to get such a perfect cut? What kind of blade or knife did you cut with? I would love to have the details of your procedure if you have the time. Great craftsmanship!

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