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OPUS-1


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I came up with the idea to make a violin two and a half years ago so that my sons can see what it takes to make one as they both playing the violin and the older (Tomas, now 13) plays it rather well. So the journey was somewhat more important than the end result.

As I didn't do any woodwork since my time in school many moons ago, I built a workbench first which took me a bit over a year. I used this time to read as much as I could about violin making and I was also a frequent visitor in this forum.

Then 10 month ago I started the violin, using mainly "The Art of Violin Making" as a guide plus lots of information from Maestronet and other places on the Internet. And this week, the journey came finally to an end!

Violin-1.JPG

Violin-2.JPG

Violin-3.JPG

Violin-4.JPG

Violin-5.JPG

The violin is based on the 1715 Stradivari Titian and the colour is as I imagined a pristine Strad to look like based on the Messiah.

I am pleased with the outcome even though the violin has many hallmarks of a "first" like sloping f-holes, corners which aren't quite right, purfling which is too wide (I had to use viola purfling because I cut the groove too wide) and many more messed up details. But the bonus is a surprisingly good sounding instrument and it is rather light with 390g. When I showed it to Tomas' violin teacher, his comment in regards to the sound was: "very nice - I like it a lot" and as a result, Tomas is now playing it - I guess beginners luck!

Enough about it's background. But I would appreciate any constructive criticism which would help me to make a better OPUS-2.

The Forum here is indeed a gold mine with all the information available and my special thanks go to all the participants, but specially to MANFIO (But I may be wrong :) ), Jacob, Melving and to Michael Darnton (who finally emerged from his disguise) for his clear and direct to the point opinion and advice. And of course also to all the beginners who asked the many questions originally and last but not least to Jeffrey Holmes to make this forum such an inviting place. Many thanks to all of you, Peter

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Well Peter, I think there are very good reasons to have you banned from the Pegbox :)

First off you make a violin from a book that looks really good, secondly it seems it sounds more than OK and then, to cap it off, you have the audacity to take really good photos of it!

Seriously, really good effort all round. The learning curve seems to get steeper (I'm on number 5) as you begin to understand more what you don't know (?).

Regards,

Tim

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Well Peter, I think there are very good reasons to have you banned from the Pegbox :)

Getting banned after my first post :) Wouldn't that be a bit harsh?

But thank you Tim for your encouraging words. I already know what you mean. Before I started I had hundreds of questions - now I have thousands of questions! Nonetheless, I am looking forward to start the second one as I found it so rewarding!

Cheers, Peter

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Are you "done" now or has the bug bit you bad?

Let's hope the bug has bitten him really bad.

If this is #1, then I want to see #'s 2 and beyond.

This is without a doubt the cleanest 1st violin I've ever seen.

If you say that isn't a pre carved scroll, I believe I'll pack up my sharpening stones and go home.

In any case - wow! - and thanks for posting this!

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Thank you Ben. I will certainly try to improve the corners on my next one. Yes, the colouring was indeed challenging (had three goes at it until it came out even) and I found it very difficult to photograph as the red-orange is creating artifacts in the JEPEG compression (noticeable around the tailpiece).

She does sound surprisingly nice, very even across all strings with a nice full tone. Really surprising considering I used 3rd grade spruce which I found a bit on the heavy side.

And yes, actonern, I am invested with bugs and hope to make many more including some violas and at least one cello! OPUS-2 will be once more based on the Titian as I have wood which is a very close match. After that, I like to try a del Gesu.

Cheers, Peter

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Let's hope the bug has bitten him really bad.

Oh, you're from Melbourne.

That explains at least part of it. It must be that you were inspired by the near presence of the Great Barrier Reef, and the vast and wonderful Outback. Then too, being 53 years old -WHICH IS THE PRIME OF LIFE - by the way, doesn't hurt either...

I looked at your profile, not much there.

Peter, what do you do for a living (in real life), do you mind if I ask? Inquiring minds want to know. I looked at this (1st) violin again, and was impressed all over again. I'm curious if it is just you that is interested in building violins, or are your sons the type to get bitten also?

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That would be cheating, wouldn't it? Well it is carved as following pictures show.

Cheers, Peter

I believe you!

(Ok, that's it,

I'm going home now...)

Peter, I know I've mentioned this already, but, in my opinion, this really is very very clean work, for a first effort - you must have been paying attention.

Well done.

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Peter, what do you do for a living (in real life), do you mind if I ask? Inquiring minds want to know. I looked at this (1st) violin again, and was impressed all over again. I'm curious if it is just you that is interested in building violins, or are your sons the type to get bitten also?

Yes, live starts with 50! I am originally from Switzerland, but moved to Australia 27 years ago and love it here. But the Great Barrier Reef is over 2000km north of Melbourne, but we do have many scenic spots too.

I worked for many years as a photo journalist specialized in aviation photography so I do have a good eye for details. But as other work commitments (designing Printed Circuit Boards and enclosures for electronic equipment) and family limiting my photography work, I needed another challenge and as both my sons play the violin, I thought why not make one.

Jakob, age 9, did indeed show much interest in building the violin and giving a bit of time, he may have a go at it, But Tomas is more the dreamer and enjoying it more to play than to build. And he does play the violin well. Here are two Youtube links showing him playing his 3/4 size violin.

I can't wait to record him at his next recital playing my violin.

Cheers, Peter

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What, that's your first violin? :) I'm impressed. I can't believe that you made it from a book. I like your choice of pegs. Although I don't really think it need critique, I'll point to something that strikes my eyes. The edge thickness doesn't look quite right to me. The old masters had a more organic feel. In simple terms, make the corners and c-bout bolder. Congratulations on a great violin!

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Seeing as the fiddle is pretty hot, I think you owe it to yourself to use a better grade of wood next time, particulalry for the front, first quality.

Enjoyed the youtube links.

You could prick through the photo of the scroll on the wood, join the dots and draw the line by hand, that might give you a better idea of your turns. Spot on anyway so whatever works.

Oh, and if you antiqued it all just slightly, those softish corners would look even better, I think.

Look forward to #2

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This has got me thinking if it would be fun to have a "show your first" thread...

I'm not near a camera to start it at the moment, but I'd be happy to show mine for some laughs... from 1985...

Best regards,

E

Ok, I'm game - I'll start a new thread - not here though, in honor of this fine violin which ought not to be abducted from its own thread...

I play #1, which is not the best sounding violin I've made, but I cannot seem to get rid of it.

I'll post #1 and #38 together (the most recent finished violin in my shop).

I'd love to see others do the same if possible.

First violins intrigue me no end.

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Jakob, age 9, did indeed show much interest in building the violin and giving a bit of time, he may have a go at it, But Tomas is more the dreamer and enjoying it more to play than to build. And he does play the violin well. Here are two Youtube links showing him playing his 3/4 size violin.

I can't wait to record him at his next recital playing my violin.

Cheers, Peter

I too love your violin. Nobody has commented on your son's playing. I think he is really good at that age and look forward to hearing him on your violin. It appears that you have a family of talent.

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Wow, very well made ... an inspiration for all first time and experienced builders. You have a good eye, maybe that comes from your photography, too see what most first time makers take years to develop. You have certainly set the bar for a first violin.

You are blessed to have two remarkable sons whose interest in violins will inspire you to make many more.

Congratulations!

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