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Walter van der Hee

My first violin

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Hello all,

first of all the best wishes for 2012 for everyone, that all your dreams may come true!

Now let me introduce myself, I am Walter, 37 years old, working as a software engineer, no wood working experience at all, but I woke up one day with the urge to make a violin. I bought the Johnson & Courtnal book, read it over and over again and spent hours on this forum (thanks to all for the very valuable info here).

After all I read I still had the urge and felt I could do it, so I ordered tools (I didn't even have a gouge) and some wood and just started.

Couple of months later I have something that looks like a violin IMHO, I know there are plenty of little mistakes in the details, but to me it looks good and it even sounds good I think.

So again, thanks to all and here's a pic, sorry I am not a photographer...

violine-collage_1280.jpg

Cheers,

Walter

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Hello all,

first of all the best wishes for 2012 for everyone, that all your dreams may come true!

So again, thanks to all and here's a pic, sorry I am not a photographer...

Cheers,

Walter

Welcome Walter! I hope you stick around for a while - do you plan a no. 2 ?.

Great story! Nice work, for a first violin, I might upgrade that to - this violin looks wonderful, how does it sound?

Again, Welcome to Maestronet, Walter.

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Hello all,

Now let me introduce myself, I am Walter, 37 years old, working as a software engineer...

I woke up one day with the urge to make a violin.

Cheers,

Walter

No one here will hold any of this against you...

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@ctviolin: Thanks a lot for your reply, wow you really think it looks wonderful??? I think so too, but I'm a little biased ;)

I think it sounds great, but again, who am I to tell. I'll try to get in contact with some violin players in the area to ask their opinion.

Yeah, I am planning a No. 2, looking around for nice wood atm and thinking of 'copying' an old master.

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Congratulations. Please don't build a second violin. If you do it will be closely followed by a third, a fourth,etc. and you'll end up as confused as the rest of us who are possessed. Good luck on your second.

Yes, Walter!

You have been warned! This is an addictive craft, and "no one can build just one" (with apologies to Frito-Lay & Co.).

Nice work, for as little input as it seems you had from others. Much better than my first. I will look forward to seeing what you do in future iterations.

Welcome aboard. Hope you enjoy the ride.

Chet Bishop

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Welcome Walter!

The workmanship looks quite good for the first one.

But why did you use this strange outline? The wide c-bouts will make it difficult to bow close to the bridge.

It would have been easier to use a standard violin model (i.e Stad)

Matthias

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Yes, Walter!

You have been warned! This is an addictive craft, and "no one can build just one" (with apologies to Frito-Lay & Co.).

Nice work, for as little input as it seems you had from others. Much better than my first. I will look forward to seeing what you do in future iterations.

Welcome aboard. Hope you enjoy the ride.

Chet Bishop

Thanks Chet, it flatters me to hear you think it looks better than your first. I looked a lot at your work and admired it!

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Welcome Walter!

The workmanship looks quite good for the first one.

But why did you use this strange outline? The wide c-bouts will make it difficult to bow close to the bridge.

It would have been easier to use a standard violin model (i.e Stad)

Matthias

Thanks Matthias, yeah I did mess up a bit with the outline (and plenty of other things).

I didn't have any posters or other instruments when I started and sort of made it up myself.

I wanted a 'fat-ass' violin (I should ask my shrink why) and it ended up like this.

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Well, I have seen some violas reminiscent of that shape, that had great tone. Does that violin, by chance, sound viola-ish? My first several violins were frequently accused of sounding like a viola. But in my case, the arching was at fault.

For future reference, you might try emulating some particular well-known instrument, knowing that, since the original was a great violin, you probably can't go too far afield by attempting at least a "inspired by", if not a "copy of" that original.

OTOH, there is nothing wrong with coming up with your own design. It just may invite criticism that you may or may not feel like absorbing. Depends on how thick-skinned you may be.

My first, a viola (which you have evidently seen) had tons of things wrong. It was a half-baked copy of some cheap student instrument that had been lent to my youngest son. No idea of the maker, let alone a particular model, if there even was one. And still, I made way more serious errors than you did. (Notice the "five-ply purfling"? (actually it is six) That was done because my purfling groove was so hopelessly sloppy that in may places it was twice as wide as needed. So I bought a dremel bit, twice the thickness of the purfling, reamed it ALL out to that width, and doubled the purfling. (sigh...).

Yes, I think you did fine. Now, the second one will eliminate maybe half the errors on the first. The third will do the same for the second, but probably introduce a new one or three. Then you regroup and try on #4 to clean it all up. And so forth...

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@ctviolin: Thanks a lot for your reply, wow you really think it looks wonderful??? I think so too, but I'm a little biased ;)

I think it sounds great, but again, who am I to tell. I'll try to get in contact with some violin players in the area to ask their opinion.

Yeah, I am planning a No. 2, looking around for nice wood atm and thinking of 'copying' an old master.

Yes, absolutely. I remember making my first violin. And what an absolute kick that was!

For a first violin, this one is rather bold and proud looking - I'd be extremely happy if my first violin had looked like that...

I think you are starting out with the right idea - experienced musicians will help you hone in on some important things quickly

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Well, I have seen some violas reminiscent of that shape, that had great tone. Does that violin, by chance, sound viola-ish? My first several violins were frequently accused of sounding like a viola. But in my case, the arching was at fault.

For future reference, you might try emulating some particular well-known instrument, knowing that, since the original was a great violin, you probably can't go too far afield by attempting at least a "inspired by", if not a "copy of" that original.

OTOH, there is nothing wrong with coming up with your own design. It just may invite criticism that you may or may not feel like absorbing. Depends on how thick-skinned you may be.

...

I couldn't tell you if it sounds viola-ish, I just don't know enough about it, but I must say to my untrained ears the G & D string do sound marvelous, the E string as well actually, I have doubts about the A, but that could be anything as you know...

For my second violin I haven't decided yet, I have the strad posters of the Messiah and the Plowden, it will be a 'copy' or 'inspired by' one of those.

Don't worry about my skin, elephant-ish ;)

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I would like to join all previous posters in congratulating you on you’re first violin, a fine effort.

I think for you’re second (and subsequent) efforts, you would be much better advised to follow a model of one of the old masters. It is not least for people like you, that we developed the “Strad Poster” in the early 80’s at Machold’s in Bremen, whilst I was there. In the subsequent 25 years there have been dozens of posters, so you are really spoilt for choice.

Trying to follow an old master as exactly as possible, will help you avoid all the beginner mistakes that you have made on the first one and the poster should give you any conceivable measurement you could want (otherwise you could ask on this forum). Once one has “learned to walk” like that, one would be more lightly to have the wherewithal to make something original and personal, without having to be embarrassed years later by the wacky outline or strangely placed f holes etc.

After all, it is not necessary to (re)invent the wheel, is it? If I wanted to start welding, for instance (about which I haven’t the foggiest clue), I would get on much faster if I asked Chet (COB3) to show me how it goes first.

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I would like to join all previous posters in congratulating you on youre first violin, a fine effort.

I think for youre second (and subsequent) efforts, you would be much better advised to follow a model of one of the old masters. It is not least for people like you, that we developed the Strad Poster in the early 80s at Macholds in Bremen, whilst I was there. In the subsequent 25 years there have been dozens of posters, so you are really spoilt for choice.

Trying to follow an old master as exactly as possible, will help you avoid all the beginner mistakes that you have made on the first one and the poster should give you any conceivable measurement you could want (otherwise you could ask on this forum). Once one has learned to walk like that, one would be more lightly to have the wherewithal to make something original and personal, without having to be embarrassed years later by the wacky outline or strangely placed f holes etc.

After all, it is not necessary to (re)invent the wheel, is it? If I wanted to start welding, for instance (about which I havent the foggiest clue), I would get on much faster if I asked Chet (COB3) to show me how it goes first.

Thanks for your reply Jacob. Yes I know you are right and I will follow an old master for my second one, I was just too eager to start on the first one. I just wanted to prove to myself (and some others) I could do it, now it's time to do it seriously.

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Welcome to the forum Walter and thanks for showing your violin. It looks great,

nice finish and a personal shape.

I'm a beginner myself regarding violin making and woodworking and has got a lot of help from this forum. (I finished my second violin about a month ago)

To get a feel for the outline shape and the c-bout shape of different classical violin models, a method I found helpful is to look at pictures and imagine lines extending from the upper an lower bouts in to the c-bouts. (For example a stradivari violin below)

post-24701-0-45359800-1325712087_thumb.jpg

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Welcome to the forum Walter and thanks for showing your violin. It looks great,

nice finish and a personal shape.

I'm a beginner myself regarding violin making and woodworking and has got a lot of help from this forum. (I finished my second violin about a month ago)

To get a feel for the outline shape and the c-bout shape of different classical violin models, a method I found helpful is to look at pictures and imagine lines extending from the upper an lower bouts in to the c-bouts. (For example a stradivari violin below)

post-24701-0-45359800-1325712087_thumb.jpg

Thanks Fjodor.

I have 2 posters now and will look at them closely, cannot decide yet if I should 'copy' the Strad Messiah, or the DG Plowden...

The Messiah top seems a little flat to me, could I just raise that arch by 2 to 3 mm?

The Plowden is a great looking instrument I think, I think I favour that one, but still doubting. Any suggestions are welcome!

Oh cool, I passed the first 10 posts, which are checked to see if I don't use a word starting with an 'f' and to make sure I'm not being rude about sheep....

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If you were learning from me, I would tell you to do the Messiah first (DG is more diffucult to copy succesfully) paying particular attention to the outline. You could always save the Plowdon for Op.3. Since you aren't learning from me, you will have to make you're mind up yourself.

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If you were learning from me, I would tell you to do the Messiah first (DG is more diffucult to copy succesfully) paying particular attention to the outline. You could always save the Plowdon for Op.3. Since you aren't learning from me, you will have to make you're mind up yourself.

Thanks Jacob, I know I am not learning from you, but I do value your opinion.

What about the height of the Messiah top plate, has that collapsed a bit over time? Should I make it a little higher if I were to copy it?

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