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J. Goldsmith Strings

Joe's Bench - First violin onwards

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Hi everyone,

I debated whether or not to post here, being completely new to violin making, but I figured some of you might be interested (and I could sure use the help!!!). If the mods disagree with my being here, I'm completely fine with deleting this thread.

I'm Joe, aged 16, and I love violins! I was given pretty much all the tools I needed (those of you on Violins.ca/forums will recognise me. I'm not affiliated, just shedding light on my background) and I've started building a violin using un-finished/started parts from a deceased maker and one of my friends (who's a professional violin maker). I'm not building a kit, I wouldn't feel right using pre-made parts, but I can't afford all the wood so I'm using what I can get. The top and back were cut out before I was given them (but untouched by a gouge) and the neck was cut out along it's outline (both of which I've done before anyway) and the sides of the pegbox had been cut out (but not the neck or scroll).

 

Anyway, here's what I've been doing today. It's far from finished, but I can make it look nice from what I've done so far. Any advice is very much appreciated.

 

Joesscrollstage1.jpg

 

Thanks,

Joe

 

PS All your work has been very inspiring to me, I'd like to thank especially Melvin Goldsmith and CTviolin for their contributions to the site.

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Joe,

 

We all need feedback. Continue to post here and see what others are saying. There will be some "noise" or chaff that you must filter out. It takes time to recognize good advice. Mine for your scroll is to make the curves flow smoothly - no discontinuities or sudden changes in direction. Always look at photos of good classical examples.

 

Keep posting, and stay tuned.

 

Mike

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The last turn of the scroll is too short, so I might start another scroll from a different neck blank I was given.

Thanks mike, the whole head is a bit squashed because it was already cut to a template and the pin pricks marked on. The new block is a nicer shape, though I do like the character of the old one :(

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Once you bring the eye down to size, the final turn won't be too tight. A scroll is a remarkable creature: it can withstand all sorts of layout and carving mistakes and still end up stylish and sweet, if not what you first intended. Luis Manfio has a great step-by-step tutorial on scrolls- check it out searching here, or on the web.

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I think that you should take the time it needs and continue step by step. It is not a perfectly smooth spiral but it does not have to be. A scroll can be very beautiful in it's imperfection. For example this is an imperfect german fabric scroll that you could try to imitate:

 

post-37356-0-59351900-1385209957_thumb.jpg post-37356-0-25280900-1385209974_thumb.jpg

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While the scroll can be carved aesthetically, there are some parameters at the nut/fingerboard that need to be considered carefully.

 

For example, the top of your fingerboard is pretty high up relative to where the thumb can get to at the top of the neck (chin). The way you have it now means that in 1/2 position the first finger needs to go back further relative to the thumb position.

 

Usually, the top of the fingerboard is aligned with the bottom of the chin at the back of the scroll.

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post-25192-0-43644600-1385304645_thumb.jpg

 

Unless you're copying something like a da Salo scroll, the "vertical walls" (with the scroll lying sideways on the bench) should be straight and level with each other.  You really need to watch out for that excessive undercutting.  I find that it helps to rough with the scroll flat on the bench and make sure the gouge is held vertically, then I fine tune by eye, checking from all angles to make sure the walls are level and straight.

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Yup, I noticed that and I've neatened it up. Thanks for pointing it out though :)

Unfortunately, the eye split today, and nearly came off! I've glued it back together, and I'll see whether it worked or not tomorrow.

Should I leave the scroll and start again or see whether or not the glue worked?

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