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Pete Moss

Linings

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I'm curious to know what makers consider an appropriate lining width and how linings affect the sound (or not) of a finished violin. I have used basswood and cedar before. Any remarks regarding wood choice are appreciated as well.

Thank you.

PM

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Well they are basically just there to keep the top and back on, so regarding wood choice generally the lighter the better really. I've used willow and spruce both work fine.

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I'm using willow for the first time for linings and blocks. I don't see any benefits with willow linings compared to spruce or pine, but the blocks are less prone to split. Pine for linings is the best choice in my opinion, because they are easy to bend and stays bent, which is the problem with the willow linings that i'm using right now. They don't stay bent unless they are warmed several times.

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I'm using willow for the first time for linings and blocks. I don't see any benefits with willow linings compared to spruce or pine, but the blocks are less prone to split. Pine for linings is the best choice in my opinion, because they are easy to bend and stays bent, which is the problem with the willow linings that i'm using right now. They don't stay bent unless they are warmed several times.

Never had this problem with willow.

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Well, there's also the fact that once the linings, any linings, are glued in, they shouldn't "bend" in any case.

And in particular when they are inlet into the blocks and/or set in "tightly" or with great accuracy.

 

Glued in linings act as a sort of stabilizing influence for the rib structure, and the lining, as gluing in linings makes a ply, where the lining and the rib structure are now solidified into that rather stable shape, with the stabilizing influence of the lining now acting as a ply to enforce the rib structure, and violins general shape.

 

It's an interesting fact that I rarely see or hear anything about, but the way it works is a very interesting fact of building violins, to me.

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Linings add a tremendous amount of strength and rigidity to the rib structure. On two occasions for repair I have had to remove all the linings from a free rib structure and it is amazing how flexible it gets without that support.

In general I think linings should be smaller rather than larger. For violin 6 x 2 is my standard, and I would not go under 5mm. 8 is what I was taught in school and that seems a bit large now. For cello I do about 16 x 3, but I have seen them up to 22. It just adds unnecessary weight, in my humble opinion. Personally I like willow better than spruce, but I don't believe it is that important. I get the feeling that the old masters used whatever was handy and worked easily.

My experience has been that willow bends extremely easily, while spruce takes more concentration. Usually I over bend the linings on the bending iron and relax them with my fingers to the desired shape.

-Michael

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Linings add a tremendous amount of strength and rigidity to the rib structure. On two occasions for repair I have had to remove all the linings from a free rib structure and it is amazing how flexible it gets without that support.

 

My experience has been that willow bends extremely easily, while spruce takes more concentration. Usually I over bend the linings on the bending iron and relax them with my fingers to the desired shape.

-Michael

 

Yes, with linings, the rib assembly is not only so much more rigid, that without them, it (the rib assembly) will start to "unwind" somewhat... if you're not careful, when building, then you'll have to put the rib assembly back on the mold and re-shape it some before the linings go on.

So, the linings always go on before the rib assembly comes off of the mold. and then when it does come off, in my method, the bottom plate is already glued on, and the bottom ribs/linings have already been put on.

The top linings then automatically go on or the outline will start to 'unwind" some - even thiough it is held "in place"  by the bottom plate and linings.

 

As I have mentioned it is something that is not usually brought up or discussed here or elsewhere, but "linings" - yes, they're important - and I agree it doesn't really matter which wood is used, I've used both willow and spruce also, and I can tell no difference once they have been shaped and glued in. However, I do prefer spruce, simply because I have so much of it, that is plenty long, and well quartered, and fine grained, and etc.

 

And yes slightly over bending the linings, and then fitting with the fingers...

Then I clamp with very tight clothes pins - as many as will fit...

 

Michael, Couldn't have said it better. 

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post-3950-0-18448400-1411944873_thumb.jpgpost-3950-0-05891900-1411944901_thumb.jpg

 

  Go on if you like CT. I'm sure to have something else worry me about the topic you may touch upon.
Pete

 

Damn!

 

Didn't you know that if you ask me a question, I'm libel to go on forever?

Ok, I'm just kidding, I'll simply go on and on for a long while...

 

 

See the grain lines in the lining piece?

Hey, this is simply how I learned, and what I like to do. I'm not saying it right, or that it's what everyone else (or anyone else) should do.

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I was taught at school to glue in the back set of linings, then glue the back onto the ribs. The next step was to remove the inside mold and then fit and glue the top linings in. At this point the top was already made and one had to be careful when fitting the top linings to avoid changing the shape.

Now I put both sets of linings in before removing the mold, take the outlines from the ribs then remove the mold and glue on the plates, back first. At school we were told it was not possible to get the mold out if you put all the linings in. It was a leap of faith the first time I tried it, but I assure you it works just fine.

Michael

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CT,

If you make linings from the lathes in your last picture, the growth rings will be parallel to the ribs unlike your drawing showing the rings perpendicular to the ribs. Personally either works for me. As you say, "just saying".

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CT,

If you make linings from the lathes in your last picture, the growth rings will be parallel to the ribs unlike your drawing showing the rings perpendicular to the ribs. Personally either works for me. As you say, "just saying".

 

Hi Cliff - that caught me too - however on looking at the pic a second time I spotted that it was labelled - "bass bars - lining material"! - might be thick enough for violin linings.

 

cheers edi

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Pete,

My linings never line up perfectly with the ribs so varying amounts get planed off, but I start with 6 to 7 mm height and end up with about 5 to 6. I don't measure the finished linings. I suspect that the shorter the better, but less than 6 mm can be harder to clamp. I believe that they do affect the sound a little, based on installing them in one old fiddle that originally had none. I didn't think the sound was improved, but I'm not a good one to judge.

 

If there were no effect, we could just use full-height linings to reinforce the ribs. I use willow only.

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Can't say it's a problem, they are quite easy to bend, but needs a lot of heat to dry and stay bent. Pine works better for me (not spruce). I just finished gluing willow linings. Next time I'll use pine again.

 

Ahh, Peter

 

I see that you start with thick linings.

I've used both thick and thin in the past.

Since my rib material is usually on the fairly thin side, I believe that linings that start out slightly thicker than the ribs, (like I see here in your photos) is a very useful trait.

I like the stiffness that thick linings add, and even though its somewhat of a chore to trim them to "triangular"... it's worth it for me.

 

Me like.

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Ahh, Peter

 

I see that you start with thick linings.

I've used both thick and thin in the past.

Since my rib material is usually on the fairly thin side, I believe that linings that start out slightly thicker than the ribs, (like I see here in your photos) is a very useful trait.

I like the stiffness that thick linings add, and even though its somewhat of a chore to trim them to "triangular"... it's worth it for me.

 

Me like.

 

Yes I started with 2,5 mm thickness, I want the final thickness on this one to be just over 2 mm -> Rigid light rib garland. The ribs are 1 mm thick. Pine is stiffer so they can be just under 2 mm.

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I use Amarican Sycamore.  I found a light, thin board that broke off a pallet at work, and was all grey.  I took a plane to it and the quartersawn flecks looked very cool.  It is 15 mm thick, so I cut 2.5 mm wide strips, and cut them in half.  It is fairly light, probably about the same as willow.  It was free.  It looks cool.  It has interlocked grain that resists bending, but at the same time doesn't snap.  I tried spruce and it wasn't pretty.  The Sycamore bends easily enough for a violin C bout, the rest is really simple.

THe board wasn't very big,  so I need to find, or buy some more.

I'm never that big on following dogmatic rules.  My neighbor has a quarter of his willow tree that broke off in the spring. still laying on his lawn. Maybe it is just sitting there waiting for me to claim it?  Does willow look cool?

Ken

 

post-53723-0-26261200-1412169205_thumb.jpg

 

post-53723-0-09325000-1412169255_thumb.jpg

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I suppose i've nearly made a fettish of it, but I like to relate all the component sizes to each other in simple ratios, picking one or another element as the size key to others.

This design idea is often expressed in old Italian writings on arts and architecture. And it goes back even further to old Roman practice.

So for example, I take the purf width as key for many of the smaller elements of the side and edge work.

So I take the rib thickness at 1purf, as a starting point. I take both overhang and lining width as basically 2purf each.

But I don't like to follow these starting measures more precisely than the component merits. So with the linings I don't feel it matters much. With the ribs, I aim for 1purf as I rough plane the rib, but I stop thicker or thinner than this target when I feel the flexibility I desire in the rib.

I present this as example of an alternative way to approach the details of making.

This approach might sound very alien to many a current workshop, but would it sound unusual in a typical workshop 3 or 4 centuries ago?

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