Amateur Maker

Stradivari Drawings

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I post here because I have decided I want to make a Violin.  I have been reading and watching video's of different people making violins for over a year now however I still have questions which have been unanswered.  If at all possible, I hope these questions can be answered here.

1.  Where can I get a drawing of a Stradivari Messiah 1716 ?  I do have some information and a mold drawing but no dimensions, especially with the scroll.  From watching some video's I see that the builder does have a set of drawings which is referred to numerous times.

2.  The WOOD  -  Not wanting to buy wood for my first violin from Europe and pay an exorbitant amount, where can I get the wood in the states and from what company in particular?  I understand the better the grade the higher the price, but I am a novice at this so therefore I wouldn't even consider buying expensive wood.  However, I do want to have made a violin that can be played well and sounds well.    

3.  Would I be able to purchase all of the wood from one company with the ribs matching the back & neck?  Or is this getting into the higher price range?

4.  Can someone suggest the minimum gouges I should have on hand to start?

5.  Lastly, has anyone built their own bending iron and if so do you have any drawings of it?

Any help to the above questions would be greatly appreciated! 

 

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carl1961   

Maybe see this

http://www.makingtheviolin.com/Measurements

 

You can get a bending iron on eBay cheap. Some have used a Pipe with a heat gun, but if you have to buy the pipe and heat gun then your better off paying the 60.00 for the Rib Bending Iron .

Try eBay also for your first wood. Good wood will cost you more.

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You have the information for the Messiah on the link Carl posted. Just follow the links on that page for the drawings and a step by step workflow.

You can find gouges sizes on Davide Sora chanel videos, with aditional priceless know how from the Maestro. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCggqGrdYUEovaC9UKnSMD3g/videos?sort=dd&view=0&shelf_id=1

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12 hours ago, Amateur Maker said:

I post here because I have decided I want to make a Violin.  I have been reading and watching video's of different people making violins for over a year now however I still have questions which have been unanswered.  If at all possible, I hope these questions can be answered here.

1.  Where can I get a drawing of a Stradivari Messiah 1716 ?  I do have some information and a mold drawing but no dimensions, especially with the scroll.  From watching some video's I see that the builder does have a set of drawings which is referred to numerous times.

2.  The WOOD  -  Not wanting to buy wood for my first violin from Europe and pay an exorbitant amount, where can I get the wood in the states and from what company in particular?  I understand the better the grade the higher the price, but I am a novice at this so therefore I wouldn't even consider buying expensive wood.  However, I do want to have made a violin that can be played well and sounds well.    

3.  Would I be able to purchase all of the wood from one company with the ribs matching the back & neck?  Or is this getting into the higher price range?

4.  Can someone suggest the minimum gouges I should have on hand to start?

5.  Lastly, has anyone built their own bending iron and if so do you have any drawings of it?

Any help to the above questions would be greatly appreciated! 

 

I am on the same path as you are, and just slightly ahead, in that I hope to start carving within the next few days - on a first violin based on the Messiah.

1. If you can wait a couple days, I will be posting my drawings for the Messiah neck and scroll. I was gifted the Strad poster by a member here. I found in examining it, and attempting to draw a template for use in carving the scroll, that the measurements raise more questions than they answer. It is probably me over thinking everything - but that is me. My drawing(s) will be a set of 2 actually, a "faithful" rendering of the photographs which seem to be the most accurate source I have found, and a "idealized" version. Idealized by me, which means probably wrong :) The photographs show the asymmetry of the instrument and many LITTLE differences from one side and the other. I will have a symmetric drawing that I can use to build from that will allow my incompetence to inflict my own variations and asymmetries onto.

2. My research indicates, probably oversimplified, that a full set of traditional wood will cost between $100 and up to whatever someone wants to be. I am buying from Old World Tonewood. From the recommendations I have read, for my first I am buying the lowest quality. It appears MOST of the difference in cost is age and appearance. Again, I am probably wrong, but until you are into the intricacies of stiffness and density the different price levels will not affect tonal quality until you (and I) and much better and making. My neck block only cost $15.

3. It seems to me that buying each piece individually is more expensive, but I now nothing. However, I do think it Is preferable to buy your back and ribs from the same source so they are matched (assuming you are not going to go touch and feel the wood before buying).

4. Depends a lot on how much you want to spend. I am buying "medium" quality for now, and plan to upgrade as I find which I use the most and feel the need. Here is a list from Davide Sora which explains what he uses. I would provide the link, but I can' remember where I found it :) But, there is a link to his website in this pdf.

5. I was going to go the "heat gun" and pipe route, and decided to wait until the last minute and buy one instead. 

D.Sora_Gouges measures and use.pdf

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2 minutes ago, FrankNichols said:


5. I was going to go the "heat gun" and pipe route, and decided to wait until the last minute and buy one instead. 
 

A hair curler works just as well and costs peanuts. 

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OH, and how could I forget, there is a database available from Addie, a member, that has drawings of almost everything you could possibly want, and they are excellent!. My google foo is lacking today, and I can't find the link to it, but the discussion comes up if you search for drawing database in the maestronet search field.

For the Messiah you will need the PG model.

 

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17 minutes ago, carl1961 said:

You need at least 200 -250 deg. That may burn your hair.

http://www.makingtheviolin.com/Bending_the_C_ribs

I recall reading that now, it was a while back and was why I considered a heat gun and form at one time, and just decided that the bending iron - too many things to make and not enough time to make them all :)

 

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3 hours ago, carl1961 said:

You need at least 200 -250 deg. That may burn your hair.

http://www.makingtheviolin.com/Bending_the_C_ribs

No, you do not. Exposing the wood to more than 190 deg Celsius is not the best of ideas.  It's important here on MN to give advice only on issues you actually know something about. The Forum is read by many people, mostly not members. There are a couple of ways of bending ribs using heat and one or two, cold. The most reliable way is how a large factory does it - they need to get it dead right. That's why they use the lowest temp and there is a good albeit non-obvious reason for that. On the cheap, a hair curler will work just fine and will reach in the region of 190C. Temp is adjustable and the thermostat is very quick and accurate. I made five ribsets using one of those and I doubt that for my needs I'll ever bother with anything else.

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4 hours ago, FrankNichols said:

Oh, and one last, if you haven't yet, you REALLY REALLY want to go here and watch Davide's videos.

Davide Sora

 
Thank you for the quote, but the link you put is to my website that is not very up to date (my bad, I still have to update it:() and does not contain links to videos.
This is the correct link to my blog with full indexes with direct links to videos : http://davidesora.altervista.org/videos/

For the tempereture of the bending iron I have to agree with Carl Stross, at 200/250° C the wood of ribs will burn almost immediately, even at 180° C if you insist too much burns are assured, but the situation can be kept more under control.

I bend them at about 170° C, I go higher just for highly figured C of cello.

However burns are often visible on old Cremonese violins, but they did not have the thermostat.;)

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MikeC   

I would also like to locate some inexpensive low quality wood for practice plate carving.  What would be the best wood for that?  

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carl1961   
4 hours ago, carl stross said:

No, you need to take a bath because you believe wood needs "at lest" 250C to bend.

I was posting what the makingtheviolin  had, I never checked mine I just used it to bend the ribs and liners the way it came . while you was taking a bath I went and turned mine on and the hot is got was 125 C , when I bought the thing (on ebay) I did not pay attention and it was for 220V but it had a american 110 plug so I used it. I will order a new heater element ( a 110V) to get the temp up to 170 C thanks for your advice.

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carl1961   
5 hours ago, Davide Sora said:
 
 
Thank you for the quote, but the link you put is to my website that is not very up to date (my bad, I still have to update it:() and does not contain links to videos.
This is the correct link to my blog with full indexes with direct links to videos : http://davidesora.altervista.org/videos/

For the tempereture of the bending iron I have to agree with Carl Stross, at 200/250° C the wood of ribs will burn almost immediately, even at 180° C if you insist too much burns are assured, but the situation can be kept more under control.

I bend them at about 170° C, I go higher just for highly figured C of cello.

However burns are often visible on old Cremonese violins, but they did not have the thermostat.;)

Thanks Davide for all your videos and backing up carl with the correct bending temps

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carl1961   
1 hour ago, MikeC said:

I would also like to locate some inexpensive low quality wood for practice plate carving.  What would be the best wood for that?  

Mike this is where I bought mine from ( the backs and neck wood) my fronts I got from SimonChambers, but he went out of business. I looked every where and this was the site I wound up ordering from.    http://www.oldworldtonewood.com/catalog/

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4 hours ago, carl1961 said:

I was posting what the makingtheviolin  had, I never checked mine I just used it to bend the ribs and liners the way it came . while you was taking a bath I went and turned mine on and the hot is got was 125 C , when I bought the thing (on ebay) I did not pay attention and it was for 220V but it had a american 110 plug so I used it. I will order a new heater element ( a 110V) to get the temp up to 170 C thanks for your advice.

You can replace the resistance in it only, dont need to replace the whole thing. costs only a few dollars. The ebay ones seems to be fairly standard.

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6 hours ago, carl1961 said:

Thanks Davide for all your videos and backing up carl with the correct bending temps

I wonder how Davide measures the temperature?

The behaviour of the water drops on the surface of his iron suggests that the temperature might be somewhat higher than 170C.

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8 hours ago, MikeC said:

On the Muratov site you can find images of the PG and other molds.  If you save the image and print it out it will be full size.  I printed Addie's mold from PeterKG site and it was smaller.  I don't know if his drawing is wrong or it's the way I printed it.

You can adjust the scaling in your print dialog so it comes out right. 

8 hours ago, MikeC said:

I would also like to locate some inexpensive low quality wood for practice plate carving.  What would be the best wood for that?  

I am using popular for "rehearsals" for each step before cutting my real Spruce and Maple - since I have no idea how to do any of this, I have no back ground in wood working, so I am planning carefully, rehearsing each step on cheap Lowes wood, and then applying to the real low end Maple and Spruce. 

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