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catnip

Mahogany, is it for suitable for a violin back?

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5 hours ago, Ernest Martel said:

So you have made one? What material did you use for a neck?

The mahogany I have is so very resonate, and beautiful in appearance. I want to make one and probably will. My plan is the make one from trad maple and spruce and the next with alternative wood.

@catnip Could you post a sound clip of your mahogany fiddle?

 

Yes, I used the Mahog with a strip of pear wood as a stringer down the center, the top is Cedar.

I don't have any pics {they all got lost} but here is a video with the woman who owns it, she's just using it as a prop in the video, she playing some weird electric stuff on the track, hip hop,  not very good shots of it either, but you can kinda see it, it's definitely Red. It is a dragon head 5 string

skip to 2;49 if you just want a quick glance of it, not sure the music would be for everyone.

or well heck the still shot in the vid shows it

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Thanks but hard to tell what the fiddle sounds like from that genre. I do like a cornerless and would like to make one. Does it just have top and bottom blocks? Do you bend the linings in two sections?

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18 minutes ago, Ernest Martel said:

Thanks but hard to tell what the fiddle sounds like from that genre. I do like a cornerless and would like to make one. Does it just have top and bottom blocks? Do you bend the linings in two sections?

No, it has corner blocks too, just instead "points" they just go with the mold shape to create the "guitar" body shape, the lining are let in to the blocks like any other violin.

It sounds 'good" nothing spectacular, I would call it sweet, not lots of volume , but not bad. In the video it's just a prop, thats some weird electric violin on the music track

I would say most of the tone comes form the Cedar top, and it probably could sound better with different top

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On 10/22/2017 at 2:32 PM, David Burgess said:

Unless you have some compelling reason to use it, I'd avoid anything called mahogany which has a resemblance to the mahogany on the Cites lists. Even "ebony" is coming into question these days.

As soon as synthetic substitutes for ebony violin parts have been validated well enough, I'll be on board. I really don't want my clients to run into any sort of problems with things I have made, including border crossings, and selling across US state lines.

David, check out persimmon as an ebony substitute. it is in the same family and the core of an old tree will at times be as dark. Persimmon is a bit more stable than ebony and it does not checker as badly.  It is the preferred wood for wood golf clubs. I think it is worth playing with.

If you want dark, you can always test some scrap with ebonization. If you soak fine steel wool in vinegar for a week you can use the vinegar to ebonize a lot of woods. You darken it and keep the grain. It works great on ash. It look horrible on juniper. It can look good on oak. The iron in the vinegar reacts with tannic acid and darkens the wood.

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I am  making  my first violin with traditional wood however I have a very old piece of mahogany that I would love to  try.  

It is very hard and dense.

I would love to know more about this.

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Mahogany is more commonly used in guitar making.  I have made 2 mahogany violins, but you should use traditional spruce for the top.  The main reason I used mahogany is that billet spoke to me because of its unusual figure (curl) when I was browsing the hardwood store.  If it was just plain mahogany I would not have used it.

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I recently finished building a solid mahogany violin,  back, top, sides, neck, and eve the blocks and lining.  The only thing not mahogany is a spruce bass bar and sound post. I was pleasantly surprised.  It's possibly the most the most powerful sounding violin I've built.  The tone was pleasant as well. 

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I have a violin here which is made from mahogany (by a cabinet maker), salvaged from a piece of furniture in a famous building.

It has a spruce top, and the sound is reasonable. Being plain mahogany, it looks achingly dull and quite unappealing.

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17 hours ago, Clearfork said:

I recently finished building a solid mahogany violin,  back, top, sides, neck, and eve the blocks and lining.  The only thing not mahogany is a spruce bass bar and sound post. I was pleasantly surprised.  It's possibly the most the most powerful sounding violin I've built.  The tone was pleasant as well. 

A friend of mine has a violin with a mahogany top and back.  One of the weakest,  worst-sounding things I have come across.  Of course, the maker undoubtedly has a huge part in the result, as other violins competing for the worst sound have been of traditional spruce and maple.

Although it would be interesting to try out mahogany just to see how it works, I don't need another experimental thing hanging in my shop.  I would expect that mahogany used for the back would lead to a more reasonable result than mahogany for the top.

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48 minutes ago, Mark Caudle said:

I bought this one with a mahogany back at an Amati auction for £30 quite recently. Haven't done anything with it yet but looks ok for the money!

I'm not so sure, rather you than me.

Do you think it is really Mahogany for the back? It's very hard to tell from such blurred pictures, but I'm wondering if it's something else.
Do you think the back is original to the rest? It seems to have strange overhangs at the corners, and looks a bit off in general, compared to the shaping of the top, cut of the soundholes etc.

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