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So today the bending of the plates is complete. I am not 100 percent happy with the result because one half didn't bend as I liked so I watered it  again and then the color of the wood changed. Plates became as well too narrow for the super light violin which is in total a very broad model. 

Anyway here are the pics. 

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After trimming the underside of the plate and roughing out the outline I got a problem with the corner thickness. :wacko:

Looks like an exaggerated Guadagnini corner only 2mm thick. 

But since I don't like the color any way I will dispose it as training material. Next  will be perfect.

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I roughed out the top plate quickly just to see how this is going on a bent plate:

Starting from the inside made a lot of sense to me. Later I worked simultaneously inside and outside just trying to make a nice shape wherever I thought something must be corrected. When the plate came down to 3.5 mm and 84g it still felt very stiff when bending in my hands. (already good enough for a del Gesu top)

So the projected weight can go to 56g if I thin the plate down to 2.4mm. With a little bit thicker center in the middle a weight of 60g without bass bar seems to be realistic. If I choose for the next plate lighter wood 60g with bass bar should be no problem.

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On 6/4/2018 at 8:03 PM, Andreas Preuss said:

So today the bending of the plates is complete. I am not 100 percent happy with the result because one half didn't bend as I liked so I watered it  again and then the color of the wood changed. Plates became as well too narrow for the super light violin which is in total a very broad model. 

Anyway here are the pics. 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

 

I've bent bellies before.  I roughed the inside and outside part way, and bent them the rest.  The bending of that wasn't too bad; easier than the entire bend; but either way they are tricky to join!   I had one seam go on one of my first violins, and after rejoining, it came out somewhat narrow.  So I knew that I had to make them quite wide. 

Those clamps are pretty cool.  I've never seen anything like them. What are they?

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1 hour ago, Ken_N said:

 

I've bent bellies before.  I roughed the inside and outside part way, and bent them the rest.  The bending of that wasn't too bad; easier than the entire bend; but either way they are tricky to join!   I had one seam go on one of my first violins, and after rejoining, it came out somewhat narrow.  So I knew that I had to make them quite wide. 

Those clamps are pretty cool.  I've never seen anything like them. What are they?

The entire bend can be pretty precise and to join the plates it is best to leave them clamped on the mould.

 I think those clamps were invented in a more sophisticated way in the 19th century in the Hill workshop. This simplified version is probably from Frsnce where I bought them. 

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On 5/30/2018 at 6:06 AM, Andreas Preuss said:

The Michetschlager Brescian arch interpretation drives the wedges in between the two plates in a perpendicular direction to the grain. This makes the corners lift up when not clamped firmly. (diagram 1: circled areas)

oops, Ignore that... i just realized  you already know! 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On June 22, 30 Heisei at 11:05 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

@Andreas Preuss any new developments?

I am back.

Like almost any new method the bending of the top plate has entered the stage of refinement. The principle works but there are some detail problems to be solved. The concave portion of the mould must be deeper than necessary because the arch springs back after removing the clamps. Clamping as well has to designed im a way that the counter parts really press the board down to the mould with absolutely no gaps. And maybe there is a way to align  the grain at the upper and lower block to the under surface. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

So here we go with the second attempt of bending the top. It is a new concept violin so I am ready to take unusual construction method . This means that if this time once more I can't make the top plate fit the ribs I will reverse the process and fit the rib height go the bent top which means I have to make the ribs once more, 

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  • 1 month later...

Last attempt to bend the top failed. There were no major cracks along the grain BUT layers within the plate separated. Never thought this would be possible. However, I don't think it is the end for the idea, but for now as I want to finish the super light violin I am going back to the traditional carving technique.

Bending with the method I described worked best on the first attempt, but this plate couldn't be matched to the ribs. The conclusion from there is that the fitting has to be reversed. The ribs must be fitted to the curved inside surface of the bent top.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A day of concentrated work is over. I roughed out the top plate and cut the f holes for the super light violin. First time cutting asymmetric f holes. That's quite fun because there is no right-left balance making the work pretty fast. In 45 minutes they were done. Thinned down the plate to roughly 4.5 mm. The weight of the top at this stage is 95g. 

At this stage with the back and top still too thick the calculated weight with a veneered fingerboard (c. 30g) is 370g. After thinning down top and back, coming down to 330g should be no problem.

 

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16 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

My most successful fiddle to date is a baroque violin after Stainer. 354g.

Interesting. I suppose you made a baroque fingerboard? 

In the end I am not going light for any price. If I am landing at my lowest possible estimate (300g) plus ten percent of error, this will be a fully satisfying 330 g fiddle. 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Edward Byler said:

Here is a violin that I built without trying necessarily to build light . 376 grams . So I think getting the weight down is doable . The tone on this one is average 

20B23470-7132-4E23-B21E-B2E7182D75B6.jpeg

This can be simply be done with very light wood. My lightest fiddle so far was a Guadagnini copy weighting 375g made as well without looking specifically at the weight.

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31 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Interesting. I suppose you made a baroque fingerboard? 

In the end I am not going light for any price. If I am landing at my lowest possible estimate (300g) plus ten percent of error, this will be a fully satisfying 330 g fiddle. 

 

 

Yes, absolutely. I made the board and the tailpiece out of Paulownia with ebony veneer on the surface and maple veneer on the sides. The fingerboard weighed 33g. 

I did also use spruce of unusually low density, 0.31. However, the maple was not extraordinarily light, 0.50. I used Willow linings and blocks, density not measured. The plates were left quite thick in wood, with the center of the belly at 4.5mm and the center of the back at 5mm, though using my best attempt at a Stainer graduation scheme brought the channel very thin, as low as 1.2mm in places on the back, thicker on the belly. 

The instrument has been so well enjoyed by those that have played it that I will only be making fiddles of this kind moving forward, until I understand why it works. 

Interestingly, despite the instrument being extremely light, I learned something important - when I replaced the pegs with Wittner pegs (almost twice as heavy), players no longer though of the violin as light, but rather heavy, even though the weight gain was not very much. I believe this is because the balance shifted enough towards the scroll as to feel a bit handle-heavy. Same phenomenon as a light (<60g) violin bow feeling heavy if poorly set up for balance, I think.

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12 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Yes, absolutely. I made the board and the tailpiece out of Paulownia with ebony veneer on the surface and maple veneer on the sides. The fingerboard weighed 33g. 

I did also use spruce of unusually low density, 0.31. However, the maple was not extraordinarily light, 0.50. I used Willow linings and blocks, density not measured. The plates were left quite thick in wood, with the center of the belly at 4.5mm and the center of the back at 5mm, though using my best attempt at a Stainer graduation scheme brought the channel very thin, as low as 1.2mm in places on the back, thicker on the belly. 

The instrument has been so well enjoyed by those that have played it that I will only be making fiddles of this kind moving forward, until I understand why it works. 

Interestingly, despite the instrument being extremely light, I learned something important - when I replaced the pegs with Wittner pegs (almost twice as heavy), players no longer though of the violin as light, but rather heavy, even though the weight gain was not very much. I believe this is because the balance shifted enough towards the scroll as to feel a bit handle-heavy. Same phenomenon as a light (<60g) violin bow feeling heavy if poorly set up for balance, I think.

Well it is clear that the same weight added to the pegbox or the chinrest must feel different. There is as well something like psychological weight. Sometimes a player picks up an instrument saying 'this feels light' even though it is not. One important factor there is the size of the neck. Thin necks seem to how the feel of lightness.

otherwise I think if a professional player memorizes the sound  of a light instrument he might reverse the cause when holding another heavier instrument with a similar sound. 

One question: how difficult is it to work with paulownia? 

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Absolutely, you have hit the nail on the head I think. 

Paulownia is challenging in some ways. For example, when using linings of Paulownia, trimming them is difficult because the grain is somewhat interlocked. Willow is much easier to carve down. Bending the linings can also be slightly tricky, but if you bend slowly it's not a real issue. Possibly @Marty KasprzykKasprzyk can comment, because he has much more extensive experience with the material.

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Today I closed the box. The top with bass bar came to 69g which is not ultra light but I expect to loose at least 3gram when finishing the edge work which would bring down the top weight to 66g with bass bar.

I made two bass bars for comparison. One traditional bar which is glued in right now and a bass bar following the idea of Christian Bayon. I am planning to finish the violin with the traditional bar and then make the test exchanging it with the Bayon bar. 

Here are the photos of the closed box. It weights 231g. Adjusting the edge work of the top: minus 3g, thinning down the back from the outside: minus 20g (then th back will be 110g) finishing the edge on the back: minus 5g.

so right now the predicted final weight comes to 

Soundbox 203g

neck 50g

fingerboard 35g

varnish5g

parts and strings 35g

 

Predicted total: 328g

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Outstanding! Thanks for keeping it up and for sharing your progress. 

We'll see where it is going. Of course you can reach any weight by making the plates very thin but then you sacrifice the sound and that's not my goal. 

I had to change in some points my initial ideas. For example thinning down the edges is probably not such a good idea especially because the ribs are slightly weaker than traditionally made ribs and this has to be counterbalanced on the edges of the plates. 

My initial calculation came down to 300g but with skeptic eyes I added 10% for overestimated values in my calculation. Therefore any weight below 330g in playable condition without chinrest will be a success for me. 

For the next violin on this model I am planing to bend the top and then adjust the ribs to the top and not the other way around which caused trouble.

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On 10/2/2018 at 2:03 AM, Andreas Preuss said:

Today I closed the box. The top with bass bar came to 69g which is not ultra light but I expect to loose at least 3gram when finishing the edge work which would bring down the top weight to 66g with bass bar.

I made two bass bars for comparison. One traditional bar which is glued in right now and a bass bar following the idea of Christian Bayon. I am planning to finish the violin with the traditional bar and then make the test exchanging it with the Bayon bar. 

Here are the photos of the closed box. It weights 231g. Adjusting the edge work of the top: minus 3g, thinning down the back from the outside: minus 20g (then th back will be 110g) finishing the edge on the back: minus 5g.

so right now the predicted final weight comes to 

Soundbox 203g

neck 50g

fingerboard 35g

varnish5g

parts and strings 35g

 

Predicted total: 328g

 

 

To thin down (the back) from the outside 20 g is really a lot. 

However let me do these comparisons : 

           super-light-violin         Guarneri-del-Gesú (average Plowden/Rode/Kubelik [ Terry´s CT-data])

Back    105 g                              88g 

Top        66 g                                63 g  ( probably without bassbar; may be 67 with bassbar )

                                                   tops of Booth and Kreutzer - Strads ( Curtins data ) ~ 55g (without bar)

Would you agree to rename your project into  " normal old-italian-weight-project" ?

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