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Shunyata

No.4 from the beginning...

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Well, here I am beginning a thread from the beginning.  I welcome any observations and suggestions on this journey over the next few months.  

The blocks are aspen.  The ribs are a very precise 1.1mm everywhere.

 

 

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I really look forward to following this process. The best way to learn about violins is to make them, and the second best way is to watch somebody else make them!

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If you have more block material I would start over and replace the corner blocks so that the grain lines are angled towards the point. This will prevent the tips from breaking off. I would also replace that bottom block. Avoid knots in the bottom block. I can't really see the grain lines on the top block.

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grain in the top block is curved like the bottom but without the knot.   Looking forward to seeing the build.  

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8 hours ago, lpr5184 said:

1.    If you have more block material I would start over

 2.  I can't really see the grain lines on the top block.

1.  I agree.  Every one of them is wrong.

2.  It's worse than the rest.

Ipr5184 knows his wood Shunyata, heed his advice.

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Guaneri "Kreissler"

The knot on the bottom block is very superficial and will be cut off when I round the block later, so I didn't think I needed to worry about it.

Aspen is so straight grained there is virtually no worry about breakingthe tips of the blocks.  That's why I use it. 

 

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2 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Isn’t Aspen a softwood? Isnt pine or Willow usually used for blocks?

Deciduous trees are hardwoods that includes aspen and willow. Evergreens are softwoods. Softwoods can be harder and higher density than some hardwoods.  Spruce and willow are traditionally used for blocks and linings. Willow and poplar (aspen is a poplar species) are used for backs of viola and larger instruments. Spruce spp., willow spp., and poplar spp. can overlap in density. 

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C bouts are in and ready for upper and lower bouts.  Of course the thermostat on my bending iron went haywire in the middle of the operation.  Fixed it midstream, but work isn't as neat as I would like.

20190409_215837-2656x1494.jpg

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Thanks for documenting your violin build. It's a lot of fun to watch how others work. I'm constantly learning new ways. I have documented many of my builds and have learned more from the feedback of other makers than any other source.  My comment about the grain orientation of your blocks wasn't meant to discourage. I did the same thing and was shown by other makers here how it should be done.

Looking forward to the rest of your build.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, lpr5184 said:

Thanks for documenting your violin build. It's a lot of fun to watch how others work. I'm constantly learning new ways. I have documented many of my builds and have learned more from the feedback of other makers than any other source.  My comment about the grain orientation of your blocks wasn't meant to discourage. I did the same thing and was shown by other makers here how it should be done.

Looking forward to the rest of your build.

 

 

The learning goes both ways.  I'm looking forward to this build as well.

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Oh, I wasnt discouraged. I do exactly as you suggest when using willow blocks.  I just know I can get away with different orientation using aspen.

I wondered if anyone would identify a terrible error in this approach.  I thought it would be OK because the corner blocks seem to provide very little structural stability - some violins apparently dont even have them.

Always looking for helpful discussion!

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Very cool, and looking forward to seeing the rest. This is a fine place for a documentary thread, but I'd encourage you to A) start a bench thread on that forum and B ) get active on Instagram, where you can follow loads of pro luthiers and learn some cool tips.

Aspen is a fascinating wood, but on the future consider using a lighter wood for your blocks and linings. Spruce and willow are the traditional choices for this and other reasons. I go lighter still, using Paulownia for corner blocks and linings, while using willow for the neck and tail blocks.

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The aspen I am using is very low density, very similar to spruce.  Not sure what the variety is but it grows all over my family members property in Michigan, which is where I nabbed it.

 

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On 4/8/2019 at 9:07 PM, Shunyata said:

20190408_215602-1195x2124.jpg

If I were to take apart a few of my early violin builds I very well may find that I set the corners blocks like you did here. 

What you'll find out is when you go to install/glue the c-bout linings you may not have the right amount of purchase for the lining to fit in to because of the wood spliting while cutting the notch out assuming you'd want to cut notches in the first place.  Looking again at the tailblock, that might work.  For the neck block - I hope your neck doesn't do alot of moving around during the glue up and drying.  Having the aspen remaining stable over time is all you can hope for.

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1 hour ago, Shunyata said:

Oh, I wasnt discouraged. I do exactly as you suggest when using willow blocks.  I just know I can get away with different orientation using aspen.

I wondered if anyone would identify a terrible error in this approach.  I thought it would be OK because the corner blocks seem to provide very little structural stability - some violins apparently dont even have them.

Always looking for helpful discussion!

In corner blocks, the grain orientation isn't CRUCIAL, but it can help. There are a lot of great instruments that have the grain running perpendicular to the corner flow. But it can always help to go by best practice. But it really comes down to whatever works for who. 

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Lower bouts glued in.  The bending iron fix from yesterday held.  A little unconventional clamping method, but it allows me to exactly fit the block shape and allows me to use a small wedge to ensure a tight glue at the points.

Comment away if something seems whacky!

 

20190410_220319-1494x2656.jpg

20190410_220341-1494x2656.jpg

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The ribs are consistently square everywhere.  Means a lot of fine tuning on the bending for such long pieces. On the long arcs I bend slightly too sharp, then use the iron to relax them into proper shape, inch by inch.  Self taught so would love to hear the right way to do it.

I hate it when the top and bottom plates wind up being slightly different outlines because the ribs were off.

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32 minutes ago, Shunyata said:

  Self taught so would love to hear the right way to do it.

 

Here's a video of Joe thrift's brief summary of violin building on the pbs show "the woodwrights shop". He bends ribs at about the 4 and a half minute mark. Since seeing this method and putting it into practice, I'll likely never do it any other way. Hope this helps.

 

https://thirteen.org/programs/the-woodwrights-shop/woodwrights-shop-violin-maker-joe-thrift/  

Season 27 ep 7 if that won't pull up

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