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fiddlerjer

laying out the template

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I am using the full-size drawing that Henry Strobel provides in Violin Making Step by Step. I'm wondering how I should approach tracing the outline onto aluminum. Is it just a matter of taping the drawing onto the metal and cutting around the outline with a sharp knife? 

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There are many ways to skin a cat.  If it were me I would use 3m 77 spray adhesive to glue a photocopy of the original onto the aluminum.  Cut out on the bandsaw and then file to the line. 

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Would the bandsaw need a special blade to cut metal? I guess aluminum is soft enough it should be like cutting through butter.

 

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Yes, It will need a metal cutting blade.  The hook, set and number of teeth of a wood cutting  blade are too course, even for aluminum.  You could easily use stiff cardboard for a template.  Or formica.  I prefer aluminum.

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9 minutes ago, Thomas Coleman said:

Yes, It will need a metal cutting blade.  The hook, set and number of teeth of a wood cutting  blade are too course, even for aluminum.  You could easily use stiff cardboard for a template.  Or formica.  I prefer aluminum.

I would have to disagree. Thin plate aluminum cuts just fine with a finer wood cutting blade. 

If you put a metal cutting blade on the bandsaw, you would have to install a gearbox to slow it down considerably in order for the metal cutting blade to work. 

Also, aluminum will gauld a really fine blade. 

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47 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

I would have to disagree. Thin plate aluminum cuts just fine with a finer wood cutting blade. 

If you put a metal cutting blade on the bandsaw, you would have to install a gearbox to slow it down considerably in order for the metal cutting blade to work. 

Also, aluminum will gauld a really fine blade. 

I have not tried to cut the aluminum that I use with a wood cutting blade but I have to admit I'm not keen on trying.  No galling yet.

 

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47 minutes ago, Thomas Coleman said:

I have not tried to cut the aluminum that I use with a wood cutting blade but I have to admit I'm not keen on trying.  No galling yet.

 

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The proof is in the pudding I see. So you don't have to gear down?

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You can cut aluminum with standard bandsaw setup for wood. Frank Ford a notable guitar technician has quite a few pages with tips where he makes various fixtures out of aluminum using bandsaw.

Cutting thin aluminum would require slower feed to prevent chatter and I would use piece of plywood on the table for better support if fine details are going to be cut.

I prefer acrylic (pplexiglass) or PC for templates as you can see through when you are laying out plates, you can scribe center-lines on templates and see exactly where it is going...

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7 hours ago, fiddlerjer said:

I am using the full-size drawing that Henry Strobel provides in Violin Making Step by Step. I'm wondering how I should approach tracing the outline onto aluminum. Is it just a matter of taping the drawing onto the metal and cutting around the outline with a sharp knife? 

Why not one of these? If there is no need for large-scale production, I prefer not to spoil the sharpness of my band saw blade by cutting aluminum. This guy has a nice set-up.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

Why not one of these? If there is no need for large-scale production, I prefer not to spoil the sharpness of my band saw blade by cutting aluminum. This guy has a nice set-up.

That is true. If you want to cut holes in the templates (like the turns of the scroll, or f-holes) you need to pre-drill holes and use fretsaw....

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7 hours ago, Nick Allen said:

The proof is in the pudding I see. So you don't have to gear down?

No sir.  Run of the mill Jet 16" single speed bandsaw with a metal cutting blade.  Takes me about 1 minute to change blades.  The only downside is the aluminum bits left behind. 

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On 6/7/2019 at 12:37 PM, MikeC said:

Aluminum that thin you could cut with scissors.   I would use tin snips.

Scissors works but have the bad habit of slightly bending the edge of the metal, not so good for making accurate templates.

Just my two cents.

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2 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Scissors works but have the bad habit of slightly bending the edge of the metal, not so good for making accurate templates.

Just my two cents.

I hadn't thought of that.  Good point.   

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Yes I have done this also, the 1/8" fine band saw blade works just fine. I also use 3M 77 spray glue to put the template on the sheet aluminum. Then on the opposite side of the aluminum, I glue a 1/4" door skin. This way the aluminum becomes mixed with wood shavings and it is easier to vacuum up, and safer to handle.

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41 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Scissors works but have the bad habit of slightly bending the edge of the metal, not so good for making accurate templates.

Just my two cents.

I concur, depending on available tooling though,a fellow could cut outside the line and file or sand to final shape. 

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On 6/6/2019 at 9:40 PM, fiddlerjer said:

I am using the full-size drawing that Henry Strobel provides in Violin Making Step by Step.

Henry Srobel is not the best source of violinmaking knowledge.

On 6/7/2019 at 4:32 AM, HoGo said:

You can cut aluminum with standard bandsaw setup for wood.

Yes, you can. I've done it for around 50 years now

On 6/7/2019 at 7:09 AM, saintjohnbarleycorn said:

Nick  , did you find a template for the scroll with the holes cut out around the scroll , or did you just draw it your self thanks , kevin 

 

47 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Scissors works but have the bad habit of slightly bending the edge of the metal, not so good for making accurate templates.

Just my two cents.

Agreed. Scissors cutting aluminum are not the best method for copying outlines, unless one thinks they are. and doesn't mind the deviations.

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On 6/14/2019 at 10:42 AM, Davide Sora said:

Scissors works but have the bad habit of slightly bending the edge of the metal, not so good for making accurate templates.

Just my two cents.

This seems like less of an issue if I'm cutting outside the outline and then filing it down to match the outline. Any bending of the metal at the cut line will be filed away.

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Tin snips or scissors will bend over the edge to some degree (and are horrid for cutting a tight radius), so I'd use a bandsaw or scroll saw, gluing down a copy of the pattern onto the aluminum.  Leave some margin (but not too much), and file or sand to the final line.

Presumably the aluminum is thinner than any wood you will ever cut, so a fine tooth blade is needed to avoid the impact-like cut.  Even at 14 TPI, you'll still likely have only  1 tooth in contact with the work at any  one time.  Aluminum cutting speed can be very high and still be fine; I'd just use a speed that works with the blade and materials I'm using.  I don't think dulling is as much of a problem as aluminum gumming up the blade; it tends to smear and stick.

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On my first violin I made patterns from thin aluminium sheet and I still have these. They were the front plate and longitudinal and transverse patterns and the neck and scroll pattern. No mater how you make these you still have to get down to the line you want to end at. I put the original paper pattern over the metal, used a heavy needle to transfer the line to the plate with pin pricks every 1/8" or less when needed on sharp curves. Then with a good sharp utility knife I connected the dots with a good scribed line between them. Go slow on this. This could have multiple passes. The metal when worked between the two hands easily fatigues quickly and splits on the scribed line. This results in a very good accurate pattern. A wood block with good sandpaper is used to smooth the edge. Any roughness or deviation from the desired shape is no greater than half the width of a fine pencil line. Also, if your first attempt fails just get another piece of metal. No scissors or cutting with bent over edges, no saws to use. This takes a little bit of time but is simple and worked for me. I still have some of these original patterns. They were simple to make and very accurate.

image.png.1188a00f8f712375094afc4bf042bb30.png

 

 

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On 6/7/2019 at 6:09 AM, saintjohnbarleycorn said:

Nick  , did you find a template for the scroll with the holes cut out around the scroll , or did you just draw it your self thanks , kevin 

Maybe you're asking me?  I drew the cut outs around the scroll myself.  Inspiration from Maestro Sora.

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Conversely, you could make a violin without a template at all. There's a good argument to be made (and of course, as always, a counterargument) that garland and plate outline templates were not used in the traditional cremonese method. I do not use them myself. I'm trying to get away from templates altogether, but for now I am still using two - a scroll template and an f-hole template. For everything else, I start with the form, use dividers to mark out the blocks, and then make the garland. That shape, when finished, becomes the template which dictates the outline of the plates. I'd rather make fiddles than templates, any day.

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