Why do violin plates overhang the sides?


Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

My violins and violas don't have corner points with plate overhangs and they were criticized by players because rubber band type shoulder rests couldn't be attached.  Some of these players then used sticky pads instead of rubber bands/sponges.

The wide parts of the upper and lower bouts now do have overhangs on the plates so a regular shoulder rest can be clamped on.   

The top plate's c bouts overhangs are cut completely off which gives a small increase in bowing angle clearance.  The bottom end of the lower bout of both plates don't have overhangs and the edges are well rounded to make it less irritating on the player's neck.  This also helpfully makes the instruments feel a little shorter.

 

 

Ah, thanks for clarifying.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 63
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

On 4/4/2021 at 2:33 PM, printer2 said:

 This is now bothering me and I do not want to take this unanswered question to my grave. 

in case you are telling the truth...................  i didn't read through this topic replies yet mostly to avoid chimera and calamities that present themselves sometimes but i'd guess that da salo, maggini and a few others found it easier to cut a groove in the plate inwards some so that ribs could be inlaid into the plates instead of just gluing to the surfaces at the outer edge.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

So Mr. Burgess is a “raw, unstructured triangulated surface” is he?

No,  @Wood Butcher was being a well informed wiseguy.  IMHO, however, the inner workings of CAD programming probably have more application to practical violinmaking than Zugerism does.  :lol:

While my earlier reconstruction of how violin plates got overhang was humorously written, I feel that it is very likely that the tradition was started from some maker's random personal reasons that left no traces that scholarship can unearth.  That reduces the discussion to speculation.  :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

No,  @Wood Butcher was being a well informed wiseguy.  IMHO, however, the inner workings of CAD programming probably have more application to practical violinmaking than Zugerism does.  :lol:

That's a shame, I was enjoying myself, wondering what consequences his being a raw unstructured surface could be

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/4/2021 at 3:42 PM, jacobsaunders said:

There were disposable instruments, like Gamba, d’Amore etc. that had no “overhang”, but they are practically impossible to repair, because if you remove the belly, you can’t get it back together again, because there is always more bloody rib than edge

Guitars as lutes as well I guess- mass produced by the thousands if the Laux Maler inventory is to believed. Not to mention that the tension on some Gambas was so high --  it is no wonder that few survive in playing condition! 

A humbling reminder for the modern luthier labouring under an ideal of Renaissance genius

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/4/2021 at 4:56 PM, HoGo said:

Guitar and mandolin restorers have to deal with that commonly. The ribs of mandolin are often 2.3-2.5mm thick Here's how Frank Ford does it.

http://frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Technique/Structural/CompressionTest/sidecomptest.html

I can see some potential long-term issues with that. While the ribs can be forced into a smaller radius, I wouldn't expect the full compression to last after some humidity cycles. So the ribs will end up putting cross-grain tension on the top or back.

So might cranking hard on the ribs to get the thing back together be a tradeoff with future top or back cracks?

In violin restoration and making, we'll often do some quick pushing or pulling of the ribs when gluing them to the top or back, to make them better conform to the outline and edge margins, but these are small and short-lasting forces, compared to Frank Ford's wood torture/submission-at-any-cost device.

Sure, we can easily compress wood to well under its original dimensions, but it tends to revert, when moistened, unless saturated with some sort of resin binder.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Urban Luthier said:

A humbling reminder for the modern luthier labouring under an ideal of Renaissance genius

IMHO, pre-industrial production of instruments didn't differ much from the spectrum of quality levels seen later, it's just that production of everything was mostly local prior to the 18th. Century, so you had shops making cheap trash and expensive heirlooms under the same roof at the same time.  Another consideration is that our modern standards of "good enough" are much higher than those of our ancestors.  Consider the following video:

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I can see some potential long-term issues with that. While the ribs can be forced into a smaller radius, I wouldn't expect the full compression to last after some humidity cycles. So the ribs will end up putting cross-grain tension on the top or back.

So might cranking hard on the ribs to get the thing back together be a tradeoff with future top or back cracks?

In violin restoration and making, we'll often do some quick pushing or pulling of the ribs when gluing them to the top or back, to make them better conform to the outline and edge margins, but these are small and short-lasting forces, compared to Frank Ford's wood torture/submission-at-any-cost device.

Sure, we can easily compress wood to well under its original dimensions, but it tends to revert, when moistened, unless saturated with some sort of resin binder.

I know violin world is quite separate from guitar/ mandolin but this torture actually does work. In many cases the separations were introduced because instrument had to be opened for repair and the released rim tends to do that right after the seam pops open. So the whole tension was there all the time before the seam opened so if you can tame it and get it glued back again it will continue right where it was before the repair. Ribs protruding from under the plate edges are unbelievably ugly and shortening ribs is mission impossible on these instruments. One must remember that gluing surface on guitars or mandolins is much larger than violins' - around 8mm width on average which seems to be enough to hold the rib in place till next time someone busts it...

I tend to think of this more in line with violin arch correction where you also force wood back into shape ... Frank does it dry and cold but still there is some compression in wood that will give after being glued back to rim for few years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I struck me that moving the linings to the outside, as in some basses, would make no overhang more manageable.  Also guitars often have a lining glued on over in the overhang area.  And those Russian violins.

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, go_oa said:

I struck me that moving the linings to the outside, as in some basses, would make no overhang more manageable.  Also guitars often have a lining glued on over in the overhang area.  And those Russian violins.

I made a few violins and violas with the linings on the outside surface of the ribs instead of on the inside in order to strengthen the plate's edge overhang.  I got the idea from some old basses like you had mentioned.

But they had the same problem that having no overhangs had--shoulder rest clamps didn't work so I gave up making that way.  The basic problem is that the shape of a violin or viola is lousy for holding.       

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.