Mike Atkins Posted September 1, 2021 Report Share Posted September 1, 2021 For those who have seen my posts, you already know I'm very new to violin making, but am enthusiastically enjoying the frustration and the challenge. I'm going to pretend my 1st attempt at building a violin doesn't exist, as I would be embarrassed to show the disaster it's turning out to be. We'll call this next one "1a" I guess, and I'm optimistically assuming this one will be better. For this first (non-existent) violin, I built my form based on a photo of the 'Forma PG'. I didn't realize however until after building the rib structure and cutting the outline of the plates, that this photo has the distortions inherent in all photos... never the less, it is and was a tremendous learning experience simply building an instrument... er, if it would have existed. I intend to soldier on until it's complete, before casting it into the fire never to be heard from again. I would actually keep it as a reminder of my venture into the world of violins if it existed. For my next 1(a), I have used the 'Forma P' Frankensteined together with the 'Forma PG', and I've made so many adjustments so many times, for now we'll call it version 3? At some point I just printed it out and used it as I could meddle with things forever. The second is the Strad 'Forma P' sort of "as is". I've taken the forms from the "Forma by Addie" and tweaked them to a degree in Adobe Illustrator. To smooth out the dings and bumps, as well as to tweak the block sizes I guess to something I think might be ok, though I have no idea what a good neck block for example should be. I'm going to call it roughly 60mm X 18mm. Hopefully it will work. I've also squared up the corner blocks, though now I see how angling them could assist in getting the grain direction correct. I've messed up two of the P corner block angles, but I've glued a thin piece of "extra" (broken) rib to straighten things out on one at least. My Frankenmould which I'm calling my A mould, is built using a walnut plywood (roughly 12mm thick or 1/2in), because of course using walnut moulds is I'm sure the secret of Stradivari! I've used double sided tape to stick the printout to the wood before cutting it out, hoping that it will not deform as a wet glue might do, though the plywood isn't as truly flat as I would like. My P mould is made from actual walnut lumber, jointed to produce a handy, permanent centerline. This is roughly 14mm thick, I say roughly because I did the old fashioned hand plane thicknessing from 4/4 dimensional lumber and it's probably not as precise as I would like. For this I taped down the printout, and very carefully scribed the outline with a knife, hoping this will hone my skills for purfling later. It seems I may have trouble with putting in both sets of linings with the thicker form, but I'm sure I can get through it somehow. I've maintained the asymmetries from the forms, as I don't feel qualified to 'fix' Tony Strad's work, and I actually believe them to be purposeful. (I do have some ideas about disproving this wild theory in the future... once I can actually build something worthwhile.) I've already jointed the backs for both instruments, the first (for the P), I may have gone a little thick with the hide glue and there seems to be a bit of a visible glue line. I did also pretreat the joint with hide glue before glueing. I did the same with the second (Frankinmould A) but a slightly better job of it so not the seam like the first. I used my trusty Lie-Nielsen rip saw, which I love and works very well. Though my concerns about the blade width and tonewood dimensions might lead me to try and make my own rip saw for this purpose. For now that would interfere with making progress on my violin(s) so that's a future project. I do have a frame saw, with a presumably thinner blade, but I'm not as confident or comfortable with a frame saw, particularly for book matching expensive tonewood. For these backs I'm still over 20mm thick, and only seemed to lose about 1/8in (3mm) from the sawing, so it's fine. I have my rib wood selected, though I wish they matched more closely the wood from the back and neck... not sure how often tonewood suppliers actually give back, neck and ribs from a single piece of maple. Incidentally I got this particular tonewood (p) from https://www.tonewoodforviolin.com, and for the Frankenmould, from https://www.internationalviolin.com. I do like seeing and selecting the wood from the websites, though I'm not sure I know what to look for. I do prefer a broader, random flame pattern to a tight and consistent one, but I do like both pieces. I didn't measure the density of the back for this project, but will in the future. The tops (not yet jointed) are .38 and .40 respectively. The lighter top has a couple of darker lines along it's length. I'm not overly bothered by this but I wonder if it could be lightened somehow. I've also accumulated more tools than I have found places for, so my bench is more often a disaster than a good working environment, but I'll try to hide the mess from view when sharing photos of my progress. With any luck, I'll at least learn some more lessons about 'what not to do'... and eventually the 'what to do, and how to do it' will be all that's left! Hopefully I don't destroy too much tonewood in the process. This will take a long time as I'm not afforded many opportunities to get in the shop these days, but I truly enjoy the work and hope that I can get to the bench as often as possible. My Frankenmould is attached for those interested... I realized after the fact that I can't cut out the block templates if they're adhered to the mould... Frankenmould-A-v3a.pdf Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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.