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1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

I've never trusted the corners in those drawings, which I think are otherwise good, despite that they are allegedly drawn from artifacts in the museo Stradivari. It's easy enough to extrapolate corners from other measurements of the form using a compass and straightedge. 

But since you're going ahead, do they match the inside of the line or the outside?

I cut out the printed drawing on the inside of the line. Then, I traced the printout with a scribe onto the sheet metal and filed it down until the scribe mark disappeared.

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On 2/4/2022 at 2:25 PM, David Rosales said:

I cut out the printed drawing on the inside of the line. Then, I traced the printout with a scribe onto the sheet metal and filed it down until the scribe mark disappeared.

 

On 2/4/2022 at 1:13 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

I've never trusted the corners in those drawings, which I think are otherwise good, despite that they are allegedly drawn from artifacts in the museo Stradivari. It's easy enough to extrapolate corners from other measurements of the form using a compass and straightedge.

I guess it's probably safe to comment on Jackson's post since I supplied Addie with the scans he was using for his technical drawings.  The drawings for the most part are completely accurate to the scans I have.  There are a couple overall scale issues he was working on before he passed away, but these aren't anything that can be fixed with a print scale function, and relate to the drawing as a whole, but not the corner templates.  I've always treated the corner templates as a reference, not as an absolute.  I also suspect the length of the corner templates had more to do with the overall length of the corners and not the length of the corner blocks themselves.  I think the small form with the original blocks and layout holds the answers.

David, your template methodology seems sound enough.  The outside curves will most likely need to be fudged a bit to get the curves to work, but you seem to have a good handle on everything so far.  Can't wait to see your progress!

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7 hours ago, Advocatus Diaboli said:

 

I guess it's probably safe to comment on Jackson's post since I supplied Addie with the scans he was using for his technical drawings.  The drawings for the most part are completely accurate to the scans I have.  There are a couple overall scale issues he was working on before he passed away, but these aren't anything that can be fixed with a print scale function, and relate to the drawing as a whole, but not the corner templates.  I've always treated the corner templates as a reference, not as an absolute.  I also suspect the length of the corner templates had more to do with the overall length of the corners and not the length of the corner blocks themselves.  I think the small form with the original blocks and layout holds the answers.

David, your template methodology seems sound enough.  The outside curves will most likely need to be fudged a bit to get the curves to work, but you seem to have a good handle on everything so far.  Can't wait to see your progress!

Thanks for this, AD!! 

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Update on the Mold:

 

Still working on the mold. I used Davide's technique with some sandpaper and spray adhesive I got at Home Depot. I don't have a ton of scrap wood but I had a couple of wooden blocks that were square on at least 2 sides for the convex areas and I used a can of tomato paste for the concave areas. 

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My violin maker's knife came in along with my engineer squares. I've added them to my toolbox.

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I also replaced my ikea desk with a used workbench that I found locally. It's not the prettiest or sturdiest thing, but it was only $75 and it came with a vise. I figure it's adequate for now and it's a hell of a lot better than what I started with. You can see the old ikea desk on page 1 of the thread.

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Anyway, not done with mold just yet. After that I'll need to secure a few more tools and some tonewood to begin working on the blocks and ribs.

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I like that as a workbench since it has lots of storage space.  If it's not sturdy enough you could screw it to wall studs if you don't mind making holes in your drywall.   I'm not sure about your bench location though.  I have a vice on the left corner of my bench and that's where I need lots of open space.  Having a wall right there could be an issue.  

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Just now, MikeC said:

I like that as a workbench since it has lots of storage space.  If it's not sturdy enough you could screw it to wall studs if you don't mind making holes in your drywall.   

Yup, I thought about doing that. It feels sturdy enough that I won't have to bother with that but we'll see how it holds up when I start gouging and planing on it. 

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14 hours ago, David Rosales said:

Update on the Mold:

 

Still working on the mold. I used Davide's technique with some sandpaper and spray adhesive I got at Home Depot. I don't have a ton of scrap wood but I had a couple of wooden blocks that were square on at least 2 sides for the convex areas and I used a can of tomato paste for the concave areas. 

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The tomatoes can seem like a good functional idea. :)

But the radius is very large, you will need to find a smaller cylinder of some sort for the curves of the Cs near the blocks, especially for the curve near the upper blocks

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For my first rib set I found using dowel rods from a local hardware store useful. 
Take your template and a straight edge in and compare to the rods for upper and lower blocks.

Try to find a straight one that is as close to your curve of the c bout corner blocks. 

Cut to size glue on the sand paper once dry check the flatness again and if all is well should make finishing the c blocks a bit easier. 
I didn’t check for flatness on my first round with the dowels… so I got plenty of practice I did them three times!
C’est la vie

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  • 2 weeks later...

2nd Update on Mold:

Life got in the way of my midnight violin-making sessions the last couple of weeks but I finally got the mold finished. I put one coat of shellac on it and left it to dry until tomorrow. I think I'll add one more coat and call it a day. It's not perfect but I learned a few things. 1. Getting inside corners square is tough. 2. If you label the mold with a sharpie, do it AFTER coating it with your chemical of choice. 3. Also figure out how to clean that chemical off your brush BEFORE you start applying it. I think I ruined the one paintbrush I had. Oh well!

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I also took @MikeC's suggestion and put my workbench on the adjacent wall. I now have more space on either side of the bench. I also attached it to the wall with 3 lag screws and it doesn't budge at all. 

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I'm still working on getting more tools, a little glue, and some tonewood before I can start actually building an instrument. I've got the wood coming and I'll need to save up for the cornerblock gouge. I got tired of waiting on the Stubai backorder so I'm probably ordering the Hans Karlsson cornerblock and arching gouges. Once I get those, I can start on the blocks before starting on the ribs. 

 

In the meantime, I'm going to try to make a handle for the one violin maker's knife I have now.  

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I like your new setup, looks like you have plenty of working room now.   If you just used shellac it should clean off your brush with alcohol.  Or did you use something oil based?  In that case a good paint thinner like turpentine or mineral spirits would clean it.  

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  • 2 months later...

Knife Handle Fail and Other Updates

Other parts of life have been taking up my time so I haven't been able to make much progress with my violinmaking. That's not to say I haven't done anything. I completed my sharpening/honing system and I've been practicing sharpening my chisels and plane blades. I haven't gotten around to try sharpening a gouge yet though. I might add a hand-cranked grinding stone to the kit later on a-la-Michel Darnton, but this set up seems to be working fine for now.  

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I've also made steady progress in building my toolkit. I've got most of what I set out to collect in what I would term my "basic kit": 

  1. Workbench
    1. Homemade - bought on Facebook
  2. Planes
    1. Thumb Plane 13mm round
    2. Thumb Plane 8mm flat
    3. Veritas Low-Angle Jack Plane
    4. Veritas Apron Plane w/additional serrated blade
  3. Saws
    1. Craftsman Coping Saw
    2. Harbor Freight Japanese Style Saw
    3. IRWIN Marples 7.25-in Dovetail Cut Pull Saw
  4. Gouges/Chisels
    1. Hirsch Firmer Chisel 1/4"
    2. Hirsch Firmer Chisel 1/2"
    3. Hirsh Firmer Chisel 3/4"
    4. Henry Taylor (HT) #7 3/4" (plate edge)
    5. HT #3 1" (Arch finishing)
    6. HT #5 1/2" (scroll)
    7. HT #7 1/4" (scroll)
    8. HT #7 3/8" (scroll)
    9. HT #7 5/8" (scroll)
    10. Hans Karlsson 25-30 arching gouge
    11. Hans karlsson cornerblock gouge
    12. Ashley Isles #9 1/4" incannel (peg box)
  5. Knives
    1. violin knife (double bevel) - 9 mm
    2. violin knife (double bevel) - 12 mm
    3. violin knife (double bevel) - 15 mm
  6. Scrapers and Files
    1. .8mm thick scrapers (ribs)
    2. .4mm thick scrapers (general work)
    3. .25mm thick scrapers (finishing)
    4. 8" Nicholson mill file - flat
    5. 8" Nicholson mill file - half round
    6. Needle files set
  7. Sharpening
    1. Carbide rod (burnisher)
    2. DMT 8" Diamond Plate (xtra course)
    3. DMT 8" Diamond Plate (Fine)
    4. DMT 8" Diamond Plate (xtra Fine)
    5. Horsebutt leather strop
    6. Stropping Compound
    7. Veritas honing guide
  8. Clamps
    1. 6 4" Jorgensen bar clamps
    2. 30 Spool Clamps (DIY - Screws & wing nut)
    3. 40 Lining Clamps (DIY - clothespins)
    4. 5 Bass Bar Clamps (DIY - David Burgess design)
  9. Measuring Tools
    1. 12" steel ruler w/ metric marks
    2. 36" steel ruler w/ metric mark
    3. 6" Harbor Freight Vernier Caliper w/ metric
    4. Compass divider w/ additional pencil insert
    5. Lee Valley Engineer Square 2"
    6. Lee Valley Engineer Square 4"
    7. Veritas Steel Straight Edge 12"
    8. Thickness Gauge
  10. Glue & Varnishing
    1. Wax Warmer
    2. Digital Scale
    3. UV Cabinet (DIY - trash can model)
    4. Paintbrushes
    5. Repurposed glass jars
    6. Candy Thermometer
    7. Glass Stirring rods
    8. Hot Plate w/ Diffuser
  11. Violin Luthier Specific Tools
    1. Peg Hole Reamer
    2. Peg Shaper
    3. Bending Iron
    4. Bending Strap
    5. Purfling marker
    6. Purfling cleaner
    7. F-Hole Cutter
    8. Plate Holder
    9. Soundpost Setter
    10. Inspection Mirror
    11. Soundpost Retriever
    12. Soundpost Gauge
    13. Template (DIY)
    14. Mold (DIY)
  12. Other
    1. Hand Power Drill
    2. Drill Guide

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I think I have all the wood I need to start on the first instrument, except for purfling material and the ebony pieces, including several pieces of scraps to screw up on before touching the main wood. 

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I've already tried my hand at a small woodworking project making a handle for my knife. It was a disaster. I couldn't get the two halves to sit flush with each other. I need lots more practice flattening and squaring pieces with my plane, it seems. I'll give it another go some other time.

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For now, I'll be cutting into scraps of wood and sharpening my tools for a good while before I start with the blocks and rib garland. Stay tuned.

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Tool Practice and Making Glue

I decided to practice using my block plane by making what Brian Derber calls "chopsticks" which are two rectangular prisms of hardwood used to elevate the mold by 9mm when setting the blocks. I got a red oak board from the big box store, cut out a piece, and tried to flatten, square it, and reduce it to size. It was more difficult than I anticipated!

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The board was flat and square so I just had to work on the cut surface. I eventually got it flat but couldn't get it perfectly square and the final thickness varies from 8.95 to 9.25 mm. Not sure what the acceptable tolerances are for this bu I might go back and use a file to try to bring the high parts down closer to 9. 

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I also got to try out my glue pot and made a very small batch of glue. My first time working with hide glue. I used two meat thermometers that I calibrated to 100 degrees celsius in boiling water to calibrate the glue pot. The thermometers differed in their readings at the lower temperatures so I marked the gauge on the glue pot where both thermometers read at least 140 degrees fahrenheit. 

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I'll keep practicing with my tools and make another chopstick. I'll also need to make what Derber calls "zulagen" to help when gluing and clamping the c-bout ribs.  

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Neat little glue pot/wax warmer. It would be best if you can get your tolerances tighter and nail square surfaces, so keep at it with the riser blocks/chopsticks. Good, single point task lighting can make things easier. Think "Pixar" type desk lamp, or one of the funny little bendy guys from IKEA, on a budget. 

Tips for success: take your time setting the plane blade. You want it fine and parallel to the sole. Sight it against a plain wall, make test cuts in scrap and measure them, etc. You'll eventually get used to doing it quickly by eye and feel. 

Prepare your stock (such as by splitting) so that it's easier to plane. 

Re-filing - as strange as it may seem, because they're more or less flat, files are not the easiest thing in the world to make a flat, square surface with. That's where planes excel. Files are more useful for surface texture and the adjustment of curved shapes. 

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  • 1 month later...

Corner and End Blocks - Part 1

Still chugging away as time allows. I finally got started on cutting out the blocks. It's embarrassing but it took me the longest time to make sense of the concept of "grain" on the wood. I mean, I knew the direction "the grain" was supposed to run for each block but then I got myself confused on which side of the wood was "the grain." I think I finally oriented the cut-outs for the blocks correctly on this extra bit of spruce wedge I had--I hope! 

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Now, I'll continue to practice using the gouges/chisels, sharpening them, then rinse and repeat. I bought the veritas side-clamping honing guide thinking it would take care of all my needs for chisels and planes but I found out that it doesn't hold the blade for my apron plane. I'll need to find one that does so I can sharpen that as well and use it for the next step.

Next time, I'll be attempting to flatten and square up the blocks to fit the mold before moving onto the ribs. 

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