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Query re: building methods


PhilipKT
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I get the feeling that these days everybody uses one particular kind of construction, possibly two. Outside or inside mold exclusively?
I’m wondering if, when you were trained, did you learn all the types of constructions and perhaps build an example of each?

just wondering.

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26 minutes ago, Dwight Brown said:

Does anyone use outside mold ??

DLB

I know many luthiers who use the oustide form here in Cremona. I was trained to use the inside form at school, then out of curiosity I also tried to use the outside one because my teacher G.B. Morassi (although at school he was rightly rigorous in teaching the typical form of the Cremonese method) used the outside form. I made four or five violins with it, just long enough to realize that the inside one was much better, and I have not abandoned it anymore.

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I first learnt, as a 14 year old to make with an outside mould with my father, later as an 18year old in Switzerland with a full depth inside mould, and I think in the meantime, have tried every variant. My conclusion is that there isn’t a best way, but each have pros and cons

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6 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I get the feeling that these days everybody uses one particular kind of construction, possibly two. Outside or inside mold exclusively?
I’m wondering if, when you were trained, did you learn all the types of constructions and perhaps build an example of each?

just wondering.

I was taught on the classical inside mould, and made one instrument at school without mould.

Then when I came to Budapest I was taught their mouldless method. Blocks are sandwiched between top and back and while this is in place ribs are fitted to the blocks and outline.

Later I came to Markneukirchen and worked in the traditional way of ‘Aufschachteln’’ another method without mould.

In my own copies I started by using a variant to the Budapest method. Later I switched to the outside mould. 
 

In between I made instruments without mould where the ribs are built on a flat board. (Allegedly first practiced in England)

Thevonly thing I haven’t done yet is the Brescian method where there were no platforms for top and lower blocks. Instead, blocks are fitted to the inside arch with the rest following free hand. Should be fun.

oh before I forget, I haven’t made an instrument with the rib grooves on the back and neither with a guitar neck. I don’t know if there is any active violin maker still using one of those methods. 

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I started with the inside mold, as it is the simplest to make and use.  

For a while I messed with an outside mold, with the idea that the garland outside could be more precisely controlled, and the plate outlines could be separately cut using a template.  It didn't work well enough to bother with the added problem that come with the outside mold... mostly making the corners.

Like Davide, I have abandoned the outside mold.

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I build my mandolins using outside mold as was done at Gibson in 20's . But will do my first violin (hopefully soon) using traditional Cremonese form to nod to the tradition as well.

I don't think there are differences in precision between outside or inside molds. In mandolin world some of the most precise makers use both outside and inside moulds. I't about learning how to use it.

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16 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

I know many luthiers who use the oustide form here in Cremona. I was trained to use the inside form at school, then out of curiosity I also tried to use the outside one because my teacher G.B. Morassi (although at school he was rightly rigorous in teaching the typical form of the Cremonese method) used the outside form. I made four or five violins with it, just long enough to realize that the inside one was much better, and I have not abandoned it anymore.

 

15 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

I first learnt, as a 14 year old to make with an outside mould with my father, later as an 18year old in Switzerland with a full depth inside mould, and I think in the meantime, have tried every variant. My conclusion is that there isn’t a best way, but each have pros and cons

I agree with Jacob. I had tried the outside form because everyone who used it told me that it allowed to be faster in building. I believe this may be true if you take a more industrial approach to building, but as far as I'm concerned, wanting to maintain the same standard of quality and non-serial workmanship with both shapes, the time it took me to build a violin didn't it was lower, it was exactly the same (and I had taken the times with the timer:P).

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I have the anecdotal sense, both from experience and from this thread, that there is a slight geographical split on this. That in Europe the outside mold, while perhaps in the minority, still has its adherents, and that in North America inside molds are absolutely de rigueur (with at most, the rare experimental Brescian build on the back exception). Does that sound correct to others?

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34 minutes ago, Jedidjah de Vries said:

I have the anecdotal sense, both from experience and from this thread, that there is a slight geographical split on this. That in Europe the outside mold, while perhaps in the minority, still has its adherents, and that in North America inside molds are absolutely de rigueur (with at most, the rare experimental Brescian build on the back exception). Does that sound correct to others?

I always try hard not to get to racist on this forum:D

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14 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Then when I came to Budapest I was taught their mouldless method. Blocks are sandwiched between top and back and while this is in place ribs are fitted to the blocks and outline.

When this method is used, do the rib joins look pinched or mitered from the outside? Do the corners tend to be long?

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4 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

When this method is used, do the rib joins look pinched or mitered from the outside? Do the corners tend to be long?

I don't think so. The ribs naturally follow the outline of your back/top so if your corners are not too long or too wide to start with the rib joints won't be long or pinched.

Any of the methods can produce exactly the same looking instrument but each one has some peculiar differences - you would be hard pressed to insert lining into blocks in cremonese way when building on back and it is harder to get nicely butted ribs in corners with outside mould etc. You can easily glue the back to ribs while it is in outside mold, but with inside mold you'd have leave the gluing of the top lining for later and the top outline can get distorted when you do that.

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16 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

When this method is used, do the rib joins look pinched or mitered from the outside? Do the corners tend to be long?

The so called “pinched” look, comes from glueing the rib corners together without a block behind. This isn’t the case with the Hungarian method. The Hungarian method is particularly useful should you be copying a specific antique violin, since the belly/back outlines are defined first, and the ribs made to match those

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39 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

The so called “pinched” look, comes from glueing the rib corners together without a block behind. This isn’t the case with the Hungarian method. The Hungarian method is particularly useful should you be copying a specific antique violin, since the belly/back outlines are defined first, and the ribs made to match those

How do you deal with the linings in the Hungarian method?

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43 minutes ago, HoGo said:

... but with inside mold you'd have leave the gluing of the top lining for later and the top outline can get distorted when you do that.

Which is why I use a collapsable inside mold.  The shape hold very well when all of the linings are in place and the back is glued on, and then remove the mold.

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14 minutes ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

How do you deal with the linings in the Hungarian method?

I stuck them in afterwards, although I would like to defer to Andreas on the “Hungarian method”, since he actually learnt it, whereas I was just shown it 2nd. hand by a Hungarian colleague

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20 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

Which is why I use a collapsable inside mold.  The shape hold very well when all of the linings are in place and the back is glued on, and then remove the mold.

I see little point in everyone advocating the method he happens to use himself, since there are reasons to advocate all methods for different reasons. Re. identification of historically used different methods: This is a useful clue to identifying instruments from different regions, and not a statement of which one were better or worse

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Thanks for the replies regarding the Hungarian method. The question about linings is an interesting one. Also, how are the ribs held to the blocks during gluing? Special clamps? Is the finished rib join inside the C-bout like inside and outside molds, or can it also be down the center between the two ribs like built-on-back?

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1 hour ago, HoGo said:

but with inside mold you'd have leave the gluing of the top lining for later and the top outline can get distorted when you do that.

Not true. It is pretty easy to get the complete rib set with all linings off the form. When you pull the c bouts outward the length increases and the ends can be slipped off after most of the excess has been split off. This is probably the reason for the canted gluing surfaces on Strad molds, to allow a small wiggle space for the blocks (square blocks glued to one surface of  oblong holes) to move towards the ends when removing the rib set. It's a little like removing a tire from the rim.

Another clue that They did this is the c bout linings being inset into the corner blocks. If you don't do this, when removing the ribs the risk of the rib breaking there is very high, but with those linings inset it never breaks. The first one to use an inner mold probably learned that quickly.

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3 hours ago, Jedidjah de Vries said:

I have the anecdotal sense, both from experience and from this thread, that there is a slight geographical split on this. That in Europe the outside mold, while perhaps in the minority, still has its adherents, and that in North America inside molds are absolutely de rigueur (with at most, the rare experimental Brescian build on the back exception). Does that sound correct to others?

I think it's possible that with no real American violin making tradition and no formal master>student imposition to lock out progress it was very easy for Americans to adopt the original Cremonese method once Sacconi pointed it out.

That said, the collapsible mold is great in more of a production situation and has no real downside relative to the one-piece version.

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I remember seeing photos from one of the Chinese factories that had outside molds with rib garlands in them stacked up to the ceiling.  I always thought of the outside mold as a French method? It must be a great deal more work to make the mold in any case.  A good bandsaw must make it much easier though.

 

DLB

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30 minutes ago, Dwight Brown said:

I remember seeing photos from one of the Chinese factories that had outside molds with rib garlands in them stacked up to the ceiling.  I always thought of the outside mold as a French method? It must be a great deal more work to make the mold in any case.  A good bandsaw must make it much easier though.

 

DLB

f you try to make an outside mould with a band saw, you will sit there scratching your head

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