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Just starting this endeavor


RobP
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I'll check based on the dimensions of the completed form and adjust as necessary to get as close as I reasonably can without being A-retentive about it.  At this point I'm not of the opinion that a mm or 3 is going to make that much of a tonal difference given that Stradivari made many many violins larger than the Messiah.  I'm also not trying to make an exact copy.  If I wanted to do that I'd use CNC to make the form, cut the pieces, shape the plates, and skip the fun parts.

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35 minutes ago, RobP said:

I'll check based on the dimensions of the completed form and adjust as necessary to get as close as I reasonably can without being A-retentive about it.  At this point I'm not of the opinion that a mm or 3 is going to make that much of a tonal difference given that Stradivari made many many violins larger than the Messiah.  I'm also not trying to make an exact copy.  If I wanted to do that I'd use CNC to make the form, cut the pieces, shape the plates, and skip the fun parts.

That's the trick, learning where extreme accuracy counts. The form is one of those places you don't want unintentional deviations because everything gets magnified from there. In violin making, "a mm or 3" is huge. Yes you will see variations this large, but they are in context with the rest of the instrument.

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That's exactly reason why the wood I prepared for my first violin is still on the bench waiting for it's mould.

I am a bit too perfectionist in this but I started studying Kreisler dG as a model as I had the Poster and severasl other good sources of information but eventually started studying more of dG violins and now I'm working more or less on Plowden data that may be one of the best example representing the original dG form on which supposedly most of his violins were made. I've been working on evenings (as time permits) almost a year now drawing and adjusting curves to come with shape that I thing is worth transfering to wood.

You want all the parts fit each other and it all starts with body shape.

I've always worked at least to precision of "really sharp pencil" on my instruments. If you start with less than that how many compromises are you ready to do later? Of course sometimes you won't do everything perfectly precise (especially on first instrument) but you should at least try and work on getting it bettter every "next time". You can notice how clean and precise the work of best makers is. That is certainly part of why they are among the best.

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See, this is where it gets confusing.

 

You say 3mm is "huge", and therefore not desired, but then you go on to say it's ok because the instruments usually have variations that large.  Then there's the fact that Stradivari himself built instruments much larger than the Messiah.  Like 15mm larger.

 

So is the issue really about size, or is it all about adherence to making a "perfect" copy even though that's impossible?

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1 hour ago, Dennis J said:

My advice would be to investigate the basic inside form geometry. There is plenty of info out there about it. And use french curves to model the corners.

 

DSC_0006.jpg

I don't have enough years left to go this route.  Sorry.

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1 hour ago, RobP said:

Then there's the fact that Stradivari himself built instruments much larger than the Messiah.  Like 15mm larger.

This is not true, there are no Stradivari violins that are 15mm longer than the messiah. There are violas and cellos which are longer ;)

In any case, the design was carefully worked out before hand, so there was a clear goal. Their method did lead to discrepancies, but it was not due to a fast and loose approach.

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Certain measurements like the vibrating string length dictate body proportions. I'm not a Stradivari expert but I would say that his long pattern instruments probably had most of that extra length taken up by a larger lower bout.

But those variations would have been within the proportional geometry framework I've shown.

 

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1 hour ago, RobP said:

See, this is where it gets confusing.

 

You say 3mm is "huge", and therefore not desired, but then you go on to say it's ok because the instruments usually have variations that large.  Then there's the fact that Stradivari himself built instruments much larger than the Messiah.  Like 15mm larger.

 

So is the issue really about size, or is it all about adherence to making a "perfect" copy even though that's impossible?

As wood Butcher point out the15 mm were violas , some of the longer ones could be the long form strad ? From my personal perspective the idea of copying has more to do with getting a good sound right out of the gait if possible, vs hunting for something unknown .thinking about mass , resonant cavity volume, and absolute strength,  there is probably a ideal range for the range of tone from the violin .  You are gonna put a ton of work and time into this .... one method I found helpful was to get the” ideal” measurement and do a subtractive process, overhang- rib thickness.... , upper lower center bouts OAL , if three mm seems a small bit , then when it’s time to fit the neck, your gonna be a little trouble, get you’re head ready with all the details....it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being as excellent as possible . Good luck ,

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Just my opinion but for a first build don't get over complicated.  Just get a good copy of a Strad form and do the build.  Just make sure you're accurate with string length, neck length, angles, bridge position...  oh and don't make your corners too long..  

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10 minutes ago, MikeC said:

Just my opinion but for a first build don't get over complicated.  Just get a good copy of a Strad form and do the build.  Just make sure you're accurate with string length, neck length, angles, bridge position...  oh and don't make your corners too long..  

Violin making is like hand grenade trowing--just get it in the general direction.  Don't worry about accuracy if you can make a big blast.

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On 2/17/2022 at 6:07 PM, RobP said:

At this point I plan on it because I'm not really interested in making a violin shaped object.  I'll look at both Derber's and Johnson's books and see where that goes.  I'm also looking at this book, even though the cost is out of this world, because if it's good enough to teach out of it ought to be good enough to learn from by self study.

https://newworldschool.cc/the-manual-of-violin-making-book/

Wow! With all the conflicting advice you’re getting I imagine you’re quite frustrated with this thread. In time you’ll build your own Maestonet filter to know who to listen to. In the mean time, follow your own advice from the post I quoted. I have both books. If I could have only one book I would by Brian Derber’s book. Whichever book you choose it’s best to follow one method all the way through before trying all the many variations. Good luck and post pics of your progress. 
 

Cheers,

Jim

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Agree. If you don't want to make VSO. You need to follow good instruction and good plan/model. Then you can make your own errors caused by hand work. Just don't do unnecessary errors.

Contrary to what many folks think, most of the Strad models are very close. Even the "long pattern" strad may be outlier but not by too great margin. You often see big differences in measurements of strads but it is mostly becaause some folks measure with tape around the arch which yealds few mm extra.

When I started drawing my dG model I was HUGELY surprised that many of his violins are scaring close. You could probably swap backs between several without really showing. Biggest differences being in exact shaping of corners.

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10 hours ago, HoGo said:

Agree. If you don't want to make VSO. You need to follow good instruction and good plan/model. Then you can make your own errors caused by hand work. Just don't do unnecessary errors.

Contrary to what many folks think, most of the Strad models are very close. Even the "long pattern" strad may be outlier but not by too great margin. You often see big differences in measurements of strads but it is mostly becaause some folks measure with tape around the arch which yealds few mm extra.

When I started drawing my dG model I was HUGELY surprised that many of his violins are scaring close. You could probably swap backs between several without really showing. Biggest differences being in exact shaping of corners.

I guess it depends upon what your definition of "very close" is.  The attached table shows the dimensions of Strad's forms.  I had shown a plot of Strad violin's length and widths vs. the year they were made before which shows quite a bit of variation.  It is attached again here.

It appears that Stradivari was using several different forms simultaneously.

Screen Shot 2022-02-25 at 2.10.34 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-08-06 at 9.15.54 AM.png

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4 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I guess it depends upon what your definition of "very close" is.  The attached table shows the dimensions of Strad's forms.  I had shown a plot of Strad violin's length and widths vs. the year they were made before which shows quite a bit of variation.  It is attached again here.

It appears that Stradivari was using several different forms simultaneously.

 

 

I've been looking at your charts and graphs and that's where I came to the conclusion that Strad built violins up to around 165mm.  As far as I can tell from your data, those aren't violas or cellos.  Please correct me if I'm wrong about that, but it's what I'm seeing and taking away.

In the end, the template came in at 352mm long and I'm going to leave it at that length.  Once I get the form built, I'll start a thread in the makers forum and post some pictures as I go along.

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23 hours ago, MikeC said:

Just my opinion but for a first build don't get over complicated.  Just get a good copy of a Strad form and do the build.  Just make sure you're accurate with string length, neck length, angles, bridge position...  oh and don't make your corners too long..  

But, what if I want corners as long as icicles?

 

More seriously, MakingThe Violin has all the data for the build and I'm planning on following that and we'll see where it goes.  The good thing about a 1st build is that I get to experiment with all kinds of different things and if they don't work out, then I know not to try that again.

 

Now, about those icicle corners...  Anyone have any data for them?

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Icicles are ok, you could play for Santa at the North Pole  :D     It seems common to get them too long on a first build.  What helped me is copying the corner blocks from a CT scan of a Strad.   MakingTheViolin site is a good resource.  Have fun with the build and post pics!  

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On 2/25/2022 at 8:34 PM, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I guess it depends upon what your definition of "very close" is.  The attached table shows the dimensions of Strad's forms.  I had shown a plot of Strad violin's length and widths vs. the year they were made before which shows quite a bit of variation.  It is attached again here.

It appears that Stradivari was using several different forms simultaneously.

The numbers alone won't tell the whole story.

I was amazed when I noticed a difference in measurements form Pollens, Biddulph and Hargrave of the same violins in variousresources. Measuring of forms can be misleading as the edges will be more worn on one form than on the other or the cut-out for blocks slightly enlarged after use which effectively reduces length of the form. To really judge the moulds from luthiers' perpective (and not museum curator's) you need, IMO, to look at the whole and consider wear/possible shrinking or wood deformation over time and general curvatures of the forms in the first place.

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I have the basic form made. I laminated 2 layers of 6.5mm Baltic Birch ply to create the blank and then used some of my equipment to shape it according to the template.

It weighs a ton for what it is.

Now it's time to start hacking on it for the blocks and drilling holes in "strategic" locations.  Which should reduce the weight.  I'll start a thread in the makers forum once I have the form ready for the blocks to get glued in.

 

628280066_Roughformside.thumb.jpg.b4c414dab892189018d1a5663c87227d.jpg1689626779_Roughformtop.thumb.jpg.37479f458e7c5ae0de0266aa0e82ff40.jpg

(yeah, yeah, I know, my shop's a mess...)

 

Now I'm wondering; does anyone know the last place where I left my compass?

 

 

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