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request for advice to luthier in his spare time


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Hello everyone,

I am new in this forum even if I was following from a while without joining.

I live in the Blue Mountains in Australia and I started to work with wood about two years ago and I made a couple of violins that you can see in the pics.

One is made out of pine and the other in olive wood, they are a bit an experiment.

Now I would like to use more traditional materials like spruce and maple to make my next violin and I wonder if someone can suggest a supplier in my area or where to get this kind wood.

Thanks in advance for any help.






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Welcome to Maestronet!  I'm hoping that some of our Australian members will suggest where you might get more usual tonewoods, but you look to have impressive carving ability.  More photos of both would be very interesting.

How do they sound?  :)

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Hi, thanks

The sound is not to bad, the pine violin is better than the olive one.

The olive looks very nice but the nature of the wood does not allow much vibrations.

I will post a video at some stage so you can get an idea.

bye for now


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Hi mysticpaw, thanks for your comment and thanks for the links.

Regarding the piece of hardware on the tailpiece, I am waiting for a long enough piece of nylon tailgut for replacement.

The instrument is not 100% finished, need a bit more work on.

I find out that I made a mistake drilling a hole for one of the string pirolo; the A string make a bit of a leverage on the D pirolo string so I might need to close the hole and re drill it.

Some more pics; the last one is a working process of another violin made out of pine







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Congratulations to your instruments.

To be honest, I don't see much of YOUR own work in the violins. They both appear to be completely CNC cut and parts barely sanded smooth and assembled (and I can see the traces of router on the surfaces in the pics under finish). Those would qualify as VSO around here. Your edges look almost twice as thick as in normal violin and I suppose you CNC'd the ribs all from single piece of wood unlike normal bent ribs reinforced with blocks and linings. That's why they can't sound anywhere like normal violin. If you don't want to waste the more traditional (possibly expensive to you) wood I would advise studying the subject abit deeper...

Making real violin takes lots of handwork and only some preparatory rough work can be easily done with CNC machine unless you are really good at CAD/CAM and fixturing.

I think reading this would help you a lot with the new wood...  http://www.makingtheviolin.com/

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Hi Valerio,   I agree with HoGo that it it is definitely worth looking at makingtheviolin.com

I have bought some very nice tonewood from The String Centre in Chatswood.  It's not in their online store so I would suggest calling them to check first.

I have also imported some direct from Carpathian Tonewood in Romania.  If you buy a couple of sets, it works out to a reasonable price.

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Hi HoGo and David,

Thanks for your reply.

I am very interested in the wood that you got at Chatswood, can you be a bit more specific about the kind of wood you got from them? 

The document about making the violin is very very good specially because there is and abundance of techniques and measures that I can use to compare with what I got.

My violin are made in 4 main parts carved out from my homemade cnc machine and as I specify in the first message are experiments. 

Also as you can argue from the title of the post I define myself as a luthier in my free time and I did not present myself as the new Antonio Stradivari.

I am going to integrate the measurements from the document inside my 3d cad violin model.

I made about six different models plus one 4/4 size cello model that can be fabricated with a suitable cnc machine.

The model with thick dimensions is one of those; it's not a mistake, only my preference.

We both agree on the fact that these are not violins made following the Stradivari's method, you can call them VSO, I call them V001, V002,V003,V004,V005,V006 and C001; for me it is only matter of semantic.

Now if we want to consider how much effort goes in make one of this V00x we need to consider how much of the Stradivari's method can be applied.

Considering that, I can tell you we can estimate about 15% of and average luthier skills time consuming working on a traditional violin, basically the purfling  done by hand; the point of attach handle-body, the varnish, the assembly and a few details here and there.

On the other hand, the amount of time and skills that require to build a professional cnc machine, the 3d modeling CAD/CAM; the homemade software to generate the code the study of the models and so on, is humongous and mine.

Now after saying that I am not into the business of making violins, I make my living in other way.

My goal at the moment is to make a violin following the Stradivari's method described in the "notebook of luthier n.3" and the "Stradivari's Secrets" book of Simone F. Sacconi; it means without the help of my machine.

Thanks again for the document, the information and the advice, I really appreciated.

Bye for now,





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