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Deo's bench


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Hello everyone,

So I'm embarking on yet another instrument making journey and I thought I'd do something a little different. The biggest thing holding back my work to date is definitely a lack of patience—or maybe an overeagerness to get my instruments ready to play.

I thnk over the past couple years I've learned enough (a lot of it from this awesome forum) to make something really nice, if only I take my time. So I thought maybe I'll post photos of my progress on here to keep myself honest. Nothing motivates hard work like the feeling of being watched at all times!

Anyway, my work may not be as scrumptious as that of the masters on here, but if you feel so inclined then you're welcome to leave comments, good and bad.

Here's the back after a Sunday's carving:
(warning: squeamish viewers should look away now)
IMG_20221113_215801547.thumb.jpg.396de7a474303e0bedc5dd6af0ab003d.jpg

Your eyes do not deceive you... that is indeed a 7 piece back! I figure I've made so many ugly things out of beautiful wood, I'll make a beautiful instrument out of ugly wood for a change.

If you're curious, this is a 15" 5 string loosely based on John Cooper's model and some violas by other modern makers.

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2 hours ago, Shelbow said:

@Deo Lawson

Were you intending to post this in the makers section? If so I can move it for you.

Honestly I don't know if I've ever looked at the makers forum, but if you think it belongs there you can move it.

charliemaine

Since I don't intend to sell this instrument the strange back wood doesn't bother me. Honestly I kind of like it, and if it sounds good it'll be a funny statement. I am mainly a player and student, not a maker.

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27 minutes ago, Deo Lawson said:

Honestly I don't know if I've ever looked at the makers forum, but if you think it belongs there you can move it.

charliemaine

Since I don't intend to sell this instrument the strange back wood doesn't bother me. Honestly I kind of like it, and if it sounds good it'll be a funny statement. I am mainly a player and student, not a maker.

I think that if it's a bench thread it should really be there so I have moved it over.

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On 11/14/2022 at 1:15 PM, Deo Lawson said:

charliemaine

Since I don't intend to sell this instrument the strange back wood doesn't bother me. Honestly I kind of like it, and if it sounds good it'll be a funny statement. I am mainly a player and student, not a maker.

Being able to play is an asset. If you document as much of your project as you can you'll get instructive feedback. I've documented a few of my earlier fiddle builds in order to learn and the most important thing that I've learned is patience. Along with the help received from other makers having some reference material at hand like the C&J, Art of Violin Making and Strobel's, Useful Measurements for Violin Makers will help a lot. Hope you share a lot of photos, have fun.

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Back is almost done, inside and out! Some fine details and the corners left to smooth out, but maybe I'll leave it for the end.IMG_20221122_212243531.thumb.jpg.496e9f2b285da556d1c3a30ddbe57b79.jpgIMG_20221122_212421687.thumb.jpg.d8a56e2b63d95ad38897506991549743.jpg

Arching is about 17-18 mm at the highest point. Thickness is ~3mm at most edges, coming up to 5mm and change. I was inspired by some viola makers who leave a lot of wood in the back for a stronger sound, but the weight is concerning -- 162 grams or so. To my understanding this is still a bit heavy, but I'm not sure if I should thin it out.

 

Also yes, I used guitar herringbone purfling :D

It's just for the sake of doing something a bit different.

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  • 2 weeks later...
15 hours ago, Deo Lawson said:

Working on the Fs... almost done with the plates.

Any tips for clipping those little hairs around the edges of my cuts? They drive me mad!

What tool do you use to make the f's? The best way to get rid of these hairs is not to produce them at all from the beginning, using the tool in a way that does not cause them to form.

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1) - Super-sharp knife, fine blade

2) - Cut with the grain as in photo below

3) - With the knife on the inside, pull to get a slicing action and avoid outer edge fraying.  You can cut from the outside and push, but you can't see what you're doing so well, and the blade is likely wider at the critical F edge.

4) - Resize your photos smaller so as not to clog up storage space.

f.jpg.cc641d7e94c57d0930d33b9a58781787.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Shelbow and others for advice,

 

Progress has been slow. Fs are better now, but I decided to scrap the ribs I had made as they were a bit wonky. That garland will instead become a flower wreath for the family. For now I'm working on the scroll, which I'd thought I'd share because it's a bit unusual.

I figure most will either love or hate this design:

IMG_20221216_152549321.thumb.jpg.f307b5b2e41ec00f6025349d207f197f.jpg

Decided to go this route cause of a little scroll eye oopsie.. though it was just preferable to a wonky eye, I'm rather fond of it. Still far from finished, of course.

At the end the hole will go straight through to the other side—and maybe I'll wire in some coloured LEDs ;)

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