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Item # PB 91  Mutant Lutzii Sprucd Billet A big Heavy billet This wood is loved by all that have used it will show curl and flame and even cláw 8 x 1 7/8 x 22 Give me 200 to start u will be very happy with this fine bille t

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Landline voice 250 615 2800 TEXTING ONLY 604 674 2250 email me dacosta@sprucetonewood.com



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Landline voice 250 615 2800

TEXTING ONLY 604 674 2250

email me dacosta@sprucetonewood.com



My First Violin - the build

05 Jul 2015

Posted by TexasUke in Official TexasUke Forum

I kind of got roped into building a violin for my sister's granddaughter.  And then I got roped into building a second violin when one of my other sisters found out.  I had built her daughter a violin from a kit years ago.  But now it's part of my sister's collection of instruments I've built for my dad, her daughter, her son and a couple experiments such as a strum stick.  So, despite telling my niece I would never build another violin it looks like I will.  Just don't tell her.


I started by asking the wisdom of the Forum.  I got a lot of good advice.  Oddly, one piece of advice was to build two at one time to help reinforce the learning process.  The best advice was to get Henry Strobel's book, "Violin Making Step by Step", which you can get from his web site or various other sites on the Internet.  From him it's about $35.  The other piece of advice was to follow the book and not get into invention or improvement or embellishment; not on my first violin.


Next I looked for wood.  Luckily I have enough maple lying around for several instruments of all kinds.  I had one book-matched set that was big enough for a beautiful back and wide and long enough to get a few sets of ribs.  And I have plenty more for necks.  Then I went to a popular web site associated with this web site to get my spruce.  I ordered two sets even before I knew I was going to end up building two instruments.  I do that frequently mainly to have an answer for when Murphy sticks his nose in.  After some discussion and thought I've decided to use the Golden Leopard set and the Katz set.  Should make for an interesting comparison.


Here's the wood.  I still haven't picked out the wood for the back of the second violin.




Next, following the book I made the metal template and the construction mold.




Then I made the end blocks and corner blocks from the drops off the Golden Leopard spruce and glued them to the mold.  It took some re-cutting to get the grain orientation right for the corner blocks.  Chet's 5-string fiddle build shows an easier mold layout.  The notches for the corner blocks are cut in such a way that quartersawn wood fits with the grain naturally headed the right way.




Following the book I used a flat sanding board and sanded the blocks about .5 mm taller than final.  There's a 2 mm taper from the tail block to the neck block.  And while I'm not nearly that fussy or talented it's worth thinking about how the taper is implemented.  You could have the back side perpendicular to the blocks and put all the taper on the front.  Or you could go vice versa.  Or you could evenly divide the taper between the front and back.  I opted for making the back side perpendicular.  I realize this is probably way too anal but I'm still completely intimidated by the idea of building a violin.  Plus all the talk about building violins makes it sound as if anyone deviating at all will be drawn and quartered.  Maybe I should build a couple fiddles instead.


Following Chet's lead and the instructions in the book I cut and shaped the outside edges of the neck and tail blocks and only the curves in the middle ribs.




The piece of PVC and the dowel I wrapped with sandpaper and used them to make the curves in the blocks.  They're almost exactly the same radius as that part of the curves in drawings in the Strobel book.  I used them more for repeatability as much as ultimate shape.  I have only one gouge which is too big for the upper curves and too narrow for the lower curves.  Mainly they help me make the same curves as similar as possible.


I've checked my mold against the drawings and it is very close.  But the middle curve outline seems a bit wonky.  I'm hoping that once I get the ribs glued in and proper points made it will look better.


That's as far as I've gotten.  Unlike Chet, who did much more than this in just one day, I've been working at this for two or three weeks.  I'm hoping now that I've actually started that I'll be more productive.  A man's reach should exceed his grasp or what is luthiery for?


I hope this build helps those of you considering your first violin build.




  32 Views · 4 Replies ( Last reply by TexasUke )


Happy Birthday Mario

04 Jul 2015

Posted by Bobalou in Announcements




Happy birthday my friend, and many many more.

  51 Views · 13 Replies ( Last reply by Fred )


My dad passed away last night

03 Jul 2015

Posted by TexasUke in Official TexasUke Forum

Just wanted to mention the passing of my 90-year-old father last night.  I had made a trip to Phoenix to visit him a couple of weeks ago and he was still able to have a conversation then.  Since, his health deteriorated quickly.  Over the last couple of days he was seldom awake.  Fortunately he never seemed to be in pain.


My dad was very supportive of my luthierism and was my best customer by far.  He liked to design instruments and then have me build them.  His most unique and most successful (for him) guitar was the vaunted mansard guitar.  He designed it so that it would fit more comfortably under his arm.  And it did that as he hoped.


Here he is from 10 years ago playing on a resonator he really liked.  That instrument along with most of the guitars and the mandolin I built for him had been stolen.  He still had the first guitar I ever built for him and the last mansard.




He was a self-taught musician and in later years loved performing for the "old folks" at nursing homes which he did up until a year or so ago.  He also wrote a mess of songs with interesting and funny lyrics.


He has always been there and now he's gone.  I will miss him.




  81 Views · 13 Replies ( Last reply by Fred )

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