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Made For Each Other.....
The Wedding Present
Paganini "Il Cannone" Guarneri del Gesu 1743
The Mercury Project
Award Winning Violin
My first Carlo Antonio Testore Copy.
A copy of the 1717 Domenico Montagnana
A recent copy of a Carlo Anotinio Testore
A Copy of a 1731 J.B Guadignini Viola
A violin model Strad MB with a 4 flute scroll.
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This is 14 year old Ellie holding her violin before it's made.
Patterns for scroll and FF holes are made as well as arching templates for the top and back.
The center joint for the top and back are planed by hand on a shooting board.
After the joints are planed the top and back are joined and clamped to dry.
The ribs are thinned using planes and then finished smooth with a scraper.
The width of the rib is cut and planed flat on the shooting board.
The C bouts are bent first and glued into the blocks on the mold.
After the plates have been joined, they are flattened by rubbing them on a piece of plate glass with chalk on it and planing of the high spots marked by the chalk.
After the C bouts are glued, the out corner of the block is shaped.
The upper ribs are bent.
After the upper and lower ribs are bent, they are clamped until they cool.
The back is planed down to thickness.
The top is planed down to thickness.
The upper and lower ribs are glued on the blocks.
Linings are soaked in water and bent to match the inside if the ribs.
After they are bent, they are clamped in to the ribs until they cool.
Linings are cut to fit and let into the C bout blocks. Then they are glued and clamped.
The neck block is wedge shaped. So a piece of scrap wood is added to create a flat surface for cutting the profile.
Then the scroll profile is drawn on both sides.
The scroll profile is cut out on the band saw.
After the linings have been glued in, the rib cage is flattened and brought to thickness on a sanding plate. The ribcage will be planed by hand later for a perfect fit to the top and back.
The outlined is drawn on the top and back using a washer to allow for the edge overhang.
Rough outline on both top and back.
The top and back are cut out on the band saw.
Now it's starting to resemble a violin.
The flat for the edge is roughed on a router with an undercut bit.
Strips of ebony and maple are cut to make purfling.
The strips are thinned using a spindle sander against an adjustable fence.
The strips are glued then clamped into forms using a lung rubber band.
The strips are cut on a micro saw blade chucked up into the drill press.
The strips are cut into 8 pieces each which is enough for to violins (if I don't break any pieces....)
Holes are drilled for alignment pins. This keeps the top and back perfectly aligned with the ribcage through the whole building process.
Alignment pins are placed just inside the purfling and off the center joint so as not to risk splitting the joint open.
The overhang is roughed using a rotary file on the drill press. The tape protects the ribs from the bearing guide.
The edge is finalized using sanding sticks and files.
The back is clamped down and the arching roughed with a gouge. (I always do the maple first to work up a good sweat!)
Then the top is rough arched with a gouge.
The rough arch is blended into the flat with small finger planes.
The top arch is also blended into the flat and the flat edge is brought to final thickness.
The purfling channel is cut on the top and back.
The purfling is cut to fit.
The corners are mitered to make the "Bee Sting".
The purfling is glued in using a syringe to get the glue into the channel.
The top channel/fluting is cut with a small gouge.
The back is roughed out using finger planes.
The shadows from a one directional light help in carving the arching.
Arching templates are used to help in carving the arching.
The arching is refined with scrapers.
Archings of the top and back are completed.
F hole placement is determined and drawn onto the top.
Eyes of the F holes are drilled.
The outline of the rib cage and blocks are drawn onto the inside of the top and back.
The inside of the top is drilled to remove the bulk of the wood.
Calipers are used to measure the thickness of the wood at various points.
The inside of the back is drilled and left thicker than the top.
The inside of the back is roughly gouged to the bottom of the drill points.
The inside of the top is roughly gouged to the bottom of the drill points.
The inside of the back is further carved using finger planes.
Graduation thicknesses are numbered and mapped on the inside of the back.
Graduation thicknesses are numbered and mapped on the inside of the top.
The eyes of the F holes are cut using a hole-cutting tool.
The F holes are rough cut using a scroll saw.
The F holes are finalized using a very fine knife.
Small blocks of wood are glued in to aid in the fitting of the bass bar.
The bass bar is chalk fit to the top.
The bass bar is glued and clamped to the top.
Peg hole layout is determined and pilot holes are drilled.
The cheeks of the peg box are cut out.
Radial cuts are made for the first turn of the scroll using a Japanese saw.
The first turn of the scroll is refined using a gouge.
The second turn of the scroll is cut and refined in the same way.
The third turn forms the ear of the scroll.
The bass bar is shaped using finger planes.
The rounding of the edge begins by beveling with a file.
The bevel is then rounded over with files.
The edge is sanded smooth.
The ribs are scraped clean again. Then the ribs are planed flat.
The mold is collapsible and is removed from the rib cage for the first time.
The blocks are shaped with a gouge and chisel.
The linings are cut with a knife, scraped and sanded smooth.
After the rib cage is finished on the inside, it is glued to the top.
A label is glued on the back. Underneath is my name stamped into the back.
The angle and length of the heel is laid out.
The heel is cut on the bandsaw.
A fingerboard is prepared. The top surface is planed for the proper radius and swoop.
The underside of the fingerboard is graduated to remove unneeded mass.
The fingerboard is glued onto the neck.
The top is glued on first so the neck set can be started.
The inside is colored to avoid the "Jack 'o Lantern" effect of a new violin.
The back is glued on and the "box" is closed.
The fluting on the back of the scroll is carved with gouges.
The peg box is drilled out to remove excess wood.
The pegbox is carved with chiseles to clean up the bottom and sides,
The mortice is cut for the saddle.
The saddle is finished out and glued in.
The chin side of the neck is finished out.
The chamfer on the scroll is cut with a knife.
The neck set is finished using chalk to show where it is touching in the mortice and then cut with chisels, knife and file.
When the neck fits and all levels are correct, the neck is glued in.
The heel is rough cut with a coping saw.
The heel side of the neck is cut with a knife and finished with files and sandpaper.
Small pegs are fit to set the violin up in the white.
Two strings are used to check the height of the bridge. This is the first sound the violin makes.
The set up is complete and the violin is ready to be played in the white.