Workbench

Varnish Progress

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in workbench | 0 comments

Varnish Progress

Spring 2018

 

The violin from my previous post that was set up in the white. Here’s a progress shot. It will be antiqued. This is about half way through the process.

Huberman Strad in the white 2018

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in workbench | 0 comments

Set up “in the white”

Winter 2018

Sometimes deadlines are hard to meet! I needed this violin completed for several musicians to try, but I wasn’t able to get the varnishing done in time. Luckily, a violin can be set up and played with out varnish. It gives an idea of what the violin will sound like. The violin sounded great! I was able to show it off, then remove all the fittings and start the varnishing process.

Huberman Strad 2018

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in workbench | 0 comments

Purfling Party

Winter 2018

Purlfing isn’t just for looks (though it does a nice job of outlining the violin). The purfling also protects the instrument from cracks that might start in the edge. The purfling is inlayed in the top, acting as a barrier to edge damage.

Tapestry Music Victoria

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in workbench | 0 comments

A visit to Tapestry Music in Victoria

Fall 2017

I had the pleasure of visiting Meg at the new Tapestry Music in Victoria. I’ve been busy in the shop this season building violins and haven’t posted as much as usual.I brought these lovely violins. They are available to try. A Guarneri model made in 2012, and a freshly converted Northern Sun Fiddola.

Oskar C. Meinel Sound Post Crack Repair

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017 in workbench | 0 comments

Oskar C. Meinel violin Sound Post Crack Repair

August 2017

 

PRISMA 2017

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in workbench | 0 comments

PRISMA 2017

June 2017

I’m the official luthier of PRISMA- the Pacific Regional International Summer Music Academy. I’ll be assessing instruments, tweaking set-ups and rehairing bows for the two week festival. PRISMA is a great event. Check it out.

prismafestival.com

 

Cello Bass Bar Crack Repair

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in workbench | 0 comments

Cello Bassbar Crack Repair

May 2017

 

This cello had a large bass bar crack. This is a crack that runs along the length of the bassbar on the top of the instrument. It was caused by some sort of fall or shock to the instrument. It caused the bassbar itself to come loose (it didn’t fit so well in the first place). I removed the bassbar and refit it. I glued the crack. Then I cleated the crack, with cleats that ran through where the bassbar would later sit. I then had to fit the bassbar over the cleats, then glue the bassbar down. I trimmed the cleats and glued the cello back together. I also did a small repair to the edge of the cello where it had been worn down by always being placed on its side on a carpet. Now it’s ready to play again- no sign of injury unless you look inside and see the repair!

Neck Re-Set

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in workbench | 0 comments

Neck Re-Set

May 2017

 

A neck re-set was required for this beautiful beast of a violin. It’s been through a lot, and it has had a lot of repairs. The neck has been re-set in the past, more than once by the looks of it. The neck angle was all wrong and things weren’t looking very stable. I opted to take the neck off and see what was going on in the neck block area. I put in a new neck block to reinforce some makeshift repairs that had been done in the past and then I re-set the neck.

 

Neck Graft and a Crazy Rehair

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in workbench | 0 comments

Neck Graft and a Crazy Rehair

April 2017

I started a neck graft this month. The scroll is an important part of the violin. Some consider it the signature of the maker. If there is major damage to the neck and or other structural issues with the set up, sometimes a new neck is required. We don’t just carve a new scroll and new neck. Instead, a the original scroll is grafted onto a new neck. It’s a complex process. It’ll be a bit slow since I’ve got lots of little repairs on the go. Here’s the beginning. Stay tuned for updates on progress.

I also had a crazy rehair this month. A split teal-purple vertical rehair for Serena Eades of Dehli to Dublin. Challenging and fun.

Scroll Carving

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in workbench | 0 comments

Scroll Carving

March 2017

 

Using my end vise, I clamp the scroll in order to gouge out the pegbox. I drill some holes in the area to aid in the removal of the wood, which I do primarily with a chisel and gouge.

Shop Update

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in workbench | 0 comments

Shop Update

February 2017

 

It’s been a varied time with a new shop layout. I moved my bandsaw into another room so I could adjust some workbenches and make better use of my shop. The central workbench there was custom made for me by my dad, with a mahogany inlay on the end vise.

I had 26 school violins to get ready for the strings program.

And of course violinmaking….scroll sisters (Big Leaf Maple)

Refining the Outline

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in workbench | 0 comments

Refining the Outline

January 2017

Rough arching complete, I tack the violin back and top onto the rib structure with a bit of glue. Then I refine the outline, and then remove the top and back from the ribs. Then I begin to carve the channel.

 

Polishing

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 in workbench | 0 comments

Polishing

December 2016

 

I’ve had the pleasure of playing this violin for the past 6 months or so, but it’s time to polish it up and make final adjustments, put on some new Evah Pirazzis and send it to Larsen Music in Victoria.

Laura Wallace violin made from Sitka spruce and Big Leaf Maple. Polished and ready to play.

Laura Wallace violin made from Sitka spruce and Big Leaf Maple. Polished and ready to play.

 

Laura Wallace violin scroll with certificate in background.

Laura Wallace violin scroll with certificate in background.

 

Laura Wallace violin, Big Leaf maple back, red varnish texture.

Laura Wallace violin, Big Leaf maple back, red varnish texture.

 

Northern Sun Fiddola

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in workbench | 0 comments

Northern Sun Fiddola

November 2016

 

I completed another Northern Sun Fiddola this month. This one is loosely based on the Huberman Strad from 1713. I took a few liberties with the varnish, but I was inspired by the red violin played by Joshua Bell. I sent this one to Larsen Music in Victoria.

Northern Sun Fiddola Front

Northern Sun Fiddola Front

 

Northern Sun Fiddola Back

Northern Sun Fiddola Back

 

Northern Sun Fiddola Scroll

Northern Sun Fiddola Scroll

3/4 Cello Set-up

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in workbench | 0 comments

3/4 Cello Set-up

November 2016

 

I cut the bridge for this beautiful new 3/4 cello for a lovely cellist in town. She needed a great instrument in a smaller size. I set this one up with Larsen strings and it sounds fantastic.

3/4 cello ready for set up

3/4 cello ready for set up

 

Bridge cutting in progress

Bridge cutting in progress

 

Cello bridge complete.

Cello bridge complete.

5- String Development

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in workbench | 0 comments

5-String Model Development

October 2016

 

I’ve become an expert on 5-string conversions of violins and violas. I’ve made more than a dozen Northern Sun Fiddolas, which are regular sized violins that I receive in the white and convert to 5 string, varnish, and set up. I’m thrilled to be finally putting my experience to work and developing a 5-string violin of my own. I used a long pattern Strad as a starting point, and used some measurements from the Strad Viotti. I’m creating an instrument that is slightly larger than a standard violin, but smaller than a viola. I like the playability of the violin size, but I wanted to get a bit more meat out of the C string. I’m excited to hear how this sounds and continue to develop the model.

Model development and template making for new 5-string

Model development and template making for new 5-string

 

This will be a 5-string violin - ribs, neck block, mould with blocks attached, front and back.

This will be a 5-string violin – ribs, neck block, mould with blocks attached, front and back.

 

Ribs complete, outline drawn on the front and back plates.

Ribs complete, outline drawn on the front and back plates.

 

Plates cut out.

Plates cut out.

 

5 String ribs, neck block cut out, top and back cut out.

5 String ribs, neck block cut out, top and back cut out.

 

Rough arching the top.

Rough arching the top.

 

Rough arching the back.

Rough arching the back.

 

The back- the rough marks are from a toothed finger plane.

The back- the rough marks are from a toothed finger plane.

September 2016

Posted by on Sep 17, 2016 in Uncategorized, workbench | 0 comments

New School year= Rehairs and repairs

September 2016

 

September was busy with rehairs, rentals, and repairs.  After the initial hub-bub has settled down, the fall season is a time for violin making. This year I started 3 instruments at once- the 5 string, a Strad model, and a Guarneri model.

3 violins ready to carve.

3 violins ready to carve.

Neck setting and Varnishing

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in workbench | 0 comments

Neck setting and varnishing

August 2016

 

Neck setting…

Neck setting in progress

Neck setting in progress on the European twin.

 

 

The twins: the red violin is made from local wood (sitka and big leaf maple), and the brown violin is made from European wood.

The twins: the red violin is made from local wood (sitka and big leaf maple), and the brown violin is made from European wood.

 

The twins: both build on a Strad Huberman model.

The twins: both build on a Strad Huberman model.

 

The Twins: scrolls

The Twins: scrolls

Salt Spring Fiddle Camp

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in workbench | 0 comments

Fiddleworks Fiddle Camp on Salt Spring Island

July 2016

 

It was another lovely week of fiddle music at Stowel Lake Farm for this year’s fiddle camp. I did some rehairs, repairs, and sold some special rainbow bows during the week. As usual, the camp was full early on. If you’re looking for a great week of music, check out the Fiddleworks camp. Registration starts March 1st, so mark your calendars. I attend every year as camp luthier.

 

In-house luthier for PRISMA

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in workbench | 0 comments

In-house luthier for PRISMA

June 2016

 

I attended the two week long PRISMA festival this year as in-house luthier. PRISMA (Pacific Regional International Summer Music Academy) is a gathering of musicians from around the world to study with renowned teachers and gain experience playing in a professional orchestra setting. I met players for all over the world and had the pleasure of seeing many violins, violas, and cellos. Of particular note was the Stradivarius belonging to Herbert Greenberg.

Bringing an old violin back to life

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in workbench | 0 comments

Bringing an old violin back to life

March 2016

 

Fitting the soundpost

soundpost2

soundpost1

soundpost3

Planing the fingerboard

fingerboard1

fingerboard2

fingerboard3

Fitting the bridge

bridge

Set-up complete

complete2

complete

 

Wallace Violins featured in BC Musician Magazine

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in workbench | 0 comments

Wallace Violins featured in BC Musician Magazine

March 2016

A couple months back I was interviewed by Joy Mullen for an article in the “BC Instrument Makers” series in BC Musician Magazine. Check out the article online here, or read it at your local coffee shop.

BCMusicianMagazine

 

Antiquing a Northern Sun Fiddola

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in workbench | 0 comments

Antiquing a Northern Sun Fiddola

January 2016

 

I’ve been playing around with antiquing lately. I’m moderately obsessed with the Huberman Strad from 1713, so I often try to emulate it. I love the red on the back, and how it is worn so much from playing. It is a strange process to “age” a violin by a few hundred years over the course of just a week!

 

Violin Making

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Violin Making

December 2015

 

John Robertson Violin Crack Repair

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

John Robertson Violin Crack Repair

November 2015

 

This violin has lived 150 years and it shows! There have been several big repairs in its history. Some of the big cracks weren’t cleated at all, so they opened up once the violin was strung up after a long period of inactivity. I took the top off and was able to see that makers signature along the back- unfortunately partially covered by an old repair. But it’s still clear who made it-John Robertson of Aberdeen, and the date- 1863! Here are some photos of the repair.

 

 

Finalizing edge

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Finalizing Edge of Strad Model

November 2015

 

Knives, files, rasps, abrasives. The body is temporarily glued together to complete the final edge outline. It looks like a violin body but it’s solid! (well, the top plate and back plate are). The top and back will come off and I’ll begin work on the purfling.

Finalizingedgesideshot finalzingedgetopshot

Varnish Making

Posted by on Oct 18, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Varnish Making

October 2015

 

Of course there’s a lot of mystique about varnish out there. I’ll continue that here. I’ve been making varnish lately, using a very, very, very old recipe.

Wood chips!

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Wood chips!

September 2015

 

One piece back of local west coast Big Leaf Maple. Strad model.

One Piece Back Local Maple Laura Wallace

 

Fiddleworks Fiddlecamp on Salt Spring Island

Posted by on Jul 19, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Fiddleworks Fiddlecamp on Salt Spring Island

July 2015

I’ll be at the Salt Spring Island Fiddleworks Fiddlecamp July 20-24th. Check out fiddleworks.ca to see what all the fuss is about!

Violin on display at Gibsons Public Art Gallery

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized, workbench | 0 comments

Violin on display at Gibsons Public Art Gallery

May 2015

My most recent violin is part of the Woodworking on the Coast exhibition at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery. It is varnished a warm golden brown and is based on golden period Stradivaris. I had a few days to play it before it went on display and it’s got a huge sound- big and strong and powerful. The exhibition ends June 21st and then I get to play it for a month before it’s ready for sale.

WallaceViolinGPAGteaser

Hopf Repair Complete

Posted by on Apr 18, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Hopf Repair Complete

April 2015

 

Here are a few more shots of the Hopf violin. I played it once I completed the set up and…wow. What a sound. Deep and rich and full. It was such a pleasure to hear the violin sing again as it should despite its damage over the years. If you scroll back to earlier posts about this instrument, you’ll notice that it had two bass bars! It’s sounding great with one (as it should). Below are photos of the neck while setting it, the completed neck set, the completed end bock repair, and a final shot of the violin.

Hopf repair progress report

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Hopf repair progress report

March 2015

Go back a few posts to see how this violin looked at the start…

Fingerboard Planing

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Fingerboard Planing

February 2015

Here’s a shot of a fingerboard after an initial go over with the plane. You can now clearly see all wear caused by the violin player’s fingers! Players who use their instruments a lot eventually create such deep “potholes” in the fingerboard that the ebony needs to be planed smooth again to eliminate any buzzes that may have developed. This instrument is a nice German instrument played by a professional violinist from the lower mainland. I continued to plane the fingerboard to create a perfect surface- but I didn’t take a photo of that.

Fingerboard Planing 2015

Fiddola varnishing in progress

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in Uncategorized, workbench | 0 comments

 

Fiddola varnishing in progress

March 2015

Kruse and Lupot Fiddolas

Hopf Violin Repair

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Hopf Violin Repair

February 2015

 

I have the pleasure of bringing a beautiful old violin back to life this month. It has survived many challenges in its long life. Unfortunately at one point it was incorrectly repaired so I have to undo some major damage. However, it will be a beautiful violin again soon. Here are some photos of the violin taken apart. Note the two bassbars- something I’ve never seen before. The additional bassbar on the treble side was made of cedar. I have now removed it. My focus for the next few days is to carefully remove as much of the modern glue and incorrect repair so that I can begin to carefully restore the violin. An update will appear soon.

HOPFdoublebassbars HOPFcentreboutlining HOPFlowerboutlining HOPFendblockwarpedrib HOPFfingerboardalignment HOPFneckribdamage HOPFtopblock

Huberman Strad Fiddola

Posted by on Jan 31, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Huberman Strad Fiddola

January 2015

 

I’ve been trying to catch up with orders for Fiddolas. I’m almost complete my Huberman inspired Fiddola. It’s still completing drying and needs more antiquing, but here are some in progress glimpses of it on the workbench. I’ve started work on my newest 5-string violins; my “Kruse Strad 1721 Fiddola ” and “Red Lupot 1808 Fiddola”. They’re both in the taken apart stage getting shims and re-thicknessing the tops right now. Photos next month.

HubermanFiddolaFrontIP

Huberman Strad fiddola front in progress

HubermanFiddolaBackIP

Huberman Strad fiddola back in progress

Strad Model Violin Ribs

Posted by on Jan 31, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

Strad Model Violin Ribs

December 2014

Bending ribs on a Strad model violin. Willow blocks and lightly flamed European maple.

CBoutRibs

C-bout ribs bent

RibsComplete

Rib structure bent and glued- ready for trimming

German Fiddola Receiving New Neck

Posted by on Jan 31, 2015 in workbench | 0 comments

German Fiddola Receiving New Neck

November 2014

 

I’ve had this old student viola kicking around for years. It has very wide set f-holes, and originally had a screwed on neck with a very narrow fingerboard. Perhaps it was a child’s viola- it is the size of a violin. I could have restored it back to a violin, but it was odd and seemed destined to be a 5-string. So it’s finally getting there. The original neck was too thin and odd, even if it were to be a violin again. And the pegbox was thin. Not a worthy candidate for a neck graft. The perfect candidate for a new top block (original one was split in two) and a new neck and scroll. It is an unlabeled instrument; I’ve been calling it the German Fiddola.

GermanFiddolaNeckNotSet

Before neck setting

GermanFiddolaNeckSet

Neck setting in progress

GermanFiddolaNeckReadyVarnish

5-string neck set and ready for varnishing

Stradivari “Huberman” 1713 Northern Sun copy

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Uncategorized, workbench | 0 comments

Stradivari “Huberman” 1713 Northern Sun copy

October 2014

 

I’ve been having fun copying the 1713 “Huberman” Strad. The real Huberman Strad is currently played by Joshua Bell. This was a fun little side project a part from my making “from scratch”. I took one of my Northern Sun violins and varnished it to look like the famous Strad.

hubermanbackvarnishinprogress

hubermanfrontvarnishinprogress

Colour is built up gradually, starting with a golden yellow underneath. You can see I’ve been scratching up the violin and adding marks to imitate the natural abuse that the violin would have suffered over several hundred years of playing.

hubermantopsetup

hubermantoprightcloseup

Viol Bow Rehair

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

Viol Bow Rehair

September 2014

I’ve been busy lately with lots of regular ol’ rehairs, but recently a viol bow came across my workbench.  Modern bows (the kind pretty much everyone uses, if you’re not sure what kind of bow you use, you’re using a modern bow) require three wedges when rehairing: tip wedge, frog wedge and spreader wedge. They are all distinct and serve specific purposes. The viol bow only requires two wedges, a tip wedge and a frog wedge, and both mortices are about the same. The tip doesn’t have any reinforcement on it like a modern bow- no ivory, ebony or silver. It makes for a trickier rehair. It turned out beautifully, but I neglected to take a picture of the completed bow.

violbowtipface

The Red Violin (1/4 size)

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

The Red Violin (1/4 size)

July 2014

I had the pleasure of setting up this gem from long ago. It is labeled “A La Ville de Padoue, Nicolas DUCHENE”. It’s from the Thibouville-Lamy shop in France from many, many decades ago. It is the nicest sounding 1/4 violin I’ve played, and I’ve played many little fiddles! It was in my shop for a set up, but came back a month later because of an accident that cracked the top. I was able to use my Hart-style clamps to seal the crack and make it essentially invisible. It is much easier to make a crack “disappear” when it is fresh, before years of dirt, oil and grime coat the crack edges.

jtlquartersizeback Duchene Front Duchene Ribs

Preparing a Fiddola for varnishing

Posted by on Jun 29, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

Preparing a fiddola for varnishing

June 2014

 

I like to perfect the fingerboard and nut before I begin varnishing. I temporarily glue on the fingerboard and plane it and then fit the nut. You can see in the photo below the wider fingerboard that I have placed on the violin. The ebony flares out, allowing for that extra fifth string. The fingerboard is just a few mm wider than a standard violin fingerboard, but it makes all the difference for playability. If the strings are too close together at the nut it can be hard to get the precision you need. A fingerboard that is too wide can also creates its own issues. I’ve made many fiddolas and done many conversions, and I have found the perfect width for comfort and playability.

NorthernSunFiddola-in-the-white-Fingerboard

 

My last fiddola has sold, and I didn’t take any photos of it in progress. But here it is on the workbench before it headed out the door….

NorthernSunFiddola2014GoldenBrownBench

 

Northern Sunset Violin complete

Posted by on Jun 28, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

Northern Sunset Violin completed

June 2014

 

I completed the varnishing a few weeks ago and let the violin dry for two weeks in my UV cabinet. I then set the violin up with rosewood fittings and a Wittner tailpiece. I chose Obligato strings, one of my favourite for their warm, powerful tone. By request of M. I dyed the hair on her new bow with” reddddd-orangeeeeee-yellowwwww” to echo the idea of the Sunset that inspired the varnishing. They look great together!

Northern Sunset Violin final set-up

Posted by on Jun 15, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

Northern Sunset Violin: final set-up

June 2014

 

The varnish has dried. I polished it and completed the set-up. I remove the fingerboard for varnishing, so below you can see the photo of my special fingerboard clamps for re-gluing the fingerboard. In the second photo I am using my peg-hole reamer to fit the pegs. Then I put in a soundpost and cut the bridge.

NorthernSunset2014GlueFB NorthernSunset2014ReamPegs

Northern Sun Varnishing

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

Varnishing

May 2014

 

Below are some photos of the varnishing process as the violin goes from white to fully varnished. The completed violin is not ready for photos yet- it’s still drying.  The colour pallet is gold and red, and the idea was to capture the warmth of a sunset. This was by request of M. who is in young violinist moving up to her first full size. Instead of a solid colour overall, I followed the natural wear patterns of older violins in order to give the violin more personality and to allow for more colours. You’ll see that the fingerboard has been removed for the varnishing, but in one photo it magically reappears. I just placed it on the violin to have a visual of what it will look like once set up. They’ll be photos of the completed violin soon.

GoldBaseTopMayaS GoldBaseBackMayaS GoldRedTopMayaS RedtopwithFBMayaS RedShadeTopMayaS RedShadeBackMayaS

 

 

Crack clamps arrived!

Posted by on May 17, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

Crack clamps arrived!

May 2014

 

I ordered some great crack clamps and spreader blocks from Tom Durrant in Ontario. They’re similar to clamps built by Brian Hart in England. They are used to close cracks in the top and backs of violins. It’s more labour intensive than using the traditional method with a wide stretcher clamp that pulls the crack shut by pulling the edges of the violin together. These clamps allow for a more precise and controlled closing of the crack. They require the use of temporary cleats along the inside of the crack. Next time I’m doing a repair with them I’ll show you. Aren’t they pretty?!

TomDurrantCrackClamps

 

TomDurrantSpreaderBlocks

Custom varnishing a Northern Sun violin

Posted by on May 17, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

Custom varnishing a Northern Sun violin

May 2014

 

I’m working on preparing a custom violin for a young violinist. She selected her fittings and named her preference for the colour and shading of the varnish. M. would like a warm golden colour to remind her of a sunset. She’s getting a Northern Sun violin- these are violins that I purchase “in the white”, which means without varnish and fittings. It then allows me to customize the set up and the varnish, while still having a violin that is priced well for a student. Stay tuned for more photos of the varnishing process. The photos below show the violin after I have done the first treatment to darken the wood. Behind it is a violin I have made that still needs its neck set. You can see the paleness of the wood on my violin, and how the UV treatment has darkened the one I’m varnishing. 

Northern Sun Violin Back first UV treatment Laura Wallace

 

Northern Sun Violin Front first UV treatment Laura Wallace

Rehair madness!

Posted by on May 17, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

Rehair madness!

April 2014

 

I’ve had a big batch of rehairs to do lately. You can see that the coloured hair is quite popular. I dye the hair myself with bright hair dye (it works well on the horse hair).  Kids love it, and it helps teachers too.  They can explain where to play on the bow by referencing the coloured area. Since rainbow is the most popular, a teacher can say “play from red to purple”, or, “only in the green zone”. The hair responds well to the dye and it doesn’t effect how the hair plays on the strings. 

rehair with rainbow hair

 

rehair tools

Nearing completion of my latest violin

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

Nearing completion of my latest violin

February 2014

 

My last post ended with a photo of the purfling glued into the channel. After trimming the purfling and finalizing the outside arching, I flipped the plate over and began thicknessing the inside. I have a thickness punch that I use to create guides for gouging and planning. After getting things close to the final thicknesses, I cut the f-holes in the front. I fit a bassbar to the front and completed my final plate tuning to bring the top and back to their finished thicknesses. I’ve been working on the scroll all along, and have included a few photos of it in progress. Next up is to complete the scroll and set the neck!

insidefrontthicknessing

 

fholelayout

 

insidefholes

 

backribstop

 

finalassembly

 

scrollinprogress

 

scrollendview

 

 

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in workbench | 0 comments

Back to the workbench

January 2014

 

After completing my latest violin, I have begun work on the next. I’m using European maple and spruce and it reacts differently to the gouge than the local wood. It is also much lighter. Here are a few photos of the early stages from December 2013 and January 2014. I bent the ribs around the mould (Guarneri model), traced the outline and then cut out my top and back. I use a large arching gouge to rough out the arching, using templates to help keep me on track. After various small steps I picked out the purfling channel and inlayed the purfling. I’m now working on finalizing my arching before I flip the plates over and begin gouging out the inside.

ribs, top and back

Rough arching the back

Rouch Arching the top

Temporarily glued together

Purfling channel

Full Channel picked out

Purfling done!

 

 

 

 

Violin completed and set-up

Posted by on Dec 24, 2013 in workbench | 0 comments

Violin completed and set-up

December 2013

A few weeks ago I completed my latest violin. The varnishing went very well and the violin ended up a rich red brown. It is made from local wood. You can see in a previous post some of the construction photos. I set it up with rosewood fittings and Evah Pirazzi Gold strings. It has a big sound, and it is warm and even across the four strings. I am enjoying playing it every day and hearing it open up. It is already sold, but I’ve got another one made from European wood well on its way.

 labelcloseup

 Violin4Scroll

 

Fiddola

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in workbench | 0 comments

Fiddola

December 2013

I just completed set-up on my latest Northern Sun Fiddola. This one has a beautiful rich red-brown varnish. This time I chose to try out a Larsen C string and Evah Pirazzi’s with a gold E for the rest. I completed varnishing a few weeks ago and spent the last few days completing the set-up. It has a wider fingerboard, and a wider bridge to accommodate the 5 strings. It plays beautifully!

Northern Sun Fiddola 2013 "Red Brown" Front

Northern Sun Fiddola 2013 "Red Brown" Back

Scroll Carving

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in workbench | 0 comments

Scroll Carving

November 2013

Scroll

Before I set the neck on my most recent violin, I took a photo of the scroll. This particular violin is now in the UV cabinet while the varnish dries. I’ll have photos of the completed violin up in a few weeks! 

Building a violin

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in workbench | 0 comments

Building A Violin

November 2013

My most recent instrument is based on a Guarneri body.  Here are a few photos of the process… the last few months have been spent gouging, cutting and carving. I am now varnishing.