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Silent Fiddle Build #1: Design and shape

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 05-31-2020 04:07 PM 304 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Silent Fiddle Build series Part 2: Sanding, some assembly, and the oops »

Work on my second teardrop fiddle is going to slow down, so I thought I would share the other project I’m building. This is a bit experimental as I cannot be sure that it will work. I’m building the body from solid mahogany and will be installing an electric pickup, like an electric guitar. Main reason For the build is so that I can practice at home without a practice mute. Having two other musicians at home doesn’t mix well with messing around on a fiddle. I.E. I don’t play well.

My original concept drawing only remotely resembles what I cut out of the wood.

To start with, I drew the parts on a piece of cardboard and cut them out to make a pattern.

Then I used my favorite scroll saw to cut things out.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!



5 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5388 posts in 1354 days


#1 posted 05-31-2020 05:34 PM

It’s three pieces so you don’t have to have a really heavy solid-body fiddle, while still getting the shapes right, is that correct?

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1942 posts in 2960 days


#2 posted 05-31-2020 05:45 PM



It’s three pieces so you don’t have to have a really heavy solid-body fiddle, while still getting the shapes right, is that correct?

- Dave Polaschek

Sort of. I could make the body from one piece of wood, even in the shape of a violin, but I’m going for a certain look. I’m keeping the upper and lower bouts so that it can accomodate a chin rest and shoulder rest if needed. Some electric violins only have the right hand upper bout because that’s where some/many violinists hold the instrument to put it under their neck.

The weight is actually on the heavy side, but as I shape the body I’m getting closer to the weight of the average solid body violins (according to my research.)

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2955 posts in 2963 days


#3 posted 05-31-2020 09:03 PM

Whoa, that’s going to be very interesting, a fiddle with no middle (not intended to be a pun). With just a stick body, all sound will purely electronic from the pickup, and no acoustic sound from a “body box cavity”, if that’s what you call a traditional fiddle or violin. – correct?
So now you’ve going hi-tech. Maybe a little video with this when finished?, what do you think?

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1942 posts in 2960 days


#4 posted 05-31-2020 09:45 PM



Whoa, that s going to be very interesting, a fiddle with no middle (not intended to be a pun). With just a stick body, all sound will purely electronic from the pickup, and no acoustic sound from a “body box cavity”, if that s what you call a traditional fiddle or violin. – correct?
So now you ve going hi-tech. Maybe a little video with this when finished?, what do you think?

- Oldtool

Even though they are called silent, there will be a little sound heard, but very low. When I tuned a silent viiolin at work, the tuner picked up the sound enough to register it through the air. I’m hoping though that this will work as I’m designing it. Typically, true electric fiddles have like a little tray under the bridge as a pickup. I’m creating a well if you will under the bridge into which I’m putting a piezo pickup. The ‘electronics’ are in the form of a guitar headphone amp that plugs in through an external jack.

This will all be clearer when I show the pics.

And yes, I’m going to play something for you guys. Expect my lighting fingers (never hitting the same place twice!)

Happily my wife got a Bluetooth speaker recently that this thing will ‘talk to’. This whole experience is new to mem, but potentially very fun.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5388 posts in 1354 days


#5 posted 06-01-2020 02:45 AM

The weight is actually on the heavy side, but as I shape the body I’m getting closer to the weight of the average solid body violins (according to my research.)

If it’s too heavy, you can always use the trick from solid-body electric guitars, and cut cavities either to house electronics or just to remove weight.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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