Making a Violin #2: End Blocks and The Middle Bout

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Blog entry by RonPeters posted 10-16-2010 05:12 AM 5880 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Making a Violin Part 2 of Making a Violin series Part 3: Sides, or 'Ribs' ~ Bending & Gluing »

I’ve cut and installed the corner and end blocks on the mold with just a dab of glue, so when I remove the mold, they release easily. These are what the ribs (sides) attach to. The blocks are made of willow because of its lightness and the added benefit that it is a fairly straight grained wood which makes cutting with the inside gouge an easy task.

I then drew the points and top and bottom using the template. These are two different violins – reason for two templates.

Using the inside gouge (newly sharpened btw!) I then trimmed the inside bouts first. This is so the outside part of the block reinforces the middle bout after it’s bent. When I trim the outside it will also trim the inside rib leaving a nice clean line for the outside to butt against.

Here I’m trimming the outside points and getting them ready for the next phase – bending and attaching the lower and upper bouts.

Points trimmed and ready for the bouts.

Bending the upper and lower bouts.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

8 comments so far

View roy's profile


134 posts in 4594 days

#1 posted 10-16-2010 05:27 AM

very cool

-- tn hillbilly.." tryin to do the best i can with what i got "

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3722 days

#2 posted 10-16-2010 08:55 AM

What is the measurement of the widest side of the violin front and/or back (same width). My violin is a bit smaller. I think my Jackfruit wood is not enough. Can it be joined in the middle? Thanks very much.

-- Bert

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3818 days

#3 posted 10-18-2010 05:10 AM

Very interesting! I was learning to play a violin in the early 80s then in the later 80s my house was burglarized and it disappeared along with many other things! Which is why I’m interested in this project although I don’t think I’ll be building one as I am losing my hearing and can’t hear the higher pitches. I still love violin music but it has to be quite loud for me to enjoy.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3681 days

#4 posted 10-18-2010 07:40 AM

The ribs at the tail portion is 32 mm whereas the neck is 30 mm. The thickness of the top and back plates would be 4.5 to 5 mm.

These would be considered the ‘ideal’, however, there are variations depending on the maker.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4587 days

#5 posted 10-19-2010 10:59 PM

Very interesting.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View techyman2's profile


43 posts in 4390 days

#6 posted 10-20-2010 08:08 PM

Hi Ron,
Did you use the strobel books. I used them and still refer to them after nearly 20 instruments. Good book is the useful measurements book. The tone wood trade is truly international and I have actually bought tonewood from international violin co in US when the exchange rate favoured us. I also bought wood direct from German suppliers when the exchange rate was good but now there is no value in going over seas and I either source local wood or buy within the UK from importers. The US seems to have a lot of good suppliers. If you buy in bulk there are deals to negotiate but thats well out of my league.
When I prepare the blocks I split the wood to get the grain running vertical this makes trimming the blocks easier both when doing the rib side and especially the inside.
Regards from UK

-- Dave D

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3681 days

#7 posted 11-12-2010 01:33 AM

Yes, I use Strobel for reference, just to keep me from getting ahead of myself. I have a few ‘ideas’ (shape of plates etc.) of my own that he doesn’t cover that I’ll incorporate as I go along.

I just got a nice 3ft x 18” 4/4 piece of willow that is really straight grained that I’ll be using from now on.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5201 days

#8 posted 11-12-2010 02:58 AM

I’m reading backwards. So it’s starting nice.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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