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Teardrop Fiddle from Mohogany and Pine

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 04-01-2020 01:36 PM 1076 views 0 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just before the Covid-19 crisis hit, I had decided to build a teardrop fiddle. I had previously acquired a cheap violin neck accidentally, (I thought I ordered a very cheap cello neck, but the description was misleading.) I doubt that I will ever get to a proper lutherie school for violin making, so I’ve been mnore or less teaching myself skills along the way. See my cello build here [link]. This projects major bit of education was bending the ribs and applying the linings. The rest was repetition of things I’ve done previously, but repetition is still education.

I had this idea to preserve the bottom and waist of a violin but then to keep the taper from that going up to the neck. I traced one of my violin kits onto a piece of cardboard and made the changes. From there it was a process which you could easily follow in the build series here: [link]

I’m not on speaking terms with my band saw these days, but I was able to cut out the shape of the mold and the plates using my scroll saw. I love that scroll saw! The ribs were cut on the tablesaw and I really should have sanded them before heat bending them. (A note for next time.)

I stained the entire instrument with Golden Oak stain. This didn’t affect the mahogany much if at all, but I wanted to sort of tie the whole instrument together. I finished that with spray lacquer [#dontjudgeme].

I’ve played the instrument. It sounds good to me. Eventually I will post a video of it being played by me.

I also know that I will be making a few more of these. The next one will probably teach me about arching the top and bottom plates and then I’ll graduate to a traditional style with corner blocks and all of that.

Mandatory Glue up photo:

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!





32 comments so far

View hairy's profile

hairy

3275 posts in 4618 days


#1 posted 04-01-2020 01:49 PM

Excellent!

-- You can lead a horse to water, but you can't tie his shoes. Blaze Foley

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2549 posts in 2789 days


#2 posted 04-01-2020 02:35 PM

Outstanding! Well done.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

7701 posts in 1660 days


#3 posted 04-01-2020 02:45 PM

Nice fiddle. More so if you had no experience making them.

Can you play?

-- Think safe, be safe

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

1335 posts in 1636 days


#4 posted 04-01-2020 02:50 PM

Awesome looking build. Look forward to hearing u play it as well

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3274 days


#5 posted 04-01-2020 03:11 PM



Nice fiddle. More so if you had no experience making them.

Can you play?

- therealSteveN

I know how to play. I took lessons for about a year in the early 1990’s, but I didn’t keep up with it. And I play by ear. I can barely read any music.

BUT this has spurred me on to try and learn at least a few songs. I found an app that should help me play AND learn to read music again.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

7475 posts in 1668 days


#6 posted 04-01-2020 03:39 PM

It’s a good-looking fiddle, Dave! I’m hoping to hear it some time. Thanks for blogging the build, too. I learned a lot along the way.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View PaxJen's profile

PaxJen

188 posts in 1742 days


#7 posted 04-01-2020 04:00 PM

Nice!

-- Pax - Maryland

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3274 days


#8 posted 04-01-2020 04:10 PM



It’s a good-looking fiddle, Dave! I’m hoping to hear it some time. Thanks for blogging the build, too. I learned a lot along the way.

- Dave Polaschek

I am considering building an erhu next. They look like fun.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

7880 posts in 3290 days


#9 posted 04-01-2020 04:19 PM

I know how to play. I took lessons for about a year in the early 1990’s, but I didn’t keep up with it. And I play by ear. I can barely read any music.

a bit of trivia for you:-

Jimi Hendrix could play his Guitar with His Teeth!!

Amazing work Dave you should be very proud of the result.

No doubt we will see some some duck walking, tongue waggling or even rooster strutting combined with even some snake dancing routines from you soon.

-- Regards Rob

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

13557 posts in 3466 days


#10 posted 04-01-2020 04:48 PM

Good work Dave, digging that interesting shape.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3220 posts in 3277 days


#11 posted 04-01-2020 06:35 PM

I am no expert, and I’ve never held a violin let alone played one, but I’d say this is well done as a woodworking project – nice joinery, exacting cuts like the “f” holes, very symmetrical right & left, nice finish – smooth and glossy, an overall success as far as I’m concerned.

-- "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

2009 posts in 3274 days


#12 posted 04-01-2020 07:20 PM



I am no expert, and I ve never held a violin let alone played one, but I d say this is well done as a woodworking project – nice joinery, exacting cuts like the “f” holes, very symmetrical right & left, nice finish – smooth and glossy, an overall success as far as I m concerned.

- Oldtool

I’ve been play testing it today. I need to make a new bridge that is arched a bit higher and to space the strings out a little more. I can try re-spacing the strings before resorting to a new bridge. Apparently I made the waist a little wider than it should be and the bow is touching two strings a bit too easily (because of the angle of the bow when it is touching the strings on either edge.) Great for a fiddler, but I’m going to make it better.

I’m re-discovering how fun it is to play. Feels good.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3274 days


#13 posted 04-01-2020 11:31 PM


I know how to play. I took lessons for about a year in the early 1990’s, but I didn’t keep up with it. And I play by ear. I can barely read any music.

a bit of trivia for you:-

Jimi Hendrix could play his Guitar with His Teeth!!

Amazing work Dave you should be very proud of the result.

No doubt we will see some some duck walking, tongue waggling or even rooster strutting combined with even some snake dancing routines from you soon.

- robscastle

Did Hendrix play the national anthem at Woodstock with his teeth? Someone told me it was with his nose.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3274 days


#14 posted 04-02-2020 12:00 AM

Hey! We made the Daily Top 3! Thanks everyone!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1217 posts in 472 days


#15 posted 04-02-2020 02:02 AM

Great build Dave! I wish I could play a fiddle!

-- Darrel

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