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View CharlieM1958's profile

Wanna Make a Violin?

by CharlieM1958
posted 10-10-2011 03:55 PM


43 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8652 posts in 4736 days


#1 posted 10-10-2011 04:19 PM

I always wanted a violin-making-plane. for what it’s worth – it COULD be used to smoothout some parts, but definitely not a ‘violin’ specific tool

More importantly though – you need to join an EA (eBay Anonymous) group and stop browsing eBay for planes!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16292 posts in 5306 days


#2 posted 10-10-2011 04:25 PM

You nailed me, Sharon…. my addiction is showing. :-)

I just have a funny mental image of an old world craftsman in his cluttered little shop trying to put the finishing touches on his delicate masterpiece with a #4 smoother. Sort of like using an eight pound maul to drive a 5/8 brad.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5387 days


#3 posted 10-10-2011 04:42 PM

It doesn’t look like there’s anything special about it!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8652 posts in 4736 days


#4 posted 10-10-2011 04:44 PM

what do you mean? isn’t that the preferred tool for driving brads? I guess I have more research to do

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 4785 days


#5 posted 10-10-2011 04:59 PM

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 4785 days


#6 posted 10-10-2011 05:01 PM

Give it try Charlie.

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14578 posts in 5153 days


#7 posted 10-10-2011 06:25 PM

Where is the “on/off” switch?

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

View amagineer's profile

amagineer

1415 posts in 3684 days


#8 posted 10-10-2011 06:36 PM

I noticed the people selling it are from China and sell musical instruments. I can just imagine some American carpenter who went to China with the peace corps and lost his Stanley plane and some poor Chinese guy found it and doesn’t know what it is and uses it as a weight when gluing his violin together. The son sees it and tells him he can sell it on ebay and make enough money to buy a cow to feed the whole family. That’s what I think happened.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32122 posts in 3954 days


#9 posted 10-10-2011 06:41 PM

I’ve never made a violin nor have I ever met anyone else who has made a violin. However, for some reason I have it in my mind that they are very picky and fuzzy people when it comes to the quality of their work and the quality of their tools. I just can’t imagine one of them having that plane in their shop.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View Ole's profile

Ole

67 posts in 4164 days


#10 posted 10-10-2011 06:54 PM

I’m sorry, but this is obviously one of Stanley’s very rare violinmaking planes. At a bargain price, too!

View Porchfish's profile

Porchfish

862 posts in 3620 days


#11 posted 10-10-2011 07:00 PM

A flat smoothing plane for violin making ? don’t think so !

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

3112 posts in 3868 days


#12 posted 10-10-2011 07:01 PM

Watch the bids.. It could hit 6 figures if it’s REALY rare…

;-}

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

7851 posts in 3888 days


#13 posted 10-10-2011 07:06 PM

90 bucks for a repainted Stanley #4? I’m getting out the credit card as we speak!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16292 posts in 5306 days


#14 posted 10-10-2011 07:16 PM

I don’t even think it’s a Stanley. The description says brand new, and from the side the lever cap looks very rough. I suspect it is a cheap Chinese knockoff.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DS's profile

DS

3746 posts in 3508 days


#15 posted 10-10-2011 07:25 PM

It amazes me how anyone who has never made a violin can comment on the usefullness of this tool.

First, the body of a violin starts with two tapered planks of wood glued together down the center. These must be shaped on the ends to begin forming the top and bottom plates. There is no better tool to do this than the aforementioned plane. Once the rough shape is attained, a series of smaller finger planes and scrapers are utilized to do the finer work.

Second, if you note that the seller of the plane is focused on materiel for string instrument making, it is perfectly normal to market this plane to his intended users even though the more common use of this tool has nothing to do with violin making.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4522 days


#16 posted 10-10-2011 08:00 PM

Just what you’d expect, Chinese Fiddlers. The giveaway is the brand name “STAMLEY” .

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16292 posts in 5306 days


#17 posted 10-10-2011 08:03 PM

C’mon DS251…. have a sense of humor.

Obviously, a #4 sized plane can be used in the process of making pretty much anything made of wood. But to advertise it as a violin making tool is at best a funny contrivance of language by a non-English speaker.

At worst, the post is somewhat dishonest, because I’m 99% sure that plane is not a Stanley, even though it is evidently meant to look like one.

EDIT: I just took a closer look at DS251’s profile. Obviously this person signed up just to respond to this post.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View remdds's profile

remdds

40 posts in 3713 days


#18 posted 10-10-2011 08:17 PM

I know a guy who made a couple violins. They were amazing. Way to complicated for me!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4282 days


#19 posted 10-10-2011 08:20 PM

Charlie,

Where I come from they are called fiddles…..does a violin sound the same as a fiddle? Depends on who’s on the other end of the bow, and if he’s holding the frog right…...I can’t play one, but I sure can “screech” one.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View DS's profile

DS

3746 posts in 3508 days


#20 posted 10-10-2011 08:22 PM

Sure, I have a sense of humor. In fact I’ll be the first to say this plane is a rip off. I see it all the time on sites selling “specialized” tools.

Myself, I use a small block plane (Yes, it is a Stanley!) and a Pfiel 25mm wide sweep #3 gouge to carve my violin Tops and Back plates. (You have to LOVE Swiss Steel!)

What do you use?

(And yes, I made that violin in my profile pic)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

20902 posts in 4763 days


#21 posted 10-10-2011 08:23 PM

Looks like a brand new Stan-foo to me ;-)) That would be made in Stanley’s image to fool the naive!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Maverick44spec's profile

Maverick44spec

391 posts in 3572 days


#22 posted 10-10-2011 08:31 PM

Anyone want to buy a rare Stanley violin maker’s sledge hammer? Only $200.00 :D

ROFLMAO!

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16292 posts in 5306 days


#23 posted 10-10-2011 08:37 PM

DS251: Building an acoustic guitar is on my “bucket list”, so I hope you post some of your instruments in the project section and stick around to share your expertise with us.

I’m sorry if you felt my post was out of line. I was just browsing planes on eBay, and this listing struck me as humorous enough to share with my friends here.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View majeagle1's profile

majeagle1

1429 posts in 4584 days


#24 posted 10-10-2011 09:05 PM

I echo Charlie re: DS251 – hope you stick around and share some of your violins with us and maybe other projects. BTW – from what I can see in your avatar, our violin looks very nice ….. would like to see some closeups.

I think you might even enjoy it here on LJ’s…. !!!!

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks, http://majesticeagleww.etsy.com/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/majesticeagle/

View DS's profile

DS

3746 posts in 3508 days


#25 posted 10-10-2011 09:07 PM

CharlieM: Making a violin was on my bucket list as well.

At first I didn’t have a clue, but found a book called “Violin Making for Amateurs” at my local Rocklers. And I ended up with an “amateur” grade violin! (How’s that for irony?) It doesn’t sound very good but it looks real pretty hanging on the wall in my living room.

Then I invested some money in some high-grade hand tools, imported the right woods and found several reference books for professional violin making, including a book called “Useful Measurements for Violin Makers” and made a masterpiece.

I consider instrument making to be at the pinnacle of hand tool craftsmanship. I know it has stretched my capabilities far beyond anywhere industrial woodworking has taken me.

Best of luck on the guitar!

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View DS's profile

DS

3746 posts in 3508 days


#26 posted 10-10-2011 09:26 PM

I’m not sure if I posted this image correctly… but here goes.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16292 posts in 5306 days


#27 posted 10-10-2011 09:35 PM

It certainly looks beautiful from here.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DS's profile

DS

3746 posts in 3508 days


#28 posted 10-10-2011 09:43 PM

Here’s some pics of a recent project in progress…


Here is the violins “garland” receiving its willow lining strips.
I’ll bet you never considered a clothespin and a rubber band as a violin clamp!!! hahah!


Here is the roughed top plate before final scraping.


Close up of the partially finished neck


Wood bending is one of the things violins and guitars have in common. Here is newly bent garland before linings and removal from the form.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View DS's profile

DS

3746 posts in 3508 days


#29 posted 10-10-2011 10:07 PM


An assembled instrument “in white”.

The violin is assembled “in white” and played for the first time prior to finishing.

This is when you get to find out if your months of tedius work have done any good.
It is also the last opportunity to make any adjustments before the instrument is finished.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16292 posts in 5306 days


#30 posted 10-10-2011 10:24 PM

Great set of photos. Thanks!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4615 posts in 4830 days


#31 posted 10-10-2011 10:26 PM

DS251 That’s really cool – I always thought the fronts and backs were ‘formed’ from 2 steam bent pieces and edge glued rather than roughed/carved to shape like the photo of the top.
Is it only the top that is one carved piece? I can see the joint on the back, but I know that the backs are usually the nicely figured woods. Is the top spruce?
Dave

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View majeagle1's profile

majeagle1

1429 posts in 4584 days


#32 posted 10-10-2011 10:43 PM

Wow, very impressive DS251…... alot of talent and research went into this it looks like…..

Once this one is complete, will you post as a project with “LOTS” of pics !!???

Thanks for the photo’s in this thread and the details of some of the process…..

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks, http://majesticeagleww.etsy.com/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/majesticeagle/

View DS's profile

DS

3746 posts in 3508 days


#33 posted 10-10-2011 11:19 PM

DrDirt:
The top and back plate are very similar in construction. In this case, they are two peices glued together. This is very specifically due to the way the wood is harvested—It is a special cut just for violins. The two halves are wedges that grew front-to-back to each other in the log. They arrive still connected at an outside corner which gets cut off. This ensures they are “grain matched” and complimentary. I have a picture somewhere of all the rough peices laid out on a table. You can get a one-peice front or back, but I prefer the two peice violin.
Yes, the top is european spruce. I’ve been playing around with sitka spruce lately as the price of euro spruce has about doubled in the last couple years. (~$90/bf for a decent grade)

P.S. Once the outside face has its final shape, the inside is carved out and graduated to very exacting thicknesses.

majeagle1: This violin was finished about a year ago. I have some pics of it somewhere. I’ll post when I find them.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Maverick44spec's profile

Maverick44spec

391 posts in 3572 days


#34 posted 10-11-2011 01:11 AM

Wow DS251, that violin is amazing. How long does it usually take you to make one?

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View DS's profile

DS

3746 posts in 3508 days


#35 posted 10-11-2011 01:31 AM

I once estimated that if I worked on it everyday, it would take about two months, start to finish, to make one—and that to make a dozen of them would take about eight weeks!

There are over 100 peices in a violin and there is a lot of “glue time” where there is nothing to do but wait.

Unfortunately, real life gets in my way sometimes and I’m not able to work on it everyday. My first one took about 4 months. The last one I spent about 2 years to finish. (It was worth the wait) My current project is one year running so far.

Somewhere, someone is gonna say they can do one a week… but it becomes a quality vs. quantity equation at some point.

I do it because I enjoy doing the work. It helps me relax. There’s no hurry to get it done. The end result is a really nice bonus.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Maverick44spec's profile

Maverick44spec

391 posts in 3572 days


#36 posted 10-11-2011 01:50 AM

Somewhere, someone is gonna say they can do one a week… but it becomes a quality vs. quantity equation at some point.

I’m guessing your’s is really high quality.

Thanks for sharing you amazing talent. I hope that you decide to stick around and teach us a thing or two. :)

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

808 posts in 3589 days


#37 posted 10-11-2011 04:18 AM

I’m guessing that the people selling the plane on e-bay are possibly selling a few violins made in a week. Your point is well made. Your workmanship is excellent.

Welcome to LJs.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View cellophane's profile

cellophane

42 posts in 3596 days


#38 posted 10-11-2011 04:24 PM

Great pictures!

I’m working on a guitar right now in a class and it is a great experience. And there is plenty of opportunities to plane – just not with a #4 (or is that a 1, 2 or 3?) We use these guys all the time. GREAT tools for braces and fine detail planing.

View DS's profile

DS

3746 posts in 3508 days


#39 posted 10-11-2011 05:20 PM

cellophane: Those are cool looking finger planes. All the ones I’ve seen are brass.
I only get to use a large plane when first starting to rough the top and back from raw lumber. There is a good chunk of material to remove at first. I tried using a handsaw for this once…that was fun. The block plane was far easier.

Where are you taking your guitar building class? That sounds very interesting.
Charlie suggested this is on his bucket list. No time like the present, eh, Charlie?

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16292 posts in 5306 days


#40 posted 10-11-2011 05:28 PM

Actually, I just don’t know that I’m up to the task. :-)

I suppose the best way is probably to take a similar route as you.. Just go ahead and build one (won’t be great), learn from my mistakes, and then build another one right.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DS's profile

DS

3746 posts in 3508 days


#41 posted 10-11-2011 05:35 PM

The website cellophane linked to with the finger planes also sells a dvd on how to make a guitar…
I don’t know how good it is, but it could be a start I suppose.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4615 posts in 4830 days


#42 posted 10-14-2011 11:23 PM

The show I saw on NBC was for KC Strings in Kansas City. They one of the largest string instrument conpanies in teh US.
Below is a You tube show having all the commercials taken out that is a walkthrough of the process making a cello, but they make violin, viola, cello and base there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7h-a0Xqtfc

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 5076 days


#43 posted 10-14-2011 11:33 PM

Here’s a little plane that I used to make my violin.

It’s maybe 1 1/2” long.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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