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Project Information

My first violin.

I also made the amber varnish in a similar manner as Strad. circa 1700's.

In time (100 years) it should be a nice dark tan.

The drawing is the layout for the instrument using only geometry, a compass and ruler.

I learned the craft from Juan Mijares http://mijaresviolins.com/ in town.
He learned from The Violin School of America in Salt Lake http://www.vmsa.net/moreinfo.html
twenty+ years ago.

I've been learning bits and pieces for the last 15 years on my own. Juan helped me put the concepts together.

The wood top is 1/4 sawn spruce and was given to me by a local violin maker who has since died. I held on to it for 10 years before cutting it. It has very tight grain - almost like viewing the side of a ream of paper. Not sure if the detail will show in these pics, but there is some really nice flame in it.

The back, sides, & neck are 1/4 sawn maple. Ebony is commercially available, so no need to do anything but cut to fit and shape.

Gallery

Comments

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86 Posts
WOW! That is really cool. Instrument making is another realm of woodworking in itself
 

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2,833 Posts
Well it is incredible, thanks for the tidbits of history on the piece. Thanks for sharing.
 

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409 Posts
That is nice.

randy
 

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350 Posts
The words amazing, awesome and beautiful all pale in comparison to your creation.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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2,854 Posts
Awesome project, you definitely know what your doing. Thanks for sharing.
 

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118,619 Posts
Welcome to LJs Ron
This is a spectacular an wonderful violin I'm sure there will be more wonderful instruments to come.
 

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13,760 Posts
well done there , my friend .

looks like you are well on your way too !

welcome to LJ's .
 

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1,608 Posts
Awesome job on your beautiful violin. Fantastic work. I love colorado springs one of my favorite places. Super workmanship.
 

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This is absolutely gorgeous! Most violins I see are much darker in color so this must be a rarity. How does it sound?

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL
 

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1,709 Posts
Excellent.. This is the real thing. Working on thin wood (1/4") needs accuracy and ultimate skill. How I wish I could do this too. I have a violin restored. Thanks for posting.
 

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Wow. That's very nice. I like the fact that you used a historically acurate finishing technique. I imagine that most modern violins are probably stained in an attempt to mimic the patina of the really old, classic instuments. Better to let that patina come about naturally I think. Thanks for posting your project.
 

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Truly stunning piece of work and art. Looks to me that you have learned very well. I agree with Docholladay on how cool it is you kept with historically accurate finish. Outstanding work Ron!
 

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Beautiful craftsmanship!!!
 

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Thanks for the welcomes and kind words.

I'm told it sounds "focused" when I play it. Before I applied the varnish, it sounded 'wild' and very loud. It seems the varnish toned it down a bit. The top is 2mm thick. Sides 1mm. Back, from @2mm to 4.5mm in the center.

The 'darker' violins you see are 'painted' using dyes layered over a clear base. You guys probably know that if you stain the wood directly, color absorbs into the wood pores, but if you clear coat the surface and then apply color it raises depth of the wood? I hope I'm explaining correctly? There's a whole industry built around transparency of the dyes. I suppose it's like looking into a black paint job on a car?

The varnish Strad had available was oil based and very durable. In one of his letters he criticized the time it took to dry. He didn't use shoe polish for color. Spirit varnish only came along in the 1800's when mass production required a fast drying product. They couldn't wait 3 months to have product sitting on a shelf when there's money to be made.
 

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That's really cool and amazing. Fantastic craftsmanship, beautiful.

Welcome….................
 

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Incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail. Wonderful work and I hope to see more examples of your work. BTKS
 

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Looks like you got it right the first time. Very nice.
 

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very cool. sounds like this one got a lot of soul from everything that went into it.
 
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