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First Build (amateur), based on Plowden poster

 
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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:18 am    Post subject: First Build (amateur), based on Plowden poster Reply with quote

Since I've been lurking and gaining lots of information and insights, I thought it was time to take the plunge and put some of the work out there.

I picked the Plowden Strad poster in almost total ignorance, but the little bit of logic was that;
- I wanted to build a Guarneri, because it would be something that not everyone else was building (not a Strad)
- I liked the shape and the attributes in the review sounded like something that I'd like.
- And it was in Stock Smile

The wood is Sitka Spruce top, Big Leaf Maple back/sides/neck, Willow blocks and linings. The wood was sourced locally, shout out to Tyler @ Langdon Strings in Okotoks (formerly Grandpas Workshop). I've posted pictures of the back before with the water stains. A lot of the staining disappeared with carving and what's left is just character. Fittings (more to go obviously) from Lemuel.

Photos are in the white, it's further along, but I'm behind in my note making and organizing photos so.........

I think that the scroll is kind of crude and the corners......not very elegant. All of the discussion of getting corners right (and purfling, bee stings etc) is needed and more. (To quote Mat - no excuse for bad corners!!) Clearly more practice needed.

PS. The scroll and pegbox are straighter than they appear in the photo. I got a little distortion there somehow.

Having said all that, I'm fairly pleased so far, for a first effort.







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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of acknowledgements too.

My main guide was Vojtech Blahouts' website- http://www.makingtheviolin.com/

Michael Darnton's - violinmag.com, plus all of the contributions here

Luis Manfio's tutorial on scroll carving (sorry Luis, next one will do more justice to your instruction!)

Davide Sora's terrific youtube channel

Plus numerous tips and tricks gleaned from all of the contributors here. It really is a great resource.
Chet Bishop - thicknessing using the sander/fence rig and numerous other
Craig - purfling and a couple of others

All those that I learned from and failed to mention, thanks!
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kjb
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Joined: 06 Feb 2013
Posts: 374

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice job!
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ollieken
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Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 273
Location: New Brunswick Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:19 pm    Post subject: Rick Reply with quote

Hello Rick You have done a great job building hope my next one is near that good . Out of 2,444 you are the only one posting your work must be lonely at the top ... I Know I know where`s your work I but I just post ? ken
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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing

You, me, kjb and the crickets Ken! That’s alright though, some of the other places have SO MUCH commentary on every subject that it’s tough to glean much useful from it.

Maybe inspired by the note on Mr. Hayslett. He started in his 60s. That gives me hope as a “late bloomer.”

I may kick the hornets nest shortly and put something out about grounds and varnish.......
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Dave Chandler
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 684
Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just so you know, I too started late, about 56 or 57 , more than ten years ago. I've sold my last few instruments to professional players, so you truly can do it. I'm curious about your fingerboard projection and alignment, how did that come out? Before varnishing, that's the time you can correct anything you're not happy with. I've dislodged the neck and reset more than once, much easier with no varnish in the way.

Neck thickness is critical to players, first thing they notice. Might, before varnish, consider working the corners a little (look at the poster at those points).

Otherwise, great first effort. My first went into the fireplace, and you're is much nicer than my first.

Back looks similalar to one of mine. It should come out pretty and distinctive.
_________________
Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave, thanks for the comments and suggestions.

I'm pretty happy with the neck measurements - in the end. Alignment is good, overstand right. My height at the bridge appears to be a tiny bit (1/2mm or less) high.

Having said that, that was a .........3 day process. I did the mortise and chalk fit and got close, about 3-4 hours. Left it over night and spent another 3 or 4 hours working closer and closer. I had in mind the notion (from Michael Darnton maybe?) that you should be able to swing the thing over your head BEFORE gluing it up - or something to that effect.

I'd say that I could pick it up, but I wouldn't have swung it around Smile

Then I gave all of the surfaces a thin coat of glue and let it sit over night again.

After some more chalk fitting I was concerned that I was going past optimum in the wrong direction, than improving anything. At that point glued it up.
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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finish -

I mostly used an article from Michael Darnton as a guide with some experimentation along the way.

I settled on an oil varnish from Lee Valley, mostly for availability. Then tried a variety of shellacs as ground and artists colours to pigment the colour coats.



I ended up following Michael's formula of roofing asphalt and a touch of alazarin red for the colour coat

I even mixed up a small batch of Roger Hargreaves formula for a plaster ground and tried it out.

Left is plaster ground with coloured varnish, right is dark garnet shellac ground with coloured varnish



I went with the shellac ground.



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