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Five String Fiddle completed
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Chet Bishop
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:03 pm    Post subject: Five String Fiddle completed Reply with quote

Guess that's all there really is to say: a fellow I know bought wood, maybe ten or twelve years back, bought books, varnish, and plans...but never got started.

He finally decided that he would rather shoe horses, so he gave me the wood (which, as it turns out, he got on e-bay) and all his varnish stuff, and said, "Make it into a fiddle!" He and his wife are moving away next week, so I am grateful to have completed it in time for him to see it.

http://www.bluefiddles.com/2015/06/five-string-finish/

I have a commission for another one, of some exotic weood a fellow bought and held onto for 30 years. We'll see how that one goes. Smile
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fjodor
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Joined: 28 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to have wood provided!

I think the fiddle looks very nice and the decorations on the back are scillfully made. 5 strings are something that interests me. I drew up a model for a small 5 string viola some time ago, but I'm leaning more to a violin size now.
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kjb
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks great chet. what width are you going with between the c bouts ?
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Dave Chandler
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007
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Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's not to like ---- generous pegbox, very nice purfling design, and an elegant scroll. Cool.
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
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DonLeister
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Joined: 29 Mar 2007
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Location: Richmond, VA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, that's an attractive looking violin, I hope you are pleased with it Chet.
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Chet Bishop
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, all. Yes, I am pleased with it...the sound is good across all strings, though I intend to tweak it a little more today, to see if I can bring out the C string even more (it is fine, but I am partial to a strong C).

The f-holes are right at 42mm between the eyes, kjb.

The wood (especially the back) had a serious runout problem...ordinarily I would not have used it, but under the circumstances, I don't regret it.

Thanks for looking.
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've made only one five-string, and the C was quite weak. Strung up as a 5 string, I never could get great sound out of it, so now I've strung it up as a regular 4 string violin and it sounds much better. What is your plan to bring out the C? Open up the bridge a bit on the base side?
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Chet Bishop
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:36 pm    Post subject: opening up the C string Reply with quote

The construction differences (rib height, arching, graduation and bassbar) have provided for a strong C string. The main thing left is soundpost adjustment.

Essentially, this is a 14" viola with an added E string. A Standard violin is hard-pressed to even get a strong G. It is not surprising when a C won't work.
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kjb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks don. I was also interested in the width between the c bouts themselves, I am thinking of making the waist narrower on my next 5 sting, I think I am a little wide with mine.
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DonLeister
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chet, did you say you have a different arching for the 5 string than for the 4 string violin? Could you elaborate?
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Chet Bishop
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The transverse arching for my violins is now a hypocycloid (curtate cycloid) curve, which includes a recurve where the low point is just inside the purfling, and the point (line, actually) of inflection (where the curve changes from convex to concave) is well inside the channel.

Michael Darnton pointed out my error once, about ten years ago; that I was arching my violins like a viola (point of inflection very nearly at the purfling line, let alone the channel), and, as a matter of fact, I had already had players remark that my violins "sound like a viola".

That enlightenment, combined with the general differences between violins and violas (no rib taper on my five-strings, etc.) made the differences in my thinking on my five-string fiddles. My belief (no proof...just observation and application) is that, especially since a violin is barely big enough to get a strong G string sound, let alone a C string, it is better to see the 5 string fiddle as a 14" viola with an E string, rather than a violin with a C string.

Whether my "theories" will hold water among the "Eigen-thumper" guys remains to be seen. I don't know how to use their equipment, and can only say that this is what I am doing. BTW, I re-strung one of those early violins (which had uniformly been labeled as "sounds like a viola") as a 14" viola, using the bottom four strings of a five-string set. It turns out to be a very nice little 14" viola, after all these years. Smile

I don't know whether any of this will help. but the changes advocated by Mr. Darnton (the curtate cycloid arching) really do change the character of the sound on a violin, and I have gotten very good reviews from professionals on the violins I have made since changing over to that arching pattern. But I do not think they will work as well on a five-string fiddle, simply because I believe it to be, in reality, a viola.
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DonLeister
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, interesting.
I had a five string in the shop last week, an old, maybe German 4 string converted to a 5 that sounded as good as I have ever heard one sound and it had an arching just like what you are describing.
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rs
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a nice instrument, Chet.

I've never made a five-string, but if this helps, I have found my best violas break-in first on the G, then the C string comes up later. A couple of violists have told me the same thing. I am not sure if that applies to your five-string violin or not.
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Chet Bishop
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! That is a good thing to keep in mind.

Meanwhile, I am beginning the commissioned 5 string mentioned above. I will post progress reports. Here is the first one:

http://www.bluefiddles.com/2015/07/progress-notes-on-another-5-string-post-1/
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Chet Bishop
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Chet Bishop
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Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:34 am    Post subject: And the second one: Reply with quote

I had a day off from work so I spent about 16 hours on the fiddle.
http://www.bluefiddles.com/2015/07/progress-report-post-2/
Thanks for looking.
Chet
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