Violin Forum/Message Board Forum Index Violin Forum/Message Board
Provided by Lemuel Violins
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

very small viola

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Violin Forum/Message Board Forum Index -> Violin Making and Restoration Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Chet Bishop
Super Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:48 am    Post subject: very small viola Reply with quote

A few years ago, in Mr. Darnton's class, it was revealed to me that the reason several of my violins "sounded like violas" was that I was arching them incorrectly for a violin...but apparently about right for a viola.

So (at my wife's suggestion) after restringing one of the "worst offenders" (my #5 instrument) as a viola, it turns out that I had accidentally made a pretty fair 14" viola, thinking I was making a violin. Smile

I decided to attempt a repeat, only this time with better workmanship. It is still nowhere near "perfect", but, as my #30 instrument, a good deal better than #5. It plays well, handles like a violin, but still has the viola sound.

The back, neck and sides are big-leaf maple (sorry, Michael), and the belly is quite dense Sitka spruce. The back is spalted (sorry, again, but I like it) maple that was given to me in the form of a 30" diameter log, 30 feet long, so I have lots more. The neck came from my wife's parents' yard, and the sides are from a billet I bought 16 years ago and have been doling out one instrument at a time.

Here are some photos, if anyone is interested:
http://www.bluefiddles.com/2016/10/small-viola-set-up/
_________________
Chet Bishop
http://www.bluefiddles.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Dave Chandler
Super Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 682
Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very pleasing to the eye!! I really like your little saddle, it looks very feminine, maybe petite is better, but a really nice touch. I've found that with the effort put into a nice violin, it really pays to have nice hardware, at lea st a quality bridge and strings.

Looks good. A friend of imine, who is a professional violinist, says the best way to break it in is to play hard, loud, double stops, even if just open strings, and just bow the hell out of it, every moment you have time.

Thanks, by the way, for the phone call with advise on loosening up my warped cello. Its complete, will start varnishing in the next couple days.
_________________
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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Chet Bishop
Super Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear! Looking forward to seeing the cello progress.

Double stops is how I play them in, too...but drawing out big, deep "organ notes" for hymns, etc. Then I break out and do waltzes for a while, or whatever...old time fiddle pieces.

Glad you like the saddle. That is how I do all of mine nowadays. it is 36mm long, and 9 mm wide, so not all that little, but the curves make it look smaller, I suppose.

Chet
_________________
Chet Bishop
http://www.bluefiddles.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Cliff Green
Member


Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 111
Location: Amissville, Virginia

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Is the difference in the arching between you 14" viola/violin and your arching for a violin? Are you making the ribs deeper for the small viola than those for your violins?
Thanks
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Chet Bishop
Super Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cliff, yes the ribs are deeper: 35mm all the way around.

Regarding the arching: The "inflection line" (along which the convex curve of the arch changes to the concave curve of the channel) is closer to the purfling, all around, resulting in a somewhat "puffier-looking" arching, both front and back. Not attempting to follow a hypo-cycloid curve, though to the average person, the differences would be insignificant.

Relatively thin plates...fairly robust bass-bar. If I strung it as a violin, people would complain that "it sounds like a viola!" (which is good...)
_________________
Chet Bishop
http://www.bluefiddles.com


Last edited by Chet Bishop on Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:39 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Michael Darnton
Moderator


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1123
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the observation I probably made to Chet back then was that a lot of professional violists like old German or German-type violas, the type with an arch that's more flat in the middle, with a sharp curve down to the edge, nearer to the edge, and all around outside of that a virtually identical scoop, as if done with the same gouge. Usually this is called a figure-8 arch. This is the type of arch with a bulge just inside the scoop that's overdone in German factory Stainers. This is exaggerated, but the basic idea: http://old-violin.com/images/1_008.jpg
_________________
new blog at my site! http://darntonviolins.com/blog
my work sites: http://darntonviolins.com and http://darntonhersh.com
my summer project: http://scvmw.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
rs
Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 188
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, Chet. I have made a couple of 15 1/2" but never a 14". Yours looks good.
_________________
Randall Shenefelt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Chet Bishop
Super Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, rs!
_________________
Chet Bishop
http://www.bluefiddles.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jim Bress
Junior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Chet, To my inexperienced eye the c-bouts look a bit wide (for a violin). Do you think this is a factor in the viola sound? Maybe it's just an optical illusion with the arch coming up from the edge.

-Jim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Chet Bishop
Super Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim,

I am not sure I understand the question.

The outline of this instrument is exactly the same as my version of the GdG "Plowden" violin, so, unless my "Plowden" model is too wide in the c-bouts, I would guess it is an optical illusion. The two molds are identical.

That being said; your phrase, "...with the arch coming up from the edge." is right on the mark-- the viola arch does rise more sharply from the edge, and is not following the hypo-cycloid curve that I tried to maintain on the violin.

Beyond that, the differences lie in depth of ribs, height of bass-bar, etc.

I don't know whether this helps...
_________________
Chet Bishop
http://www.bluefiddles.com


Last edited by Chet Bishop on Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:38 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jim Bress
Junior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very helpful, thanks! So I guess a correct observation would be that the arching makes the c-bouts appear wider. BTW, very nice looking model.

Cheers,
Jim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Chet Bishop
Super Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you kindly!
_________________
Chet Bishop
http://www.bluefiddles.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Violin Forum/Message Board Forum Index -> Violin Making and Restoration Forum All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group