Category: Materials

  • Project update 6 – A salamander, a label, twisted tailgut and local press coverage

    Project update 6 –  A salamander, a label, twisted tailgut and local press coverage

    I’m having trouble knowing exactly what to report on. The videos covering the details of the various processes involved in making the violin are lagging so far behind what is currently going on in the workshop that I worry that there are many points in each video that need context and further explaining. I cant […]

  • The bass bar, scroll carving and tailgut making

    The bass bar, scroll carving and tailgut making

    Violinmaking The bass bar is a little supporting strut running the length of the violin, under the bass foot of the bridge. The bass bar’s mass, its shape, position and the way that it is fitted, all have tonal implications for the finished violin. To finish the ribs, I removed the mold that they were […]

  • Refining the Plates. Finishing the glue. Marquetry?

    Refining the Plates. Finishing the glue. Marquetry?

    This week I continued work on the plates, the back and top of the violin. The Redwood top The redwood is very light. I measured the specific gravity (density compared to that of water) at 0.27 which, compared to the 0.37 – 0.40 of the spruce that I normally work, with is very light. From […]

  • Strings for the Redwood Violin

    Strings for the Redwood Violin

    The strings are the one part of the Redwood Violin that I am not planning to make myself. While it looks like a doable process it is quite involved and I simply dont have time at this point. A second reason is that modern synthetic strings sound different to traditional gut ones and if the […]

  • Materials Review

    Materials Review

    I’ve been collecting materials for the Redwood Violin for a couple of months and now I have the wood that I need to get started. Heres a review of what I have and what it will be used for. There are still a few finishing materials like varnishes, dyes and pigments that I need to […]

  • Re-sawing the applewood

    Re-sawing the applewood

    I normally get the wood for my violins in billets from Europe, pre-sawn to sizes that are easily digestible by a violinmaker. For that reason I’ve never bothered to acquire the machines that most modern wood shops have. The applewood came in a nice five by two foot plank. In violinmaking school I was shown […]

  • Re-sawing the apple wood

    I normally buy the wood that I need for the back, top, sides and neck of the violin from specialist violin suppliers in Europe. The wood comes in billets that are small enough to allow me to work them easily with hand tools. For that reason I’ve never acquired many of the machines that feature […]

  • Wood for the fittings

    Wood for the fittings

    The violins “fittings” include the fingerboard, pegs, tailpiece, chinrest, endpin. All of the black parts you see in the photo. The fingerboard and pegs in particular get a lot of wear over the years and need to be made of a hard material. The most commonly used wood on a standard violin is ebony which […]

  • Mike Center, Woodworker

    Mike Center, Woodworker

    Mike has always had woodwork in his life. Both his parents were woodworkers and throughout his career as a biologist he had some sort of wood shop going on. Since retiring he devotes more time to it and he now has a very nicely put together home shop in Santa Rosa. He specializes in guitars […]

  • Wood for Purfling

    Wood for Purfling

    The purfling is an inlaid band of three strips of wood, colored black, white, black. Its function is decorative, highlighting the edge of the instrument, but also functional, helping to prevent the top from cracking near the edges. All kinds of woods have been used for the purfling, they usually have a smooth , non-porous […]