Violinmaking at last! Making the Ribs

by | Jan 3, 2021 | Construction

I’ve finally got started on making the Redwood Violin. At last I’m going to start to find out how my substitute materials will work.

Comparing woods

On the ribs (sides) I get to use three of the woods that I’ve collected. The applewood planes and cuts very nicely, leaving a smooth finish off the blade. It has a similar flexibility to the maple that I would normally use. It bends like a dream, more easily than maple. The box elder that I’m using for the top and bottom blocks takes a nice clean cut. It seems to be quite strong and I think that it will work well. While it is heavier than the red willow that I normally use, which is both light and tough. I think that it is worth adding a little weight in exchange for strength. These blocks anchor the violin strings and can split. The corner blocks are not so prone to splitting so I decided to use some of the redwood for them. It is considerably lighter and that may have a beneficial effect on the responsiveness of the violin.

Comparing glues

The Tendon glue is a little different to work with compared to the bone glue that normally use. I use it a little thicker than the bone glue, and it seems to gel quicker so I have to work a little differently, but it is usable and I’m confident in its holding abilities


Preparing the mold and blocks

Preparing and fitting the ribs and linings

The ribs can now be used to draw the outline of the violin onto the top and back plates. One more stage in their preparation comes just before the violin box is closed.