Written by Marty January 6, 2015
Well, we had the first day of the Violin Making Class that I am teaching through the Northeast Woodworkers Association...
I pulled up early Monday morning (with coffee in hand) at their educational center in Clifton Park. It was fun meeting all the men that would be my students for the first time. First, we opened up our supplies (most of which were bought through Metropolitan Music in Vermont...Thank you to all the guys there that were a big help with the students getting all they needed for the start of the class.) Next, I handed out the violin molds (these I had made the week before and supplied for each student). We then got started by gluing on the blocks to the molds..
Then it was time to start the process of joinery for the back of the violin. When joining, you need to hand plane the piece with a slight concavity into the wood. When we are finished planing the joint, we dry clamp it. If everything looks good, we heat up the Hyde glue really hot and let the excitement begin!
All of a sudden, it becomes a group effort. We all join (or shall I say "Joint") together as though we are in the ER about to do major violin surgery. The heat time and accuracy of making the joint is highly important. Here are some of the photos with dialogue included....
"Okay, put the glue on..all over..all over!"
"Come on, faster....fast.. Okay, rub them together and don't dilly dally..fast..fast!"
"Clear!..... Okay now clamp it...clamp it tight Fred"
"Now, turn and chase it with the water...Done!"
Because of the shape of the book-matched pieces of wood, all you need is one clamp. Also, because of the concavity of the joint, when the Hyde glue cools, it creates a vacuum drawing it tight. This joint is one of the strongest and has proven the test of time or at least as long as "Strads" have been around (350 years).
It was a fun day and a great start to our class.
I'll keep you posted as the class continues...
Until next time,
The Macica Workshop: Maker of Fine Stringed Instruments
166 County Route 338, Schuylerville, NY 12871 518.695.3029