Saturday, November 23, 2019

Making a Fiddle - My Day 1

My newest endeavor is to make my own fiddle!  This is a very special thing to me not just because I play fiddle and I have been repairing fiddles for over 15 years, but also because I consider it a family tradition.  My dad's father made fiddles.  I am very thankful for Gregory Krone, violin maker in New Haven, Missouri, for sharing his time, skill and many other things to make it possible for me to make my own fiddle.

Some things Greg provided me with, such as the mold and template that I am using to build my fiddle.  The metal template is copied from a paper pattern and then cut out with a jeweler's saw.  The mold is also copied from a paper pattern, but it is cut out of plywood.  You need both the mold and the template to build a fiddle.

For me, the first step was to mark on the mold where I would saw out the areas where the blocks would be glued.  I have a booklet of information from Greg's violin making school that I am using to get my measurements.  Everything is very precise!  I also had to mark the center of the mold.  You can see two small holes drilled in the mold in my pictures.  There are steel pins that fit into those holes, and the template fits over those two steel pins to keep it perfectly in the correct place.  (I failed to get a picture of that before I started working on it.)

After I marked the corner block areas, I drilled tiny holes in the corners of the areas I was going to cut out.  Since the mold will not actually be part of the fiddle, but the blocks have to be glued to the mold temporarily, these small holes make it easier to dislocate the blocks from the mold.  The blocks will be glued to ribs and will actually be part of the fiddle.  I used the band saw to cut out the areas I marked for the blocks.

If all of this doesn't make sense yet, it will as I continue to post my progress!  Here is a picture of all the work I completed on my first day. 

Stay tuned for more!

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