Saturday, January 18, 2020

Making a Fiddle - Day 9

I am making a Strad model, so I had to mark all the blocks where the lining needs to go. This includes depth and length. A razor blade and a small hammer are used to make the initial cuts into the blocks.

I used a very small chisel to clean up the tunnels in the blocks where the lining will go.

Using a super flexible ruler, I measured the distance in between the cuts in the blocks so I would know how long to cut the lining.

After bending the lining, I had to make sure each piece fit snugly into the "tunnels" and against the ribs.

The linings are made from spruce. They have to be bent to fit the curvature of the ribs and also into the blocks. Each piece of lining has to be dipped into water and then bent on the bending iron. I used a small block of wood to help bend the lining pieces.

I needed about 30 clothespins to clamp the lining to the ribs. The clothespins have to be taken apart and put back together again backwards. A heavy rubber band is wrapped around each clothespin to make it stronger.  Rosemary and Emily helped me retrofit all the clothespins!

Hide glue is used on the lining and also on the ribs where the lining will be glued. You have to work fast!

Emily was helping me by holding the form when I was brushing on the glue, and also with the actual clamping.

Using a damp rag, all the excess glue has to be wiped off so the clamps don't stick to the ribs or the mold, and so there is not excess glue everywhere.

Believe it or not, these clamps are so strong some of them took two hands to open them!

Here you can see me readjusting the spacing of the clamps so that there aren't any gaps, especially near the blocks.

This is what it looks like with all the clamps on it!

Here is a closeup of the lining going into the edges of the endblock.

Here is a closeup of the lining going into a corner block. Note how one side goes into the "tunnel," and the other side is just a wedge fit.

Here is the entire form with all the lining done and sanded level with the ribs. Next step is carving the back!

Making a Fiddle - Day 8

I used a chisel to trim down the ribs.  When done correctly, the seam at the corners becomes almost invisible!  I had to be very careful when chiseling the maple.  It is so easy to chip the ribs!  I ended up going at an angle from the top down -- and I didn't go all the way down to the board. I would flip it over and then go the other direction. Then I would work on the middle section, and finish it out with a rasp to get it perfectly level and square.

After trimming the ribs with the chisel, I used a rasp to smooth out and level the edge. It should be perfectly straight.

My sanding board is 16" x 24". It can be made from granite (which is pretty heavy, but flat), or it can be made from a board. I used 5-ply plywood. It took a good two hours to make this completely level! I used planes, scrapers and sandpaper to accomplish this.

I used a long, thick straight edge to check for high and low spots and warping. It has to be level everywhere: top, bottom, sides, and diagonally. After the board is level, I cut large pieces of sandpaper (from sanding belts) to fit the board. I used coarser grain on one side and finer grain on the other side. The sandpaper was attached to the board using spray adhesive.

You can see me using the sanding board in this picture. I am sanding the rib structure on my sanding board. It is important not to press down too hard or the ribs can break. Back and forth and circular motions across all parts of the board are important to keep the rib structure perfectly level. This has to be done on both sides of the rib structure.
Both sides look like this now!
Here is a closeup of two corners.

I still have a long ways to go, but it won't be long and I'll be rid of this mold and start work on the top and back.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Chris' 2020 Private Lesson Schedule

Chris will not be teaching private lessons on the following dates:

February 10, 11, 12, 13
March 9, 10, 11, 12
April 6, 7, 8, 9
May 25, 26, 27, 28
June 15, 16, 17, 18
July 6, 7, 8, 9
August 10, 11, 12, 13
September 14, 15, 16, 17
October 19, 20, 21, 22
November 23, 24, 25, 26
December 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31

It is important that you understand your lesson time is reserved for you.  If you are unable to make a lesson, please me know as soon as possible.  If you miss a lesson, you will be expected to pay for that lesson unless you are sick or have a true emergency.  If you are missing a lesson because of a birthday party, date, prom, school event, vacation, etc., you will be expected to pay for the missed lesson(s). This has always been store policy, but it has not always been strictly enforced.  If you have frequent emergencies or illnesses, we can discuss what the best solution would be.  Sometimes I am able to schedule make-up lessons, in which case you would not have to pay for the missed lesson.