Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gluing the top on; Jackson-Sloan Stradivari


Following advice of Oded Kishony, I'm going to fit the neck to the body before gluing the back to the ribs. To glue the top to the ribs, though, I need to get the form out. I trimmed the linings last night, and this morning I took out the form. It appears to be a problem, but just split the corner blocks on the diagonal, knock the end and neck blocks loose, and you can spread the ribs taking the form out.

A word about the chisel with the plastic handle. It's cheap. I bought it over 30 years ago when I was doing carpenter work and carried it about in my leather work-apron. In my violin work, I find it pretty handy for scraping old hide glue and other destructive tasks. It takes a quick edge, though it doesn't last, and is the right size for splitting out blocks.

After the form is out, I trim the blocks to their final shape.


Here's the top glued to the ribs. Next step is to finish up the neck, then fit it.


With the glue hot, I decided to add the label to the back. Here it reads: Inspired by Antonio Stradivari 1714 "Jackson-Sloan" Nampa 2010. Inspired here really means in the more artistic sense, and certainly not a copy.


This past June, at the Southern California Violin-Makers Workshop, I got to play the 1714 "Jackson" Strad, as well as a 1742 Guarneri del Gesu, both owned by Doc Bill Sloan. A tremendous experience, I was particularly taken by the Strad. I was also surprised by its appearance, being much higher arched than I would have expected out of a Stradivari. We were able to really look over these instruments, and estimated the Strad top arch at 18 mm, and what appeared to me to be very steep arching. The e-string on this Strad was simply amazing. Anyway, I tried to follow a similar arching concept, without having anything like arching diagrams, just my memory. Hence, "inspired by."

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