Friday, November 3, 2017
Light, and sympathetic strings (in the future)
Glancing light is a great tool for violin making. With it, you can see how many (many, many) bumps one has on a surface, and it can even direct you towards how to remove them. As I stepped outside the other evening, near sunset, I noticed these autumn leaves on our carport floor. Note the shadows cast by these not-quite-flat leaves.
I decided to try my hand at making a Hardanger fiddle. With some online research over the years, a plan from the Guild of American Luthiers, and a photocopy of the English translation of Sverre Sandvik's "Vi byggjer hardingfele", I decided to plunge in. Since I expect I'll have enough problems with the basic mechanics, I decided to simplify some of the decorative details, such as the scroll. Instead of the traditional dragon, I wanted something like a canoe prow. To get things uniform, I followed the Lancet arc, here described in "By Hand & Eye" by Geo. R. Walker and Jim Toplin.
It's a decent book, with practical methods for creating shapes in spaces. My one quibble with the book is that the authors imply, maybe even state, they are not measuring when using a divider or a compass. While it's true they are not reading a number off a ruler or tape measure, and then not using written math to divide or multiply, a divider is a elegant and exacting way to lay out work. It is measuring, with extreme accuracy and precision -- assuming your divider or compass stays tight.
Their book is worth having.