Friday, April 27, 2012

Into this neck of the wood.

A little progress on the scroll.  Cut out on the band saw.  Mostl of the initial shaping done with rasp and gouge.  Drilled the string holes.

Roughing out the interior of the pegbox.  This goes fairly quick, but it is a work-out.  I still need to clean up the edges.  Lots of curl in this wood, which means it's very easy to get tear-out where you don't want it - which means I have to resharpen tools before finishing up.  But another day, I need to get back to repair work.

Following, or trying to follow, a scheme by Joseph Grubaugh and Sigrun Seifert for the Brothers Amati Scroll (Strad magazine, March 2006).  I'm not sure that I am interpreting the transition from flat paper to curved surface correctly, but am plunging onward.

A bit of work to cut out the sides of the pegbox and the first turn in the scroll.  This highly figured wood really likes to tear out -- lots of work with the rasp!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

An adventure in necking.

I had hoped to be much further along, but decided instead to behave like an idiot. I am working on a Brothers Amati model, based on a form I drew following Francois Denis's method. He also has a bit on drawing the scroll, but I am also trying to make progress prior to the So. California workshop in June, so I was trying to save a little time.

I did have a Strad magazine poster of a 1666 Nicolo Amati violin, which has a very similar body to the Bros. Amati outline, so my plan was simple. Scan the scroll part of the poster, print it out, glue it on to a generic neck outline. Close enough for now.

I have a new-to-me computer. The scanner is a few years old. It works fine. I scanned the poster. Print out the scan, and it's huge. Go back to the software, adjust settings, resize the image. After 3 or 4 tries, I have it pretty close to the poster image.

This is a Strad poster from 1996.

I try splicing the scanned scroll onto the neck. Hmmm. It looks a little big. Maybe a lot big. Back to comparing with the poster. Same size. Hmmm. Finally (duh!) I turn the poster over and read the measurements.

Strad magazine has gotten a lot better on their posters over the years. I do remember, however, being cautioned that the photos are not always accurate to size and one should check the measurements against the photo.

That is actually a very good idea.

The poster's scroll was, from heel to end of the scroll, a cm longer than the real thing. Not enough for me to notice out-of-context.

So, back to the drawing-board (computer). A few more re-scaling attempts and I get something that is reasonably close. Attach it to the neck template. Glue it to thin metal. Cut it out, file down the edges.

Not enough time today to mark-out or cut the scroll, but I'm sure ready for tomorrow.

Unless some other conceptual problem pops up.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fiddle hairball

Just another hairball photo. Many players are surprised to learn that a fiddle can have a hairball rolling around inside it, yet it is very common. This one, just above the loose soundpost, is actually fixed in place by rosin that has fallen in through the f-hole.

Some luthiers worry about these hairballs. I know folks who replace them after doing the repair work and others who collect them. I usually just take them out and throw them away, thinking they are something like 'dust bunnies' under the bed. So far, I haven't had any customers who expressed any interest in keeping them, either in their instruments or out.