Been awhile

since I posted anything.  I have been busy though, I promise.   In addition to making some knives, I’ve been tooling up to make violins.  I needed a bunch of gouges, three of which are tempering in the oven as I type this.  (I decided to make as many as I can.  Not just to save money; I’ve read that some of the newer ones aren’t heat treated very well and so don’t hold an edge very long.  If you want something done right, sometimes you just have to do it yourself…)

I also needed some hot hide glue and a pot to keep it in.  Purists say that HHG is the only glue to use for violins.  (I’ll probably make one someday using Titebond just to prove them wrong.  🙂  )

Also got a bending iron, and some wood.  I’ll need some more stuff before I can finish a violin, but I have enough to get me started.  I’ll acquire more tools as funds allow.

So, here’s a couple pics of the first thing I’ve carved.  It’s a practice top of cedar.  I probably won’t use it, but I’ll keep it just in case.




It’s just rough carved, and only on the outside.  I’ll use it for scraper practice too.

Here’s a couple templates and a mold.  The template on the left is for the top and back, the one on the right is for the ribs.  You’ll see how they’re both used as things progress.



Here I’m about to glue the end and corner blocks to the mold, using hide glue:



Here’s the glue itself in the pot.  When this batch is used up, I’m going to switch to a double boiler setup.



Here are all the blocks glued on:


Some of the advantages of HHG is that it cleans up easily with warm water, joints made with it can easily be taken apart for repairs, and some claim it has better acoustic properties.


Now the second template mentioned above is used to mark where the blocks need to be trimmed, and I cut close to the line with a bandsaw:



Here are the ribs cut and sanded to .050″ thick.  I’m not sure what wood it is, since I salvaged it from last years firewood pile.  I think it may be hickory. But look at that curl!  About broke my heart to see so much of it go up in smoke.  😦



It may be awhile before I have more to share on this project.  Hopefully have some knives to show before too long.  And I’ll be posting a recipe soon.   😀



2 thoughts on “Been awhile

  1. Hi Phillip I have to ask, with you building all these instruments do you feel it helps you to be better at building them all or do you feel like you’re “spreading” yourself too thin? I ask because if I do the same thing over and over I keep getting better at it. I could not jump from one project to another withot losing some of my edge. You on the other hand seem to thrive on diversity. Do you get bored easily? Do you ever take your mind off your work? Maybe read a book on quantum physics..?!!

    Always impressed


    • Hey Chris,
      I don’t think I’m spreading myself too thin. I look at it like I’m furthering my education, and I just want a well rounded education. 🙂
      Now, if I had to depend on it for my living, it probably would be smart to focus on one or two instruments and do those really well, and develop a market for them.
      I don’t get bored too much since there’s always something to do around here. But if I don’t have anything to do, I do get bored, and that’s not good. 😮
      I read “Timeline”. Does that count? LOL
      BTW, carving violins will be good practice for that archtop guitar…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s