Custom Violin #33 183


(click any of the thumbnails for a higher-resolution photo)

Torrefied tops have proved so successful on my guitars, I've decided to take that step with one of my violins. This classical violin features gorgeous, tight-flamed maple back, neck and sides, a Torrefied European spruce top, and a hand-rubbed traditional oil finish. I've been a long time getting it finished, but the wait has been worth it. I think this is the most powerful violin I've ever built. Here's a sound clip from master violinist Richard DiAdamo that will give you a taste of its tone and projection:


Construction Photos

Construction begins with the joining of the plates with hot hide glue. Spruce corner and end blocks are temporarily glued to the internal form with hot hobby glue. The flamed maple sides are sanded to finished thickness. The blocks are cut to shape. The sides are bent over a hot pipe, then glued to the blocks.

The upper half of the internal form is removed, and maple linings are bent and glued in place. The upper half of the blocks are trimmed to final shape. The outline of the violin is marked onto the top plate, and it's cut to shape. Shaping of the curly maple neck begins with the bandsaw.

Work quickly progresses to the handsaw, gouges, and scrapers as the scroll emerges from the blank. The edge thickness of the top is established on the router table. Excess wood is hogged off with the duplicating carver. A recess is cut for the purfling, and it is glued in with hot hide glue.

The recessed area of the top edge is established with a laminate trimmer mounted on a dedicated jig. The outside of the top is scraped and sanded to final shape. The top is graduated to proper contour, constantly checking the thickness, weight, and tape tone to arrive at proper dimensions.

The f-holes are cut, and the bass bar is glued in place. The bass bar is tuned to return the top to the tone characteristics it had before the f-holes were cut. The top is glued to the ribs. The internal form is removed, and the back linings are glued in.

The neck and scroll are refined. The neck recess is cut, and the neck is fitted and glued in place. The back is cut to shape, and excess wood is removed on the duplicating router. The purfling channel is cut, and the purfling is fitted and installed. The plates are carved to profile and graduation.

The plates are tap tuned, glued to the ribs, and the instrument is sanded to perfection. A coat of dichromate is applied to oxidize the wood.

Oil varnish finish is applied. After a sufficient drying time, the finish is rubbed out with oil and rottenstone. Tuning pegs are fitted. A bridge, soundpost, tailpiece, chinrest, and strings are added, and it's ready to make some music.

Thanks for watching this project

All content and graphics © Skipper Custom Instruments