Friday, 26 July 2013

Violin Diary-2.Blocks

I left off in the previous Violin Diary post with a mostly complete mould. In this post, I will explain how the blocks are attached to the mould. This is the first crucial step in making a violin. The result looks as follows.
violin mould with blocks attached

In order to fit the blocks to the mould, it was necessary to first fix the corresponding corners, which weren't done perfectly the first time round. I managed to do this fairly swiftly, with the help of a rasp and trusty square.

The final step in making the mould is to drill holes, where the clamps will go at various stages of the making process. A little crude, but this is best done with the mould on top of another piece of wood, on the floor, with both feet on the mould so that it doesn't move. My usual power tool jitters returned as I clutched the drill with both hands while standing atop the mould. For the most part the drilling went fine, if you ignore the few small areas where the wood split slightly. So finally I have a crude, but functional mould.
The next step is to stick the blocks onto the mould. This is fairly straightforward and basically entails using a small amount of wood glue on each block and then sticking the block onto the mould, secured by clamps. The idea, is that the blocks should be fairly easy to dislodge from the mould later on, so this is definitely a temporary measure. As always, something goes slightly wrong, even with the simple tasks. I this case, I forgot that the blocks need to line up so that the mould lies flat. My first attempt turned out to be a bit wobbly. Luckily Dmitry was on hand to point out my error and correct it in time. At this point the mould looks a bit Frankensteinish, with all the blocks clamped in place.

violin mould with blocks clamped in place
 violin mould with blocks clamped in place

With this first step complete, I am finally under way with the actual violin. Next time I will start carving the corner blocks, where the centre ribs will be stuck.

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