Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Violin Diary-5. Completing ribs

I left off, in the previous Violin Diary post, with the ribs reduced to the desired thickness and width; and the top and bottom blocks reduced. This post, which includes a video again, will show you how I reduce the outer corner blocks, cut the ribs to the desired length, bend the ribs and glue the ribs to the blocks.  See youTube video:

Reducing outer corner blocks
Reducing the outer corner blocks follows the same process as the inner blocks. Essentially, excess wood is gouged away, using a spoon gouge, following the stencil outline that is marked on the block. One additional consideration is that part of the "C" rib is exposed and has to be removed so that it is flush with the contour. I found this a little tricky to do as the ribs have a tendency to split. This happened to me on one of the ribs, but luckily I had enough excess wood.

Cutting ribs
The ribs need to be cut to an approximate length. This is done by measuring the approximate length and then marking and cutting the ribs with a small knife. The ribs are already approximately 11mm thick, making it relatively easy to cut through. At this point it is already possible to start thinking about the look of the final violin, so I carefully examining the ribs and choose the ones with the most interesting flame.

Bending ribs
Bending the ribs are done using a bending iron. I found this part a little tricky on previous occasions, but the contours are less pronounced for the outer ribs so this operation proved to be a little easier this time. The main focus is on getting the ribs as accurately bent as possible so as to avoid any tension when they are stuck onto the blocks. The result can be seen in the below photo.

Gluing ribs
I always find glueing a little stressful, mainly due to the quick initial drying of the glue, which doesn't allow for much time to correct anything if things go wrong. Glueing the ribs to the blocks also requires a level of precision to ensure that the ribs align perfectly, with no gaps and that the ribs are flush with the blocks. The other difficulty, which I really struggle with is trying to hold the ribs in place while also trying to correctly fit the clamps. Multi-tasking is not my forte, so this always proves challenging. One of the corners really got me flustered, but the rest went relatively smoothly. By the end of the day the ribs were glued to the blocks and needed to remained clamped for a few more hours. The results look as follows:

Catch the next instalment here.
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