Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: I made a Violin for my Grandson.  (Read 1704 times)
L07 Shooting Star
Gold Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 3682




Ignore
« on: September 05, 2016, 03:57:32 AM »

My grandson has been learning violin for 2 years.  He is now 11.  He started with a 3/4 size instrument but soon needed to graduate to a full size.  So 17 months ago, I told him I would make him a full-sized violin.  I bought a fiddle kit from Stewmac in May, 2015, procrastinated for a year, and finally built the fiddle over this summer.  It was a great introduction to some of the finer skills of lutherie, especially chiseling the neck mortise and fitting the neck.  The finishing was also a real challenge.  Especially, getting an even stain on the raw spruce top.  Some of you can attest to that, I'm sure.  (Dan?).  Anyways, I finally completed it on Sept. 1 and presented it to him the next day.  It turned out pretty well as far as I can determine.  My biggest concern was about it's geometry which translates into action, sound and playability, but I also wanted it to look good and be something he would treasure.  His initial reaction was that it sounded richer than the than one it replaced and it didn't have any funky playability issues.  He says he really likes it, but I can't be 100% sure there are no issues he just doesn't want to say because I'm his grandpa.  I told him if there is anything that doesn't feel or play right to let me know and I would fix it.  Keep in mind, this is my first experience with violins.  Good news is he hasn't complained so far.

I attached some pics of the instrument and one of him playing it for the first time.  The inlay on the back with his initials was engraved on a piece of ivory salvaged from the veneer on an old piano key.  I didn't execute the edges of the inlay that well, but it is what it is.
Logged

"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
L07 Shooting Star
Gold Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 3682




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2016, 04:01:36 AM »

A couple more pics of the violin.
Logged

"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
broKen
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2637




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2016, 04:09:46 AM »

Nice job. Hope it stays together well. I know nothing of the matter, but I have done set ups for my nephew's violin, as well as replacing the bridge and installing the post (a few times). Setting the action on a violin is not quite the same as a guitar. I would have thought it should be much lower, but I was wrong. Hope he will make great music with it, and cherish it long after grandpa's gone
Logged

A Hebrew, under the Spell
Pain is a good thing
The cost of living is...life
L07 Shooting Star
Gold Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 3682




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2016, 04:45:22 AM »

Nice job. Hope it stays together well. I know nothing of the matter, but I have done set ups for my nephew's violin, as well as replacing the bridge and installing the post (a few times). Setting the action on a violin is not quite the same as a guitar. I would have thought it should be much lower, but I was wrong. Hope he will make great music with it, and cherish it long after grandpa's gone

I didn't mention creating and installing the sound post from scratch, but what a job.  Took me at least 4 hours!  I actually think I got it a little bit too tall and forced the top/bottom to move too much, but I'm not changing it now unless it seriously affects something.  And yes, the string height above the fingerboard can't be too low, especially as you go towards the bridge.  If it is too low, then, bowing becomes a problem.  Same goes for the curve on the bridge top.  A player expects a certain curve or else strings other than those intended are encountered unexpectedly.  Those are things I learned from building it.  I just hope if there is a real issue he or his mom (my daughter)  will let me know and I can fix it.

Setting up a violin, viola, cello, and all the other instruments in that family are definitely not the same as  setting up a guitar.
Logged

"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
broKen
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2637




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2016, 06:27:54 AM »

I have a large pair of tissue clamps (think hemostats) that made setting the post much easier
Logged

A Hebrew, under the Spell
Pain is a good thing
The cost of living is...life
Caleb
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3714




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2016, 03:06:06 PM »

WOW, nice job, plenty of ambition there.  That violin will be a treasure to your grandson for years to come. 
Logged
Davy Vanthuyne
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 158




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2016, 04:49:14 PM »

Beautiful gift
Logged

Larrivée rs 2 P90 2010
Larrivee rs 4 jason lollar 2008
Fender cd100 ce lh
Fender '51 customshop tele faded nocaster blonde 2016
L07 Shooting Star
Gold Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 3682




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2016, 12:21:17 AM »

I have a large pair of tissue clamps (think hemostats) that made setting the post much easier

Would you mind posting a picture?  How long are they?  I have a pair of hemostats, but they are too short, I think.  I may have to remove the  post and shorten it a bit, and I could sure use a tool like that.
Logged

"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
Barefoot Rob
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13992




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2016, 03:21:24 AM »

From the pix it looks great,you should be very proud.Sound post are a major pain the the butt even after 35 years its the worst part of the job.By the way cello and uprights are also a major pain.The post needs to be set in the right spot or the tone is off.CONGRATS again nice job.
Logged

A REPAIRPERSON,Still Unclrob
OM03PA
Favorite saying
 OB LA DE OB LA DA,LIFE GOES ON---BRA,It is what it is,You just gotta deal it,
One By One The Penguins Steal My Sanity*Eat The Rich*, Keith and Barefoot Rob on youtube
Still unclrob
#19
12 people ignoring me,so cool
www.rpjguitarworks.com
Call PM me I may b
broKen
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2637




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2016, 04:11:17 AM »

Would you mind posting a picture?  How long are they?  I have a pair of hemostats, but they are too short, I think.  I may have to remove the  post and shorten it a bit, and I could sure use a tool like that.

I forget exactly which of these I used, I have several. They are 9-10"

Logged

A Hebrew, under the Spell
Pain is a good thing
The cost of living is...life
eded
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2038




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2016, 04:19:48 AM »

Spectacular.  Well done.

Some day, if I can find pics, I'll post some of the stuff I builtin the 92-2005 time frame. 

Ed
Logged
B0WIE
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1168




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2016, 06:47:34 AM »

Inspiring!  I was just looking at that kit yesterday and felt so tempted.  Would love to learn violin, then cello. How many hours do you think you put into the build?
Logged

D-02-12
Used to own and love; SD-50, J70 maple Mermaid, SD60sbt, D03R, LV03E.
L07 Shooting Star
Gold Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 3682




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2016, 05:31:18 PM »

Inspiring!  I was just looking at that kit yesterday and felt so tempted.  Would love to learn violin, then cello. How many hours do you think you put into the build?

It's a good kit with quality wood and parts.  I didn't keep track of my time, but I would have to say I spent somewhere around 200 hours.  I am pretty slow and meticulous.  Lots of scraping, sanding, and fitting but well worth it in the end.  Instructions are good.  Staining the spruce top without blotching is a challenge.  I took shortcuts and shouldn't have.  I should have used some shellac or some other sealer before putting the stain on.  I had failed to recognize that since the top is carved, there are some areas of partially end grain.  I had to sand off my first staining attempt.  On the other hand, the maple back, sides and neck took the stain beautifully.

You can download a PDF of the actual instructions here.  http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Learn_About_Building_Instruments_and_Kits/Fiddle_Kit_Instructions.html  Gives you an idea of what is involved.
Logged

"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
dave42
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 381




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 11:04:50 AM »

Very nice indeed!
Logged

Dave
'12 L-03RW Italian Spruce (Wildwood)
Danny
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13129




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2016, 05:01:25 PM »

Good job on a heartfelt project. Your grandson is fortunate to have such a grandpa.
Logged

Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
carruth
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1507




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2016, 08:00:53 PM »

 +1 Well done.
Logged

Larrivee:
P09
OM03
OMO3R
OMO5
LO2
LO3R
LO3W
LO3K
bobw
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1146




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2016, 01:58:16 PM »

 +1     congratulations to you and your grandson....    you are a great grandpa...   
Logged
L07 Shooting Star
Gold Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 3682




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2016, 06:00:47 AM »

Thanks all.  It was a labor of love as the saying goes.

Broken, I found and purchased some large hemostats similar to what you posted.  Very helpful and thanks.  Next time Elijah Joe (EJ) comes to visit he will bring the fiddle and we will tweak that sound post.
Logged

"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
L07 Shooting Star
Gold Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 3682




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2016, 06:29:17 AM »

Follow up.  EJ playing the violin as recorded by my daughter.  Since then, he went for his first lesson of the new season.  Apparently, his instructor played the violin and was very impressed with the tone and playability.  Very gratifying to get that kind of feedback from an experienced violinist.

https://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=iiuWdmxLLr8&u=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DUp2h9dbwq9s%26feature%3Dshare
Logged

"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to: