Preparing violin ribs

I finished preparing violin ribs by shaving maple wood down to 1.2 mm thick. Learning to thinning wood to a veneer thickness with hand tools was tough. I am finally feeling like I got the hang of it; I can still tell I have more room from growth. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about the tediousness of this task and get on to playing music.

Preparing violin ribs is one of those tasks in violin making where you could make them with a drum sander or some other feeding type machine; the issue will always be with the way the wood looks when it comes out of these machines. Often, the tool marks left on the ribs creates more issues than helps. I think one could easily spend more time fixing tool marks than just doing the work by hand. I know it’s debatable, it’s just my observations.

When making ribs, my low angle block plane is my best friend. I put on an audio book, get setup and then start planning away. The wood I use is typically thicker than what you would by from a regular tonewood dealer. I use to not like starting with thicker wood. I have since changed my attitude when I realized I had more choices with larger rib stock.

I get a couple of additional choices available to me when my wood is less refined. I like that I can adjust the grain direction because my rib stock is wider; so I can change the angle/slope of my ribs. Also, I can work the outside facing portion first to get the crisp smooth edges and still have plenty of thickness in case I mess up. Which I sometimes have a little too much tear out.

My takeaway

Choosing thicker wood does have some challenges. Primarily, the surfaces of my rough stock do not show the flame as much as I like. So, when starting a violin and choosing the rib stock, I have to spend more time looking at the texture of the wood and the grain features. The extra steps definitely keeps me closer to the wood because I have to make decisions. After I choose the rib stock, it’s on to bending ribs.

“Verity” a Handmade Violin

verity

-the quality or state of being true or real

Merriam Webster

This violin sings under the ear. “Verity” can play from quiet to loud smoothly with more in reserves. I chose verity for the name of this violin because I was finally able to realize what I have been dreaming about making with intention. All aspects of this violin were designed and drafted by me. The top plate was selected for me by my tone wood dealer. Everything about this violin fell into place. I’m making more of these violins in 2022. If you miss this one, there is another chance for you in the near future.

The first two sessions with a guest perform was under two different string sets from different manufacturers. The sound changed to the strings. You could play with the sound of this violin for a long time just by changing strings over the years. The

It’s first guest player worked with me for two sessions to get the sound right. The first session was great. We both agreed it needed some work. So, I decided to cut a new bridge and added a little more graphene to the nut. The tuning pegs got a little more soap/chalk and burnishing. New strings, too. This violin showed up for second session. The combination of setup and player familiarity really set this loose.

The finish is a spirit varnish. The color is a combination of red, brown and yellow. The ground color and spruce creates a nice suede leather with a red/brown finish. In the light, the flame is very present. It really wants to be looked at.

The length is 360mm long, I know some say “that’s too long!”. I keep the mensur at the standard length of 196mm for standard playability. The after string length is a little long but “Verity” plays good with it.

It has the usual standard of red maple back and neck, red spruce top, and ebony for the fingerboard and accessories.

Maker: Handmade violin by Roman Clarkson

Strings: Piastro Tonica (Gold Label E)

Bridge: Teller

Accessories: Metropolitan Music – Swiss Style with chinrest

Price: $2,300 Year: 2021

Serial: 21-3

Case: Includes a basic case from Metropolitan Music

Book an Appointment now or Contact me for questions.

“Beget” a Handmade Violin

beget

– to produce especially as an effect or outgrowth

Merriam Webster

This handmade violin has a warm bright sound. “Beget” responds well when playing quiet or loud. I chose beget as the name for this violin because this violin represents the outgrowth of the previous violins. I finally settled into my work and the craft with much more confidence. This design is the predecessor to “Verity”. You will see “Verity” has no corners; also called guitar style body. This has the same dimensions and the feel is very similar. If you want a traditional shape, I don’t think you will go wrong with this violin.

This violin was played in two quality check sessions for me. The violin sounded good in the first session. There wasn’t much we wanted to change in the setup. I decided to trim the bridge a little, the pegs got a little more soap/chalk and burnishing. The second session for this violin really filled up the room with an inviting warm sound. The longer the violinist played the more dynamics I could hear. Of course, the violinist got more familiar with it. The performance showed off the dynamics. I would like to hear what you can do with this violin. Book a Session to try it out.

The finish is a spirit varnish. The color is a combination of red, brown and yellow. The englemann spruce is naturally dark. The color and the spruce creates a nice finish darker red/brown finish. The back has shows more yellow; I don’t want to call it orange. It’s more of yellow/brown/red.

The mensur is the standard length of 196mm.

It has the usual standard of red maple back and neck, an englemann spruce top, and ebony for the fingerboard and accessories.

Maker: Handmade violin by Roman Clarkson

Strings: Piastro Tonica (Gold Label E)

Bridge: Teller

Accessories: Metropolitan Music – Swiss Style with chinrest

Price: $2,300 Year: 2021

Serial: 21-1

Case: Includes a basic case from Metropolitan Music

Book an Appointment now or Contact me for questions.