Sébastien Kloz An 1700
Round I – The old fiddle arrives and promptly falls apart as soon as I remove the chinrest. Good to know. I now have another ‘trick’ to keeping a fiddle together 🙂 First guesses place this ‘violin’ as French c. 1850-1870.
Round II – We are making progress. The second guesses trickle in. The bottom is grooved to accept the ribs, a school of construction which went out of fashion in the early 1800s; this would push our violin to the early 19th century.
The top is together but not fabulously. There was some damage at the joint. I did what I could with varnish, keeping in mind I’m not painting the Sistine Chapel. Not resurrecting the dead, merely an old trade instrument. The back is glued to the ribs – on the second try, which is a good thing; it means I had the sense and patience to disassemble and clean up the first try.
I’m planning the neck set and neck block; they go together, as we’ve got overstand and projected fingerboard height coming into play. The neck heel will want to be 2mm higher. Fun-Fun!
Round III – Definite advances. Denny @ InternationalViolin.com suggested some maple cello rib material. A piece was perfect to raise the neck heel and was promptly ruined as we added an angle to the 2.5mm veneer. The second try, we got it right. Keep thy chisels sharp. Another milestone, our first mortised end block. We learned eleven ways not to make a mortised end block. It worked on the 12th, though. Again, I.V. had the right material – although I was block-headed enough to try eight times with old spruce far too dense to be carvable.
We’re buttoning up the ribs and will soon modify the top’s neck mortise, as the neck heel is now unavoidably leaning further towards the body. The price one pays for correct overstand and projected fingerboard height.