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.
Round III – Some maple cello rib material for shimming. 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. The right spruce at the start would have been helpful but would I have learned so much?
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.
Round IV – What a learning curve. We set the neck at 9˚ but end up with a projected bridge height of 40mm. Back apart again. Two degrees less, figured out via this taper and angle calculator.
The other bit of trivia? Violin necks to not attach through dovetail connections, which is what I made. Strong as a tree, but mortise and tenon connection is the correct one. No matter, the violin takes medium tension strings wonderfully, despite her 170 year old age.
So we have a slew of more pictures to post. They will look out of order, but because the top came off once because of misalignment, then came off again to reset the neck, it looks like quite a muddle. We also swapped pegs and made a new bridge. Lots of activity.
Next week we’ll resort the images, try to make sense of them, and edit out a bunch of confusing text. Anyway, here’s the end result with the new bridge. I have sound clips of old vs. new bridge. Wow, what a difference! This violin is for sale. $900. BYOS