Sébastien Kloz An 1700
Note: This violin is not a Kloz, nor a Kloz copy. It is not remotely like a Kloz.
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.
There was some damage at the top’s seam. We get it together and add cleats. Keeping in mind I’m not painting the Sistine Chapel, varnish is applied but we do not try to hide our work. 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.
Round III – This violin will get a new end block at the neck. Some maple cello rib material is delivered for shimming. Perfect to raise the neck heel but it is promptly ruined as we add 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 learn 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 150+ year old age.
The pics are out of order. 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 twice and made a two bridges. Sound posts? Maybe three. Lots of activity.
*SOLD* to Colin of Philadelphia, wearing a 4-month old set of D’Addario Kaplan Vivo strings.