Saturday, January 21, 2012

Adrian's Insane Violin Project, Part 4

I have been working on the violin top, and have run into a question that perplexes most luthiers.  When is the top thin enough?  Think about this, I am supposed to get the top down to 3mm.  That's right, that thin.  In fact, right down the middle of the top I am supposed to get it down to 2.6mm (if possible.) 

This leads me to wondering how I will get an even thickness all the way across the top?  I may shave some parts too thin, while leaving others too thick.  I have already used my drill press to make marking points all over the violin.  However, I can only get so close, and I still need to check the overall depth.  I also need to check to make sure there are no high spots. 

Luckily I stubbled onto a great idea.  The spruce is a very uniform white color, and when thin enough, the light will shine through it.  I found by holding the top up to my work light, I can see high and low spots.  It may be easier to show the pictures, and then explain. 

I know it can be tough to see what I am posting.  I had to take pictures in the dark with the work light from behind the violin top.  Also, I couldn't use the flash.  What you are seeing are the different colors shining through.  The white is where it is the thinnest.  The red is a little thicker.  Where no color is showing is where it is too thick, and needs to be shaved down.

Now I do want to say that it is so nice and uniform because these pictures were taken after I did all the work.  If I had taken some "before" pictures it would have looked a lot different.  It would have had a lot of high spots. 

I am really proud of myself.  To get a piece of wood this consistently thin is quite an undertaking.  I have to say that working slowly and steadily is the only way to do this. 

I suspect in my next post I will be working on the top design, the F-holes, and the bracing.  At least, I hope I will.

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