Derek McCormick’s Violin Blog

Making a violin and other violin-related topics

The Mould and Blocks

I will add a caption to this later

(A) Plans for many of the great jnstruments are available from a number of sources, including museums and the excellent "posters" published by the Strad magazine. These give details of outline shape, arching patterns and other mesurements which are necessary when making a violin based on the particular model.

Using the template I make the mould on which the instrument will be built. This is 12mm thick and can be made from good quaility plywood or MDF both of which are have good dimensional stability. Stradivari's moulds still exist and were made of walnut - a bit expensive and hard to find for the modern maker!

(B) Using the template I make the mould on which the instrument will be built. This is 12mm thick and can be made from good quaility plywood or MDF both of which are have good dimensional stability. Stradivari's moulds are preserved in the museum in Cremona. He used walnut which is not easy to source nowadays (and also a bit expensive for what is basically just an aid to making.

(C) This type of mould is known as an "inside mould". End blocks and corner blocks which are important structural elements of the finished instrument are glued in place. They are willow wood and their final shape is marked in pencil using the thin template copied from the plans. They will be carved to shape using a gouge starting with the curves in the "C" bout ("waist" of the violin).

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October 25, 2008 - Posted by | (01) The mould and blocks | ,

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