Violin week 1 – Design & Jigs


I had already decided to try my hand at making a violin after 2 successful cellos when someone in the orchestra actually commissioned me to make them a violin on the strength of my cellos!

I already had the Harry S. Wake book on violin making from the cello work but bought another book on amazon by Juliet Barker which I found I could not put down once started because it answered a whole load of questions that had been floating around my mind from the process of building the 2 cellos.  Interestingly I also discovered that she only wrote the book because of encouragement from David Dyke who supplies me with my instrument wood! – small world.

As with the cellos I decided to draw my own plans – not because I think I can do better than Stradivarius – but more so that I understand the basics of how the shape can be produced, have something I can repeat without access to 3rd party plans and  so I have a clear reference point if I need to adapt the design in future.

I used the solvespace parametric drawing package again referring to the Strad design in Harry Wake’s book for key dimensions. The result is within a gnat’s whisker of the strad outline but achieved very simply.

Here is the inside mold outline as a result and the solvespace file if anyone wanted to adapt it.

Violin mold outline: violin-top-mold-da-v1

Side profile: violin-side-view

ff holes: violin-ff-hole

Neck: violin-neck


The form layout glued onto a piece of perspex before cutting out on the bandsaw

After cutting out the perspex and carefully sanding to get an exact profile, I used the template to mark out the outline of the inner mold on a piece of 18mm plywood.  After careful sanding down to the exact dimensions, cutting out the recesses for the corner/end blocks and adding a few coats of varnish it looked like this:

The finished mold and perspex template
The finished mold and perspex template


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