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A carbon fibre violin i made from scratch


by AussieCFviolin on December 5, 2011 Table of Contents A carbon fibre violin i made from scratch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Intro: A carbon fibre violin i made from scratch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 1: Plan what you want to make . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 2: Make your moulds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 3: Make your parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 4: Put the parts together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 5: Admire it . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 4 5 6 6 7 7 8

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-carbon-fibre-violin-i-made-from-scratch/

Intro: A carbon fibre violin i made from scratch


Last year i made a carbon fibre violin , I started out by drawing a violin on paper , working out the curve heights , plotting the lot on paper , Once i had my plans drawn it was time to start making moulds , the violin plate moulds started as block of plaster , that i routed out and fine carved to produce a "plug" , the 1st mould was taken off that , then fine finishing the top and bottom plate mould took about 1 month , and i still had a lot of fibreglass moulds to make , rib mould , neck mould , finger board mould, they all take time. , To have a Shop Bot would be a huge help with the mould making , change the shape slightly on the CAD drawings ,rerun CAM , and watch the Shop Bot produce its magic on HDPE ( only a dream )., using a Shop Bot to draw perf lines , and trim the carbon fibre , i wish i could afford one . The first plates i made from carbon fibre were way to stiff , "tap tone's " told me it was better used as a brass bell than a violin , after producing about 10 violin plates i was getting into the ball park of tone , a combination of different materials , laid down in different thicknesses in different areas produced a violin front and back plate i was happy with . I used the infusion method of carbon fibre making , were you lay all your layers up dry and vacuum bag it , once the vacuum is over 25hg (-12psi) you open the tap to the resin , and the vacuum pulls the resin into the carbon fibre fabric , the laying up of the rib mould took me 5 hours each side to get the fabric to sit in the right position , very fiddly ( pardon the pun) . The gluing jig was made from MDF with 10mm cup heads sticking through , designed to allow side ways positioning of the rib and neck parts , and the holding down clamps for the top and bottom , the centre part of the jig was removed to glue the top on, with the 4 hour set time of the resin ,its important to keep it all firmly heard in position. The cutting and shaping of the f holes is another reason they call them fiddles , carbon fibre is a bugger to cut , found that if you submerge the carbon fibre in water and use a Flexi Drive bit holder on a Dremmel, it keeps every thing cold , and produces no dust , just ware a rain coat After a final coat of clear and a polish it was ready to string up and hand over too some who who could play it , ive had grate feed back and a few offers for this violin and at the moment are remoulding for violin 2 ,working on the 2nd set of plans now ,drawing them up on a low budget Cad , AutoCAD would be a big leap for me and used with a Shop Bot would speed up design changes 100 fold , and allow me to produce Cello's and Violas . All up it took me 10 months of Sundays , from the time i decided to start to finished product , i had never made a violin before , and my carbon fibre skills were below basic , it was a huge learning curve but between the info on the net and getting your hands dirty and " givin it a go" , anything is possible Dont forget to vote for this , KEN

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-carbon-fibre-violin-i-made-from-scratch/

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-carbon-fibre-violin-i-made-from-scratch/

Step 1: Plan what you want to make


After purchasing a good violin making book or 2 , i set out to draw a violin ,not an easy thing to do. All the compass work comes from a single measurement , the centre measurement of a violin bridge's feet ,that measurement is ether 2x 4x ect and the shape comes to life with the golden spiral rules . The length and 8 widths were measured and the curve shape plotted , the 8 different width positions have different heights set from the length curve , once all the curves were plotted it was redrawn on a second plan as 2mm contours so a router could rough out the Plug for the mould

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-carbon-fibre-violin-i-made-from-scratch/

Step 2: Make your moulds


You have to make exactly what you want , then take a fibre glass mould from it , the original object can be made from any thing , plaster , wood , wax , The top and bottom plate mould started off as a block of plaster , while it was set but sill moist i roughed it out with a router and smoothed out the contorts with a chisel , once the plaster had dried it was sanded filled and sealed and polished to 1200 grit before fibreglass was laid over it to produce the mould . The rib mould was 2 layers of 16mm ply laminated together , planed down to a wedge shape , then cut to shape with a band saw , once the "Plug" was sealed and polished it was placed between 2 boards and fibre glassed up to produce the mould The neck i carved out of timber , with mould making you have to look out for your angles , you cant under cut your mould or you wont get the finished product out Dont forget a bond beaker on you r"plug" , there are many different types but i found PVA mould release easy to use

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-carbon-fibre-violin-i-made-from-scratch/

Step 3: Make your parts


Once you have your moulds made your 1/2 way there , if you look after your moulds you will get several "runs " out of them Carbon fibre is not as expensive as you might think , and readily available on the net , my violins use less than 2 square meters of carbon fibre cloth Carbon fibre comes in many different fabrics and weaves , ill leave it the net to explain the "K" and weave patterns and there uses. Basicly Carbon fibre cloth is like any other cloth (soft) and once its set in resin ,it gets its strength , its the strength and acoustic abillitys of the resin that is important , fibreglass polyester resin is no good , epoxy must be used , there are several was to make carbon fibre , Wet lay up , is when you wet down the fabric with a paint brush and lay them up , place a peal ply over it , an absorbent layer , then plastic vacuum bag it up and suck the air out , the pressure from the vacuum bag forces the excess resin through the peal ply and into the absorbent . Infusion , is when you lay it all up dry and vacuum bag it , waiting until the vacuum is high before allowing the resin in through a tap , once the mould has been infused you close the tap and pull a good vacuum on the mould , i like this way because it gives you lots of time to lay the layers down and your not running around like a mad man if your vacuum bag has a hole in it . Prepeg is the professional way , manufacture has wet it down with a resin , most need ovens and autoclaves , it must be stored in a freezer even then the shelf life is short i put down 3 layers of clear before the carbon fibre so the parts come off the moulds just needing a polish

Step 4: Put the parts together


The jig i came up with has 2 parts , the centre part can be removed once the bottom is glued on , so you can turn it around and and bolt the top and neck down on the same jig The side ways threads hold the ribs in the correct position so they can be joined and and hold them inplace while the bottom plate is glued on .

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-carbon-fibre-violin-i-made-from-scratch/

Step 5: Admire it
Give it a good polish and your done

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http://www.instructables.com/id/A-carbon-fibre-violin-i-made-from-scratch/

Comments
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Phil B says:

Dec 5, 2011. 7:58 AM REPLY I do not play a violin. But, I am curious about the tone. Is it good, even desirable? I remember seeing a violin of aluminum at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. There was something about it that caused its tone to be undesirable. It seems to me it began well, but after it was played for a while the tone changed. You have done a lot of work and done it well.

gezortenplotz says:
Congratulations! Your perseverance must border on the obsessive. I don't even play violin anymore, but I'd buy one of these.

Dec 5, 2011. 7:23 AM REPLY

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-carbon-fibre-violin-i-made-from-scratch/