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  Building a Violin In part two, Dominic Excell discusses the mould. How to make it and what type to choose: internal or external? y now, you should have an accurate setof templates for the basic outlines of theviolin. There will be further templates tomake at a much later date, but these will bediscussed when they become topical. Beforewe get down to work on the mould, I willdescribe the two types that are commonlyused. B First, there is the internal type, aroundwhich the ribs are built. This is the mostcommonly used, and that which most of thegreat classical makers from the past alsoused. It consists of an accurately shapedboard which follows the line of the inside ofthe ribs, with cutouts at the six blockpositions.In my opinion, one can make a neater job of fashioning the corners, or points of the ribs, using an internal mould than by using the other type the outer, or external mould. !rice of success Inevitably, there is a price to pay forthis superiority, as more care isneeded to ensure an e ual lengthand balance of shape for the fourcorners. #owever, the overall job ofconstructing the ribs is by$and$largeeasier with the internal mould thanwith the external.The external mould is also usedfre uently by many makers. It consists of abuilt$up outer %garland& of wood, which isfinished on the inside to the shape of theoutside of the ribs. The main drawback withthis method is that one is working blind atthe corner joints.'ne major benefit, on the other hand, isthat both sets of reinforcing strips or liningscan be fitted while the ribs are in situ, andthe height of the ribs can be flattened (byplaning) with greater ease. But the finishedsets of ribs, to my eye at any rate, is not uite so aesthetically pleasing, looking as ifit had been machine$made.There is another method for building a setof ribs, in addition to the two systems I havealready mentioned. This is to build themstraight off an outline drawn onto a flatboard, or even off the finished violin back.This can be very useful for copying anexisting violin, or for a one$off design, butthe mouldless method is really only suitablefor experienced makers.*ou have to be very skilled at rib$bendingto succeed at this techni ue. +lternatively,you must be willing to waste a lot of timeand material whilst gaining the expertise.o it&s far better to work with the mould inthese early stages.The method that I will be describing inthese articles is that of the inside mould, asthis is relatively straightforward to build. -etti g started  *ou are going to re uire a piece of good uality, close$grain ply Birch is ideal.Thickness should be between /0mm and/1mm. I advocate ply rather than solidwood, as expansion and construction arefar less of a problem. I once made the 60WOODWORKER AUGUST 1995  WOODWORKER AUGUST 1995 61  the positioning holes bisect the centre line you have just scribed. + drill$bit matching the template holes must now be used to drill vertically through to the underside.2ust one of these holes is to the face, and it&s most important that it follows the outline of the template with absolute precision. Thisis vital. *ou may, however, ignore the final /3mm, though no more at each point, as this will be removed a little later for the block cutouts.It is important not to cut these away until the outline has been finished to the very best of your abilities, as the transition between mould and block must not be rounded over in any way. 4mistake of using some old 5ahogany$type timber, which had been used for years as shelving, and was therefore beautifully seasoned and stable. 'r so I thought I didn&t use it again6This board needs to be not less than 783mm x 083mm, with its outer grain preferably parallel to the longer dimension. + line needs to be scribed accurately down the centre of the longer face, giving you (theoretically6) /08mm either side. It is thena good idea to sharpen a pencil to a chisel point, and blacken the scribed line.The rib outline template with the fine delicate points is now re uired. This must be placed on the ply board so that 62WOODWORKER AUGUST 1995
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