|I play on a viola which I made in 1995; my third
instrument and first viola. (See the photo below).
Since I have never had the
opportunity to study with a master luthier, most of my instrument-making
knowledge is self-inflicted.
In the course of learning to make instruments, I have bought and finished a number of "white" instruments. These I have sold as student instruments. I also do a fair amount of repair work on student instruments.
Ultraviolet light is critical to curing varnish, so I have several "grow lights" (UV fluorescent tubes designed for indoor plants) in my shop. On warm, sunny days, I sometimes take advantage of natural sunlight as well.
Outdoor lighting is also convenient for photographing instruments if you don't have an elaborate studio lighting set-up.
A small viola curing on the front porch
|In addition to
curing varnish, sunlight also "tans" white instruments, giving them a rich
light brown ground color which would otherwise have to come from a stain.
Since the curved surfaces of a violin result in a lot of end grain runout,
stain can easily become blotchy. Natural sunlight and UV lamps take
longer, but result in a more uniform color.
A pair of cellos taking the sun
is a violin in-process. The component parts are shown (left to
Back - carved from maple
For more information on how a violin is made, try the Violinmakers School STRADIVARI Cremona
Additional Violin Making Pages:
|The Luthier's Resource Page -- Where to find supplies, books, and tools|
|The Luthier's Links Page -- Luthiers on the web|