Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shaping & Gluing in the C-Bout Ribs

My heat-bending prowess shines most often when curling my wiry hair (which, conveniently—and inconveniently—actually bends like wire). And, interestingly enough, curling hair is a good concept to embrace when bending wood because the molecular process is the same. Heat loosens or softens the molecular bonds in the protien. You can reshape the protiens while they're hot, and when they cool they will maintain their new shape and structure.

Like curling hair, once you have a curl/bend, it's harder to tighten the curve once you've done it the first time, and easier to loosen the bend if necessary. So it's better to over bend or make the curl tighter than the opposite (if I'm remembering correctly).

Here's Juan demonstrating some bending. Because the C-bouts are tricky with so much tight curvature and a higher risk of breaking or cracking, Juan did my final C-bouts while I practiced curving one out of a scrap piece of rib wood.

Juan made these clamps while he was in school at the Violin Making School of America. (I visited the school when I was in Salt Lake last month. It is a wonderful  institution.)

Note: the ribs aren't glued to the mold, just to the blocks. Put the glue on the blocks, not the ribs so you don't get glue where you don't need it.

We used some rather thin hide glue to attach these. Peter Prier uses Titebond sometimes. Hide glue is used on violins because you can take apart parts put together with this water soluble glue. You can use Titebond wood glue for things that you don't ever want to come apart. Corner blocks? You could go either way, I guess.

Juan wished the glue we used were thicker, but he didn't think we'd get to gluing during our lesson, but we did, so we used the glue that was out and prepared.

Next step: Trim and file the outside block corners and top and bottom blocks. Scrape down more rib wood to 1mm thickness. Then at my next lesson we'll try bending and gluing on the lower bouts of the base of the violin.

P.S. Here's a quick logo I made using the Cropic app on my phone to use as a link on my personal blog,


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