Being very visually oriented, I like to lay out projects and think for many, many hours upon the next step.*To that end, I had the local copy shop scan the molds from Brandon to be imported into AutoCAD. Why bother? Well, there are no corner templates with the molds and it seemed like it would be easier to play with the possibilities on the computer than to try to draw them in by hand, it having been way too many years to count since pencil was last put to paper in any meaningful way by yours truly.*

I very originally labeled them A-2011 and B-2011. The A model seems to match many Stradivari models in size and general shape, while the B model was a bit of a mystery.

The lower corners are quite square and the whole mold is several cm longer and wider than the “Strad” model. Here is how the outlines compare –

Knowing little about violins and the shape variations (maybe the larger mold is for a viola?) I posted a query over at Maestronet, where some of the experts told me to abandon the idea of using unknown molds** and others suggested that the larger mold might be a Maggini (or other Brescian) model. One even sent a picture of his Maggini violin to overlay with the mold outline –

Looks pretty close! Since the shape of the corner blocks determines the overall shape of the fiddle, I really want to be sure I get this step right – there are millions of fiddles out there, justifiably labelled “folk”, that barely look like violins at all and I want my OP 1 to be better than that 😉

The next step is to prepare the molds and glue in the rough corner blocks. Now where did I put that block of spruce?

* [name deleted] calls this procrastination, but I’m sure there’s a better word for it.

** Yet another example of how the Violin Building World is bound by strict devotion to tradition. There is little room for innovation or experimentation, and almost no room for a beginning builder who wants to follow a path away from accredited luthier programs. It really isn’t Rocket Science and anyone who wants to build a beautiful instrument with their own hands should be encouraged – there’s little enough Real Making in the world today.

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