Carbon Fiber Violin Made From Scratch
Building a musical instrument by hand is difficult to say the least. That’s why it’s so impressive that Ken, a novice at the craft, was able to make such a stunning carbon fiber violin on his own. Ken also documented the steps of this carbon fiber creation on www.instructables.com.
Taking him 10 months of Sundays, Ken started by making detailed drawings of the violin. His plans were translated into plaster and fiberglass molds. It took Ken a lot of time to produce the best sounding violin plates. When he started fabricating the carbon fiber violin plates, Ken tested each revision’s “tap tones” until he go the right sound.
Want to learn how to create a violin like this? View Ken’s detailed instructions on Instructables.
Last year i made a carbon fibre violin ,
I started out Â by drawing a violin on paper , Â 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 iÂ routedÂ out and fine carved to produce a “plug” , the 1st mould was taken off that Â , then fine finishing the top and bottom plate Â mould Â took about 1 month , and i Â still had a lot of fibreglass moulds to make , rib mould , neck mould , Â finger board mould, they all take time. ,
To have a Shop Bot would be a huge help with the mould making Â , 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 couldÂ affordÂ 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 aÂ violin , after producing about 10 violin plates i was getting into the ball park of tone , a combination ofÂ differentÂ materialsÂ Â ,Â laidÂ down inÂ differentÂ thicknesses inÂ differentÂ 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 , veryÂ fiddly (Â pardonÂ the pun) .
TheÂ gluingÂ 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 , theÂ centre partÂ Â of the jig was removed to glue the top on, with the 4 hour set time of the resin ,its important to keep it allÂ firmlyÂ heardÂ in position.