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Books to learn from

November 1, 2010

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In this picture, you can see 4 of the books that I plan to use to help me figure out what I’m doing.  ;)  I also plan to consult the internet frequently!

Three of them are by Henry Strobel, and written a couple of decades ago.  From most of what I hear, they’re pretty useful for a beginner.  I’ve read through a little over half of “Violin Making Step by Step”, and sometimes I thought that there were specialty words or processes that weren’t as well defined as  I would wish.  But that’s why you also read other books, I guess.

The fourth book pictured here is “Violin Making” by Walter H. Mayson, and I found it online (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/28252) and printed it off at a print shop because I wanted a hard copy.  In contrast to the Strobel books, this one was written about a century ago!  It’s very interesting to read, simply for the fun of the words and writing tone the author uses.  :)  I like how he writes as if he’s standing in front of you showing you what he’s doing.

I don’t really own any power tools, and they can be pretty spendy things to buy, so I think I’ll try to make do without them.  (Plus, I’m a girl, and they kinda scare me…  lol)  The Strobel book references things like a bandsaw and a drill press regularly, so that was a little discouraging to me, but then I came across the Mayson book.  It doesn’t rely on power tools very often.  (Which probably has something to do with the time period the book was written in. ;) )  It does mention a bandsaw, but I like his way of phrasing it:  “take the block to a good band sawyer, and get him to saw just through the inner line”.  So if I decide to go the bandsaw route, then that gives me an excuse to beg a friend to do it for me, instead of buying one and trying to figure it out for myself.  ;)  Realistically, though, I’ll probably just try to use my coping saw, if possible…  I guess we’ll see…

(Plus, Stradivari couldn’t have used a bandsaw or a drill press, so I figure it must be possible without them.  ;)  )  Anyways, the Mayson book uses a very different method to make the violin (making the plates first, and then making an outside mold to make the ribs on, afterwards), but I like that it mostly just references the use of hand tools.

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