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Author Topic: New Five-string fiddle on the way  (Read 995 times)

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Offline Chet Bishop

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New Five-string fiddle on the way
« on: Jan 07, 2020, 04:22:00 PM »
A lady contacted me, asking whether I could build for her a 5-string fiddle, using primarily Oregon woods. (Sure!)

She came and played eight of my instruments, and liked them all, but there was one she particularly liked...but didn't like the grain on the front plate. (sigh...) So I brought out the mold on which I had built that fiddle, a billet of very fine-grained Sitka spruce, and another of very wild-grained Big-leaf maple, and asked whether a fiddle "exactly like that one, but made of this wood" might interest her. She enthusiastically agreed, left a deposit, and a list of specific things she wanted on her custom fiddle, and headed home, taking with her the fiddle she liked so well, to play until I complete the commissioned fiddle.

So, I got started on the new fiddle the very next day, since I had nothing more pressing. I was taking two weeks of from my regular job for the Christmas holiday, and I used much of that time getting a head start on the fiddle.

If anyone is interested, there is a series of blog-posts with the photo-story of the build, here:
https://fivestringfiddles.com/blog-posts/

I'm not done yet, but hope to be ready to begin the varnishing process in a few weeks. (I'm back at work, now, so the progress will slow to a crawl. Sorry.)

Chet Bishop

Offline shaunfiddler

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Re: New Five-string fiddle on the way
« Reply #1 on: Jan 07, 2020, 06:56:55 PM »
That looks really awesome. You are talented!

Offline fiddler59

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Re: New Five-string fiddle on the way
« Reply #2 on: Feb 02, 2020, 03:01:54 PM »
Really nice work. What do you find that works best for the C-string...??

Offline Chet Bishop

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Re: New Five-string fiddle on the way
« Reply #3 on: Feb 03, 2020, 06:08:20 PM »
If anyone is interested, here is another update:
The body (corpus) is closed, leaving a fair amount of final carving and scraping before the instrument will be ready for varnishing.
https://fivestringfiddles.com/2020/02/03/commissioned-5-string-fiddle/

I think it will be a good fiddle.

Offline Chet Bishop

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Re: New Five-string fiddle on the way
« Reply #4 on: Feb 03, 2020, 06:12:45 PM »
Really nice work. What do you find that works best for the C-string...??

I have used a Short-scale Dominant C  for a small viola, and it worked well, but what I eventually settled on as my standard, was the 5-string set from Helicore. For a standard violin scale length, they work pretty well. On a larger instrument, of course, I would face the opposite problem. Viola strings are easy to get, but where to find a long E string? :-) (Some makers use a banjo string, bouzouki string, or similar. I made a 5-string cello recently, and ended up using a guitar-string for the E.)

Offline Nick2

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Re: New Five-string fiddle on the way
« Reply #5 on: Feb 09, 2020, 03:36:02 PM »
Nice looking piece
Now ear this!

Offline Titch

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Re: New Five-string fiddle on the way
« Reply #6 on: Feb 09, 2020, 11:14:56 PM »
On a larger instrument, of course, I would face the opposite problem. Viola strings are easy to get, but where to find a long E string? :-) (Some makers use a banjo string, bouzouki string, or similar. I made a 5-string cello recently, and ended up using a guitar-string for the E.)

SuperSensitive make a Viola high E - I use them all the time on my 16" five string violas.

Simple  ;)

The actual problem is a decent tuning tailpiece, so I fit perfection pegs.
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Offline Titch

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Re: New Five-string fiddle on the way
« Reply #7 on: Feb 09, 2020, 11:16:03 PM »
  ;)
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Offline Chet Bishop

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Re: New Five-string fiddle on the way
« Reply #8 on: Feb 13, 2020, 06:17:29 AM »
Thanks, Titch! I will look into those E strings!

Meanwhile, the fiddle is complete:
https://fivestringfiddles.com/2020/02/12/completed-five-string-fiddle/

The customer gave her enthusiastic blessing to my taking the fiddle to the Wintergrass festival next week, to exhibit with my other work, so that is where it is going next. She is coming this week to make sure she is the first one who gets to play it. :-)

If anyone else is going to attend Wintergrass, please stop by my booth and say hello.

 




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