fetal violin

updates on my baby, babymaking, and various other violin-related things.

Cello Arch Reading

I’m shaping the arch on my cello. As with drawing, I have a little problem where I have my face is right up against the workpiece. It’s always good to step back and get a macro reading of the shadows to judge where to scrape next. On cello this is harder to do at your desk unless you have extendable arms (which I unfortunately do not).

violin arching review

Fortunately there is a very bright light (the sun) and a mirror (our front door) outside. Everyone passing by on Oakton at 5:30pm today would have seen me holding my cello plate up to the school, Simba-style.

chicago school of violin making cello plate

I love the hard shadows from the sun.

cello maple plate arch shadow animation

Keep the centerline of the plate at the same angle of the sun for a very unforgiving reading of arch symmetry (looks like I still have a little work to do):

chicago school of violin making, looking at cello plate arch on oakton

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Hide Glue Delight

For the graduation ceremony potluck today, I fed everyone hide glue:

hide glue delight

My aunt would make this for us when we were kids.

Here is Tschu Ho Lee, our Director Emeritus, enjoying a cube of hide glue delight.

tschu ho lee tries the hide glue

So that marks the end of my second full year at the Chicago School of Violin Making (I’ve got one more year to go).

Here’s the state of the cello:

mj kwan cello progress august 2015

And viola is almost done getting varnished:

mj kwan viola varnish

I’ll be posting from Austin for the next couple weeks. See ya!

Cello Plate Jointing

Hello hello, my long hiatus is [hopefully] over… I will try to return to my ritualistic weekly postings. If not with comics, then I will post with updates on my instruments and top secret things I’ve learned along the way.

I am building a cello now! Today I joined my maple plates. I’ll do a post on some of the ways you can and should check the joint before gluing. But for now, 2 excerpt from my notebook (featuring Becky & Fred at the thermostat):

0730 cello joint

cello plate jointing glue-up

0730 cello joint 3

Congratulations, it’s a….

congratulations, it's a violin!

This is the first time I got to hear some violin-like sounds come out of this wooden box that I’ve been working on for almost a year now. This is an Amati model, the second violin I started at school, but it got set-up first. Still got a few things to fix on it before I can really call it done. My first violin should be done in the next month, and my viola soon after.

I’ll do a proper photo shoot with the newborn soon.