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The viol has a top on it!

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:37 am
by Douglas Ingram
I finally had some shop time to move forward on Nicole's viola da gamba. Little by little this is getting done. I fit the bass bar, which was no simple thing! Carved it, then glued the soundboard to the body. This represents a MAJOR milestone for this project!

Showed it to my wife,Nicole, last night, she liked it.

Now onto the relatively easy and straight forward parts of making the fingerboard and tailpiece, pegs, and finishing.

Re: The viol has a top on it!

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:39 am
by Steve Senseney
Nice work. It looks great!

Re: The viol has a top on it!

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:25 am
by Barry Guest
Beautiful job!

Re: The viol has a top on it!

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:09 am
by Douglas Ingram
Thanks, everyone!

This project really has been a long time in the making. I can't even remember how many years it has been since I took my first step. I've also built more than a couple of guitars in the meantime, partly because I wanted to, partly because I was scared to tackle the viol and I needed more skill and research! There was, ad IS so much to learn about the viol. If anyone wishes to make a viol I wish you luck! There really isn't a whole lot of useful builder information available, more now than when I started, though. A lot more.

The viol seems to be experiencing a bit of a renaissance, even though it is still on the fringe and most people that I talk to about it have no idea just what it is. The closest that they can come is to understand it as a kind of cello, which is sort of true, but not really.

Here is a video link of the viol being played in order for you to get some idea of the sound. You will notice that the bass viol plays in the same register as the cello, but due to many construction differences in the instrument and the bow, the music is more focused on articulation rather than sheer power. The expressive result is, therefore, shifted. Do yourself a favour get better examples than the youtube feed, (Jordi Savall and Paolo Pandalfo are good starts) , play it through a good sound system, turn the lights down, pour yourself some wine, sit back. (Preferably with someone whose company you enjoy)

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL82510F08F70E945F

Re: The viol has a top on it!

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:12 pm
by Roderick Jenkins
Douglas,

Looking great. What are you going to varnish it with (and what colour)?

Lovely job,

Rod

Re: The viol has a top on it!

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:42 am
by Douglas Ingram
Roderick Jenkins wrote:Douglas,

Looking great. What are you going to varnish it with (and what colour)?

Lovely job,

Rod
Thanks, Rod.

I expect that I'll probably use my main go-yo varnish, which is Epifanes. I use a lot of it on my canoes so I know it well. I've used it on guitars, as well, and it performs very well. Sometimes I use it as a base and then shellac over it.

For colour, I was talking to her last night about that, and we're thinking the same thing. It will be a light brown/tan colour with a slight red hint. Neither of us are thinking dark browns or very pale, blonde, maple. So, something in between. The Fingerboard and tailpiece will be dark, probably Ziricote, and will have some inlay and borders. Pegs to match.

I deliberately made the back inlay and the front purfling bold in order to look purposeful under finish. I don't really care for the too thin lines of some purfling, it just gets lost and looks like "what's the point?"