A website for the serious amateur violin maker, restorer and tinkerer. A violin front and back (the plates) can be tuned using tap-tones. Use tap tones to adjust the 2 plates of a violin to get the best sound, the kind of sound you want, or make an instrument that is easy to bow.

This site has something for you if you are either making a violin or you want to improve  a low cost violin or viola.

By tuning the top & back plates you can get a good instrument that responds well to the bow and that can sound like a $1500 instrument.

post-25136-1224022475 Strad back graduation V1.1 smll1
tapping belly 2 sml

All you can ATE!

 A is for Arching,

   T  is for Tap-tones, &

      E  is for Edge-work.

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harrison_strad_back

‘Harrison’ Stradivarius violin plate thicknesses

email: webmaster @platetuning.org

 Last updated:                                        10th. March 2017                  Copyright  (C)                www.platetuning.org

BuiltWithNOF

   Derek Roberts (and several other makers) show how a violin is made step by step, but for a full set of published articles showing you just how each part is made and then how they are put together Dominic Excell published a 24 part narrative.

  Here below are the articles published in the UK woodworking magazine ‘THE WOODWORKER in 1995, 1996 and through to Jan. 1997: 20 years ago. These good articles show ‘How to build a successful first violin’, and are mostly written by Dominic Excell. He was trained at the Newark School of Violin Making.

   Dominic is rewriting these articles and will publish them as a book when he has recovered: please join me in wishing him a rapid and full recovery.

    Dominic Excell is the author and Copyright holder of these articles, and any use and reuse of these articles or any parts of them must acknowledge him as author and acknowledge his © Copyright.

   I bought the magazines with these articles each month all those years ago. The publishers were a little erratic in publishing dates so the editor of  THE WOODWORKER  (UK) magazine Mike Lawrence, violin maker Simon Stace and eBay kindly supplied me with all the missing parts of this series of 24 articles in this ‘A Successful First Violin’ project. They are all available here with the Copyright holder's permission as search-able and printable OCR scanned pages in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) form.

The first 6 parts are available here, and are free and not password protected:-

   Part 1: The violin and its parts.     ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.  July 1995:

   Part 2:  The internal mould.         ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

   Part 3:  The internal blocks.         ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

   Part 4:  Bending the ribs.            ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 5:  Glueing in the the bouts (ribs/sides) and linings.       ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

   Part 6:  Jointing the front and back plates.                      ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.   Jan. 1996.

The remaining 18  parts are available here below, and are password protected. Contact me at  webmaster@www.platetuning.org  for the passwords: they cost  10 UK or $15 US for passwords to unlock all of them - that is less than  $1 an article! Your money will be forwarded to Dominic.

  Part 7: Shaping the front and back plate exteriors.        ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 8: The outside surface shapes of the back and belly plates. ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 9:  Hollowing out back and belly.                           ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 10: Final thicknessing of back, prepare to glue ribs. ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 11: Gluing the plates to the ribs.                           ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 12: The ‘f’ holes, adding the bassbar and closing the body©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 13: Final outline and cutting the purfling.              ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 14: Fitting the purfling and finalising the edges.    ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 15: Preparing the scroll.                                        ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 16: Carving the scroll.                                            ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 17: Completing the scroll and pegbox.                   ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 18: Starting the fingerboard.                                 ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 19: Setting in the neck to the body.                      ©  Dominic Excell is the author and copyright holder.

  Part 20: Varnishing the violin,    ................................written for THE WOODWORKER by Bob Payn.

  Part 21: Fitting the pegs and the end pin ......................by Bob Payn.

  Part 22: Make the nut, saddle and tailpiece ...................by Bob Payn.

  Part 23: The bridge and soundpost ..............................by Bob Payn.

  Part 24: Setting up the violin ready for playing................by Bob Payn.        Jan. 1997, the last article.

                               Contact me at  webmaster@www.platetuning.org  for the passwords: they cost  10 UK or  $ 15 US.

                                 If you need to print out full size templates of the violin shape and moulds then go to Vojtech Blahout’s site at  www.makingtheviolin.com   where, with a bit of fiddling with your computer and printer, you really can print out full size templates of a violin!

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