Aluminium 5 string Violin/Viola

The following is a brief photo description of the making of an aluminium 5 string violin/viola, the specifications are: Body length 382mm, top bout 182mm, middle bout 125mm, bottom bout 229mm, rib height 31.75mm, with 1.6mm aluminium used for the plates, ribs, bass bar and joining clips and 2mm aluminium for the tailpiece.
The vibrating string length is 330mm (a slightly longer length was planned but I forgot to allow for the neck recess into the top block)
The neck and sound post are made from unknown wood from a yacht's spar (possibly Maple), with the finger board and nut made from jarrah and end pin, pegs and chinrest from ebony.
The finished weight with ebony SAS chinrest attached is a hefty 1300 grams, almost three times the weight of a normal 4/4 sized violin.
The strings presently fitted are:
Violin strings:
E - D'Addaro Prelude J811 E-Mi 4/4 Polished Steel Medium Tension.
A - D'Addaro Prelude J812 A-la  4/4 Aluminium Wound.
D - D'Addaro Prelude J813 D-Re 4/4 Nickel Wound.
G - Thomastik Dominant Nr.133.
Viola string:
Low C - Piastro Aricore Sterling Silver on P.E.T.
The big question, how does it sound? - The sound is not as piercing as My 7/8 size standard violin, but that has a very bright sound suited for orchestral playing. Once it's had time to settle down I'll have it played by an experienced player for a subjective report and post some sound clips.

Aluminium blank,
plate template
and mould, with contour lines depth drilled.

The molded plates ready for trimming to template size.

Plates trimmed to size, ribs bent, f-holes cut & bass bar fitted.

The end, corner blocks and neck carved ready for fitting.

Blocks & corners fitted, neck in place to check angle.

Checking angle of neck & height of fingerboard.

Checking fitted length and symmetry

After polishing & assembly

Close up of peg box and string fitting.

End/top view

View from tail pin end.

End view from scroll.

Side view

Held by my wife, Coral

Another view of the finished instrument

In its custom built case


Compared with smaller 4/4 sized violin


This page was last updated  on 11 February 2009