Aluminium 4/4 Violin

The following is another brief photo description of the making of an aluminium bodied 4/4 size violin, the overall measurements are from 'Juliet Barker', the contour templates are for a Sacconi Strad 1716 & the neck/scroll dimensions are from 'Strobel'.
The completed specifications are:
Body length  355mm                     Top/end of fingerboard to belly   19.5mm
Top bout      168mm                     Bridge centre height                   32.3mm
Middle bout  112mm                     E string height above fingerboard    4mm
Bottom bout 208mm                     G string height above fingerboard 5.5mm
Rib height      32mm                     Fingerboard to bridge                    52mm
Body stop     195mm                     Tailpiece saddle to bridge              47mm
Neck stop     130mm                     Saddle height above belly                4mm 
Fingerboard length 270mm 
Vibrating string length 325mm (standard 2:3 ratio
Total length from top of scroll to endpin, approx. 600mm 
The arching are:   top plate 14.4mm, back plate 12.4mm.
(Actual concavity: top plate 13.5mm, back plate 11.5mm.)            
with 0.9mm aluminium used for the plates, ribs, bass bar and joining clips.
As an added precaution it also has a central 350mm x 12mm x 1mm aluminium tube to impart additional stiffness, (otherwise the thin aluminium plates on their own, may stretch slightly under the string tension and allow the fingerboard to drop.)
* Using the thinner 0.9mm sheet, care has to be taken when countersinking the screw heads, not to drill too deep.
The neck, blocks and sound post are again made from unknown wood from a yacht's spar, with ebony finger board, nut, end pin, pegs and tailpiece, with an aluminium saddle. It originally had an alternative home made tailpiece, made from 1.6mm aluminium, which I think gave it a brighter sound than the ebony one.
The estimated finished weight with chinrest attached was 730grams, but the actual finished weight is 750grams, just slightly heavier than estimated.
(the weight of a normal 4/4 sized wooden violin is approx. 450grams.
The strings are:
E - D'Addaro Prelude J811 E-Mi 4/4 Polished Steel, Medium Tension.
A - D'Addaro Prelude J812 A-la  4/4 Aluminium Wound. Medium Tension
D - D'Addaro Prelude J813 D-Re 4/4 Nickel Wound, Medium Tension
G - D'Addaro Prelude J814 G-Sol 4/4 Nickel Wound, Medium Tension

 Reverse templates for plate moulds & templates for neck/scroll & bridge.

 Finished moulds, one on left screwed to solid back.

Plates, ribs & neck, showing central stiffening tube.

Top views

End view

Side view

Back view

Closer view of tailpiece


Front view

Compared with larger 5 string violin/viola

Pegbox view






This page was last updated  on 23 August 2004