Derek Roberts Violins

Violin Making
Day 20 Closing the box

This is one page in a series about violin making by hand in the traditional way. Please see the introduction for more, and our violin making courses if you are inspired to make a violin yourself.


Today violin maker Derek Roberts closes the box. He will remove the mould from the back and rib structure, then glue on the front.

First Derek gently taps each block to break the glue joint and free it from the mould.


Then he checks each block with a knife to make sure that the joint is completely open.

This stage is accomplished more easily if the glue was applied sparingly when the blocks were glued to the mould on Day 2.

Carefully he pulls the mould free from the back and ribs. This is a dangerous moment: it is possible to crack the ribs or the blocks if one is hasty or careless.


Here is the rib structure and back with the mould succesfully removed.

Next the top linings are fitted and the blocks are shaped. The top linings will reinforce the edge and give a good glueing surface for the front. They are made and fitted to the ribs in the same way as the linings for the back on Day 5.


The top linings have been glued in place and the corner blocks have been shaped. Derek shapes the top block with a gouge.

Now the back and ribs are prepared for the front to be glued onto them. Derek uses a sanding board to achieve a completely flat glueing surface of the ribs, lining and blocks.


On the inside of the front plates, Derek completes shaping the bass bar with a thumbplane.

Finally the front is glued on to the back and ribs using the same method as for the back on Day 18.


This is an important stage of the making. The box is now closed and all the structural work on the body of the instrument is finished.

In the next stage Derek shapes the fingerboard and glues it to the neck.

Are you interested in learning to make a violin, or developing your violin making skills? See our Violin Making Courses. Our resources page has recommendations for books and suppliers for violin making.

All material on this site copyright Derek Roberts, Leamington Spa 1999, 2000, 2001, 2014