Derek Roberts Violins

Violin Making
Day 4 Completing the rib structure

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.

C ribs are cramped

Scribe corner shape on block
Today violin maker Derek Roberts completes the rib structure. He will shape the blocks and glue all the ribs into place.

The ribs have been bent in the previous stage. The C ribs are now glued to the corner blocks and cramped up.

With the C ribs in place, Derek uses a scriber to mark the curved shape of the corner on a block. The template which sits on top of the mould is used to guide the line.

Carve block with gouge

Mark corners with a square
The block is carved to the marked line with a gouge and finished with a file. The curve is made in the block to receive the shape of the rib as it curves outwards to the corner.

Derek marks the rib corners with a square. The ends of the C rib must be cut off where they overhang the block, and a perfectly square joint made where the bottom rib joins the C rib at the corner.

Corner blocks and template
The near corner blocks have been cut to the curved shape. The far blocks have still to be shaped.

Glue top rib in place
Derek applies hot glue with a brush to a block, to fix the top rib into place. The lower rib has already been glued to the blocks and cramped up.

Ribs are cramped up
Both top and bottom rib are cramped up now. The procedure must be repeated on the other side.

The flame in the maple ribs shows its silvery qualities.

Planing the ribs to depth

Completed rib structure
Derek flattens the ribs with a plane so that they will fit closely with the violin back.

You can see the finished shape of the blocks and how they provide strength and shape for the ribs.

The linings will add yet more strength when they are in place.

C lining mortice In the next stage, Derek makes and fits the linings.

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.

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