I’ve certainly made some progress this weekend – with the clamps sorted it was time for some finishing work on the back and top plates and then it was time to see if it all fitted.

I began by gluing the back to the ribs

And then I set the neck in place. As suggested in Ossman’s book I decided to secure it with a screw through the rear block, and a dowel through the tab on the back, then I hung it up to dry.

When dry I drilled the hole in the end block for the button and reamed it to a taper to fit a spare tuning peg – I cut the flat turn-plate off the peg leaving a round pin for the tail-gut.

In the meantime I varnished the top plate and set that to dry. I used a two-part alkyd finish (Rustins) which goes on thin and dries quickly to a nice deep lustre.

Now it was time to glue the top plate and suddenly it starts to look like a real fiddle is emerging!

There is still a bit of work to do – I need to cut a sound post and carve a nut for the end of the fingerboard, but I’m close enough to finishing that I went out to Davis Wheeler Music and bought a tail-piece, a bridge and a chin rest.

I have no idea what this thing will sound like, but it’s been a fun journey so far and I’ve learned a lot about how violins are made in the process.

I am amazed at how strong the box structure is – it is really a stressed skin construction in which every part of the instrument is designed to distribute the tension of the strings along the neck and around the body in dynamic repose.

So there’s still a few finishing details to do, and I have increased my respect for those who make instruments like violins and pochettes (like Don Rickert!)