This violin was built to fit the need for a portable instrument that I could use while travelling. Ideally something quieter than a normal acoustic violin and smaller, perhaps capable of being disassembled. At first I considered the ‘kit’ or ‘pochette’ style whose history dates back as far as the modern violin, including some made by our most famous violin maker.
In the end I decided to make a violin that disassembled into three main pieces: neck, body, and shoulder structure. I came up with my own design in a computer drafting software package. The neck fits in the modern tenon way, but is supported by a stainless steel bolt that is hidden in the heel of the neck. The shoulder structure is designed to support a shoulder rest. For disassembly the chin rest must be taken off, and the instrument de-strung, making the process somewhat time consuming.
All key part of the violin are exact to 4/4 measurements, including weight and centre of gravity. I took care to ensure that the finger board projection would be consistent between cycles of assembly and disassemble. A standard bridge is used. The scroll was left unfluted. The violin is made from maple tonewood, with a wenge finger board for variety. The finish is a simple shellac.
The playability is excellent. The volume output was surprisingly large. The instrument can easily played without amplification, or could be outfitted with an bridge with electric pickup.
I’m very please with this project and now use this instrument at home for practice when I want a little less volume 🙂
For those interested, a few pictures from the making are here.