Build Update

Well the build has been going very will considering I have no expirence with fiddles.  Luckily my years of wood working expirence and patience is getting me through.  So far I have constructed the soundbox and have roughed out the neck and have it ready to fit the box.

I have a few more questions if I am not being too much of a pest. 


First I am making the fingerboard.  At the moment I have more spare wood than money.  My question is on attachment.  Should I glue it to the neck or I have considered screwing from underneath to the neck?


Second is about the bassboard.  I have looked at the redo of the broomstick neck fiddle here and I know the bassboard is not connected to the back of the soundbox.  However I have seen some classical violin diagrams and they appear to show the bassboard tapering to the center and touching the back of the soundbox at a small point.  Has anyone done this?


Finally I may make a bow as well.  I have read some posts here about using fishing line for the bow and/or strings.  I am curious about the success of this?  What did you use?  How well did it work? and such.


Thanks again all yall have been truly insightful.


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  • There's absolutely nothing I like better than a waterproof wood glue for reinforcing the box and making permanent attachments...but if there's anything I think might need adjusting ot repairing later, I normally use wood screws and either washers or shims to tweak things a bit (such as Neck angle on a guitar) a one or two tiny screws to faster the lid down.
  • Thanks all for the great advice. I have assembled the fiddle. Unfortunately I could not get an hide glue
    so I used good old wood glue. Its all or nothing now. Regardless of the outcome it was great fun and I learned alot. This will not be the last fiddle I build.

    I stll have some work to do. I plan on putting a coat of finish on and I still need to aquire strings and a bow.
  • While none of my Fiddles have worked to my full satisfaction yet (my 2 string Dulcimer-style attempt made a passable Viola but a better guitar and my 'CanCello' ended up as B'drone'-b rather than BEb due to forgetting to round off my bridge) I HAVE had good luck with a homemade bow. It consists of-

    One sturdy, springy stick
    Medium grade Weedtrimmer line and
    Sanding said line with 200 grit sandpaper to make 'hungry' for the rosin like my storebought horsehair one.

    I honestly cannot tell the difference with my indifferent, unskilled technique...the real test will be when I can sweetalk some actual fiddler to try it on an actual high grade bowed instrument...
  • The bass bar runs under the bass foot of the bridge and tapers at the ends, but does not touch the back of the instrument.  It is not much more than1/2" tall at the highest point.  Like this:

    The soundpost is positioned just tail-wards of the treble foot of the bridge, and is a very tight fit from top to back.

    I've never seen any diagram or instrument where the bassbar touches the back.

    And yes, cheap bows make it not worth the trouble of making one, unless you like the challenge.  And yes, glue the fingerboard right on there.  Hide glue is a good choice if you think you'd ever like to get it back off for some reason. 

    (I just woodburned a leaf design on my box fiddle tonight and put on the first sealer coat of shellac!)

  • * Glue the fingerboard to the neck - quick, easy and neat.

    Virtually all of my cigar box instruments are meant/designed to be played through an amp including my cigar box fiddles. Even the experimental ones. On a "conventional" acoustic violin the bass bar is only 4 or 5 inches long so your idea of running the bass board to the back of the sound box is an interesting one.

    With the low price of modern,  serviceable bows, I have never even thought of building one.

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