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Last year i made a carbon fibre violin , I started out by drawing a violin on paper , working out the curve heights , plotting the lot on paper , Once i had my plans drawn it was time to start making moulds , the violin plate moulds started as block of plaster , that iroutedout and fine carved to produce a "plug" , the 1st mould was taken off that , then fine finishing the top and bottom plate mould took about 1 month , and i still had a lot of fibreglass moulds to make , rib mould , neck mould , finger board mould, they all take time. , To have a Shop Bot would be a huge help with the mould making , change the shape slightly on the CAD drawings ,rerun CAM , and watch the Shop Bot produce its magic on HDPE ( only a dream )., using a Shop Bot to draw perf lines , and trim the carbon fibre , i wish i couldaffordone . The first plates i made from carbon fibre were way to stiff , "tap tone's " told me it was better used as a brass bell than aviolin , after producing about 10 violin plates i was getting into the ball park of tone , a combination ofdifferentmaterials,laiddown indifferentthicknesses indifferentareas produced a violin front and back plate i was happy with . I used the infusion method of carbon fibre making , were you lay all your layers up dry and vacuum bag it , once the vacuum is over 25hg ( 12psi) you open the tap to the resin , and the vacuum pulls the resin into the carbon fibre fabric , the laying up of the oakley 3d glasses uk rib mould took me 5 hours each side to get the fabric to sit in the right position , veryfiddly (pardonthe pun) . Thegluingjig was made from MDF with 10mm cup heads sticking through , designed to allow side ways positioning of the rib and neck parts , and the holding down clamps for the top and bottom , thecentre partof the jig was removed to glue the top on, with the 4 hour set time of the resin ,its important to keep it allfirmlyheardin position. The cutting and shaping of the f holes isanotherreason they call them fiddles , carbon fibre is a bugger to cut , found that if you submerge the carbon fibre in water and use a Flexi Drive bit holder on a Dremmel, it keeps every thing cold , and produces no dust , just ware a rain coat After a final coat of clear and a polish it was ready to string up and hand over too some who who could play it , ive hadgratefeed back and a few offers for this violin and at the moment are remoulding for violin 2,working on the 2nd set of plans now ,drawing them up on a low budget Cad , AutoCAD would be a big leap for me and used with a Shop Bot would speed up design changes 100 fold , and allow me to produce Cello's and Violas . All up it took me 10 months ofSundays, from the time i decided to start tofinishedproduct , i had never made a violin before , and my carbon fibre skills were below basic , it was a huge learning curve but between the info on the net and getting your hands dirty and " givin it a go" , anything ispossible Dont forget to vote for this , by Ken Van Laatum After purchasing a good violin making book or 2 , i set out to draw a violin ,not an easy thing to do. All the compass work comes from a single measurement , thecentremeasurementof a violin bridge's feet ,thatmeasurementisether 2x 4x ect and the shape comes to life with thegoldenspiral rules . The length and 8 widths were measured and the curve shape plotted , the 8differentwidth positions havedifferentheights set from the length curve , once all the curves were plotted it was redrawn on a second plan as 2mmcontoursso aroutercould rough out the Plug for the mould EDIT : 3.34AM 10th12/11 I down loaded a Mp3 of the open strings of this violin to make all the rioting people happy , please take the time oakley 3d glasses for sale to log in and vote for thisinstructable, as it is acompetition , and I would like to win : ) You have to makeexactlywhat you want , then take a fibre glass mould from it , the original object can be made from any thing , plaster , wood , wax , The top and bottom plate mould started off as a block of plaster , while it was set but sill moist i roughed it out with arouterand smoothed out thecontorts with a chisel , once the plaster had dried it was sanded filled and sealed and polished to 1200 grit before fibreglass was laid over it to produce the mould . The rib mould was 2 layers of 16mm ply laminated together , planed down to awedgeshape , then cut to shape with a band saw , once the "Plug" was sealed and polished it was placed between 2 boards and fibre glassed up to produce the mould The neck i carved out of timber , with mould making you have to look out for your angles , you cant under cut your mould or you wont get the finished product out Dont forget a bondbeaker on you r"plug" , there are manydifferenttypesbut i found PVA mould release easy to use Once you have your moulds made your 1/2 way there , if you look after your moulds you will get several "runs " out of them Carbon fibre is not asexpensiveas you might think , and readilyavailableon the net , my violins use less than 2 square meters of carbon fibre cloth Carbon fibre comes in manydifferentfabrics and weaves , ill leave it the net toexplainthe "K" and weavepatternsand there uses. BasiclyCarbon fibre cloth is like any other cloth (soft) and once its set in resin ,it gets its strength , its the strength andacousticabillitys of the resin that is important , fibreglasspolyesterresin is no good , epoxy must be used , there are several was to make carbon fibre , Wet lay up , is when you wet down the fabric with a paint brush and lay them up , place a peal ply over it , an absorbent layer , then plastic vacuum bag it up and suck the air out , the pressure from the vacuum bag forces the excess resin through the peal ply and into theabsorbent. Infusion , is when you lay it all up dry and vacuum bag it , waitinguntilthe vacuum is high before allowing the resin in through a tap , once the mould has been infused you close the tap and pull a good vacuum on the mould , i like this way because it gives you lots of time to lay the layers down and your not running around like a mad man if your vacuum bag has a hole in it .

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