Electric Violin Build Part 2

In my previous post, I completed the "core" body (which is what I'll refer to it now) of the electric violin. The next step of the build was to cut and shape the "outline" of the body, which would require the use of the bandsaw. I needed the outline so that I could still attach my existing shoulder rest on it while playing.

Making the body outline

As I couldn't find wood that was big enough for the entire part, I had to cut the pieces out separately and make a join between them. I believe the joining technique I used (which I looked up later) is called a "lap wood joint"?

To make the joint, I left some overlapped areas where the blocks meet, and removed half the thickness of the wood from each piece. This was the first time I ever used a chisel, and I daresay I did a rather good job with it! :D But anyhow, there were still gaps between the joints, which I'll have to fill up using wood filler later.

body1 body2 body3

In the future, I should probably line up the wood grain so that they are all running in the same direction.

Fitting the outline to the main body

To fit the outline, I cut mortices in the core body to the same size and thickness of the outline parts. It took some fiddling (pun!) and a LOT of filing to get the correct width. Actually, not the correct width as there were gaps after getting them to fit in.

mortice mortice_fit

After fitting the body, it started to actually look like a violin. It lives!! outline_fitted

Carving and shaping the pegbox

The next step was to carve out the compartment for the pegbox. Using the drill press, I drilled four holes where the pegs would be, and then several more holes in the chamber to the depth I wanted, and slowly chiseled out the remaining wood. The result was not as clean as I hoped it to be, as I chipped the tip of the scroll. But at least it looked decent from a distance.


With the chamber carved out, I tried fitting the pegs. I bought a peg reamer online, and used the reamer to make the holes suitably sized for the pegs (which I bought online as well).

reaming pegs

At this stage, I tried holding the violin in my usual playing position, and I felt something was weird with the bottom of the scroll. Turns out I needed to smoothen the base of the scroll, else it would get in the way of my index finger.

smoothing1 smoothing2

The next step would be carving out the compartments to store the battery for the on-board preamp, preamp circuit electronics, and an input jack, which I shall continue in the next post.