Why Do Violin Makers NOT use nails but do EWEs Glue ?

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Offline neilep

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Hi Violin Experts,

Here is a Violin:



Nice isn't it?..notice how shiny and non-played by Nigel Kennedy it is ?

I recently saw a prog about the construction of Violins !! (Sheesh !!..I live an exciting life..I can tell you're jealous !!)
....they made it quite clear that glue is used instead of nails and screws but fundamentally did not explain why !!

I don't know why glue is used insetad of a load of nails or screws...do ewe ?

« Last Edit: 19/07/2007 01:52:10 by neilep »
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Offline Karen W.

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Why Do Violin Makers NOT use nails but do EWEs Glue ?
« Reply #1 on: 19/07/2007 02:15:12 »
To prevent vibration of the wood and make it more one continuous piece. If it had nails it would be more inclined to vibrate and make a different sound! I think the sound will be richer if it is glued with no gaps or air loss to allow vibration!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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another_someone

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Why Do Violin Makers NOT use nails but do EWEs Glue ?
« Reply #2 on: 19/07/2007 02:20:52 »
To prevent vibration of the wood and make it more one continuous piece. If it had nails it would be more inclined to vibrate and make a different sound! I think the sound will be richer if it is glued with no gaps or air loss to allow vibration!

I don't think air loss is the issue, but rather more likely the poor linkage between the different pieces of wood, so rather than vibrating as a single body, they would vibrate as lots of separate pieces.

Ofcourse, when violins were first made, nails were hand made, expensive, and inconsistent in quality.  Violins were never designed with the use of expensive nails in mind.

The other problem I would imagine is the thickness of the wood (or lack thereof) might actually make it difficult to use nails.

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Offline Karen W.

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Why Do Violin Makers NOT use nails but do EWEs Glue ?
« Reply #3 on: 19/07/2007 02:36:11 »
Those are also good points..

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline daveshorts

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Why Do Violin Makers NOT use nails but do EWEs Glue ?
« Reply #4 on: 19/07/2007 11:00:02 »
I think the quality of the nails could have been solved even in the 18th century. The real problem is a fundamental one, As you say if you nail two pieces of wood together they are held together weakly, so if you vibrate them, they will move past each other slightly and the friction will absorb energy, thus reducing the length of time the resonances will last for and making it quieter.

If a Bell is cracked it will sound very dull for a similar reason - the two halves can rub against each other absorbing the energy of the vibration.

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Offline neilep

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Why Do Violin Makers NOT use nails but do EWEs Glue ?
« Reply #5 on: 19/07/2007 11:04:12 »
THANK YOU KAREN, THANK YOU GEORGE and THANK YOU DAVE very much for your kind concise answers...presumably the same is applied to cellos, guitars and other instruments too !
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Offline Karen W.

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Why Do Violin Makers NOT use nails but do EWEs Glue ?
« Reply #6 on: 19/07/2007 11:09:04 »
I wish I had taken pictures this weekend They were making violins at the wood show at redwood acres fairground. They had several in various stages and wer allowing people to work on making their own violins with the precut pieces the colleges students had cut for the show! It was cool..

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline neilep

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Why Do Violin Makers NOT use nails but do EWEs Glue ?
« Reply #7 on: 19/07/2007 20:53:07 »
Well ewe just get right back there and insist that they  demonstrate the process again for the sake of some Naked Scientists who have a penchant for some photos of naked violins !!!!..I am sure they will be happy to oblige !!
Men are the same as women, just inside out !