Simple Electric Violin

Introduction: Simple Electric Violin

I did this project to see how cheaply I could build a usable violin using the tools I had in my garage. I don't play violin, but from those who have played it, it's a little different but they could adjust to it and play it almost like normal.

The tools I used for this project were:

Drill

Sander (Could be replaced with hand and sand paper)

Planer (Not necessary, but helpful, you can hand sand it as well)

Jigsaw (Hand saw also works)

Wood glue

Wood clamps

-----

Things I would suggest buying instead would be pegs, the neck piece, the bridge, chin rest, and the metal bits and bobs found in normal violins, they are fairly cheap and will probably be better quality bought than made. That said if you want to try to make them feel free to do so!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Blueprinting and Basic Shaping

Start with deciding the style of violin to want to base it off of, mine is a 4/4 violin which is the standard size for adults playing. Once you decide how large you want it to be, keep track of length, width, and thickness, aside from that you can design basically anything you want so long as there is a strong middle piece going the length of the body of the instrument for structural support. Take 2 pieces of paper and tape them end to end to make an 8.5x22 inch piece, draw on this with the measurements in mind. I personally like to write some of the important measurements in the top corner. This will be your blueprint!

Then decide on your wood, mine is a mix of pine, maple, and chestnut. Pine for the main body, Maple for the fingerboard, and Chestnut for the flare pieces. As a suggestion, DON'T TRY TO MAKE YOUR OWN NECK AND FINGER BOARD... It's probably the most difficult part of this project because of the shape and the peg box at the end by the scroll. There are also replacement neck pieces that go for quite cheap on amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Violin-Natural-Fingerboard-...

That said IF you want to make your own, have fun sanding

Once you have your blueprint cut out in to sections, line them up with the wood pieces and mark them. Then go ahead and take your time when cutting out the wood pieces so you get some clean cuts.

Step 2: Painting As Assembly

Once they are all cut out if the cuts aren't clean try to hand sand it flat or close to it. Over the next couple days wood glue the pieces together, firmly hold the pieces together with clamps while the glue dries. Then for the neck piece, at the base drill a hole into it the size of a small wooden peg, then the same size hole into the connecting end of the body piece of the violin. Use a bit of wood glue on each end of the wood peg and insert it into the holes. While the glue was drying I used a couple large rubber bands to hold it together.

You can do the paint job before or after assembly, I chose to do it before connecting the body and neck piece together. If you choose to paint before assembly, just be careful to not get paint in the connecting spots that are going to be glued.

Step 3: Electrify!

This is actually a really easy step, I used a simple contact microphone. It has an adhesive to connect it to the violin. How it works is that it takes any vibration that happens in the instrument. That being said that does mean that even slight taps against the wood get amplified.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZYH4RRN/ref=p...

As a note, the plug at the end of the contact mic is a musical standard 1/4 inch jack and not a 3.5 mm jack (like in headphones), so if you want to plug it into a normal speaker you will need a converter

https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-3-5mm-Stereo-6-35...

Step 4: Final Assembly and Completion

Finally with your strings of choice and other metal bits and bobs, plug it into your nearest speaker or amp and play some classical rock!

My total cost of this project (wood, strings, pegs, bow, chin rest, bridge, tale piece, and electrical bits) came to around $60~$65

These are currently the best amazon prices that I could find for the things that I bought

Tale piece, pegs, and chin rest

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X2CKMNS/ref=p...

Strings

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MU4G32H/ref=p...

Bridge

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003HPMQDY/ref=p...

Bow

https://www.amazon.com/Crescent-Balanced-Brazil-Mo...

Bow rosin

https://www.amazon.com/Rosin-Violin-Natural-Univer...

Wood

I had some spare wood and some was donated from friends

My conclusion on this project, it was my first time building an instrument ever and I'd say it turned out better than the acoustic violin that I purchased. I had a lot of fun with this and it jump started my further wood working.

Best of luck, and craft on!

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to answer.

Instrument Contest

This is an entry in the
Instrument Contest

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Magnets Challenge

      Magnets Challenge
    • Snow Challenge

      Snow Challenge
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest

    8 Discussions

    0
    LeighC11
    LeighC11

    15 days ago

    Great job!! Love the finish.
    Come on now. We all want to hear tune on it!!!
    Even just a little one.
    Doesn't have to be great. just some noise will do.

    0
    deliverydud
    deliverydud

    Reply 15 days ago

    I know, I didn't have time before leaving to record the audio. Now I'm a couple states away for University and unable. I'll get in contact with some friends back home to see what they can do.

    0
    LeighC11
    LeighC11

    Reply 15 days ago

    That would be great. I'd really love to hear how it sounds

    0
    attosa
    attosa

    5 weeks ago

    Wonderful! Would love to hear it.

    0
    joen
    joen

    Question 5 weeks ago

    At the end of step one, you said something about having a blueprint to work off of. Did you make up your own or have a source? Could you share that for us please? I always wanted to try making one but didn't know where to start. You just gave me a hint. Thanks.

    0
    deliverydud
    deliverydud

    Answer 5 weeks ago

    I edited the instructable to go more in depth on the blueprint, thanks for letting me know!

    0
    deliverydud
    deliverydud

    Answer 5 weeks ago

    Ya no problem, I made my own blueprint. It's in the 4th picture of Step 1. Just take 2 pieces of paper, tape them together for some extra length, and draw out what you're looking to make. I suggest keeping it simple.
    Anything else I could do to make the instructables better? I put all the pictures I have from the project in there so I can't really add anymore of those.