Posted on

Violin Ribs/Latent Tension

Violin Ribs/Latent Tension

by John Meng

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Data Sheet #287, 1984 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000

Bending Ribs

When wood is bent, the length of the outer surface increases or the length of the inner surface decreases; or most likely some combination of the two occurs. In soft woods, the fibers stretch and compress more easily than they do in hard woods, so soft woods can successfully be bent to smaller radii than can hard woods before the wood fractures.

Thin maple strips used to form violin ribs must be bent to small radii at the corners. Maple being a hard wood, there is a tendency for fibers along the inner surface to strongly resist compression.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.