I mocked up the measurements from my research to see if things were accurate. Some stuff was off and I got the idea to have the front be a facade like they used to do to shacks in the wild west. The outside was just a flat, cheap wood wall painted to look like a palace and the inside was unfinished lath wood. So, I'll use 13 or 14 straight 1/2" x 4" pine lath pieces for the sides roughly following the instrument's contour but in straight lines of course. They'll be connected with 3 1/2" piano hinges or some such. I'll use 1/4" hardboard/Masonite for the top and back although I imagine the sound would be better if I used hardboard for the sides also. I'll use a double bit hickory replacement ax handle for the neck using "through body" construction. The finger board will use 5 1/2 inch diameter plastic pvc or abs conduit cut at an angle lengthwise so the arch's width is thinner near the nut and wider toward the bridge. I'll cut and shave down the end of the axle handle to create the correct string angle over the nut and use wooden viola tuning pegs from the music store. 

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Is there a reason none of my posts show me the images I attached?

Instead of using the Upload Files feature at the bottom use the Add Image feature at the top (the button that looks like a pic of mountains).

Not seeing that. I'm accessing from my phone.

I like your design.

The sides will be fine as long as the wood is sturdy enough.

The top and back vibrations is where it's all at. Birch has good tonal properties and if you can find Lauan (asian Mahogany) is very good. Red Oak is good, but can be bright. I have seen Spruce plywood in some Lowe's stores.

I found some Sledge Hammer handles made of Hickory that are straight, 3 foot long an about 1&1/2" to 1&3/4" diameter. Great for necks, although a 6 string may need something bigger. Stairwell safety rails might get you what you need.

Thanks for loading the photo. I've changed the top to look more like a viol. I just took a photo but I guess I should edit it first.

Hey Paul,

what do you mean the sides will be fine? I saw another build and they said if spanning more than 11 inches then it will need bracing. That photo shows the bottom spanning more than 11 inches. Now the upper part does too. I'm using 1/48 in. paneling for the top (the kind all white on one side and and 1/8 in. hardboard/Masonite for the back (ot's also white on one side. Usually a cello has a bass bar inside running top to bottom but I suspect it doesn't need that. I'm concerned the top is too flimsy though for how far I'm spanning. I didn't want to have to go to all the trouble of making bracing. Just a sound post. You think it'll be ok or should I make the top thicker or use bracing? I'm using 1/4 in. toe kick for the sides. That's the stuff that goes syands vertically where your toes can kick under the cupboards. I was going to put hinges connecting it's angles but too much work. Maybe I'll just glue it.

Stairwell safety rails sound like the thing.!

Sorry I wasn't more clear, I meant your wood choice for the side will be fine as long as it's sturdy because the sides don't offer much for tone. Tone comes from mostly the top and some from the back. 

I would look at some acoustic guitar internal pics for good bracing techniques for the top, back and sides.

A center block is a bit of a catch 22 situation. It robs you of some volume, but adds sustain. I have a ES330 clone guitar with a 1"x1" center block and kerfing around the edges of top and back. Top, back and sides(3/16th" thick) are plywood with no other bracing. It's held up very good since 1965. Doesn't have a lot of acoustic volume, but it sustains very well. The thinner diameter you use for the center block, the more added volume you'll get. You just have to find the right measurements for the block.

That should read 1/8 in. panelling for the top.
I cut the top, back and sides, then glued the sides onto the back using a large drawing board and a ton of books to function as the clamps. Just waiting for it to dry.
Did some research and discovered that when viols are flat topped, the bridge shouldn't be as far back. I also saw that the reason for sound posts was because the instrument is bowed instead of plucked. Guitar strings vibrate a little at an anGlenn initially then settle into an up and down motion which causes a certain kind of undulation in the top plate especially with a flat bridge. Bowed strings vibrate side to side and a different kind of undulation in the top occurs so they benefit more from bass bars, sound posts, and bracing. Guitar bracing does affect the sound but much of the work it's doing is structural. Bowed instruments have a dramatic increase in tonal quality if the top is arched, if it has bracing, if there's a sound post, and if it has a tall bridge even though most of the energy is lost through the bridge, it's the only way to make it sound good. I put bracing. I've got several pictures of the build at stages. Promise to upload the progress. Braces currently drying on the top plate. Because I used "through body" neck construction, there's no sound or structural benefit from back bracing especially since I used hardboard for that.
Another bridge imploded so I took out the sharp corners. If it doesn't implode upon sanding I should be good to go.
I put a protective coat on the top plate of my viol. I had to put a curve in the fingerboard too, paint it, put a protective coating, and attach it. I also cut the tailpiece, painted it, attached it, and put strings through the holes I drilled. I put notches for the strings on the bridge, but I haven't fitted the nut or reamed the peg holes yet. This is the final stretch.

Where's the pics?

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