The latest project at Fat Cat Fiddles is a 5 string violin that is based off of a Patent that was issued to Frank Merwin Ashley in 1921. Ashley's unique body shape and construction methods intrigued me in my quest for the perfect 5 string acoustic violin.
The Patent calls for the top and back plates to be formed from a thin piece of wood rather than being carved from a thick wedge of wood like more conventional methods. There were some reasons cited for why this would be an improvement in violin making, but I am reserving judgement until I have made a few of them. I say a few of them because I have so much time invested in molds, jigs, and fixtures that I feel like I need to make several of them just to justify all the time and expense making this prototype.