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  2. I think Bruce was talking about the ventral holes that are in the center of Amati backs and not Strads. The wooden pins at the blocks are in basically all the old Cremona work, including Strad, Bergonzi, Ruggieri, etc
  3. Perhaps you are making confusion with the locating pins visible near the purfling at the upper and lower blocks position, and the pin visible on the inside in the middle of the back. In Stradivari the first are always present, and the second (central pin) is always missing.
  4. Thanks a lot David! Can I safely assume that most old instrument lacking a pin are either made not exactly following the conventional Cremona method (or more precisely A.Amati's method, since Bruce just mentioned Stradivari did not use pin as well), or done in a speedy fashion to save time in a bigger production line (aka trade violins)? Though with the understanding that the appearance of pin on old instruments does not necessarily mean Cremonese works.
  5. Pardon for my short absence. Thanks again Bruce! Although I do vaguely remember seeing at least one strad with a tiny pin on the back. Maybe my memory failed me or it is added on later? Here is a image that I sourced from the cozio archive. Are those little black dots (not the one on the button) around top and bottom blocks pins? Or sth else?
  6. Hello and Welcome! From the pictures in my humble opinion I would say that the violin looks like it would fall in the "usual" Markneukirchen trade violin category, and I am getting strong hints from the scroll, the corner work, the rib joint, and such. Therefore IMHO it is most probably falsely labeled. However, I don't observe any major condition issue from the pictures, so I would say depending on what kind of work you would like to be done on this, mostly likely it is still worth the effort.
  7. Today
  8. I would try Amazon, I guess. Maybe simultaneously with ebay. If takers are few, donate them to a library. They may keep some and put others on twenty five cent sale. If it was a really extensive collection I'd contact a conservatory library and let them have the last word on them, just to avoid responsibility myself
  9. If you listen to the stuff where she's not acting apeshit it's a lot less standout than where she's doing it. Listening, not watching except to see which mode she's in.
  10. What a wonderful series of pictures, and what wonderful jigsaw puzzling. It’s rather sad to think that by the time you get the last string tuned, the first string is now out of tune again. Very very impressive. Working with wood is what Jesus did. You are very blessed, and so are the people for whom you work.
  11. If you're making a Titian model (approx. 353 x 206mm), then 135.9g might be good... if you're making a solid-body electric version. If it was me, I would not go over 100g for that size. Maybe a little higher for extremely dense wood.
  12. You might consider using walnut ink/dye/crystals to treat the spruce. It's made from walnut husks so I imagine it would be a good color match.
  13. The basics. Learn to sharpen and use a block plane. Shortcuts aren't. Consider asking your local library for the Courtnall and Johnson book via interlibrary loan. You will buy it after seeing it, but that will save you the hundred bucks for a book. It takes time. It will be as frustrating as fun.
  14. Some of the black willows are as dark as walnut and some extra time in the light box tends to darken the spruce while bleaching the willow. A little extra oxidizer on the spruce and some darker tints in the top varnish can even everything out pretty effectively'. Don't know if that works with walnut but I'd experiment with it and find out. If the top doesn't get as dark as the back that can look OK too. On willow instruments I was using either maple or beech heads and those had to be adjusted for color as well.
  15. Greg F.


    Thanks for the expert comments. I don't have a third such bow (darn!).
  16. So the plate weight is 135.9 grams. That's a bit on the heavy side isn't it?
  17. One thing you might consider to start off is buying and assembling a violin kit. They vary according to quality and amount of work required. For example, here's one of several offered by International Violin Company: Chinese Violin Kit ( Good luck.
  18. Hi ICTOO, Glad you're interested. This is a hard hobby to get into without spending a fair amount of money money, though. As for books, the best cheap-ish books are the Henry Strobel books. You can start with the "Violin Making Step by Step" book, and add a few more later: This thread has some thoughts on what tools are needed. I linked to directly Michael Darnton's post to give you an idea how many tools he considers to be necessary. You could get by without some of them, but it would make things harder, more time-consuming, and less likely to lead to a successful instrument. As for wood, you could start with International Violin (tools also), though there are many options: You could practice carving (and sharpening your tools so that they cut/carve well) on wood from a lumberyard before taking tools to your "real" tonewood. As for videos, Davide Sora's, though they are in italian, are my favorites: Incidentally, Davide is a member here and posts good information. Really, if you're not able to find a mentor (which would be by far the best strategy), reading all of the posts on Maestronet and using the search feature here is your best bet. Good luck with it. Joe
  19. Yesterday
  20. Michael_Molnar

    f holes

    Indeed, a good eye is key.
  21. In this thread here, I showed a bit about how these relationships were dug out by examining existing examples. Here, I take things from the other direction. What are the recipes that ultimately were found with research? How are they used generally? How are they used in certain historical examples? I hope at least a few folks find this interesting, and perhaps helpful information. O.k. These recipes, like many cooking recipes, present choices. Using these methods doesn't save you from yourself. Talent and judgement are still required, both in making choices in using the recipes, and in carrying out the work. Consider a very general recipe for cookies. To be general, it only says the things that apply to most any cookie imaginable. So that's very limiting. Mix together starch, sweetener, and binder to make a somewhat wet dough. Add additional bits and/or flavoring as desired. Place dollops on cookie sheet and bake in oven. Not a very satisfying recipe, but quite general. (except I'm not a cook, so the example is probably somehow wrong). But that's the notion. Yet to actually make cookies, you'll probably want a more specific recipe for a specific kind of cookie. The general recipe is still in its way valid. But, besides lots of good specific cookie recipes falling within its description, in its broadness it also encompasses lots of potentials you would not want to eat as cookies. Using that general recipe, we might start with oatmeal and flour for our starch, brown sugar and a touch of molasses for our sweetener, and maybe butter and an egg for binder. Then, per the recipe, we could add lard for more binder, raisins, banana, and bacon for tasty bits, and maybe anchovy paste and curry for seasonings. The recipe doesn't say don't do those things. It says 'ok' actually. But, hopefully, our sense of taste would spare us from making such a cookie. Or, varnish recipes--- A general oil varnish recipe can't say much and still be general. We're limited pretty much to 'combine and cook together drying oils, resins, and additives as desired'. That recipe includes most any historical oil varnish recipe. But it's also broad, allowing many possibilities that never were used historically, and many that never should be even tried. So, this is in the nature of a general recipe. It encompasses the full range of the target, but does not necessarily forcibly keep you to the target. General recipes leave you choices. And therefore room to err, as well as succeed. O.k. The most general 'divider recipe' of classical Cremona making: * All shapes, positioning and sizing are made with simple ratios and geometry easily worked by dividers. But, we might want to know some somewhat more specific recipes for working the head and scroll. So here are more specific recipes for actually working classical Cremona Heads: * Start by selecting a wood block of suitable size, quality, and orientation. * Plane a reference surface that will correspond to the flat of the neck. * Now decide the working height of the volute. (This actually gets related to the lengths of the neck and bridge stops, but will discuss later.) This a Volute Height is the principle measure for working the head. * Now choose a traditional ratio for the volute frame. ( 3 by 4 , or 4 by 5 ) Without saying 'traditional ratio', this recipe part would be much too open to inappropriate choices, like 3 by 8. But historical example shows us that the Old Cremona makers only ever used 3 by 4 or 4 by 5 here in their violin family work. And that 4 by 5 is more a secondary choice when somehow a more substantial volute is desired. These layer of traditional preference in certain choices is just as important as the broader rulers. But this finer level of options is also more subject to fashion and development as we read the choices used in different families and generations. This particular choice between frame ratios however holds stead through all the old Cremona generations. * Apply this frame to your block. Optionally you can exclude one or more camfer margins as desired. We can call the line at violin side of this frame the 'volute stop'. * Use the Volute Height to mark a reference frame as a square aligned at the volute stop. Maybe this second reference frame built off the Volute Frame should be called the 'Volute Square'? Whatever we want to call it, this square is an essential reference in working the pegbox shape. * Choose and mark the Pegbox Height as a traditional ratio of the Volute Height. ( 4:9 or 1:2 ) ******* Ok. Let's see where these choices get us in an example. Since we took the most common choices seen in classical examples, what we have so far corresponds exactly with a great many examples. Including the Bros Amati 1615 Staufer viola. Okay. To continue, our recipes and our choices within the recipes will work from this framework to set some key points that will give the main arcs to shape the head. So let's see how the recipes do this. ******* * Make and mark the Key Rectangle as 1/3 the Volute frame. So this 'Key Rectangle' is the same ratio as the Volute Frame, but 1/3 size. It is placed below the reference surface and just in front of the volute stop. The lower far corner of this key rectangle gives a guide point for the main arc of the Pegbox top curve. * Mark a 'Box Guide Squuare' to guide the centers of the pegbox's main arcs. Size this guide box as a traditional 'part' of volute height. ( 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5/, etc) This 'part' chosen to give the size of the 'Box Guide Square' changed quite a bit over time. There was a continuing trend to choose smaller parts over time. But at any one time, with a particular family, the choice was very consistent and limited. This wasn't something that most makers frequently chose different from one instrument to the next. Since all this might seem very confusing just in words, here is our example with these additional recipe steps carried out. * Choose centers and mark arcs for the three main arcs of the head on 'divisions' from the Key Rectangle and the Box Guide Square. Divisions meaning (as in music rhythms) dividing by 2, 3, or 4. The sizing of the Box Guide Square depends on choosing 'a part' of the Volute Height. Once chosen, this limits your options for the two main arcs of the pegbox. You are stuck with 2, 3, 4 divisions of this guide square. But, within these limits, you have to choose arcs you like. For the top arc of the box, the arc also must pass through the control point created by the lower corner of the Key rectangle, and straight above its center, it must blend well to the neck reference surface. The arc running below the volute is centered on divisions from the key rectangle. ******** Here's an example of the three centers and their arcs, chosen from divisions of the guides. And these are the specific choices seen used in the Staufer viola. From here there is little else to do in giving the principal shape to the head. * Mark the thumb stop and/or other appropriate stops using Key Rectangle measures from the top box arc center line. * Connect the curve under the head using a straight line and longer joining arcs as desired. Here we see these last recipes as they were carried out in the Staufer viola. So, these recipes are fairly specific. The strongly guide and structure your work. But, the still also leave very significant latitude and choice to the maker. They also provide a framework for looking a specific examples. We can use the framework to 'read' the choice present in a specific example. And this then provides a way to consider what is the same, and what develops and changes between families and generations.
  22. Contributed by a colleague: ”that wasn’t up to your standards.” ”I have standards?”
  23. You sound good! Nice intonation, and clear rhythms for the most part - well done! The one thing I would suggest is to work on coordinating your note/bow/string changes more tightly. One way to do that is play scales with dotted rhythms - instead of 8th 8th 8th 8th, play dotted 8th - 16th, dotted 8th - 16th, etc. Then reverse it - 16th - dotted 8th, etc. This will help you think ahead to the string crossings and note changes so they are better synchronized. Keep up the good work! -Karl
  24. Too funny! I'd heard that the concept goes back a ways, but maybe this is the origin?
  25. If you are in NYC, you should go visit Isaac Salchow.
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