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Everything posted by Joseph

  1. I find the same as Michael too ... on almost all violins the side mounted chin rest seems to free up the violin especially on the A string as I have noticed. I think that the Guarneri model chinrests are useless, not comfortable (for me) and just add unwanted mass to the violin. They should be made without the cup which I also find many players do not even use, they just clamp thier chins over the part that bridges the tailpiece.
  2. I cut the string at the peg end and kind of already have my lengths measured in my mind by eye, but I find that for every 5-6 mm I cut off the threaded part of the string, the peg head will turn back about a 1/4 turn. I use that as a guide. I can usually get them very close with only one try and also allow for string stretching. The diameter of the peg shaft will also play a role in the amount needed to make a 1/4 turn. As a player I'm very particular about this and find that most players agree once you point it out to them. I make it part of all my set ups. You can also do this without cutting the string but rather adjusting the amount it goes into the peg hole, I just don't like to see too much of the end of the string hanging out of the peg which looks sloppy.
  3. Sounds to me that your post setter must have a huge and thick end if you are putting a "nasty Hole" in the post. I ground my setter so small and narrow at the end that when I remove the tool from the post, the slot closes up almost entirely and is hardly even noticeable. Remember it must be thin as well and narrow (pointed). Also, if you wet the point of the tool before inserting into the post that helps friction so the post stays on, and it also swells the slot closed after removing the post. Just a little trick I was taught.
  4. Quote: Instructions for the correct use of the champagne cork: 1- buy a bottle of champagne (Moet&Chandon could be good). 2- Drink the champagne together a girl (I mean a girl, not your wife). 3- Organize a research group to recover the cork. 4- Put the recovered cork to the blade of your knife when you don't use it. 5- You gave me a good idea to handle my files. Claudio, You've got the right idea! I really enjoy reading your posts and admiring your beautiful work. Glad to see you posting again!
  5. Very true! I should have mentioned that I was referring to violins and violas since I do not work on basses, but if I did, I would probably use the post retriever too.
  6. I was wondering the same thing ... I do exactly what Seth does, but like anything I find that practice makes perfect. The more posts you remove by this method, the faster and better you get at it and eventually it no longer becomes a problem but part of the fitting routine. For me it is much faster than using a tool to fish it out.
  7. I also ream the holes to size after varnishing, but I have in the past used the boxwood sticks that they sell for bushing peg holes to plug them while I touch up when doing repairs to the pegbox walls. I also use one of these sticks in the end pin hole to hold the violin while I'm varnishing it. Although they come tapered already, they are rather thick but a quick pass through your shaper will fix that down to the size you need, then you can just use the same one(s) over and over.
  8. I agree, I really miss the automatic jump to the new post feature, and also on the main index page I miss seeing the number of new posts in parenthesis and not just the lite up bulb. Can we get this back too?
  9. Michael, any chance of you posting a photo of the side(s)? Beautiful work!
  10. Alan, I definitely agree with you which is why I stated that I NEVER use it for any other violin repairs. ;-) ... and come to think of it, I did once come across a situation where someone had glued in bushings with white glue and the repair was poorly done. It was as simple as drilling out the old bushing, reaming the hole and rebushing them, but as I'm sure you know, every time this is done we loose just a bit more of the original wood on the pegbox walls. My only reasons for choosing to use Titebond for bushings was because I have had a few fail (as Michael mentioned can happen) and I sort of lost my confidence in using hide glue for bushings.
  11. In this case I see it slightly different in that Installing any bushing(s) in a violin, regardless of the type of glue you use to glue them in, already becomes impossible to reverse anyway. You will never be able to get back the original wood that was worn or reamed out from the area being bushed. So I go the safe route for added strength making the repair permanent with Titebond too, again assuming only that it is done correctly. But, I never use it on any other type of violin repair either.
  12. It has been a long time since I have been in any pawn shop, but years ago I used to go regularly hoping to find some gems in the rough. In all that time I was only able to find a few fiddles worth buying to fix up and make a small profit on if they did not end up sounding good enough for me. Michael is absolutely right, they tend to sell lots of new junk (Skylark comes to mind) so stay away from those shiny new orange looking fiddles that have absolutely no character. The best fiddle I ever found at a pawn shop ended up being a nice 1906 H. R Knopf violin in a new Bobelock case was actually a nice treat, but never again was I so lucky to find anything even close to that, but doesn't mean that it is not possible. ;-)
  13. Many years ago I recall fitting a few of those "perfect-post" sound posts which were similar to what you describe. The post itself was made of spruce and could be adjusted to any length by removing wood from the center portion where it came apart in two pieces. It was aligned with male and female halves. Once the initial length was obtained by cutting off what was needed from the female half, you simply put it back together and inserted it into the instrument. At each end of the post was a flat circular nylon foot on a ball joint that was fit into a socket at each end which allowed the feet to automatically adjust themselves to the angle of both plates when pulled into position. I can't remember the name of the man who invented it (and patented it), but I recall fitting several of these in the early 90s. Although the idea was a good one, I found that the violins tended to be a little sluggish with this post compared to a well fit one piece all spruce post ... ... of course once the post was cut it could not be made any longer, just shorter by removing more wood from the center, so it is a bit different than what you are considering. Another major draw back was the price, if I recall correctly they were about $50.00 each directly from the inventor.
  14. Try cleaning off the peg(s) and then apply just a small amount of LAVA soap (contains pumice) where it comes in contact with the pegbox walls and work it in. That should give you the grip you need with just the right amount of lubrication for a smooth turning peg assuming that they are fit as well as you say.
  15. I have used a slightly damp cloth (warm/hot water) to remove rosin build up and although it takes a while and a little elbow grease it works quite well and for the most part is safe, assuming that you do not saturate any bare wood or seams and wipe off the excess immediately with a paper towel as you work in small areas.
  16. When I wrap wire, instead of wrapping over the end of the wire, I start by soldering the first wrap (or two) with silver which holds it securely (on the bottom of the stick), then continue winding down the shaft and solder the other end the same way making clean tapers at each end and leveling the solder. I have seen many nice bows that were done this way and to me it's just the best way to do it for looks and structurally. I also find that the majority (maybe not all) of the bows which have the small hole drilled are mass produced lower quality shop bows. Joe
  17. Joseph

    Between Coats

    I don't find it necessary to scuff between every varnish coat unless it has too many dust specs or other imperfections, but when I feel that I have to, I use the Scotch Brite pads (available in different grades) and those work great! Then all I do is wipe it down with a tack cloth, or water. I only use oils and powders on the final rubout. I haven't had any major problems yet. Joseph
  18. Like many others here I definitely don't consider myself a "master" maker either but I have a few different string sets that I use as a normal or a starting point for new violins which we make or older ones that I am just setting up. For synthetic core strings, I prefer the Pirastro Tonicas or Synoxas ... for steel core strings on fiddles I prefer Prim (orchestra gauge) or D'Addario Helicores ... and for gut core strings I almost always prefer Pirastro Olives. My decision will depend on what the customers is use to using, and of course the properties of the violin in question so I kind of base my decision on that and start with any one of the above listed string sets for initial set up. I'm not very fond of Dominants. Joseph
  19. I have used many carriers and I must say that UPS is my very last choice to use. I have had several boxes severely crushed during transit, but luckily in every case, the violins were not damaged because of the case or double boxing. I have also had a few instances where they have opened my boxes to "inspect" them and did not repacked them as well as I did which really ticked me off! ... And, they do not always deliver on the day that they say. My rating for UPS is a big fat "F" FedEx is very reliable but also very expensive. The ground service is not that bad as long as you do not have to get the instrument there ASAP and it is less pricey than their express delivery services. I give them a "B" only because of the pricing. The US Postal Service -Priority or Registered Mail is by far my first choice. Their prices are reasonable, delivery is always quick and the packages are handles with more care. I have sent over 300 violins and bows through the mail and not once have any of them ever been damaged. In a few rare cases, some boxes were slightly crushed on a corner, but not mangled. They also are great for international shipping via Global Express or Global Priority. I give them an "A" and highly recommend them to anyone. Joseph
  20. I just got in a few sets to try out last week. International Violin Co. had them on sale for the month of March so I figured I'd try them out. The E, A and D seem fine, but I don't like the G at all! They have a dark tone with very good response which is good, but the G just has no tone or color to it at all. It sounds almost dead. I tried three sets on three different violins and they all sounded similar. The A and D appear to be aluminum wound but I'm not sure what the G is wound with (it's not silver) nor does it say on the package, possibly tungsten. To be honest, I've never liked any of the violin strings that Super Sensitive makes. Joseph
  21. Yes, you are correct Michael, I should have mentioned that I was referring to using the garland set of clamps for new violins being made. Assuming that everything is close to where it should be (I use alignment pins most of the time as well) there is very little pushing around to be done. I still use the spool clamps in repair jobs as you suggest, especially on old violins which have had the top removed in the past. Joseph
  22. I have done it the way Michael and Craig described in the past as well but recently I purchased a set of those garland gluing clamps (6 piece, one per bout) which I find much easier to use especially when cleaning up the squeeze out along the seam. You don't have to remove or loosen the clamps to get in there with hot water, a stiff bristle brush and a rag (or paper towel). Doesn't anyone else use these? The one thing that I do caution you on when using these is to be extra careful when clamping down because it is very easy to over tighten them which is not a good thing especially when the ribs get wet from cleaning up the glue ... Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way! I find this method much quicker and easier than using individual spool clamps Joseph
  23. Victor, a small airbrush works well for this. I also have a jar of orange shellac mixed with oil (applied as French polish) which works just as well. Joseph
  24. Joseph

    Dead Notes

    Hello Craig, I would love to go by your shop and visit but I don't find myself near Roswell very often (I'm in NE Albuquerque), in fact the last time I was down there was back in 1995. If I plan to go down anytime soon I will be sure to give you a call so we can chat about violin stuff. After messing with this violin for quite some time, I'm beginning to think that this is just a bad symptom of this particular violin. I have worked on many stubborn instruments, but this one takes the cake! Thanks for all the replies guys! Joseph
  25. Joseph

    Dead Notes

    No, everything seems quite normal to me. It is a very well made violin in just about every aspect. Joseph
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