David Burgess

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About David Burgess

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    http://www.burgessviolins.com
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    Ann Arbor, Michigan

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  1. Managing our wood stock - how much wood we need?

    How would you verify the age of the wood, to the final purchaser? I've been told over and over to never trust the claims of wood dealers. Assume that any wood you get is new, and go from there. That's worked out OK for me so far. For the most part, I'm using wood which has been in my personal possession for 15 years or more. As someone who relies on making for a living, I'd much rather end up with too much wood, than run out, and need to hustle around for a questionable emergency source. AIso, consider that there will be some waste. Not every piece of wood which looks good initially, will turn out to be something you want to use (upon closer scrutiny, or trying to make it into a fiddle).
  2. cello low angle of fingerboard

    The original height of baroque cello necks is something nobody really knows, because the surviving examples we have have probably dropped too over time.
  3. cello low angle of fingerboard

    The neck probably started out higher. Cellos can do that.
  4. Tape to prevent 3d position sweat spot

    I think it may have been Bruce Carlson who first brought this up here, to explain why wear can sometimes be seen on both sides of the fingerboard. There was also a video showing Heifetz(?) doing this.
  5. Tape to prevent 3d position sweat spot

    Or by grabbing the violin on the sides of the fingerboard, when removing it from the case, or inserting it.
  6. Just when you think that you have seen everything.

    If GeorgeH isn't up for it, I am. But here's what I would expect to find: Showmanship. When I was in the Weisshaar shop, some "Moody Blues", or "Electric Light Orchestra" string players (I don't remember which now) came through from time to time, and talked about how they broke bows during performances (as if this was some indication of their superior playing skill and intensity). Perhaps their fan base went for stuff like that. We just kinda rolled our eyes.
  7. Viola d'Amore check in, please?

    Were you thinkin' legs more like this?
  8. Viola d'Amore check in, please?

    Doesn't your avatar present you as a rather proper, reserved and fastidious damsel? Or is that a whip in you right hand, rather than a bow?
  9. Viola d'Amore check in, please?

    A man's life before marriage: A man's life after the marriage whip:
  10. Integral bassbars

    Depends on who took the measurements, and the method they used. For the most part, I think people use the underside of the top at the sides for the arching height reference, and that's why transverse and longitudinal arching templates don't always match up in total height. However, I don't think these differences are worth getting obsessed over, given the many other variables (basically, a big can of worms) involved in making.
  11. Integral bassbars

    My experiments haven't demonstrated that, but it will somewhat depend on what you use as your frame of reference for the arching height. A quick and dirty experiment is to clamp a top to a flat bass bar frame, make templates, and then shim the top in various ways, and compare the templates to the new shape. When reducing the height only from the upper C blocs north, my findings are like those of Davide Sora... that it mostly flattened the arch in the upper bouts. That could be a really valuable thing as far as long-term deformation of the arching under the fingerboard goes, but it doesn't contribute anything to reducing deformation in other areas, as far as I have been able to tell. Lots of the perceived "sag" at the bridge area is actually from bulging in the upper and lower bouts. My suggested bass bar frame experiment won't make this clear in the short term, but making templates and measurements of archings now, and comparing them 40 years later, will. One can accelerate the outcome of these experiments by exposing an instrument to high humidity, or humidity cycling. Distortion and "wood creep" have been major areas of interest and testing for me, for around 45 years.
  12. Viola d'Amore check in, please?

    You're pretty marvelous too, despite my often needing to refer to my dictionary (in addition to much more obscure reference sources) to figure out what the heck you're saying.
  13. Integral bassbars

    Daryl, I've given that quite a bit of thought, and I still don't know. "I don't know" is a risky thing to say, because there are so many people who claim that they've got everything figured out already. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. A guess would be that this would be somewhat like "reverse-springing" a bar. In the distortion realm over time, I would expect this to lower the bridge area of the instrument on the bass side, while reducing bass bar "imprinting" in the upper and lower bouts (a sucked-down area around the bar). We have almost no examples of Strads etc. which haven't been through at least one generation of really talented restorers, so it gets hard to say how well the original concepts worked out in the long run.
  14. Integral bassbars

    I'd like to add a little more, particularly since there is a concurrent thread having to do with chemical treatments. I think that some makers may not be adequately aware of some of the possible consequences of chemical treatments. Some chemicals can attract moisture, or raise the equilibrium moister content of wood. Others may weaken wood (independent from the weakening and creep-inducing effects of raising the moisture content), like nitric acid treatment, and ozone treatment. The wood treatments I had the most experience with in this regard were sodium silicate, and potassium silicate. Why? Because Sacconi thought they might be connected with "the special sound", so that was one of the possibilities I investigated most thoroughly. Ended up rejecting them, after doing before-and-after strength tests. Please be very careful, if your long-term viability and "legend" are more important to you than using your customers for viability of concept experiments, or making some quick bucks.