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steveg

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Everything posted by steveg

  1. You need to register yourself as a business and get your DBA permits. Open a business checking account to show you are legit. and then purchase chemicals from VWR scientific. Big brother will begin watching you. Most chemicals have a DOT shipping hazard, so be prepared for extra charges. Glacial Acetic acid is considered a flamable material by the DOT, plus it can be used in bomb making, and in the production of Angel Dust. So a visit by the ATF or DEA is possible. I have had the EPA come by once, after some teribinth caught on fire, and left some pretty heavy residue down wind.
  2. those look like Hardanger ff holes. maybe the violin was converted.
  3. when I was kid, I got to be a roadie for the girl group "the Runaways" for about 6 months. I was already good with electronics so I was always making cables with radio shack parts. 3 years later when I joined the Navy, an instructor asked the class what is the best way to strip a wire ? I raised my hand and was called on..... I replied.....With my teeth
  4. I once saw a lable that read: "Fabricatore la' domine' Omobono Stradivari, figli de Antonio, fece le' anno de Dio 1742" Being an........uneducated novice, I would think that was a pretty cool lable.....I mean son of Antonio and all. Trouble was it was printed in good ole Microsoft "Arial Sans Serf" font, on very old thin paper, which was probaly riped out of an old book at the library.
  5. to answer Alistar's question; Willow was frequently used for the blocks. It is strong, short grained, and resists spliting. Lime was a frequent liner for old Italian instruments. Really old instruments may be made of pear wood back and ribs, with willow or cedar blocks and lime liners that cross over the corner blocks instead of being finished in. For tylers question; Lime wood can be distinguished from pine (spruce) by it's very white color (even after 300 years) and its lack of grain
  6. steveg

    Back Cleats

    I'll answer the easy one first The ebony inset below the saddle is "traditionaly" a Mittenwald trait, that has since been copied. The cleats that are so prevalent on old factory work (and new work) are a marketing gimick to give the impression of "wise old repairs". There are old violins that do not have cleats because they do not need them. Once again the practice appears to have started in Mittenwald, and migrated outward. A well planed and properly glued back does not need cleats at the time of manufacture. Unless the wood used is still green. During the Napoleonic Wars, much of the trade through Europe was in an upheaval. The trade routes were closed between countries, and villages were required to rely on local goods and service, lest they be taxed, or siezed. Italian instruments had yet to be fully recognized for their quality, and many schools felt that the decendants of Stainer, and therefore the Saxons and Germans made better instruments. While makers in Mittenvald had frequently used other woods to build instruments, it was becoming the standard to use center cut maple and carpathian or sitca spruce (due in no part to the growing appreciation of Italian instruments in western Europe). Due to the war these woods began to dwindle in the mountain towns of feudal Germany. Green maple was used, as was sicamore, and cotton wood for the backs. These instruments warped and seams opened while the instruments finished curing. back cleats were naturally used to properly secure the seam, later, the look became vouge as a way to show that the instrument was old, and repaired by a master craftsman.
  7. or get a complete copy of Hart's Violin Making As It Is and Was. There are complete templates.
  8. The seller (Jimmbo) has been making a meager living as an antique (wink wink nudge nudge) dealer. It seems that he has decided to dabble in fine string innstruments. He must be having kittens right now. Since his $150.00 estate cello is now at $6800.00
  9. The instrument was made before the maker was born ?? Oh......I love those square shoulders, it reminds me of....of......oh yeah GERMAN work from Nuener and Horstainer.
  10. Donuel, the really good Maggini copies were done by John Fredricks, and August Gemunder. Since August's Uncle George worked for Vuillaume, it is easy to make the conection that August had a better varnish than the German works at the time. An original Maggini scroll has about 3/4 less turn to the eye. Somewhere it got started in Germany that Maginii's had 1 extra turn, as well as double purfling. Not All Maggini violins have double purfling.
  11. 1. If dropped to the floor at the proper angle, a finger board will split in two. 2. Polishing rags with linseed oil on them really do catch on fire. 3. A little drying agent in your oil varnish is OK, alot is bad.............very very bad......... 4. Everclear is for making varnish, not Martiini's ( but it does work ) 5. Never take the top off an instrument with the owner watching you.
  12. Generally speaking. High arched violins have a sonorous and smooth quality, while the flatter the arch have more volume and punch. A perfectly flat table would be monster loud, but have very poor tone quality. So it becomes a trade-off. Stradivari experamented and lowered the arch as compared to the Amati form violins of the mid 17th century. The greatest difference stands out when you hear a high arch baroque violin and a low arch baroque violin. The high arch instrument has a vocal quality to it that can sound like a child singing, while the flatter arch instrument has a more robust tone and punch. Soloists and other musicans who wish to stand out in the crowded symphonie hall want volume, and therfore want to play instruments with punch and clarity. That is why violins with good volume, and good tone quality are always in demand, whilest the instruments with good tone only are relegated the second violin section.
  13. I know that some big city shops will not like this but too bad. The name of the game in the retail world is volume and wholesale cost. A "good" quality European student violin ie. unlabled Gliga's sell for $750.00 to $1000.00 . I can get those same instruments for $250.00, includding a case and a Glassar bow. If I lower my standards I can get a Chinese instrument for $99.00, includding case bow and rosin. Many shops rent these "student" instruments for 25.00 to $35.00 per month. I personally know of a shop not far from here that rents 75 instruments to the local school district at $22.00 per month per instrument. Strings and setup cost extra. Not a bad return on investment. The sound quality of a modern factory pumped student violin is several orders of magnitude below a factory violin from 100 years ago. Large shops do not wish to expend the time nessesary to make these old instruments playable, or improve them because it is not as profittable as buying a $99.00 fiddle and renting it to some kid who will probably sit on it in 6 months. Etteliers such as myself have an interest and devotion to keeping old instruments playable. No matter what their origin. And I honestly have a hard time with shops (who shall remain nameless), that buy instruments in the white, finish them and label them as thier own, and then sell them for several thousand dollars.
  14. Pickling lime has sodium chloide, aluminum sulfate, and calcium or potasium hydroxide. While the thought of it as a ground has been circulated. I belive the presence of the the pickling was for use as a mordant for natuarl dyes. It has been know for centuries that dyes will not adhere to the cellulouse of natural fibers without a mordant. Wood would be no different. A natural dye such as annato or tumeric tends to be very fugitive, especialy under UV, and linseed oil based varnishes will react with the dye and bleach it out due to the dryers that are present in the varnish. But fixing it to the wood with a good mordant helps prevent this. As does applying the natural stain to mordant wetted wood, allowing to it to partially dry, and then "sealing" the stain with a non-reactive ground. I must admit that I use a KOH and alum solution myself. But it is a fixative for the dyes.
  15. Jerome Thiboville-Lamy was a luthier who estabished a production company that owned and out sourced several violin factories. He increased the use of machine production over hand scrapping, using the machine that was developed by J.B. Vuillaume. At one point averaging 125,000 violins per year. The Oriental varnish was a marketing gimick for the upscale instruments sold by the company. It was thickly applied along the back and on the edges, and has good transparency. It is softer than most spirit varnishes, and scratches easily, but is not as chippy as other factory varnishes. The scatches and dings are to this day easily polished out.
  16. the tailgut WIRE and the Thiboville-Lamy Oriental varnish are dead givaways. As well as the Stradivari style purfling points.
  17. I sent Kelvin a new case, he should have it a few days. I spent some money a made a first class light box. I was surprised at how much faster black lights dried the varnish compared to standard lamps.
  18. you can expect $150.00 to $300.00 depending on your location ( big city shops charge more) and the quality of fingerboard you replace it with
  19. I made a jig to hold the pegbox firmly. I then lay out the new holes irregardless of where the old pegs were, making certain they are in the right spot so that the D sting does not rub on the A peg. Drill 1/8 inch pilot holes, and use 6 inch long dowles inserted in the pilot holes to visually check alignment before reaming. Make any corrections to alignment prior to reaming.
  20. Nostradamus was definetly reffering to Al Gore JR. Any way, back to the original topic of the disscusion. This is a public forum, as eBAy is a public market place. The feedback files of eBay are the primary way that comments can be made about the transaction. Information about ebay users is available via the internet and is public domain. It seemed to me very odd that one person should have 2 users ID's, as that raises the specter of shilling. I contacted ebay and requested 12 month bidder activity for violinsky and violins4ever to see if they were the same individual, and if violins4ever had ever bid on a violinsky product. Ebay informed me that certain large volume ebay users have multiple user ID's but would not explain why. I will get back to you when I get me data. [This message has been edited by steveg (edited 01-23-2001).]
  21. http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/
  22. this is a bit complicated so bear with me. It has come to my attention that none of the online auctions (Yahoo, ebay, amazon, etc.) have cross refferences for their data bases. Thus it is possible to establish user ID's with phony or erroneus data. To set up muliple user ID's on any of the auction sites you need a bank checking card, and a legit credit card. You estabish a user account with a legit email address with the bank card. Then use an annoymous email service to establish a second account. The auction house will request a credit to confirm the annoymous email service. The credit card is for the second account. You can make up your own bio and use false information. The credit card only verifies the account. With two accounts, one of which is untracable, it would be easy for the unethical sellers to shill their products up during the auction. I am still waiting for the bid history of violins4ever and violinsky.
  23. golden yello ground is fine, do you what a neutral varnish, red brown, golden brown, golden red ? here are some golden grounds with no varnish, catechu varnish, neutral varnish. http://users.source.net/~steveg/varnish.jpg [This message has been edited by steveg (edited 01-23-2001).]
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