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Oded Kishony

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Everything posted by Oded Kishony

  1. I would make them myself by sandwiching brass between ebony center. It's easy and will make a better plane than most commercial ones OK : where in australia can I buy finger planes?
  2. Bass bars usually wear out at about the same time that the luthier needs to make a boat payment :-) : Do bassbars weaken over time and need replacing? I have read that they do, but I suspect the real reason they need replacing is because the top dries out over time and requires a heavier bassbar to compensate?
  3. I'm a cello maker and I routinely ship cellos. I've shipped cellos that were completely set up and have had no problems. I've also had a forklift go through a carboard box and a hard case, right through a rib. In that case it would not make any difference if the cello was set up or not. It is defenitly safer to ship a cello with the bidge and post down. There is no need to pack all that seperately just as long as they are wrapped up and not loose in the box. I've always left the endpin in. Typically I like to put the cello in a hard case with additional foam and the hard case inside a cardboard box filled with packing material. I like to ship UPS 2nd Day Air as the most cost effective and safest. DHL and FedEx are also good but more expensive. I don't believe the post office will accept such a large box. I do ship violins with the postal service and have had no problems with it so far. Oded Kishony : I don't recommend that you ship your 'cello. The key here is in the packing. At best shipping cellos is risky. You must be certain that the setup is off, the soundpost is down, the end pin is removed, and all parts are boxed seperately from the 'cello. Further don't pack too tightly and pay attention to the neck, the most frequent spot for breakage in shipping. Good Luck. : S. Hersh : : I am in the process of buying a used cello from the US. : : and want to have it shipped to Montreal Canada. : : Can anyone recommend a reliable carrier ? : : How Does US parcel post sound ? ( it seems to be the cheapest : : but will I receive fire-wood at the other end ? : : thanks a million for any responses
  4. The Kolstein company is still in business on Long Island, New York. I believe Sam may still be actively making bows. The business is run by his son Barry. I suggest you take the bow to an appraiser or bow maker and get a thorough evaluation of it's condition and value. : : Hi : : I have just been given a samuel kolstein bow to try out. a symphony player wants to sell it at $2200. : : it has an ivory frog and silver windings. however the ivory at the part where you grip the bow at the frog is slightly worn . also the mother of pearl panal on the underside of the bow is very worn with much of it scratched(?!) off. : : I would like to know more about the maker and also whether, given the circumstances , this is a worthwhile investment. : : thanks
  5. I operate a violin making & repair shop in Central Virginia near Charlottesville. I was trained as a violinmaker in NY (1981-1983) and in Italy (1987-1988) and I worked in a repair/restoration shop owned by Stephan McGhee in Manhattan NY (1983-1986) I can provide references. : Does anyoen know of any luthiers in the Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk area in Virginia? I need to have some work done on my bridge apparently and want to find someone who would do a good job. : Jon
  6. The fact that your violin has always sounded like this does not make me overly optimistic about resolving this problem. Did you not notice this before you bought your violin? Here are a few of suggestions: If you feel competent to do this then try to move your bridge up or down (ie nearer scroll/tailpiece)testing after every move. Try tightening/shorteing the tailgut. Try switching the G string from the G peg to the D peg to lengthen the G string. Is you bridge centered between the ff holes? Try looping your G string through from the top of the tailpiece instead of from under the tailpiece to increase string tension on the G string. Replace G string with a heavier guage.(ie forte) Your description of the problem doesn't seem to me to be related to fingerbord scoop Good luck Oded Kishony : Violin always did it. Replaced original strings, thinking the G might be false. No improvement. Violin is solid--no open seams. : Mark W. : : 3-5mm behind the bridge is a normal location for the soundpost. Did your violin always do this or did it just start. If this is a new thing then check for open seams : : OK : : : My newly acquired violin has a hollow, dead sound on the G string anywhere above the second position. I notice that the soundpost is only a couple of mm. behind the treble bridge foot. Should I ask that it be moved further back? (Bridge looks good--strings resting in the top 1/3 of the nicks; placed exactly midway between the end of the fingerboard and tailpiece fret.)
  7. An ordinary rib repair should not cause a permanent change in the sound quality of an instrument. The violin may sound different for a while if the top needs to be removed untile the glue hardens etc. Tell your luthier that you like the sound of the violin and you'de like to keep the same bridge and soundpost. OK : My 13 year old son was distraught to find a dent that : has actually pierced the wood of the rib of his violin : just to the side of the button. It's a really lovely : Reigel violin of which he is very attached. He think it got : hit with the frog of someones bow in Orchestra last week. : The mark would certainly tie up with this. : I aim to have it reapaired, but am really worried that : the surgery required may alter the tone/projection of the fiddle : which incidentally is really lovely. Any one got any comments. : Should I stop him playing it until it is reapaired? Fortunately it is insured.
  8. 3-5mm behind the bridge is a normal location for the soundpost. Did your violin always do this or did it just start. If this is a new thing then check for open seams OK : My newly acquired violin has a hollow, dead sound on the G string anywhere above the second position. I notice that the soundpost is only a couple of mm. behind the treble bridge foot. Should I ask that it be moved further back? (Bridge looks good--strings resting in the top 1/3 of the nicks; placed exactly midway between the end of the fingerboard and tailpiece fret.)
  9. Hi Chris, What's the edge work look like is it also very flat or is it more sausage shaped-round and full? Are the ff holes a bit sloppy of very carefully matched and cleanly cut? What's the aproximate price of a real one in fairly good condition. Thanks Oded Kishony : As always, violin i.d. is hard to convey without pictures, but two distinctive features to look for are a very flat arch and a thin yellow brown varnish. I don't know of any pictures, but ignore the one in Sothebys Nov. 1988, it is wrong. : : When you say distinctive, could you elaborate? What, in your experience, makes his work distinctive? Are you aware of any sources for photos of genuine instruments? (books, auction catalogs, etc.) I hope I'm not asking too many quesitons-I just want to learn : : : : Comuni's instruments are quite rare. I have been lucky to have two. One which we sold to David Cerone and the other that is a 7/8 size. His work is quite distinctive in character and they both had a very successful concert sound. : : : : I have a violin labelled Antonius Comuni, fecit piacenza, 1820. It's been identified by a reputable and knowledgable expert as being German, mid 19th century, so authenticity (or lack thereof!) is not an issue. But I'm curious. I can't seem to find much on this maker at all, anywhere. DOes anyone have experience with a genuine Comuni instrument, and could they pass along any first-hand observations? Pictures? Thanks tons!
  10. Hi, There is no doubt in my mind that putting too much hair on a bow causes it to perform worse rather than better. I've only encountered one bow in 15 years of rehairing bows proffesionaly of a bow being significantly better with more hair than less. That was a 'sylvestre-macoutel a paris' bow that was rather heavy and may in fact have been intended for viola. Oded Kishony : Hi, what about this idea that less bow hair gives you more control? (see my full question down below "opinions please") : Thanks in advance.
  11. I've tried matching mode frequencies on a violin of mine and was very underwhelmed by the result. The procedure is to sprinkle tea leaves on the fingerboard or to put tea leaves in a little plastic cup attached to the f/b and run a sweep tone generator such as 'sweepgen'(from fundoc. com) and identify the frequency of the f/b then remove wood from the end of the f/b to raise the pith or from the middle of the f/b to lower the pitch. You could also just tap the f/b and identify the pitch by listeneing to it. Of course as soon as the fingerboard is re-dressed all that work goes out the window. I wouldn't bother. Oded Kishony : The Matching of A0/B0 modes freq. is another b.s. of that Doggut Acoustics. Why not match ALL the resonance frequencies, so when the player touch that note, there will be a sonic boom!
  12. Bradley, Kremer's sells something called "trass" which is very similar to pozzolana. I've messed around with it but have not found it particularly useful. You must have read the research by Barlow and Co. "Firm Ground" Their conclusions about pozzolana don't really hold up to close examination-it was really wild speculation to even mention pozzolana as a viable ingredient in old varnishes. Oded Kishony : I'd like to try pozzolana as a ground but can not find a source for the stuff! Also if someone has used it and has some advise.. that would be great!
  13. I agree with Al. It's totaly inappropriate to color the hide glue. However in a shop I worked at some years ago they routinely added just a bit of zinc white to the glue. I never felt it helped. The best remedy for a crackis to get the two sides to come as close together as possible without a step while maintaining the curves of the arching. To learn to do touch up get some water colors and gum arabic. Read "blue and yellow don't make green" and practice on cheap instruments. Good luck Oded Kishony : Hi Rick: : Coloring hide glue leads to staining of the wood being glued....on light colored or normal colored instruments, the crack would be a blemish. The dark cracks you see are those glued without proper cleaning of the surfaces before gluing...sign of a bad job!! : Best to you, : Al
  14. My first violin was a Friedrich August Glass. Nice fiddle. Oded K. : Is there any one out ther that owns a fiddle made by any of the Glass family Particulay by a Fried. Aug. Glass?
  15. I know a number of makers that use liquin as a sealer. It works reliably but is probably not what Strad used :-) Another possibility is to use egg white diluted with water; a thin coating of shellac/seedlac is good as a sealer, as is commercial sanding sealer(it will brighten the tone). Casein makes an excellent sealer but I wuld definitly stay away from putting linseed oil on bare wood. Oded Kishony
  16. I don't think a violinmaker that uses his own model is any more of an artist. Much like a musician that improvises isn't concidered a greater artist than one that plays from a score. Each art form has it's own parameters and demands. Each requires it's own talents. As for myself, I've developed my own viola and several cello models but I haven't felt that I have anything to contribute to the development of the violin beyond what is available. I guess I feel that in the violin world inovation for it's own sake is mostly just vanity. Oded Kishony : interesting points to consider. i personally think of violins as art. the idea of utilitarian items being art is somewhat well established at this point by most art historiaNS, and even mundane things are designed by artists. i guess the point that i do take from all of this is that reproduction is different than creating an original pattern, thereby possible making willaim johnston's violins art, and others not? and possibly earlier instruments aspired to be more artful than modern ones (like ornate gambas vs. violins). : mike
  17. Artists create art. So, much depends on whether or not you concider violins "art". Often the difference between art and craft depends on the utilitarian aspects of the object. So that Raku pottery while often venerated as high art (especially if it's old :-) is concidered by some as a craft. So if you're going to just admire the violin (as in a museum) then it's art, but if you're going to play it on the corner it's only a craft ;-) Oded Kishony : Mike..I have a good friend in Bremerton, Washington that is a really great violinmaker. He also is a very accomplished artist that has his paintings (Western Art) in a major gallery in Breckenridge, Colorada. he has been making violins for over 25 years and painting as a hobby for a little longer. The tides are turning and he is making less violins and painting more. The gallery is demanding a lot more paintings. They sell a lot of his work. He has been making excact copies of famous violins for years and his restorations are unbelievable. I think that the artist in him really shows when he is restoring old instruments. His repairs are virtually invisible. The Bremerton newspaper did an article on him and it was also in the Chicago newspapers. The article generated a lot of interest in his work. More than he wanted, I think.
  18. Hi Al: I haven't found that adhesion is a problem with the use of burnt sugar. I've always avoided getting a build up-generally I've put down one or two coats. I've also never used it with an oil varnish only spirit (1704) varnish. I don't know of any reason why it shouldn't work with an oil based varnish though. It's best to seal the top before applying any color, egg white is an appropriate sealer in theis instance. The burnt sugar gives the wood a nice mellow fawn brown color. I think your experience was due to either too much build up of burnt sugar or varnish gremlins having their fun with you :-) Oded Kishony : Hello Oded: : I tried the "sugar" sizing some years ago...on test strips, not a violin. Maybe I did something wrong...too much sizing?? Anyway, the finished test strip was great looking, little or no color staining the wood. But, as usual, I made my hit/scratch/ding tests and the varnish chipped a little. Normally,wood sized with clear, this varnish doesn't chip. Any ideas? : Thanks, : Al
  19. There are a couple of suggestions that I have. You could put on a base coat of color on your violin to take away some of that stark white appearance by taking sugar dissolved in a little water and put it in a frying pan and cook it until all the water has evaporated and it smokes. Add a bit of water to the caremelized sugar and brush it on your instrument (yum, this will make your instrument much sweeter) When you make your spirit varnish add either rosewood or paduak wood shavings to the alcohol along with the other ingredients and you'll get a naturally colored varnish. Or a synthetic dye from a company called 7K is very good. To learn about mixing colors refer to a book called "Blue and yellow don't make green" Have fun and good luck Oded Kishony : Violin coloration is ALWAYS done in the varnish. The only use for a stain at the wood level is to give a hint of ground color--either yellow, or the tan of age. After a clear coat or two to seal the wood and protect it from staining from the varnish, you can start laying on the colored varnish of your choice. There are lots of things used as colorants, or (and this is best if you're inexperienced) you can buy violin varnish already colored. Maybe Ann Brown has something to add, since she's already been through this, recently, as an initiate :-) : : : : Can a spirit-solvent stain be used as a base stain or is a water-based stain essential? Also, I wish to end up with a deep wine-red color. Any suggestions as to coloring process?
  20. Thank you for Jeffrey for your clear explanation. One other point I'd like to add. The role of the appraiser is quite different than what happens in the violin shop. An appraisal reflects the price history of a given maker or class of instrument and as Jeffrey states provenance, condition and originality are the cornerstones of what determine appraisal value. The same applies to evaluating antique furniture because, as with old instruments, much of what you are paying for is the makers reputation, scarcity and antiquity. Never the less the cardinal rule of free market economies is supply and demand. If no one wanted to buy a Strad you couldn't give them away. Oded Kishony : Just a slight clarification mike (Hi! by the way), : A well made (classic arch, classic design, first class materials) has the best potential to sound well, however, it may or may not (sound well) the day it visits the appraiser.... or be to the appraisers taste... I'd hate to be in that position as the owner.... : This is illustrated well when one examines the relative market value, design, and performance differences of the wonderful Amati style instruments compared to the bolder, generally more powerful 18th century Cremonese designs. : A good deal of the value of an expensive instrument is determined by it's provenance, condition and originality of authorship. : This "trickles down" (I never thought I'd find a use for a Reagan quote!) to the lasting (not the 15 minutes of fame type popularity) modern or contemporary makers. The most expensive Modern Italian instruments are built in a classic Italian style, classic design, and sound materials. The most lastingly expensive of the contemporary makers are those who have built reputations on the same criteria. In the same way, those who are considered "innovators" in design (and who try and capitalize on this in terms of price) most regularly have a brief popularity, then become rarely requested. For example; Though Vuillaume's "classic" instruments are quite sought after and relatively expensive, his innovations are pretty much objects for collectors and not so terribly expensive. : Now, all this being said... as Oded mentioned.. WITHIN any "class" (price range/style) of instrument... when one is selling... the one which sounds best is the most desirable in the rack, so to speak. Supply and demand tempered by appropriate value and quality..... and sound. : Best to all, : Jeffrey : : : we went through this thread about 2 years ago and dealers on this board admitted that when they appraise an instrument, or assign a value to it when they are to sell it, they more often than not will not play it, or even care what it sounds like. the violin is worth what it is worth based on what it is. the dealers that responded like that to some degree is a who's who of maestronet. : : mike
  21. I know that when I have a violin that sounds terrific more people will want to buy it. Consequently I raise the price in anticipation of the greater demand. In the real world a violin is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Also in the real world a dealer that sells instruments at unfair prices will lose the trust of his customers. Caveat Emptor Oded Kishony : Would you question the integrity of a dealer who maintains that violin sound is in any way indicative of its quality or value?
  22. Learning to properly cut a cello bridge is one of the last things one learns when becoming a violinmaker. It comes after one has learned most of woodworking/tool handling skills needed to make an instrument. At that point most starting violinmakers cannot cut and fit a decent bridge until they've worked at a shop for a while. My apprentice took 8 hours to cut a violin bridge which was barely acceptable. Now he's much better partly because after each bridge that he cuts, we sit together and analyze what's good and bad about the bridge. If you are determined to do this then the advice you've recieved is excellent. Copy the bridge that was made for your violin until you cannot tell the difference between yours and the luthiers' bridges. If you're just doing this to save yourself money you're wasting your time. : Hi Dan, : Do what Al said, it's a good way to learn, that's how I learned. But once you've gotten a basic understanding of bridge cutting,, and try a few on your own, you'll realize that it's not easy. It can be very frustrating, I've only cut a few good bridge (one of them I use on my violin in the winter). Oh yeah, be careful with the knife, they're sharp little guys. : Ben
  23. Get the book "The Art and Craft of Dyeing" by Liles. Kremer pigments sells it. I have not found Hammerle book to be very helpful. There are a number of fairly stable yellows to try, onionskin, osage orange, old sig (look it up), madder, turmeric, weldt,goldenrod, etc etc. It's easier to read about them first than to try them all. Good luck, Oded Kishony : In the past, I have used saffron in combination with several other vegitable and resin type pigments extracted in alcohol (a preparation with an Italian name wich translates as "all yellows"). The pigments are a bit fugitive (although the effect seems a bit more stable in combinbation/alcohol than when extracted in water). Depending on how the color is prepared and applied, the "aged" result can be nice. Application can be tricky, however, as the "spirit color" dries quickly. : I am aware of a couple of 19th century French makers who reportedly used a similar alcohol base pigment preparation (including saffron) "in suspension" when applying oil varnish. I can't say I like the way these instruments have "developed" visually.... : Good luck experimenting! : Jeffrey : : : Most of the vegetable colors that can be turned into stains by soaking in water, if not fixed in some way, are very unstable. They're beautiful colors in some cases, though. Annatto (the orange skin on muenster cheese comes from this) is a great color, but fades overnight under UV light, even if made into a pigment. Saffron has the reputation of being a bit more stable, but it's still not a color I'd personally use. Since most oil varnishes yellow a bit with age, one good use for it might to be to give a yellow base while waiting for the oil varnish yellow to come up (that takes two or three years, in my experience.) : : : I recently came across some saffron and am curious to try it in varnish or possibly as a light stain. : : : Anyone ever use it before ? And what about it's lightfastness and other properties--I found it releases color in water quite fast but after sitting in alcohol for a day little color has been released;according to the Hammerl book it is soluable in alcohol. : : : Appreciate any feedback on this. Patrick
  24. Hi Michael, One method that been suggestd for removing the water has been to freeze it. Be sure that your container is not breakable. The water will freeze the oil won't. I buy 'flax seed oil' at the health food store. Oded Kishony : Better grades (especially cold pressed, first pressing, food grade) of linseed oil won't have any break, whereas the stuff from the hardware store is filled with garbage of all sorts. : : Pour it into a gallon jar. Add water to fill. Shake violently. Allow to separate. Remove water, add more water, repeat until you have everything out of the oil (you can see it in the water easily). : : Don't bother with WoodFinishing. Everything you want is probably available at Kremer Pigments in NYC, and they answer their phones and ship immediately. Their catalogue is on the web. : : : : KREMER PIGMENTE Inc. : : D-88317 Aichstetten : : Germany : : Tel.: 001.49.7565.91120 : : FAX: 001.49.7565.1606 : : & : : 228 Elizabeth Street : : New York, NY 10012 : : Tel.: 212 219-2394 : : Orders: 800 995-5501 : : FAX: 212 219-2395 : : Supplier of Raw Materials For Fine Arts, including pigments, oils, resins, balsams, raw mineral powders, etc. : : : : : Hello Everyone, : : : I was wondering if anyone could describe the process for removing the "break" from raw linseed oil. : : : Also, does anyone know whether Woodfinishing Enterprises in WI is still in business? If so, do you know their phone or FAX? : : : Many thanks, : : : Kelvin
  25. As I recall the average time has been estimated at two weeks to complete a violin not including varnishing which depended on sunshine to dry. : Can we at least estimate just how long it to Antonious to create a violin - from start to finish? He probably did not keep any records (at least, none that we have now), but how about initial correspondence with a prospective buyer - and the delivery notice?
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