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About benji

  • Rank
    Junior Member
  • Birthday 09/22/1965

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Fox Island, WA
  • Interests
    viola, cello, violin. cycling.

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  1. I see you were a student of Vernon lears.  I am his cousin and wondered if you are still in touch with him. I would like to find a violin and bow made by him, or get him to make me a set, but cannot find him.  My dad passed away and I lost all vernons contact information.  thank you


  2. benji


    With my comment I did not mean to infer that any or all dealers are dishonest. I meant to refer to the divide between lifestyles and every day business. My day is spent sitting in a small shop looking out at nature on a small island. Sometimes I go so long without having a conversation I forget how. Dealers by the nature of their work deal with people all day long. You must sell every day to keep the doors open. I sell about six days a year. I know great and honest dealers. I need them to sell my work. Ben.
  3. benji


    This story is awful, and interesting. Does anyone know who he was affiliated with in Seattle? Reading this reminded me of the divide between most new makers, such as myself, and dealers. We live in a different world.
  4. Guad model violas have been very succesful for me. It has a more alto versus a tenor voice, tonally it carries really well. I like it so much I now make a Guad model violin and am making my first Guad model cello. It is really easy to play with the small narrow body. Ben.
  5. A dab of vaseline on the bottom of the bridge foot will prevent fresh varnish from pulling up. Also a little on the cork of the chinrest which likes to drink varnish.
  6. Oded, In the Schleske chart do you know what the green data pts. K, V, and P are? You mentioned egg white and water glass since the chart is in German I don't know what those are. Thanks, Ben.
  7. Andres, The book "Strumenti di Antonio Stradivari" published by Ente Triennale Internazionale Degli Ad Arco has full sized pictures of the "Medicea" Viola of 1690. It has a full sized back shot, front shot and four scroll shots. It also has lots of measurements. The book also has full size shots and measurements for the violins "Cremonese" 1715 (with arching templates and uv and xray shots), "Toscano" 1690, and "Medici" 1716 (a clean beauty). And also has the "Medici" cello of 1690 (only full size shots of the scroll). It is one of my favorite books, although hard to find.
  8. I've seen and heard them. I didn't like what it did to the sound at all. It seemed to take out all the overtones. It gave the instuments a very simple tone that to me was very ugly.
  9. benji


    In my experience to get the look I want (cremonese) you do have to get color on the wood before the varnish. If you do you'll be surprised how much less pigment you'll need in the varnish to get a nice looking fiddle. If you want something out of a bottle to give the right look I really like Imprimatura Dorata. It is spendy, but it gives a very good look. If you look at a Del Gesu or Strad that has had all its varnish polished off it will still have nice color and be quite dark. I think using a ground system with color is the only way to get the right look.
  10. My only exposure to them was at the Seattle Viola Congress. At the viola playoff I thought the Zaret barred viola was the worst viola there. Many others thought the same.
  11. Sai Gao. Sai is now making stamps. Very nice. Each letter is slightly different, just like old bow stamps. He makes bow stamps and bridge stamps (different size letters). Mine cost me $78, $6 per letter, plus shipping. Sai makes lots of the nice tools you see in some of the catalogs; finger planes, f hole cutters, sound post setters, etc.
  12. On pg.155 of the Hargrave article on working methods of del Gesu, Hargrave says that by general agreement at the concert ending the exhibit the "Vieuxtemps", "Leduc", and the "Canon" stood apart as extraordinary. He says about the Canon that the players loved it but the audience was split. I have made the "Kreisler" and the "Canon". Some like one others like the other. It seems no matter what I make there's always someone who prefers it over the others.
  13. 2.4 is thin by my standards. That is why I think it may be a wolf. The f# is a common wolf on a cello, but I've never had one a violin before. Try a wolf eliminator. Try putting it on the d or the g. I kept my first instrument. I tell any violin maker that looks at it that a mouse chewed on the f-holes. Good luck with the nasty F#. Rather than destroying some of my early work I donated it to the local youth orchestra, even with their aesthetic flaws they still play better than %95 of the vso's the kids have. Also one is going to Carl Applebaum to go to his Cuba project. All the donations are t