Michael Richwine

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About Michael Richwine

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    Enthusiast

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  • Website URL
    http://www.kcfiddles.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Shawnee, KS
  • Interests
    Making music, Chinese internal martial arts, Taoism, cooking, my dog Clyde, learning stuff.

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  1. Michael Richwine

    Violin ID

    I've seen / sold a number of those, usually with Amati style f-holes and an Amati label in them, same narrow edges and all. I always thought them unquestionably German / Bohemian.
  2. Michael Richwine

    Help/Advice needed to strip down a cello

    I worked with methylene chloride almost daily for years. While it is hazardous if abused, for a one-time use like this, it's OK as long as good nitrile gloves, some eye protection and good ventilation are used. You don't want skin or eye contact, and you don't want to breathe the fumes, but mild exposure, acute or chronic, is not a problem. It has been listed as a probable carcinogen, and when inhaled, it metabolizes to carbon monoxide. http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+66
  3. Michael Richwine

    Mastering setup - courses, resources, techniques

    What kind of tool skills do you have? Can you sharpen a plane or knife really, really sharp? Sharp enough to shave curls off a hair if you choose to? Can you set up a plane so that when it cuts maple it feels like cutting pine? Sharp tools make everything easier. I'd suggest that you start doing, any way you can. That way, when you do get some instruction, you'll have some kind of foundation to relate to. I don't know about other people, but I learned what skills I have in stages. There was stuff that I learned, but didn't understand until I had developed enough foundational skill to be able to use it. Get a crappy old $50 fiddle and set it up over and over, trying different things each time, cut different bridges and compare how they work. Fit lots of sound posts and compare results. Cut different nuts from scratch. Buy cheap fingerboard banks and make and fit a bunch of them. Get a bunch of pegs and fit them to existing holes. If the cost of tools and some materials is prohibitive, and you're not willing to find a way to afford them, you probably shouldn't be thinking about this kind of work. Developing skills and knowledge is a slow process.
  4. Michael Richwine

    Haynes Violin Manual

    Please consider posting that on the Amazon site to help deter others from wasting their hard earned money?
  5. Michael Richwine

    Tonal Adjustments in Setup

    Because it's the best way to get really good playability: low action without buzzes. It's only a few thousandths of an inch, but it makes a big difference.
  6. Michael Richwine

    what the best way to view a signature on the top plate?

    You can buy a #5 (25mm) laryngeal mirror on Ebay for a few dollars. They work better than a dental mirror because the shaft is thinner.
  7. Michael Richwine

    Knockoff Herdim clamps

    The Chinese variety with the knurled nuts are shaped better and get better reviews. Have only used Herdim, but have been considering buying these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/LUTHIER-TOOL-32-PCS-violin-viola-top-and-back-clamps-/252030821854?hash=item3aae3525de:g:zh4AAOSwjVVVqkr3 Your seller has a 14 day guarantee. Might be worth considering.
  8. Michael Richwine

    Sprung Joint Plates?

    Based on actual research from the people who used to make custom glue for my furniture factory, the strongest joint for hide and PVA glues is produced right off a sharp plane or well-tuned jointer. The second strongest (very close second) is right off a well-tuned straight-line saw. The weakest joint of all is one that is sanded, not to mention that sanding distorts the plane of the joint. Wood joints should not be toothed or keyed, since hide glue sticks by electrochemical attraction and there is relatively little mechanical bond. With hide glue, the thinner the dry glue line, the better, within reason. Rubbed joints work fine if the glue is the right consistency; if it's too thick, the joint will be weakened. Clamped joints are more forgiving, since excess glue is squeezed out (squeeze-out is our friend). It's impossible to get a starved joint from clamping pressure under normal clamping practices. What many people interpret as a starved joint is caused by the glue shrinking out of an ill-fitting or poorly clamped joint, leaving a lace-like pattern.
  9. Michael Richwine

    Restoration of varnish on old instruments

    Ahhh! We just call that mineral oil over here. Probem is, it doesn't readily evaporate, although it may, eventually. Some of my colleagues use it, but not after I introduce them to Behlen's paraffin oil.
  10. Michael Richwine

    Restoration of varnish on old instruments

    You can buy paraffin oil from Behlen in the US. It's great for rubbing and French polishing, and for sanding / dressing fingerboards and nuts. It's a very good lubricant, but unlike regular mineral oil, it evaporates completely overnight. I don't know whether this is what Jacob was talking about, because, at least in the UK, the same term is often used for lamp oil or fuel for oil heaters.
  11. Michael Richwine

    strange shape of bass bar

    Most of the violins with just two lower blocks came from the Markneukirchen / Schoenbach area, which also explains the crude bass bar. Just an inexpensive trade fiddle. Corner blocks are just there to fool people when they look inside. You can see they don't really fit.
  12. Michael Richwine

    Another Naked Violin ID Rampage Thread (pic)

    I didn't realize that Kafka was still alive and writing in New York.
  13. Michael Richwine

    False Leon Bernardel...so what is it?

    Looks like "the usual" to me, based on corners and scroll and varnish: Decent Markneukirchen / Schoenbach trade violin, maybe early 20th Century. As for labels, https://substandardpoodle.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/substandardpoodle-violin-labels-being-sold-beware.jpg?w=490&h=879
  14. Michael Richwine

    Plate center joint strength

    My colleagues down the street (where I was trained) make their own isinglass glue from sturgeon swim bladders. It is extremely strong and has a longer open time than regular hide glue. From my point of view, it's a bit too strong for some applications, but for necks and center joins, it's great!
  15. Michael Richwine

    Identification of bizarre old violin (with pics)

    Just a German "Fancy Fiddle" Circa 1900. Thought it was like one I have at first, but was wrong.