Melvin Goldsmith

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  1. Thanks for your interest. Often I will varnish an instrument leaving the gradations about 1mm proud of the final target. I will do the final gradations once the varnish is cured and fit a bass bar. After the instrument is settled for a few weeks I will assess how it plays and maybe take it apart and re work some aspects including the bar. 6 months later I might change the bar that time a conclusion is more messing about.
  2. I stick the high point in the geometric center...that is just between the bridge and the upper eye off the F hole where the belly need max support. Also if you ever played the cymbals having the striking point on the thickest part is not the way to go for maximum volume. You need to regulate your bar for the belly you fit it to. I don't fit a final bar on new instruments until the instrument is settled in and the varnish is fully cured....about 6 months after first playing
  3. Cutting a pencil line in half is an old English cabinet makers term...It means you leave half the pencil line intact on the non waste side of the cut It can be a very narrow line
  4. Good point! a PHD on the secrets of'll get lots of funding and there will be no one qualified to peer review you so you'll get a pass. The name of Stradivari will bring more funding and lots of press hence more funding...a meal ticket...
  5. You can't use a band saw for F holes for obvious reasons but a well set up bandsaw wit the correct blade should cut a pencil line in half and not be scary
  6. If you want to come at this subject from a science background a degree in social anthropology and history would be a useful compliment to a physics degree
  7. A lot of the magic of old varnishes comes from how they gather patina. It can be a false chase seeking this with a new look. I make most of my work 'antiqued' . This is because I want to take risks with my making and am prepared to re work and take apart my instruments to get the playing qualities I want... It is not so easy to do this with a new looking instrument.I will re work an instrument several times and get played by top players before releasing to the customer..It's a bit similar to what happens with an old freshly restored instrument....
  8. Very tight grain. Age makes a difference. I had some cello bridges from Stamm that I suspect were water treated by what he was hinting at at the time... They are all still straight and fantastic...a more recent delivery did not seem to have the same character but is still to be tested
  9. For violin or viola I like Aubert but I could only use about 15% of the top grade stuff of theirs I see. Their grading system is all about rays and not about good wood. I will go looking among the lower grades for better wood. Stamm has the best wood these days ....I would not use anything else for cello.
  10. Bridges bend because of poor wood and poor cut. It is not so much player error
  11. You don't want a mirror shine on the neck...It sucks onto the skin and hinders shifting. You want a porous oil finish
  12. I agree that setting the tail of the heel in deeper is stronger. On the other hand a well fitted neck joint simply becomes one piece of wood with the top block. That's a big strong block of wood. You don't need to worry about this stuff if the joint actually fits
  13. No I didn't!!!!!!!!!! No way! Chardon is the real deal!...there must be some misunderstanding here....If I ever said anything like that it would have been intended as deeply ironic and a dig at people who think old Cremonese violins in mint condition like le Messie must have been made by JBV. Sorry if I caused any misunderstanding. The Chardon is pure del Gesu and a great example to observe to understand his work. Peace Uncle Duke.