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Gary Hounshell

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  1. I own a Buick and it is the most comfortable car I ever owned. I also own a 1930 Model A Ford. It is not comfortable to drive, but it is pleasurable, just because of what it is. Maybe the same is true with violins. I own several, none of which are great italian violins, but some are very nice. My favorite? A 1950 student model Juzek. When I got it, it was in pieces and took more repair than it was worth if one was looking at resale value. But when playing, it still raises the hair on my arms every time. I would like a great violin, but maybe, just maybe, I already have one. It just isn't worth much money. Gary
  2. Moonshade, I think I have one in my shop. I'll give it to you if you will contact me. By the way, could someone tell me how to privately email a maestronet user who does not give their information. Anyone can click on my icon and see who I am, but most hide their identities (which is OK, I guess) and I don't know how to contact a particular user without going public. Thanks. Gary
  3. I have it clamped up now and wet the back on the inside, then covered it with a wet paper towel covered with plastic to keep it from drying quickly. Luckily, it is a one piece back so I don't have to worry about the glue joint. Thanks for your suggestions. Gary
  4. Thanks. Would moistening the maple back (I assume it needs to be pretty wet on the inside) allow moisture to bleed through and affect the finish on the outside? I'm sure moisture would help, but I don't want to hurt anything. I think this is going to be a good instrument if I can do this right. I appreciate your input. Gary
  5. I am trying to fix what someone fouled up a long time ago. This old fiddle has been "repaired" with about 1/2 pound of aliphatic glue. The back was glued on to the ribs unevenly and the whole body is warped (looking at the body from the endpin, the right lower bout has dropped). I have removed both top and back. Both have warped about 3/8 inch. The garland retains this new shape. My plans were to cut out a hole in flat plywood to accommodate the arch of the back, then glue the garland to the back by clamping the body to the plywood. The top would be glued on the same way so that the body would remain flat during the entire gluing process. What I am afraid of is that the back, being maple, will be under so much stress that it will try to go back to its warped state and I will not have accomplished anything. Any suggestions?
  6. I don't claim to be an expert, but I think it is just preference of the player. My primary bow is an Albert Nurnberger that weighs 58 grams and is stiff. That's what I like. I don't like the hair tensioned very tight, so at my optimum tension, the hair is relatively close to the stick (and sometimes touches during playing). On the other hand, A softer bow does not do this just because the stick is not as stiff. IMHO, it doesn't matter whether the hair touches the stick or not if it plays and sounds the way I like it. Gary
  7. String along, I am 61 and started playing 3 years ago. Not a day goes by that I don't wish that I had started at a young age, but I didn't and cannot change that. I practice diligently, and although I'll never be as accomplished as I would like, I do improve slowly. Years ago, when I was 24, I was lamenting to a friend that I wanted to go to college, but would be 28 by the time I finished. He replied, "How old will you be if you don't go?" The same thing holds true for playing an instrument. I want to play well, and the fact that I am 61only makes me want to play more to make up for lost time. Whether I ever become accomplished or not is really beside the point. I will have enjoyed the journey. I still wish I had started earlier, but "How good will I be if I don't play?" I would rather play and find out than not play and wonder how good I could have been. Hang in there and practice, play for the enjoyment of it, find someone to play with if you can, and if you don't, then enjoy it anyway. Gary
  8. A couple of years ago I bought a Juzek that had "NYC Bd. of Ed. 1950" scratched in the finish on the back of the pegbox. Assuming that it was a new fiddle when the orchestra director scratched this into the finish, I would assume the date to be relatively accurate. The label said "made in Czechoslovakia" not Germany. Gary
  9. Does anyone know how much scoop should be in the fingerboard of a 3/4 double bass? Thanks, Gary
  10. Michael Darnton posted something about this a few days ago. I think he said that ribs should be thinned to 1mm and even explained how to do it. Gary
  11. A couple of years ago, I got a bow (only the stick) in a batch of other parts. It was barely legible, but labeled Durro. I put a new frog, tip, grip and hair on it and it is a really good bow, at least for my playing skill level. Can anyone tell me anything about Durro? All I can find on the web is composite bows and would like to know something about the pernambuco bows of the past. Thanks, Gary
  12. Manfio is right about the established tradition of the upper scroll. It would be like changing the shape of the scroll on a violin - you may make it look great but it wouldn't be traditional. If you don't care whether it is traditional or not, then go for it. Gary
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