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bob kogut

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Everything posted by bob kogut

  1. I would say that regraduating a violin would only improve the tone if the original plate arching was correct (meaning, effective for that particular piece of tonewood).
  2. In my personal experience, after building 110 violins now, I guess I approach the arching decision backwards from what you propose in your question. That is, I first try to get a sense of that particular plate I'm carving; and make the decisions on the arching pattern in the final stages of carving the outside surfaces, (but before it's too late.) That decision is then based on my getting a feel of it's individual resonance, density, stiffness, etc. I don't know about other builders, but honestly I am unable to really know those variables of a piece of tonewood until it is carved down enough to a point where it starts to tell on itself. Of course, knowing when to stop to give it the final arch is the tricky part. So, each plate will end up with a specific arching pattern that will bring out it's own resonance, and not what I may decide in the very beginning before carving it. Sometimes it ends up being a flatter broad sweeping arch, sometimes it's a curvy scooped shaping, etc. Sometimes it is 15.5 mm high, sometimes as low as 13.5mm. What becomes consistent is the voicing and tone that I achieve with the fiddles I make, where there is not much consistency in arching patterns when they are compared to each other. So for me, tone is everything, and modelling comes second. Bob Kogut
  3. For those who live around Western North Carolina: The Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention will be on Sept 5th. It is south of Blowing Rock/Boone, NC It is a not for profit event. There will be a large tent that will house our "Players Meet The Makers" exhibit. I want to invite violin (and other non electric instrument) makers to participate. There is no fee to have a table, and no commission taken on any sales. It is restricted to only 'hand made' instruments, and no kits or otherwise pre made instruments. We provide tables, electric power, etc. It's a great way to show your work to about 1500 participants;many of them musicians. There have been several MN memebers who have joined us in previous years. Check out the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention website. PM me to reserve a spot. Bob Kogut
  4. Did the tailgut break where it ran over the top edge of the saddle? And does the top of your saddle have too acute of an edge, where the threaded part of the tailgut was cut into? I have noticed that the 5 string Thomastic tailpieces are designed so that the tailgut threads extend very near, or over the saddle. Just wondering, Bob Kogut
  5. Another amazing thing about the Golden Section theory is it's application not only to beautiful form,but to acoustics as well. For example,take a bass bar blank, and find the exact point to hold it so tapping it will produce it's resonant frequency (anti nodal point?) . That holding location will ideally be 1.618, the golden section. Make a set of calipers for measuring the Golden Section. It's amazing how many things in nature and human made follow the golden section. Even to lay out sheet music evenly spaced, and find the golden section in many classical pieces where certain musical phrases begin and end. Test the balance point on violin bows and see if it is the golden section. Even DNA is formed along the golden section. Function follows form ,with the golden section .
  6. Here is a little trick that works for me; Prepare the two ends as a butt joint (I have found that a scarf joint may lose some of it's integrity after final scraping / sanding of the ribs to prepare for the ground). On the bare tail block, pencil in where the endpin hole location will be, then apply a small amount of gel consistency superglue to that area only. Then apply your hide glue all over the block, but not where the superglue is. Before you tighten down your clamps, manually press and push the two rib ends together for a few seconds until the superglue sets. Now, as you apply your clamps, the rib ends will not drift apart from each other. Practice this ahead of time dry, since you will not have very much working time for the hide glue . When you ream out the endpin hole, you will also be removing all the superglue from the instrument. Does anyone else do this? Bob Kogut
  7. Seriously, I don't know if Yuen meant to do this or not, but notice that he placed the tuning fork right where the nodal point would be on the wooden piece, in order to obtain the strongest resonance from the vibration of the fork.
  8. To date, I have built 94 violins. I began in 1992, so I guess that equates to 6 per year, on the average. Over the past year or so, I have been enlisted to build more and more 5 string violins. The learning curve is steep on 5 strings, compared to the standard 4 string violins, since the real challenge is to be able to obtain a clear and strong tone on the C string, without compromising the high end. Getting into building 5 string violins has been like starting over again; not like just adding a C string to a 4 string instrument. It is humbling, but rewarding when it becomes someone's dream fiddle.
  9. I can see where if the rib ends did not meet up tightly because of the shaping of the point of the block, or the ribs ends coming up a little too short, the maker would need to fill in the space with the black fiber. Then, perhaps do the same thing with the other 3 blocks for symmetry and appearance? Bob Kogut
  10. The brand of strings were Prim. I would rather not give a supplier's name openly on a public forum in a negative way.
  11. Yes, that is the exact same thing that happened to me.
  12. I recently purchased a few dozen sets of violin strings from one of those 'deep discount' on line suppliers. The strings were priced much lower than anywhere I've seen. The packaging was identical to the authentic labelling of that brand of strings, and the strings were made to look very much like the real thing. Since I have been using this same brand of string for years, I was able to detect that they had a different kind of feel to them as I uncoiled them from their envelope. But when I installed them on the violin, I could tell that their tension was slightly different than usual; and when I played them it became obvious that the strings were a copy of the real brand. The main thing I noticed is that they do not tune well in 5th's and are inconsistent in intonation. Since then I tried another new set of the same brand ,(bought from my regular supplier), and the problem is gone. But now I have a carton of worthless strings that are not even worth giving away. Yes, I plan to report this back to the seller, but I doubt if I will even be able to talk to a human voice. Others who are buying these strings who don't happen to be already familiar with the attributes of that brand of string I'm sure are unaware of playing on strings that are inferior, and perhaps blame their fiddle or their own playing for the difficulty these strings produce. Just a heads up on this for those looking for a bargain. You get what you pay for. Bob Kogut
  13. It's interesting that the most frequent question people ask about violin making is: "How long does it take to make one?" ....As if we just can't stand the whole process until it is finally done! I, for one, am a little sad at the time of finally stringing one up for it's first time, since I really enjoy the journey and adventure all along the way, as tedious as it may be. Every time I am asked that question, it reminds me of how blessed I am to be able to enter this strange world of violin building where time slows way down from the reality of our chaotic and frenzied overdriven lifestyle. Bob
  14. bob kogut

    Violin Dog

    Oh you can't fool us! it is obvious that the player is right side up, and all the people watching are hanging upside down to trick everyone. The green hills in the background are just an optical illusion of the slope of the mountain. y You know you are messing with violin makers here; not just regular people!
  15. When I sell one, it's a Violin When I buy one, it's a Fiddle.
  16. Three or four inch round PVC pipe, screw on caps on each end with holes drilled perfectly centered, pipe filled withplaster of paris to add density and stability, first running an iron rod thru the pipe and out the caps as your axle.
  17. Henry, I think you have just created your own 'signature' model which shows a lot of character and tells about your own personality, in a good way. I don't think it has the appearance of a folk fiddle. Very nice job! Bob kogut
  18. It is obviously of Chinese factory origin. Examine the placement of the poppy seeds; they are not randomly positioned, but have a definite pattern as if by a CNC machine. Very similiar to recent mass produced units out of the Lox factory.
  19. quote: Originally posted by: dogmageek Bob: I think that the string maker should be given this story because they should have some "total quality" initiatives that may even currently include A strings. They may be trying to beat, through tweaking, for example, Helicore or others. Helicore has been taking some hits for A strings [new ones, for breaking] to the point where I was sent two viola A strings when I ordered violin A's. I stated that I thought it was because the seller SWStrings, knew about the violin A's. But that is my speculation, hypothesis, etc. Dogma, Now I'm wondering if I was sold some black market 'knock off' strings, made somewhere other than at the Prim factory? They looked just like Prims, and the packaging was the same; but who knows these days? By the way, I think I heard you play at O'leno [Florida] at Vernal's Equinox in late '80's, you played stuff like "Pig Town Fling" and "Round the Horn". It was in the hall with the fireplace, not the dining hall. I think you also played "Cattle in the Cane." I have lot's of friends from those days. Yes, I was playing with the 'Squirrely Germs' contra dance band then. I forgot all about 'Round the Horn'. You know you are getting old when you have forgotten more fiddle tunes than you remember! Bob -dogma
  20. quote: Originally posted by: Max Asst. Could the buzz be related to tension differences among the string brands since it happened only with the Prim? If you have no further use for the prim A-strings or other defective strings, I'd like to try them on a violin to verify that they are indeed faulty. If I find that they sound good, perhaps the buzz you found has only been shifted up or down the frequencies. Just a thought. Interesting thought. However, both faulty strings buzzed on another fiddle also. Bob
  21. quote: Originally posted by: NewNewbie Thanks for sharing! I learned a few things from this! One being, that your persistence was rewarded! Can you tell us what was the original string brand? Prim
  22. quote: Originally posted by: MANFIO I had some problems to make a back joint somedays ago... it seemed to be wichcraft... Manfio, Yes, it really does seem to be some kind of negative energy force at work that visits the workbench from time to time. It is a test of the builder's character in how it is handled. Bob
  23. yes, both faulty strings buzzed on another fiddle.
  24. This just happened: I completed my # 79 violin, strung it up, and was very happy with the tone as well as the appearance. Two days later, there was a buzz on the A string. OK, first thing to do was check the nut slot and height of the A string off the fingerboard. Buzz still there.Checked all seams including center joint. Buzz still there. Then, inspect the string itself; no sign of unraveling, but changed the string. Buzz still there with new string. Rule out problem caused by the string. Then, check the pegs, peg holes, inner pegbox, carved and relaced a new nut. Buzz still there. Then replaced tailpiece, refit bridge feet,installed new soundpost, checked fit of saddle, replace saddle, pull out endpin and check for fit. Buzz still there. Checked FF hole wings for varnish build up. Buzz still there. Pulled top plate off, tried all purfling and block joints, added some glue and reclamped here and there just in case, looked at bass bar,but it looked intact and snug, placed top plate back on. Buzz still there. Took top off a second time, carved away bass bar, installed new bass bar, put top back on. Buzz still there. OK, at this point I am ready to crush the whole thing under my foot, but it actually sounded very good, other than the buzz. So I thought, maybe if I put a Helicore A string on, it won't buzz quite as much? I put a Helicore A on.....the Buzz disappeared completely. Then, on a whim, I put another a string on of another brand....Buzz still gone! So, what actually happened is I had two new A strings that had a mysterious buzz that couldn't be identified by visual examination anywhere on the string. I ended up completely rebuilding the fiddle because of missing the diagnosis of two faulty strings in a row. I am humbled.
  25. I would like to suggest designing an ergonomic handle for the case. Currently designed handles are not shaped to the contours of the human hand. Some makers attempt to make them more comfortable by padding them, or even designing ridges in them to accomodate the fingers gripping it. But None of these measures actually help fit it to the hand. If you take a lump of modeling clay and gently squeeze it in the palm, that should be the shape of the handle. The carrying angle of the hand is not straight across, or horizontal, but is sloped from the web space of the thumb, down to the little finger. So, the newly shaped handle should also be mounted at an angle to the case. This new design would give the illusion of weightlessness when the case is carried. With a $4000 case, the handle could be ergonomically designed to add that icing to the cake. Bob Kogut http://webpages.charter.net/koguts
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