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Torbjörn Zethelius

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Everything posted by Torbjörn Zethelius

  1. 3.14 ≈Pi. As myself and F. Denis has pointed out, the distance between the upper and lower blocks equals the original vibrating string length. Divide this with Pi and that's the internal width of the c-bout. A simple way to do this without a calculator at hand is to use a (fairly stiff) string the length of the distance between upper and lower blocks, and make a circle of it. The diameter is the width of the c-bout. I haven't checked it in a long time, so I'm not sure if it works on all the Strad moulds. It should work on at least one. The approx ≈32 mm is then 1/10 of the vibrating string length.
  2. Laying out f-holes (Hopefully the link works now.) See if you can combine this with your circles? As I mentioned in the text, I use the golden section for the layout in this scheme. (Part 2 is yet to come. )
  3. Michael, are you still a proponent of curtate cycloids?
  4. Very interesting, Andreas. Have you seen my article on the design of Stradivari's f-hole templates?
  5. Yes. I was thinking of the most striking examples. On the other hand, the Betts for example, or the Lady Blunt show less asymmetry, and in my opinion were made by Antonio himself. All the decorated Strads are also fairly symmetric in appearance.
  6. I'm wondering if the Strads with asymmetric f-holes once had 'Sotto la diciplina' labels in them.
  7. The notches were partly decoration (think of Andrea Amati) and partly a reference point for the position of the bridge in the case that it fell over. Back in the day travelling players needed to have some basic knowledge of repair and set up because there weren't always a violin maker available. I think mostly violin makers are fussing about the placement of the bridge; but players less so. They prefer the bridge where the instrument sounds best. For that reason, having two alternative reference points is actually a sound idea.
  8. Well, I didn't mean it to be like the dutzenarbeit cottage industry north of the alps. More like, with a distinctive Cremonese touch. Think quality. Imagine yourself in Antonio's shoes: Everybody wants a Cremonese instrument i.e. a Stradivarius. With money to spend, what's the logical thing to do? Was he not a good business man?
  9. This resembles the Segreti di Buttegha notion that when graduating the plates, one should find the balance point at about the 38-38.5 point of 72. It makes sense to me that they should get inspiration from Vitruvius rather than Felix Savart who came much later.
  10. My first Strad article that I published in 2006 has a few minor editing mishaps, but since I've commented on this and requested that no changes be made unless I get to approve the final article, I've had good experiences. My first article was hurried to meet the printing deadline and maybe that was the reason for the small editing mistakes.
  11. I think that the Strad workshop produced violin parts in batches. So that a worker could cut several -for example; f-holes- in one go. That would speed up the process quite a bit. The batches could even be finished outside of the main workshop, sort of like in a cottage industry. In a smaller workshop it -perhaps- makes more sense to make each instrument individually.
  12. Peter Westerlund is a very successful maker. He's worth taken seriously. Although, I doubt that I would make better violins using his method. Every violin maker have their own way of doing things. Glenn, do come by if you're ever in Stockholm.
  13. Chinese factory workers use 10 minutes to cut an f-hole by hand.
  14. I would rather listen to players than researchers on this matter.
  15. I don't recognise the decoration as Scandinavian. American?
  16. Andreas, in addition to the information given in my article Arching the divide: I Segreti di Buttegha. The discussion about calculation of the focal axis is complex and I've heard from a Catalan friend, also a violin maker, that Dipper's translation is problematic. As an example, there's no mentioning of arching templates in the original Segreti text. We will be working on the original Italian/Catalan text which is included in the book, to try to work out our own interpretation. When talking about the measure of the internal archings, it says: "this is true for both the belly and back". I interpret this as meaning that the internal depth of the arch is the same for both the belly and the back. The Dizionario is interesting because it clearly explains how violins were made before the French method of copying took over. As a result, because of its clarity, it also illuminates how to understand the other texts. In none of the older texts there's any mentioning of tapping the plates to optimise the sound. In my view it is a practice started by Savart that the old makers never did.
  17. Both the 1716 Medici violin and 1690 Medici viola have breast patches in the belly.
  18. I very rarely bite visitors. I'll see you in September then.
  19. Peter, I'm curious of your violins. If you're ever in Stockholm, show me a violin (or two) and I'll tell you what I think. We can also ask an experienced violinist friend to play it. Always good to meet in real life.
  20. I don't see it that way. How can you carve an inside back arch to look like the outside of the belly? It doesn't make sense to me.
  21. My article 'Arching the divide' addresses this common concept among Italian makers. If we are looking for a concept, then we should also expect to re-evaluate our own conceptual ideas about how violins are made.
  22. It depends on the wood and the thicknesses, and possibly the climate. It's probably impossible to predict how much.
  23. The constant tension from the strings pushes the extreme areas of the belly upward and makes the belly arch flatter.
  24. No, it will not sink in, but the upper and lower bout areas will almost certainly rise, as David Burgess have explained. This will result in a flatter looking arch. Like this. That's why Del Gesus with their thicker graduations hold their shape better.
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