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  1. I think everyone is assuming you are referring to edge thickness. If you are really talking about overhang, then 5mm is too much anyway. I try to get 2.5 mm overhang from the ribs as the starting point.
  2. I never use them because I've always suspected they would leave a slight residue. Instead I use the exhaust port from a shop-vac to remove dust just prior to varnishing --- just need to have a firm grip on the instrument and be a little careful when directing the air toward the f-holes.
  3. My latest effort --- Number 7 Excuse the poor photography. At least my son knew how to eliminate the background.
  4. Jimmy, I've recently decided to try making my own bridges. I went to a cabinet maker and asked about local sources of dried maple. If you get a piece that's roughly a 2-inch cube there will automatically be a quarter-sawn section in there --- you just need to cut away the excess with whatever equipment you have available. (Note that you will recognize the correct direction by the 'dots' that are formed by the medullary rays) I start by making a 'tile' that's about 2-inches X 2-inches X about 6 mm thick. Orient this so the annual rings are horizontal in the body of the bridge. Place a standard bridge blank (they are slightly oversized anyway) on the tile and trace the outline onto the tile (this will automatically give you a bridge that is slightly larger yet). I take a drill press and drill undersized holes in the center of kidneys, in the heart, and around the feet; being careful always to have the tile securely clamped to the table before drilling. I take a very thin-kerfed saw with fine teeth and cut the straight channels in toward the bottom of the kidneys (don't worry at this point that the saw-cut doesn't meet the hole you drilled). Then I take a coping saw and rough out the area between the feet and to make the cut across the bottom of the heart, after which I use the coping saw to cut out the outside outline. OK, now you have a very fat ugly bridge with pretty ragged edges. I start by sanding the outer edges against a sanding block until the width is the same as the bridge blank I start with. Then I use thin round rasps and files to shape the heart, kidneys, and feet to essentially the shape of the blank. Time to plane or sand (I use sandpaper glued to a pane of glass) to taper the bridge close to its final shape. Someone suggested the violinbridges.com website. An excellent resource. I studied the dimensions from many of the bridges shown and came up with an 'average' for each. I try to come close to these averages before doing the final fitting to an instrument. I'm not sure if your mentor wants you to fit a bridge to a specific instrument or just to make a 'bridge blank'. If you must also fit it, there have been many useful threads on how to do that. Good luck --- enjoy the learning. Sounds like you're hooked just like the rest of us!
  5. I'm not a prolific maker, just a hobbyist. I stand most of the time --- but it's largely due to the height of my workbench (which is an old base from a bedroom dresser). If we ever sell the place we're in I plan to re-visit the old 'workbench' threads and build a new / better one, make that two, where I could both sit or stand. Re: witty responses to your subject title --- us fiddlers almost always use the first position. What else could this be referring to?
  6. Tim, why are you purchasing a cartridge heater? Once you mine the cuprite ore and smelt it with coke, the rest is simple.
  7. I'd take a laptop and the URL for a certain website moderated by Jeffrey Holmes.
  8. There are several reasons why fiddles are tuned this way. 1. Fiddle players tend to spend most / all of their time in the first position. For the average player it is easier to play the low C-sharp in tune with the second finger rather than the third on the G-string. Changing the G-string to A makes that possible. 2. Many fiddle tunes will play the same melody an octave lower to give it that 'cool' fiddle sound. Anything played on the A and E-strings can be played with the same fingerings on the lower "A and E-strings". 3. In many fiddle songs the A string can often be used as a drone when playing melody on the E-string or vice versa. So you can get more variety droning --- especially when playing on the 2 middle strings (while playing on the A-string you can drone either above or below and still be on an E-string). 4. It makes the fiddle sound different because there are more open string with "sympathetic vibrations" --- sort of gives it a brighter, more ringing quality. 5. Certain chords which would be double-stops in standard tuning are now just single notes with drones. Besides the above, it's just plain fun. Many tunes were written specifically for this tuning and would be considerably more difficult in GDAE. If you want to experiment further, try tuning ADAE for tunes in the key of D. Enjoy!
  9. Personally, I think things like Helmholtz frequencies and all these A0 / B1 measurements take the fun out of making violins (and I once taught physics and chemistry). But that being said, I do like to experiment. A while back, I became interested in the effect of oil soaking into the wood and decided to try something stupid. I took some olive oil and poured it through the f-hole of a mediocre fiddle and shook the thing to make sure all the interior surfaces were coated. On a whim, I picked up a bow and started to play it. To my surprise, I couldn't hear any difference. So I thought --- why stop here. I went back to the kitchen, got a larger container (extra virgin but that's probably not important) and started pouring it in. I stopped when the instrument was about half full. So in essence, the rib height was now about half what it had been (not to mention the fact that the graduation on the back was now irrelevant). I picked it up and put the bow to it. I was shocked to hear the results --- I can't say what happened to the Helmholtz frequency or any other mode frequency, but to my amateur-trained eard there really wasn't a perceptible difference in tone quality.
  10. Tim, rather than a Dremel, I use an end-mill held in a desk-top drill press. The end mill is a spiral upcutting bit, similar to a router bit, and makes a 1.25 mm groove just as clean as can be. I mount a formica coated piece of maple to the table of the drill press that has piece of 0.125 inch brass rod sticking up --- the violin plate slides against this brass piece and keeps the groove a constant 4.5 mm away from the edge. I set up the drill press so that the bit is in the 'down' position (held down with a bungee cord on the handle) and raise it temporarily when I approach a corner. And yeah, the corners need to be completed by hand, but it still takes less than an hour, start to finish, for me to make a virtually flawless groove --- and I'm a rank amateur.
  11. Hi Seth --- One thing I found very helpful was to go to http://violinbridges.co.uk and look at several bridges. I drew a large-scale bridge and copied measurements from many of the bridges on that site, then took the averages and a standard deviation for each distance (to get a 'typical' range). A few of these averages really surprised me. For example the average width between the kidneys was narrower than I expected based on bridges from tha old fiddles I had sitting around the house. The bottom line --- whenever I cut a new bridge for one of my fiddles using these average dimensions the sound would be 'more open' (even though I probably didn't have the 'optimum' bridge dimension there would be a significant improvement).
  12. David & Jeffrey --- There's no way I would take that bet. Here's my counter-offer --- I bet either of you can make a better joint if I use a hand plane!
  13. I've used a power jointer (joiner, sp.?) for the fingerboard and the part of the neck that mates to it. Any other sinners out there? I fail to see the downside --- it takes only one or two passes and the joint that's made looks as good as possible. I realize it's not traditional, but I expect that if these tools had been available in Cremona (along with electricity), they would have been welcomed.
  14. I'm getting ready to start shaping the front and plan to make curtate cycloid templates for 5 places --- (1) and (5) --- the widest part of the lower and upper bouts, (3) --- narrowest part of the C-bout, and (2) and (4) --- the areas near the corners where the width of the lower and upper bout is narrow. My question is about areas (2) and (4). To make a curtate cycloid you need to know the width between the lowest points and the height midway between these points. The lowest points are at the bottom of the scoop. This is easy at the wide part of the L/U bouts or the C-bout --- I move 1-2 mm inside the purfling. But in areas (2) and (4) it's not so obvious to me. Since I don't know how to draw a picture and post it, I'll try to describe --- the scoop in the corners could form a straight line connecting the scoop from the c-bout with the adjacent bout. Or it could deviate from a straight line in either direction; i.e., toward the outer edge (which would result in a 'fuller' or 'fatter' appearance to the plate) or toward the inside (which would give the appearance of a flatter plate). How do others handle this area? Hope this question is clear --- if not let me know.
  15. Carlos --- keep in mind that none of us has ever done a perfect job on any violin --- and especially not on our first one! I would try to carefully remove any obvious ridges with gouges before going to the scraper --- some of the areas can be difficult to reach with a scraper. Also, don't camfer (bevel) the edges until everything else is finished. You can use this bevelling to make minor corrections in the shape. A few things to consider for fiddle number 2: a). the area on top of the pegbox (right side) between the D and A pegs looks a little thin. . the second turn of the scroll (between the button and the top when viewed from the top) should form a straight cylinder if you picture it going right through, rather than tapering inward toward the center. Keep moving forward --- your first scroll looks a lot like mine before I cleaned it up.
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