matthew tucker

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Everything posted by matthew tucker

  1. I've made four western red cedar bass tops and they all sound great; warm, open, and loud. However, the cedar is soft, and yes can be a bit splitty, especially during top removal. None of my tops has cracked yet. FWIW, if I were to put in a soundpost patch, I would have very few qualms putting in a spruce patch, as the wood is harder, and in that nodal location I doubt whether there will be significant tonal change. If you want to use cedar, go for the tightest grained piece you can find. I would also consider spruce for top and bottom block area patches. (I have just about used up all my qualms ... does anyone know where to get them these days? I tried my scruples supplier - but he's gone out of business too.)
  2. Also known as filbert shape. i agree .... best brush shape. and synthetic bristles seem to be very good too.
  3. Speaking of kevlar, I'd like someone to make a tool roll with a stiched-in kevlar lining for my gouges
  4. Kevlar would be super strong but hell to work with. Repair materials need to be easy to work with ... and also to remove. On basses and cellos I use artist's grade linen canvas, unbleached, and i use strips overlapping the linings a little as i don't want to create a weak-point by stopping the linen at the linings. I pull out 4-5 threads from each edge so that the edges feather nicely into the rib instead of making a ridge. When glue is dry I sand edges lightly to kill any rough spots then paint on more thin hide glue to seal. I've been toying with the idea of sealing the linen/glue reinforcement with shellac. But have not done this yet.
  5. I've been experimenting a little with what i think must be manila copal - although I'd love a "test" so help me identify it. What is interesting; it half-dissolves in alcohol and leaves a white powdery slurry. But I discovered that in naptha/shellite/lighter fluid, it dissolves completely and well. When brushed onto glass, the alcohol version leaves a slightly translucent film, stays sticky for a while. The shellite version, on the other hand, dries in about 30 seconds, leaves a perfectly clear film, and hardens nicely. Has anyone else used this solvent in touch-up varnishes?
  6. CHET! You did it! And I missed it by ... THAT much! I've had a few distractions down here this year :-( and forgot to check in at Maestronet for a while. But I've just read the whole thread and now inspired to make one myself. A beautiful result you have there and I'm looking forward to hearing it, too. (Just have to finish a bass or two first ...) Well done Chet. best wishes Matthew
  7. I love doublesided tape - mine is only a layer of glue really. No foam layer at all. I stick thin pieces of wood to a sheet of thick perspex, stick two thicker sticks at either side as a fence, then use a plunge router to thickness my strips very accurately and safely. Then just slide a knife under the veneers and rub the glue off. Also use doublesided tape to stick a backing block to my blades when lapping. Much easier when you have something to hold onto.
  8. What? No-one else uses blu-tack on a ruler?
  9. That's what I usually use for my double bass purfling, but the other day i saw a picture of someone using it with the "handle" part as a handle! ... and felt a bit silly because I'd been using it upside down all this time. But now, i'm not so sure!
  10. Gurian Instruments makes purfling to order, all sorts of woods and thicknesses and layups. fantastic resource. But there's a minimum order price so its a good idea to to a group buy ... I haven't personally bought from them yet, but I know a bunch of luthiers that have, and they all have good things to say.
  11. This is not really a new idea and you've probably seen this all before, but in case not ... of historical interest
  12. (checks date ... hmmm ... April 1 was a couple of months ago ... )
  13. Craig most players use a 3/4 double bass and use a string length of 41.5" . That's about as standard as it gets. Some basses have 44" string length but this is on the upper limit of playability. a 4/4 bass is just a term for "a very large bass" really. Primary students typically start on a "1/2" size bass with a string length of 38"-40". I'd be surprised if your client couldn't use one of these successfully. Think about where your heel stop is going to be. this is the point where the index stops the thinnest string when the thumb is in the crook of the heel. Double basses have a D or Eb stop - dunno about cellos. It is a useful standard reference point. Big diff between acoustic basses and electric is sustain, acoustic box absorbs string vibrations so the sustain is typically short. That's part of the DB sound. Without a moving soundboard there's nothing damping the vibrations and the thing sustains forever like an electric bass. Very different sound. I think if you build in a small soundboard/cavity the sound will be more DB - like but that's just a hunch. the Paulin bass I posted above has a hollow body with cedar top and piezo pickups under the bridge feet. Oh and if you're going to use bass strings at proper tension, I suspect those peg tuners won't do. With basses, there are no rules. Have fun.
  14. electric bass string length is 34" so if you're going to use those strings use that mensure. There are zillions of designs for electric uprights, google will show you! You can make a "stick" but remember that one of the things about a bass and cello is that they are anchored against the body. if you don't provide that sort of facility, the instrument spins unnervingly around the endpin making it unpleasant to play. this is an EUB made by Bill Paulin here in Oz. Pleasantly weighted and with piezo pickups in the bridge. My favourite.
  15. Electric instruments usually lack the damping properties of a full soundboard etc and so if you want to retain the playing experience of an acoustic instrument the challenge is to get the damping right. Usually an electric upright bass has unusually long sustain for a bass, more like a bass guitar, for obvious reasons, and I'd assume that an electric cello which is almost exclusively used arco, would have the same issue. "volante" basses seem to have found a nice solution by which the folding front is almost full size, and by alll accounts this seems to give the instrument the right decay time, as well as giving a familiar tactile feel of the instrument to the player. (Some people, of course, will point out to me that a cello is a lot more than a scaled down double bass, but that's MY perspective) Welcome back Jasmine!
  16. Looks like something from the "school of double bass" to me :-)
  17. FWIW I have the same problem at home, at work, all fast connections, Mac and PC, Firefox, safari and IE. And only with Masetronet.
  18. the panels are usually nothing more than a fabric-covered frame with polyester wool or other sound-absorbing material inside. I think you can buy them online, or just make your own. Heavy curtains will do the same sort of thing.
  19. "His confident demeanor rapidly changed. His eyes widened in amazement and he angrily shouted out "It's not a crack! Who told you that was a crack? it's a wormhole!" I was no crack. It was a womble. the crack luthier was wack, but it does not matter
  20. Nice, Craig. I like. A sheet of glass has SOOOO many uses in a luthier's shop! I make my shaped sanding blocks out of timber faced with glass, then glue sandpaper to the glass with mounting cement. Best tool for flattening the bottom of a neck mortise. On a bass, anyway. MT
  21. Yes there are a few opinions in that thread! But I'm not convinced Sure, a curved surface may be more resistant to compression perpendicular to the tangent of the curve, as a violin arch supports the bridge weight, but I still seriously doubt whether a curved bridge surface will make a bridge any stronger/stiffer than a flat surface, just because it is curved. A polystyrene football isn't any stiffer than a polystyrene cube, just because the surface is curved. The lions share of the string pressure is vertically down into the bridge from the top, not into the surface of the bridge. Sure, leaving the bridge thick in the middle DOES help, but I believe it matters not whether this is on the front or back surface, so might as well keep things simple. A bridge that lies flat on the bench is easier to work with than one that rocks! I don't really understand why Darnton is so eager to issue the "wax those grooves" challenge - perhaps is would be a disaster in a violin? But on a bass, lubricating the bridge slots is de rigeur and provided the feet fit well, and the bridge is upright, it doesn't go anywhere. IMO it's this string lube that equalises the tension across the top of the bridge, helps it to stop pulling forwards when tuned, and minimises the banana syndrome - unless the blank is simply thinned too far, and/or is of low quality, as are the "factory" chinese bridges supplied on low end basses. And we're talking double bass bridges here too, so I think there are some different parameters given that the same cut of maple will act differently whether it is 12mm thick or 2mm thick.
  22. I can't see any advantage to curving both front and back surfaces of a bass bridge. How will this make it stronger?? Thin just the front, leave the back flat. To stop the warping you need to start with a good blank such as despiau or aubert, fit the feet so that the back of the bridge is flat and perpendicular to the top, lubricate the string grooves with graphite (important, because it's friction that pulls the bridge forwards when tuning) ... and then show the owner how to keep the bridge in the correct and upright position while and after tuning. Adjusters on a bass are used to change string height when changes in humidity move the bass top arching. Also used by players to experiment with string height for different styles of playing. Bridge crown shape is mostly determined by the arch of the fingerboard - if you deviate from this too much you have to compensate with adjustments to fingerboard scoop. Setting the ideal string height off the fingerboard is also not a sciencebecause it depends on the scoop, and the properties of the strings used. Start with around 7mm, 8mm, 9mm, 10mm clearance at the end of the fingerboard from G thru E and then drop that down according to the players' wishes. If/when you fit the adjusters, they should be able to be adjusted a little further than the lowest you think will be used. The player will always want to *try* a lower string height at some point!
  23. WHAT??? Please tell me more? I know double bass players have issues flying ... but violinists???? Oh ... you're pulling my leg.