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About DelDuca

  • Birthday 10/29/1962

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  • Location
    Bozeman, Montana USA
  • Interests
    Stringed instrument repair, restoration, and adjustment.

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  1. Duane, I did it your way, and it worked rather well. Twenty minutes from start to finish. I used some scrap from a bass bar. My only refinement was that I did the final forming by placing some sandpaper in the trough of a gouge. The effort paid off and the new, scratch built post, has made a huge improvement in the voice of the instrument.
  2. Okay, I'll make my first "from scratch" post today! Gotta walk the walk.... Happy New Year to everyone!
  3. Do you like spruce too, a la CT? I also wonder if anyone has experimented with other cross-sections than round? Any experience with square or octagonal? I suspect that in the old days nice, round, dowel stock would have been a pain to manufacture. Have you seen what an original 16th or 17th century post looked like? Were they fussy and insist on perfectly round posts? Does anyone think that the cross section would effect sonic quality? Yeah, my thought processes get pretty way out there.... Thanks to you both for "biting"!
  4. I was fitting a sound post yesterday. While rummaging through my little stash of stock I noticed that one particular piece, which I have had for a decade, has become quite dense and hard. I can only barely get my post-setter blade into it. My other stock was still soft as the day I bought it. My gut tells me that the stock is too hard and that I should toss it into the rubbish bin, but I can't give a logical reason. A practical reason is simply that it is difficult to work with. Which brings me to the question: Has anyone noticed if higher density post stock, or older post stock, has a noticeable effect on sound? I couldn't find anything on this idea in older threads, and it seems a bit different than the post-setting thread, so I am hoping you professionals will share your thoughts.
  5. Thank you all for the information and advice! In hindsight, the subject of cleaning is probably a thread all to itself, but I couldn't find anything when I searched. In any case, when this interesting violin is back together I'll post photos. With my backlog of projects it will probably be a couple of years at least (optimistically!).
  6. Thank you for the link to the earlier thread. It was interesting and informative. Here is another question: Before I start reassembly I think it may be wise to clean the surfaces. Underneath all the grime and mold residue the varnish is in rather good shape. Looks like oil to me. The crackleure still has plenty of depth and character in the low traffic areas. So... I am terribly old fashioned and clean with light pressure using dish-soap and water on a damp rag. This method leaves quite a bit of grime, but I would rather stop short than go too far. A long time ago (twenty years at least) I did some restoration on an oil painting, and the reference guide which I have (fifty years old) advised using solvent and cotton balls. What is the current best practice? I certainly don't want to damage the original varnish in any way.
  7. No stamp, no label, nothing to identify it at all. Just the odd details. Sorry!
  8. You fellows are sharp! I too saw that odd bump next to the block, but forgot to mention it. So the through-neck ended on top of the bump? What was the purpose of that? And why did they saw the neck even with the ribs? This means that the neck block with the hole is a later addition? I'm afraid that I need very simple explanations since this instrument is very different from anything I have seen before.
  9. Howdy from Bozeman, Montana! It has been years since I have posted anything, but I thought you all may find this a little interesting. The other day a customer of mine donated this old violin to me. It is in pieces from being stored in a damp crawl-space and had belonged to the customer's grandfather. To me, it has signs of being 18th century, but I would appreciate a history lesson from the knowledgeable members here. What I has noticed are: unusual bifurcated scroll, nail hole in neck, hole in neck block, peg holes are bushed with an indication of a change in scale length, peg-box insert to allow for new nut location for different scale length, neck is flush with table (a pine shim to raise the fingerboard was included in the box of parts). I have not seen another scroll like this. Maybe they are common as dirt, but it is new to me, and I have to wonder if it representative of a particular region or school. I look forward to reading your opinions.
  10. All excellent suggestions! The reason why I'm heading "west" is that the sound improved in that direction. The maker of this particular instrument is a couple of oceans away so returning it to him would be a royal headache. Besides that, set-up is really my thing and sending it out would be no fun at all. It could indeed benefit from different strings. They are definitely on the list of possibilities. It hadn't occurred to me that the bridge blank could be a dud. Thanks much for that suggestion! All in all it seems that those of you who have commented so far don't find it wise or necessary to stray very far from "book" placement of the post. Maybe there is a good reason for that... JDD
  11. Friends, I need your input. I'm working on a newer violin by a respected maker and it has a problem that I suspect is sound-post related. The E and A strings are full, sweet, and excellent in every way, but the G and D are slow to respond, quiet, and just don't sound good. I have worked on other instruments by this maker and they have all been very fine sounding so I was very surprised with this one's symptoms. I checked EVERYTHING and made all needed adjustments before going to the sound-post. I am to the point that, while the tone did improve, I am thinking that to get what I want in sound quality I'm going to be forced to place the new post farther towards the center-line than I have ever done before or seen done. My next attempt will fall around 2mm inside the inner extremity of the treble foot. I haven't the time to fit a new post for a couple of weeks so I thought I could gather a little information in the meantime. I expect to eventually get the sound I want but wanted to ask what extremes you all have seen or experienced. I am searching for THE OUTER LIMITS of sound-post placement! Not theoretical but actually observed. Not limited to violins either... I look forward to your responses. Thanks in advance! Jim Billings, Montana
  12. CT, do you suspect a clever 19th century copy? The neck-set description certainly does suggest a less-than-ancient instrument. Like everyone else, I beg for photos. JDD
  13. Set-up and adjustment are arts unto themselves. There are lots of interconected variables involved. Do you want to do this yourself? It can be very complex and challenging, but personally, I get a lot of satisfaction from the effort. If you've got dough you could take it to a pro. What quality is your instrument?
  14. Could you share with us why you decided to move the post from it's previous position?
  15. If your white violin sounds terrible then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from the experience. Have you fitted it and played it yet? If it sound fine, on the other hand, then what would be gained? Why your leaning soundpost sounded so good is a wonderful question and worth a lot of study! It is probably more valuable to do extensive soundpost extensive soundpost experimentation before commiting to regraduation, don't you agree? JDD
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