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  1. According to Strad model database posted here some time ago, the consensus is that the Messiah was based on the PG MS21, although the G form was also used a lot.
  2. I think you might be doing it backwards. Usually you create the template from the poster . Then you create the form from the template. There are many ways to make templates and forms. Here are some pictures to illustrate one method. To create the template from the poster I use a precise photocopy of the back and pick the "best" half. This is then glued a 1/8" piece of plywood. After it is cut out I reduce the margin by ~3.5 mm from which I make my symmetrical form using two 1/2" pieces of plywood using the template and a flush cut router bit. There are some small adjustments that need to be made to make the corners "look" right, but that is essentially one method
  3. Laser Burning Bridge Name

    I laser cut some bridges last year from 6mm well quartered maple as an experiment with Epilog 75 watt laser. It is very difficult to find the quartered maple with extremely tight grain. No wonder good bridge blanks cost what they do. The bridges were designed using Inkscape and any line with a thickness of 0.001" essentially becomes a cut line, thicker lines are etched first. The resulting file was saved as a pdf file and it then "printed" to the Epilog laser. The software controls the speed of cutting and etching. I tried etching a label... which worked OK but the oval around the label was a 'cut' line. I may have discovered a new type of bridge by mistake.
  4. I know that for "standard" maple and spruce a tap tone and (weight) will get you in the ball park. I like to experiment with different woods especially for the back. For those of you who flex plates how do you know when to stop. For the back I have had weights range from 95 gm to as high as 130 gm (pear wood) with a stiffness factor m*f*f that range from (8 - 17) X 10^6. I stopped carving a pearwood back at 130 gm when that M5 tap tone got below 310 hz. The violin turned out great especially when paired with low density spruce. Maybe tap tones and weights are more important with the tops (spruce). I had only one violin spruce top that I should have rejected when it was at 79 gm with bb and a M5 tap tone of ~300. Maybe I will make a new top for it. I am sure Strad and Guar just flexed the plates in his hand and said "not ready ... too stiff" to his/her apprentices. I am currently working on a quartered bastogne (hybrid) walnut back at 124 gm with m5 of 350. It is "not ready". Still feels too stiff in my hands.
  5. It is a large board but the "wild" flame is only along the central part. There is enough length for two backs but I only intend on making one for now
  6. I have some nicely quartered light colored walnut that will match the mahogany back, but could use standard quartered "wild flame" maple and stain it to match the back.
  7. Perry Sultana...

    Very clean work!! Here are some lining clamps I recently made based on an Italian design I used 6 - 32 x 1" cap head screws instead of the hex head metric m4 x 25 mm. I bought some 3/4" aluminum U channel and cut the aluminum into ~ 1/4 in strips and tapped them using 6-32 tap-bit. I also found that using a plastic insert makes it very easy to use without worrying about damaging the outside. Another advantage is that I can do both sides at the same time.
  8. He had it labelled as "Mahogany - crotch figure". I planed the edge to see if it was quartered or flat-sawn. It is difficult to see mahogany edge grain but appears to be semi-quartered. Not a problem for me as I have used both flat-sawn and semi-quartered wood.
  9. David, Thanks for posting the reference to CITES. If I make the violin it will be for myself. Like Ernie said it may be a five string... I have not decided yet.
  10. Thanks for posting that link about the different mahogany. Here is a picture of what the back might look like. I am using a negative template which allows me to easily move the position of the back to see all the possibilities.
  11. I have made violins from pearwood, birch, ash, beech, quilted maple, and walnut so long as the wood has good character or grain. I have access to a mahogany board that has extremely unusual character but before I invest the time in using this wood as a violin back I would be interested in any feedback or experience in using mahogany. I know that it is quite commonly used in guitar making but I was wondering about its suitability in violin making
  12. Mike Molnar's Bench

    Thanks for that second picture. I very often find that I have to adjust the after-length on new fiddles as the tailgut stretches a bit. Maybe I will make something similar except I like Don's solution too! Quick and simple
  13. Mike Molnar's Bench

    I find this gadget quite intriguing and useful. I am not sure what you mean that it sits on the fingerboard. It looks like the bottom block must be rather thin to fit on top of the fingerboard yet fit under the strings. The typical clearance is ~3.5 mm on the E to 5 mm on the G. Does your string retainer clamp to the under side of the fingerboard? If it did you could keep some string tension which would keep the peg string windings in more or less in place.
  14. Perry Sultana...

    Oh, About your Ambrosia Maple. The staining is due to the Ambrosia beetle. Usually there is an exit hole visible but if the staining bothers you, you can reduce its effect with Hydrogen Peroxide (Industrial strength)
  15. Perry Sultana...

    Great Project! I remembered when you started your first 5-string violin which inspired me to start making a few 5 strings. I am tempted to join you in this project but I am more interested in making a 5 string violin-d'amore than a viola d'amore. Do you know of any violin d'amores or plans for a violin d'amore. I don't want to build any instrument longer than 361-365 mm ( Like a Maggini). Its September and its back to making again! thanks for posting your build