catnip

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  1. The Top 3 Beginner Mistakes

    I would say Not having the right tools or hand skills Doing things out of sequence And most importantly ... Not "seeing"
  2. Researching information on super light violins

    Here is some average weights that I have been collecting from my violins. I weigh my violins before and after final varnishing. Each coat of oil varnish is ~ 1.5 gm back ~110 gm top ~ 60+ gm garland ~50+ gm neck ~65 gm FB (ebony) ~65 gm (Rosewood ~55 gm) Oil Varnish - Ground etc ~10 - 15 gm Tailpiece (w fine tuners) ~ 20+ gm Pegs ~ 20 gm Strings + nut + endpin ~ 5 gm Bridge ~ 2 gm
  3. Shop made F hole drills

    This thread inspired me to make two f-hole cutters for a friend of mine. He doesn't have access to a lathe. The hardest part was sharpening the cutters. The only change I made was to use a 2mm drill bit as a centering pin since it can be used to hand drill into the center of the eye. The drill bit has a conical end and is press fit into the cutter which has a tapered hole so that it can be removed later if the cutter needs to be re-sharpened,
  4. Caption this...

    Here is "Mon Coeur Est un Violon " played by a violin. Or loosely translated "Love is like a violin" My Heart is a violin
  5. CAD Which program(s) do you use?

    The only reason I used Photoshop in the beginning was It had an accurate ruler. I would have used much simpler programs if only they had a ruler. Without a ruler you can't scale anything other than by trial and error. Most of Photoshop is total over-kill for what I want to do. Currently I am using Inkscape because that is what the library uses for their Epilog laser cutter. But recently I am doing much more by eye and feel rather than obsessive measurements
  6. Wing crack in new violin

    I repaired a small f-hole crack using thin hide glue and a small spruce "biscuit" inserted into the edge which turned out to be very stable and quite invisible after varnishing.
  7. How to cut out the forma from bottom and top wood

    Not a problem. Just cut to the outline. The "parallax" error is in your favor. The roof-top side will be slightly larger than the flat bottom.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. Perry Sultana...

    Very clean work!! Here are some lining clamps I recently made based on an Italian design https://www.liuteriashop.com/en/tools/lining-clamp-for-violin-viola 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.
  15. 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.