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Rob Fowler

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  1. Great work Ben. I wouldn't mind owning that one-piece backed violin - I just love nice looking violins but it's like window shopping for me without any chance of buying. Nice choice of colours and I like the antiqued look. How do they all sound? It is plain to see that you are a good maker as evidenced by many subtleties and the fact that you are prepared to try different styles and not straight jacketed to one approach. Well done.
  2. Marc, did you apply the red varnish over the top of a yellow coat? That would result in the orange effect!
  3. So, has anyone ever tried using Tru-oil or Danish oil as a final coat over an oil varnished violin? If so, what did the finished coat look like and how long was it after application before the fiddle could be strung up?
  4. I'm not much of a lover of craquelure and I figure it's a finish gone wrong rather than something to aspire to but I know there are those who like to see it on old violins.
  5. Ben, is that shellac you like to put on top of the oil varnish? Is it all right to add a spirit varnish on top of the oil varnish - will it not pull the oil varnish when applying it? One last question, if it is shellac on top of oil varnish will it not cause the varnish to craquelure?
  6. If you copy the link that Brad provided and paste it into Google and do a search on it then when the link comes up in Google you can choose the option to translate the page. This will save Marc having to do any translation. Very interesting resource Brad and Marc and thanks for posting this.
  7. I was also very interested in the ebay Hardie violin. I was so interested I nearly bid on it! It said in the listing it had a repair label label by T Thomson Buckie. Now I live in Buckie and know for a fact there was a fiddle maker by that name who left Buckie around 1925 to emmigrate to Canada and it seems quite likely that he would also have repaired violins. This seemed to add some authenticity to the ebay listing but in the end I also thought it didn’t look like a Hardie violin and decided to let it go but I could well have been wrong " font-family: Wingdings;">L
  8. Yes, nice clean work and good looking flamed maple too. I’m still on my first violin and this first stage I thought was the easiest – it has got progressively more difficult since. Hope this comment does not put you off. Looking forward to seeing more progress soon.
  9. Thanks for that very interesting link catnip – I found some very useful information and really enjoyed some of the different approaches Otis takes to violin making.
  10. Rob Fowler


    Happy Birthday too Luis – hope it was good for you.
  11. Your timing for this article is impeccable Luis. I just started my first neck today! I’m going to be following your photos and procedure with great interest. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.
  12. I really enjoyed watching this video clip Jasmine and you must be really proud of these two cellos. Well done.
  13. I like your well organised workshop and your website which shows the violin as it progresses step by step. I am also on my first violin and now I wish I had taken some pictures of its progress. Already I have made a few mistakes but nothing so bad as I have had to start over again. Certainly it seems that the process of making a violin teaches you many things that can only be learned from a hands on approach. My progress seems very slow as I’m making my violin in the school where I teach and I cannot get at it during the weekends when I have most spare time. I’m currently working on the back where I have finished the purfling and completed the final outer arching and now ready to start on the inside of the back. I’ll keep in touch with your progress also and wish you every success in your new venture.
  14. These are valid points you raise David and questions which I can’t answer. Perhaps someone who has already done this to their purfling for a finished instrument may care to add a comment or answer your questions. It seems it has been done in the past by some and so there must exist some experience on the effects. Or perhaps the effect of adding a little glycerine is negligible and that’s why the tip is so freely given. My first thoughts on getting moisture back into the wood was to somehow put it in a sealed container (sealed polythene bag or string tube) with a potato or something else that would slowly release its moisture so that the wood could absorb it. I guess the quick fix of the glycerine appealed to me and let me get the job done but I may regret this fix at a later date. I appreciate your post – thanks.
  15. I got the glycerine and mixed it with water. It took three coats of the 1:5 solution over two days to make this purfling pliable enough for bending but in the end it worked great and it turned a batch of brittle stuff into useable material. I found this part of fiddle making quite challenging and I’m sure I’ll make a better job of it next time. Still, there’ll always be more challenges ahead! Marilyn, I’ve got about 20 strips of this brittle purfling left and I may try your fabric conditioner on some of them in the future. Thanks to all for your help and posts.
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