DGardner

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About DGardner

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  1. I am reminded of the sour faculty joke that academic disputes are so bitter because the stakes are so small. I also have a personal angle on this topic. One of my fiddles, reportedly made by a Norwegian immigrant, needed its neck replaced eventually. A thoughtful band-mate, in a moment of carelessness, broke the neck off for me, and revealed a genuine guitar-type dovetail. Had I tried the usual "karate chop" removal technique, the results would have been catastrophic. (I very earnestly hope I don't ignite a dispute over the karate chop method).
  2. Maybe advice from a relative tyro will help somewhat. I haven't had quite your problem, but each time I do a final combing before inserting the hair, it turns up twisted hairs jammed against the knot. I've finally just started making a knot ~an inch past where it needs to be. Then I comb it again and trap all the crossed hairs in the interval between the “false” knot and the real one. Then of course I cut that away and proceed to the frog mortise. So far, I have theorized that the first, too-distant, knot causes the imp in charge of frustrating that particular hair job to relax for a moment, and the second knot is done before his attention returns to me. Dave
  3. I don't post often at all, but when I need to know the ramifications of a bass bar too close to the center line, this is the place to go. Also (even if it's usually vicarious) it's good to hear people take the shape of a bridge's kidney with high seriousness. If I run up to my wife saying: “Look, Hon, I grafted this pegbox!!” I get: “That's nice dear. Did you buy milk?” My old English major reflexes are forcing me to mention the sarcasm sub-thread. I think people are too hung up on dictionary meanings. For Heaven's sake, a “thing” used to be a Danish committee meeting. Sarcasm (in the ordinary sense) seems to me very audience-specific. My brother is a flinty type A, and I can sarcasm all over him-- it's just like a manly tap on the shoulder. My sister is an Episcopal priest, and she would be very hurt with just a tenth of the same abuse. I think this makes its use on the internet a little tricky. Dburns says he has never been attacked; I must point out that his nose is crooked and his mother dresses him funny.
  4. I have no excuse for starting another boring bridge parchment topic, other than, I like to be noticed . I know that this is not proof of the real thing but the paper that I have measured around my desk here varies very little in thickness while this "parchment" in question varies quite a bit in thickness. Scott I have some thin parchment(really, scraped calf skin) from banjo heads I've replaced or trimmings from installing new heads. It is quite a bit stronger than what is being described on this thread. Send me your land address and I'll send a year's supply--maybe trade for a clapped out but nice ebony fingerboard? Dave Gardner
  5. Mr. O'Fear, Thanks so much for your suggestions—I've already hauled out some bridge blanks to start planning the cuts. Also, the oval soundpost is a forehead slapper, of course! If I were a professional maker, I might announce that the oval soundpost is the lost secret of Cremona (how many original Cremona soundposts are there around?). I suppose the grain lines should be on the long axis of the oval, right? Doug, I have luck to own three fiddles with the narrow bass bar problem. The one I did re-bar really improved (I put the bar in the usual position with a shallow hollow under the ff eye, and painted the area black. It's invisible from just a foot or so away, at least to us 65-year-olds). Maestronet is such a great resource! Dave
  6. A friend recently gave me a yard sale fiddle that looks pretty promising. It's light, no cracks, pretty well made and someone has already reset the neck. The difficulties are that the ffs are small—only a 5mm post will go through at the nicks; and the bass bar is too close to the center line, such that with the bridge foot to be 1mm beyond the bar, the bridge at the feet can only be 38mm. So, 1.) Is there a way to put a larger diameter post in, or is it necessary? 2.)Can I use a ¾ bridge (internet prices I could find for a 4/4 38 mm bridge were 3 times what I usually pay). If I take off very little wood, it looks like it will work, but there will be a lot of wood above the heart. 3,) Should the sound post mirror the bass bar position? It seems that shortens the effective lever of the bridge. Dave Gardner
  7. Here's my entry in the grandchild concours. Dave
  8. I have a similar fiddle (Samuel Parker, American 1912)--it has a platform on the back only, so you can still adjust the post, it's just 50% more difficult. I guess he was trying to split the difference between flat and traditional post mounts. Dave I have seen several violins with just this sort of thing. An amateur maker in Baker, Oregon, used that idea -- I think it was original with him, but I'm sure many others have come up with it at many other times and places. He has since passed away. He even went so far as to put a bull's-eye pattern on the flat areas -- I believe he was a retired engineer before he started making violins -- so that you could make sure you had it perfectly vertical. His square areas were 1 inch on a side. He was also very precise with his square cuts on the soundpost ends. Since that time, at least one other maker around here is doing it that way, though with 1/2-inch square platforms. As has been mentioned, just because it's flat doesn't mean it's any easier to fit. If you just nibble off the end, you can have a bad fit on a flat panel. And the pressure/tension argument certainly is valid -- not much room to go one way or the other when you have flat ceilings and floors. But it makes a good story when you're sitting around drinking beer.
  9. Dangerous for me to go by memory, but...Sacconi's suggestions on graduation were not so much lacking measurements as combining them to come up with typical or ideal graduations. I think the lamented Michael Darnton mentioned this. Dave Gardner
  10. Great to hear you are doing well--those of us the the late stages of youth worry when we don't hear from age mates for a while. I have been meaning to write to say that I have been using your bow hairing DVD, and the bullies at the beach are no longer kicking sand in my face for my puny hair jobs. I'm actually flaming the hair successfully now (I have no financial interest in CTviolin Enterprises). Dave Gardner
  11. John, I like the simplicity, and I am sure to steal most of this idea. One question though, why do the sliders sit on the "uphill" side of the BB? It seems to me that they would be more of a help in gluing if they were on the downhill side, toward which the glue-slickened bar wants to slide. Dave Gardner
  12. Almost on topic...I don't think anyone has recently repeated the lamented Michael Darnton's suggestion of microwaving glue for the initial dissolution, or re-heating. For me it has saved time, and I almost never have a mold problem (I guess the spores die horribly in the microwave radiation). Dave Gardner
  13. Yeah! With the capability of computer aided machines and high definition 3D scans of famous instruments coming out,it seems no problem to run off very accurate copies for arching, scroll, etc. Dave Gardner
  14. Thanks, Jacob-This is a puffy Staineroid fiddle on which I glued a a bit of maple on the neckheel to get the overstand closer to normal, ut of course it now leaves a bit of empty space on the sides of the mortise. (I'm using shavings to fatten the mortise).Dave Gardner
  15. I'm bringing this back up because I have the same question: why wouldn't shavings (hide!) glued to the mortise do as well as plugging it--and less work to boot. (Some people call it laziness, I prefer to think of it as economy of effort).I've re-set the necks of several steel-strung guitars this way, and I expect there is a lot more more strain on a guitar neck joint than that of a fiddle.Dave Gardner (formerly ignored as Midwestern Cheapjack)