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Peter Lynch

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    Manchester, Michigan
  • Interests
    Making violins for professional musicians.

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  1. It seems that as you carve a scroll , at some point it "comes to life". Not sure how to say it another way. When this begins to happen you know you are on the right path. It is no longer a technical thing but an emotional thing that you are trying to capture. It can be just a few minor changes, taking off a bit of wood and it all starts to come together and all of a sudden the thing is different somehow.
  2. I wonder if some insight can be gained by taking a different approach entirely. That being, what does the maker enjoy making, what is he or she drawn to, what (kind of ) instrument do they have a "feel for". I would guess that these are the instruments that sound the best when they are finished. If Stradivari tried to make a later "Guarneri" how successful would that instrument turn out to be. The psychology and aesthetic sensibilities and neurological makeup of the maker. I am guessing this could be part of the equation, if there is any equation out there
  3. I just herd about this today. What a great resource that will be missed. As Ken Nagy mentioned, the Michigan Violinmakers Association is an active group and we are holding our quarterly meetings / presentations via Zoom since COVID. I am the president of the group. I am offering to the Arizona members free membership until January 2023. Recent presenters have included Joseph Curtin, Feng Jiang, Iris Carr, Lynn Hannings, David Orlin, Antoine Nedelec David Burgess, Matt Noykos, Kevin Kelly, Christopher Germain and Andrew Ryan The upcoming meeting / presentation will be on August 7th and the presenter will be Christian Bayon from Portugal. The topic will be announced in the next two weeks. Please contact me directly via messenger here on Maestronet or email me at Peterlynchviolins@gmail.com if interested in becoming members. Thanks
  4. I think Frank's book is a must for any serious (violin) craftsman. Yes there is some differences for violins, but you learn an attitude and mindset from this man. Once you have that, you can tweak a formulations to your particular situation. Learning from a master of that caliber is always good
  5. I have used them a few times and yes, the strings don't come in contact with the "nut" on the tailpiece. I also wondered how this effects the dynamics of the strings. With a limited experience of 3 violins , it seems this (in combination with the tailpiece being on the light side) they seem to make the instrument more active and lively then some other tailpieces. This may or may not be a good thing depending on the situation. I would use them again, but think it can be a mixed bag. I can't speak to how the length of the tailpiece potentially effects things, as I was given the tailpieces to put on the violins from the clients and did not factor this into the decision. If I remember correctly, you can get different lengths.
  6. It might just be the angle of the photo, but the overstand looks quite high. Not sure if this is the case not or if it is could this affect the A and E strings adversely (at least for this player). I know the fashion in some circles is to have a higher over stand. This obviously opens up another can of worms like the string angle over the bridge etc.
  7. It might just be the angle of the photo, but the overstand looks quite high. Not sure if this is the case not or if it is could this affect the A and E strings adversely (at least for this player). I know the fashion in some circles is to have a higher over stand. This obviously opens up another can of worms like the string angle over the bridge etc.
  8. If the feet are not an optical illusion / soft varnish issue, I am wondering if the feet might have been fit with the bridge facing the opposite direction, then inadvertently turned around before doing the string heights etc. ?
  9. Yes David Pye speaks about the workmanship of risk vs the workmanship of certainty, And why the workmanship of risk is valued above certainty. Love the tailoring example
  10. The person that’s written most about workmanship is probably David Pye. His book “the Nature and Art of Workmanship” is really good resource. He talks about workmanship in a couple different dimensions. One is “free” workmanship versus “regulated” workmanship. The second category would be good versus bad workmanship, But this has a few components in it itself. Is the workmanship structurally sound? Does the item or object fulfill its purpose? The second component of good versus bad workmanship is Is the object comely (attractive to look at). If you look at these different dimensions you can think of a late de Gesu as being an example of free workmanship that is good workmanship In that it is structurally sound and stable and produces sounds that are beautiful. Many people also find this looser visual look of the instruments quite attractive. There are some people that believe that only regulated workmanship is attractive ( or at least doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable to look at) . I don’t wanna get too far in the weeds with this but I just think there are different components to this question of workmanship.
  11. Peter Lynch


    If you are interested in beginning to understand how a bridge is carved. Go the the Triangle Strings website. They have an excellent tutorial on carving a violin bridge and you will get a good idea why it is so difficult.. If you have issues with the bridge you play on, probably best to bring it to a violinmaker.
  12. Peter Lynch


    Those numbers seem in the ball park. So not go lower with the E, and the G at 6.0 can work well for some players. The height of the strings at the nut and the scoop in the Fingerboard will also contribute to the feel of the string. The middle string heights are not relevant in terms of height off the fingerboard. You set the G and E and use a correct template to establish the middle strings. Then as the last step place the fingerboard templete on the strings just ahead of the bridge to tweak the "curveature" of the arc that is made up of the top of the strings. There are subtle varriations of this, but this will get you in the ball park. The "default" string heights for many is 3.5 on the E and 5.5 on the G. measured to center of strings. There are other ideas about this but these are the numbers many use as a general rule.
  13. The samples you provided are probably not the look you are wanting to "go towards", but your interest to have a look that you want to "go for" is a good impulse. Getting the wood of an instrument quite dark before the varnishing process, especially if you want to create a convincing antique look, is generally a good approach. However, the (kind of) darkness (burnt look) of your samples is not that look. So yes to darkness, but a darkness with other kinds of qualities. So the idea is to develop your eye more from just "I want darkness" to "what kind of darkness do I want and what does that look like and how to achieve those kinds of qualities. The piece by Roger Hargrave on making the bass I would say is essential reading, as well as looking at and studying high quality photographs of actual historical instrument, or better yet some actual good quality violins. Joseph Curtin wrote once that you copy (often in an exaggerated way) the qualities you notice that you like and ignore the things you aren't able to see or understand. Look foward to seeing photos of your violin as to get to the varnishing. Many great historical Italian instruments can be quite dark, but simultaneously have the look that light is being reflected from deep from within the varnish. As as you move the violin, the qualities of light and dark change and move. The surface is visually lively and complex. Experiment............ Also look at the work of modern makers such as Feng Jiang, Antoine Nedelec, Chris Germain, Melvin Godlsmith, Jeff Phillips, and Andrew Ryan, Christian Byon, and Anton Somers . There are some amazing examples among that group.
  14. We have only begun recording meeting the past few meetings held during Covid via Zoom. Agreement with presenters is usually that recordings are available for 2 weeks for members to view and then taken down. So past meetings have not been available. I can bring this issue up at the upcomming meeting for discussion. Often time individual presenters have differing views on how widely they want the material disseminates. Some are doing acoustics research and are presenting on unpublished material, others have commercial or personal reasons for not wanting the matieral to be available after the presentations. We a grateful for each presenters willingness to present at the meetings and respect their perspectives regarding the issue of recording. Even when we did inperson meetings, some presenters did not allow individual recording to be made. I will bring this up again as a topic during the business meeting, possibly having selected recordings (with permission) available for future viewing
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