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Everything posted by arglebargle

  1. Thanks for the replies. No physical address, which is my fault. I am conscience of the strange situations these days. Perhaps she has had some family crisis and this cello is the last thing on her mind. But still, one phone call in 4 months is not a lot to ask for. I suppose I am going to get it out of the shop, put it in storage and forget about it. The idea of "taking ownership" of the instrument was kind of a goad to flush her out of hiding. I really don't want to wade into the legal aspects of this at this point in time, so off to the warehouse with it. Of course, if I really wanted her to get in touch with me I would only have to sell the cello, and I guarantee my phone would ring the next day with her looking to come and pick it up.
  2. I've had a cello ($1500 price range) in the shop that had some open seams and needed a re-hair. The work was done in Sept. The client has dropped off the face of the earth. I have called and left dozens of messages. At what point would you write her off and take ownership of the instrument? Would you ever? I don't have the space to keep it indefinitely and I am tired of having it here. Any policy advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
  3. How much do you charge to remove and replace a bass bar? It may not be "risky" but it might also be a waste of several hundred dollars (at least) and who knows if the procedure helped or hurt the cello, because nobody knows what it sounds like!
  4. I am amazed at that there are people on this forum that can look at that bass bar (a perfectly reasonable bass bar, maybe not yours or mine) and determine that it is a hinderance to the sound and needs to be replaced. Without any further information. Like the model, or the body length, or the width of the bouts, or the arching style, or the arching heights, or the rib height, or the set-up, or the type of end-pin and on and on. So I assume if I were to post a picture of a bass bar, with only the measurements of the bar and no other points of reference, these same people would be able to tell me what the instrument would sound like, whether or not the bar is acceptable, and if not, the correct dimensions of the proper replacement bar. Arguing over the merits of replacing a (reasonable) bass bar on an instrument nobody on this forum has seen or heard is genuinely stupid.
  5. If you've never played the cello how could you and your luthier justify a new bass bar? (And yes, I see that you are not doing the procedure.)
  6. The plywood is 3/4 inches, 18mm. Here are some pictures of the violin jig, since there seems to be some interest. Again, all credit goes to Sharon Que for the design. I tried to find the original article, but no luck. I believe she made it while working for Joseph Curtin. Her plastic frame was much thicker, but this was all I could find at the time. Works for a violin/viola, but probably too thin for a cello.
  7. It is stable enough for me. My violin and viola jigs are made from really thick plastic and are more stable. Aluminum would be great. This is a jig I made fairly quickly out of necessity. I always intended on re-doing it, but it works well enough that I've never gotten around to it.
  8. This is a bass bar jig (early) I made a while ago. The design if from Sharon Que, published in The Strad. I also have one for violin and viola.(they look a bit more sophisticated) The two arms move to adjust the bar while the platform holds the plate flat. The bar rests agains the arms at 90 degrees. Make on and never look back.
  9. On a few occasions I had some luck reading an inscription using a blacklight. Worth a shot.
  10. All that to fit a sound post? Obviously not, but the hand cranked disk is another level of tool. I don't know if you have ever used an Alberti sander (or Woodlands awesome knockoff) but they are sublime.
  11. No strop after the sharpening, just whet stones. But when it feels like it lost a bit of it's edge, then strop (tormek leather strop) till it needs another sharpening.
  12. Those look pretty nice. Of course, we all know what I really need is a monsterball vise. Unfortunately, I just don't have the room. Someday.
  13. Just starting a new cello, so I thought I'd share this. Not a self-made tool, but I find this method of holding and positioning the cello mold while fitting ribs very helpful. The mold rotates into any position. Veritas carving vise attached to a two piece mold.
  14. "Come on, we're making violins, not watches." Said in response to me fussing over some minor detail.
  15. Yes! The underside (inside) should be dead flat and the planning surface should be totally square to it all the way along the surface. In addition, the top (outside) should have a flat area also square to the planning surface. I take my plates down to about 5mm of my desired height. I also cut out the excess wood from the upper and lower bouts at the corners of the plate and the c bout before I begin joining them. I clamp the joint using my bench vise and dogs at the c bout cut away, then bar clamps at either end. The plates are upside down on the bench (the top facing down). Great info in the links above.
  16. Hi all, This isn't working for me: I would love to hear/see how other manage their clamps, specifically these kinds of clamps. Thanks!
  17. arglebargle


    My two cents: If you are asking yourself "should I pursue a career in violin making" then the answer is no. There is no "should I" in this field. This is something that you will either chase down until you succeed or you will fail. So this has to be something you are absolutely committed to, or don't bother. It's the same as asking "Should I be an artist?" You are an artist because you have to be, and if success follows, so be it. A lot of people come to violin making latter in life, after a fruitful life in another field, and all the monetary comforts that provides. These people are not you. It's not that they don't have knowledge and insight, but that they have comfort and safety as they make violins. You are 19. If you choose to pursue this it will all be on you. Making a living as a classical musician is hard. Making a living as a classical instrument maker is much harder. You already know you have the skills to do the former, do you have the stamina (not skill) to do the latter? The skills you can learn. The hard part is the work, the failures, the further work, the additional failures, the small success, and then some more failures. And in the meantime, you have to eat and keep a roof over your head. You will not graduate from violin making school as a violin maker earning a living ONLY making new instruments. I'm sure that there are exceptions out there, but vanishingly few. What will you do to compensate? In 1996 a light went on over my head and I decided to pursue this path. I did so with an ignorant tenacity that only the truly stupid possess. Here I am in 2020, earning a living, but only by (happily) having to keep a rental fleet, a repair business, selling new instruments, and selling my own. And any other f**king thing I can do to keep the doors open. Happily. As obscure and unknown (and redundant) as I might be, I still consider myself a success in this business. So Santagiuliana, of course you should become a violin maker, but only because there is no other choice. Good luck.
  18. I've been using them for years, and have yet to find anything better. I tried the Chinese knock-offs a while back and I did not care for them. The Herdims are worth the money.
  19. Not me. As I said, many talented makers use them. I believe M. Darnton is among them, and he is pretty firm about their usefulness. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) It's just not a method I find useful or enjoyable.
  20. My issue with arching templates, and templates in general, is that one tends to work towards the template rather than the piece. This can be a good, even necessary, thing in the process of making. I think a workable mold and rib structure is dependent on an accurate template. I need my scroll templates to set me on the right path, but after a certain point, I don't. Do I need a template for the pegbox? No, but it saves me time not having to lay-out the thing for every instrument. I think arching is of such a fundamental importance to an instrument that I would not trust it to a set of templates. The arching is where the woodworking skill, intuition, and artistry all come together. It is the best/most fun part of violin making. The loosest, most fuck- it part. And as such requires the most skill to execute well. When we make an instrument we are sculptors and wood carvers, not carpenters. We should keep that in mind. That being said, there are a lot of very fine makers that use arching templates, and I say more power to them. It's just not for me.