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Posts posted by arglebargle

  1. On 4/26/2021 at 3:43 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

    Though I wouldn't recommend it, the very best bending strap I ever used was a strip of lead - it's combination of plasticity and shape retention when I wanted it was excellent.

    This is what I've used since forever. The late Ed Campbell had us use lead strips in his school. They are fantastic. Ed always said that when they got worn out we would melt them down and "throw" them to make new strips. Never saw it.

    I use standard lead flashing from the local hardware/building supplier. They sell by the pound. It's a good thing lead is one of the lighter elements. 

  2. 1 minute ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

    No, I'm not "advising" anyone to do anything.  OP asked about methods to take the measurements.  I answered that.  @nathan slobodkin pried me about my measurements, which I provided *off the top of my head*.  This was never intended as advice to anyone.  

    On closer examination of my notes, the number I use is actually 28mm.  As a relative novice violin maker, I haven't committed all the numbers to memory, and 33mm bridge - 4mm action = 29mm fingerboard projection.  Thankfully I don't set necks without consulting the notes!  

    I've seen the number 27mm from other trusted sources.  I simply do not use that measurement.  The only explanation I have is that I was taught to use 28mm.  

    Fair enough.

  3. 19 minutes ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

     However, does it matter terribly for this discussion exactly what measurements I use?  The question is not what the numbers are, but how you hold the fiddle when you're measuring them.  I assure you I can make it exactly 25mm if you like using the same method I've been using.  

    Yes it does, if you are advising someone to set their neck at 29mm.  Why not use 35mm? Or 50000000mm? If the measurements don't matter, then f**k it. You yourself said 29mm projection. Did you mean that? Again, setting a neck at 29mm is a failed neck set in my book. So what were you saying?

  4. 4 minutes ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:
    • Centered at the mortise
    • String length (usually 6mm mortise depth)
    • Tilted over towards treble by 1mm (cellos go the opposite way, but I haven't done a cello neck)
    • Aligned with the centerline of the instrument
    • 6-7mm overstand at neck heel
    • End of fingerboard 21mm above belly
    • 29mm projection at bridge, resulting in 33mm high bridge

    Do I miss anything?  This is how I was taught to do it by my master.  I can't think of any measurements that couldn't be taken with the fiddle in the lap.  


    5 minutes ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:
    • 29mm projection at bridge, resulting in 33mm high bridge

    Do I miss anything?  This is how I was taught to do it by my master.  I can't think of any measurements that couldn't be taken with the fiddle in the lap.  

    29mm seems quite a bit high. I would consider that a failed neck set.

    Who is this "master" that you reference over and over?

  5. 45 minutes ago, Larry F said:

    Wise advice.  As for the second best advice-underneath the casual exterior Zappa was all business.  I had the opportunity to attend one of his rehearsals in the early 70's (72?) when I had a few "friends of friends" playing in his band.  Very formal, everything was charted,  band members were expected of arrive on time, know how to read charts, and even the movements of the band members were choreographed and rehearsed.  He was a  consummate professional.


  6. 9 hours ago, Mat Roop said:

    If it saves just one life... it is worth it. .....Cheers everyone!


    Cheers indeed!

    If it saves one life:

    The lockdowns have been an unmitigated disaster for people all over the world. 

    "If it saves one life" is one of the most toxic, fallacious argument every argued. 

  7. 4 hours ago, Televet said:

     My personal feeling is that I am going to defer getting my life back until after my elderly mother and my wife and kids have all had their vaccines. We are so close, I don't wanna blow it at the finish line.

    It must be nice to have the kind of wealth that you can just decide to "defer" getting your life back. I've seen all of the same faces at my gas station/grocery store/department store since this time last year. The same people. Working all this time. What fucking finish line are you talking about? Some people didn't even know they were in a race.

  8. 1 hour ago, MANFIO said:

    My Hillbilly CNC carved this viola scroll in just three days! It takes ages to program... mainly to "teach" the machine to use scrapers that work better than those rotatory tools. It makes a mess, but my workshop is already very messy. 



    Three days. How long does it take you to carve a scroll by hand? Assuming a regular working day, do you save any time?


  9. How about this: The current (last 30 years) crop of Cremonese makers encompass many nationalities. Many started their career in Cremona, and never left. Every instrument they made was made in Cremona. Yet they are not Italian, at all. I'm thinking of several examples, an Austrian, a Columbian, Danish, Swedish and on and on. So, would these instruments, made in Cremona, with Cremonese training, but by a non-Italian, be considered Italian instruments?

  10. 14 minutes ago, Woodland said:

    Update: The first coat took the better part of a week to dry in the UV lightbox, but for the first coat that's pretty normal. No chemical dryer necessary. My generic black light bulbs are adequate. Did the second coat last night and it's drying more quickly. Currently working on getting the lightbox temperature down into the 70's, as it's a bit warm in there. I have one computer fan working with another on the way, current temp is in the 80's.

    That Holtier varnish is interesting stuff. It's almost like applying a glaze rather than a varnish. Getting the color to even out takes practice to keep it from getting blotchy, but there is some diffusion of the color as it settles in the warm lightbox before it starts to cure. I'm getting something of an "antiquey" look, which is fine. It develops an orange peel texture as it's curing. I'm also shading the varnish as I go through the progressive coats. We'll see how it goes.

    None of this sounds good.

  11. 31 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:


    Get an accountant they really are worth it.

    This, times 1000.

    I'm always amazed that some of the same people that will disabuse "amateur luthiers" from working on instruments have no problem slinging accounting advice or encourage people to DIY their tax work. Use a professional, that's what they are for.

  12. 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. ;)

  13. 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!

  14. 3 hours ago, deans said:

    Another thing to consider is that changing bass bars on German trade instruments used to be a routine procedure for many shops, even on better instruments. Its not that risky. Good chance if you have a nice sounding trade fiddle of some sort that it was worked over in this (and other) ways.

    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!

  15. 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.

  16. 18 hours ago, GoPractice said:

    Thank you for the photo. How thick is the ply that supports the top?

    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.



  17. 4 hours ago, Tostra said:

    Sure looks helpful! Keeping the plate from moving without a frame is difficult, so I have often considered making a sturdy plate for keeping it flat. That design doesn't look bad, is it stable enough?

    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.



    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.