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Everything posted by arglebargle

  1. Well, that's a fine question. I give Del Gesu a pass because he is considered on of the standard setters in violin making. In my opinion, one can clearly see the downward trajectory from his early to latter work. Was this a deliberate aesthetic choice or the result of lifestyle/drink/poverty/etc.? I think the latter. However, the stellar regard in which he is held today allows for the vagaries of his workmanship, and his reputation doesn't seem to suffer. Imagine if you will a world with no Del Gesu, but all the rest. Now imagine a makers creates an exact copy of the Ole Bull. What would the reaction be? I think not so good. But who knows? As one of the earlier makers, it was easy to say the hell with it. He was not saddled, as we are, with well over 300 years of violin making history/study/naval-gazing.
  2. I think one must be very careful of "individuality" that is a result of poor workmanship or skills that are not quite up to snuff. The individual elements of the violins that are most appealing are deliberate, well thought out and well excecuted. My first violins had very long, "individual" corners. Not because they were beautiful (they were not), but because my eye/hand skills were not good enough. That being said, I found the best way to nurture individuality is to try very hard to stay true to the original look/intent of the model you are making. The better you can emulate, the better you can alter.
  3. Hooray!!!! The answer! Now arglebargle is the popular one. Thanks!
  4. Any advice on where to find a good branding iron for your bridges? You know, so future generations can either mock or admire my skills. Thanks!
  5. Well, they ARE based out of Alabama.
  6. Howard Core Co. Always prompt. Always correct. And very polite, Southern style. I've had nothing but positive experiences. For what it's worth.
  7. Yeah yeah yeah. Or did I do it on purpose? Probably not.
  8. Third paragraph, a bit of a run-on sentence. under "repair"--- threat, not treath under #3---technical, not thecnical. other then that, looks good. And much better then my Norwegian website wold be.
  9. Lance, could we get some close-ups? Very nice.
  10. These violins have it all Erogonomic, even and superpowerful. Can even play in the rain. Click here: Luis and Clark - Custom Made Carbon Fiber Instruments -- Composite Material Musical Instruments: priya, I've always been curious about the statement that always seems to follow any mention of these instruments. You can play them in the rain! It seems to be a big selling point. The acoustical merits of these things aside, unless the bridge is composite, the bow is composite, the hair is artificial, the rosin waterproof, the strings waterproof, and the soundpost carbon fibre, then the thing, as a playable violin, is not waterproof! No big deal. It just sort of bugs me when I hear that listed as one of the positives of carbon fibre instruments. And get the hell out of the rain!
  11. I've got one word for you, M_A_T_T. Disco ball motor. Or you could learn to control the sun with your mind.
  12. Or you could look at them here. Under violin photos. If that's your thing.
  13. Nawlinsgirl, you are asking some pretty involved questions. If there was an answer, the game would be over. The fact that people are still making violins with the "same" wood and with the same processes as they were hundreds of years ago says alot. The fact that they are still screwing it up says as much. We can all tell you how to make a violin. If we could tell you how to make the ideal violin, then this field would be as interresting as mud, which anyone can make. Do not stop, or even hesitate in your project. Violin making is endlessly fascinating and endlessly frustrating. But please keep in mind, there are no quick and easy answers. But don't stop asking. But if you must know, the best wood has been buried in the grave of a failed castrato for no less then 38 months, and dug up only in the company of 14 bags of used circus hay, which is then used to fill the castrati's grave and/or burnish the back of the violin, depending on if it's an alto or a tenor violin. American and European wood is failed wood! The best maple comes from KANSAS! Who could imagine? or not...
  14. Hello! I would say that the top would have to come off. A few of those have the potential for bass bar cracks. Yes, a can of worms. And a bad S.P. crack in the back is a deal breaker for me. Is this a job or a favor? A job? No. A favor? Let's see what we can do. In my opinion, you have to be enthusiastic about both cellos AND restoration to successfully restore a cello. You are clearly enthusiastic about cellos. If not so much about restoration, I would let it pass and maybe start on a smaller cello, like maybe a violin. Celli of a certain age tend to have all sorts of fancy, special, hidden problems not easily spied from without. If you are not excited about taking on a job, then that is a good sign that you shouldn't do it. If you are only nervous, then think a bit, have a drink or two, and either jump in or don't. From you past posts it is clear you could do this kind of repair. So drink up . Good luck.
  15. I would leave it alone. I like to remind myself that people were making fine violins during both world wars. Many of these instruments are well respected, as are their makers. Imagine making a violin in Italy, England, Germany, etc.etc.etc in the 1940's. Little nicks and dings seem a bit less tragic when the world is falling around you. Not to be overly dramatic. It really come down to aesthetics. Lots of good modern Italian violins have very noticable flaws, but they serve the whole, and are very easy on the eyes and ears. If you can live with it, so can I.
  16. Hmmmm. Looks very much like a Jay Haide to me. Very much. I wonder if Ifshin violins has seen these.
  17. Where can one, or I to be specific, find a copy of Francois Denis' book? I imagine it to be quite dear, and are there translations? Thanks.
  18. In the violin making world I think there are a few aspects that distinguish a professional from an amateur. I don't, however, think that one of them is love of the craft or the search for beauty and artistic expression through it. I have never met a "professional" that is not an artist through and through, and genuinely moved by exemplary violins, no matter their origin. Maybe I am just fortunate in that regard. A professional in the violin world is some one who has the ability, knowledge and understanding to take care of a customer for life. No matter what needs arise, you will be able to help that person. A few examples. If you sell one of your violins to a customer, the professional will be able to help that customer step up into a better grade of instrument, either a better one of yours, or a higher quality antique. If you have limited ability or a limited access to instruments, then there may come a time when you will no longer be able to meet the needs of your client.Then what? You would have to send them else where. If your client breaks the instrument they purchased from you, can you confidently take on any repair that might arise? Do you have a large enough field of knowledge and experience to help make the instrument right? Be it a new bridge or a neck graft. When you accept money for a product you have created you are entering into a relationship with the other party. Like any relationship, a one sided one will usually end in tears. Or a restraining order. A professional in the violin world will confidently handle any and all aspects of the relationship with the customer. In my mind, it becomes a very confused area when the amateur starts taking large sums of money for a product they either made of "found". To me, a large sum is 1000$, or even a little less. I do not mean to sound negative, or snooty, or elitist. I would not consider myself a professional, but rather one who is working hard every day to reach that level. I also feel that the judgment of professional or not is, in a large part, not entirely up to the person. It is a consensus reached by the community at large, often unbeknownst to the "professional" in question. Oh well. A bit convoluted, but just some of my thoughts. Good luck.
  19. That's a tricky one. Best case: All the violins are well set up to begin with and the players are respectful. A check up once a year, a few hundred dollars for worn strings and rehairs... oh wait, most likely all your bows will need rehairs after a year. A few this and thats. People do love to complain. Still well within reason, Worst case: 10 new bridges, 10 sets of strings, 10 broken tailpieces, 10 sound post cracks, etc... Only to say that anything can and does happen to instruments on loan. The safest bet is to assume major set up work for over half your "fleet" over the course of a year. A few instruments will need repairs, and chances are one will be "destroyed". This is assuming, of course, you are renting violins to drunk monkeys. If you are not the results could be better, or worse. The pleasure of putting a good sounding, well functioning instrument in the hands of someone that cannot otherwise afford it is well worth the effort and expense. When built wisely and over a long period of time, a rental program can be both rewarding and profitable. It's alot of work, but so what. Good luck.
  20. Jacob. Good question. Thanks for asking it.
  21. It may be a little late for now, but I found it best to always work on multiple violins at the same time. Espescially with my first efforts. I always did three at a time, and found the repetiton of each step very helpful. It was always gratifying to see that number three in the group was always slightly, or much, better the it's two earlier siblings.
  22. Tim, good work. I can't tell all that much about the arching from these pictures. A flat/side/front to back view might be more useful. That being said, there doesn't seem to be much re-curve around the prufling channel. I like to see a bit of flat right before I hit the perfling. Just a bit. A tiny bit. What I can see is that you need to spend a little more time easing the arch into the purfling channel. From these pictures I can see alot of break and chop on the approach to the purfling. Use sunlight and shadows to find these spots and eliminate them. These little imperfections are magnified instantly with the first coat of varnish. I think a new violin maker is well served by this sort of attention to detail. You might as well do it now. Either way, don't stop till this is finished, then start another right away. Then another and another and another and another...... Good luck
  23. How about Jon Cooper in Maine?
  24. All the different ways to "suck corn" aside, maybe it would help if you made you're questions a little more specific. What do you want to know? Whether you know it or not, or even like it or not, you have access to some of the best minds in the violin making world today through this forum. I find the suggestion that the co-author of one of the seminal books on violin restoration and repair put in a shoddy soundpost when compared to yours laughable. I've read countless entries on this site, and I have found the people here to be more then generous with their hard earned knowledge and exceedingly kind. It seems that every question you ask is followed by a long rant about how you don't really need to know and any answer you get is something you already thought of and you could do it better and you're older and don't have much time and so on and so on. If you want to know the best way to take the top off a violin, just ask. I, for one, wouldn't mind having Mrs. Shipman install a soundpost for me, or most of the violin makers who post here for that matter. We should all be so lucky. That being said, once again, good luck.