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DrTodd's Achievements


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  1. They fit. Tailcord will be kevlar so perhaps a bit thinner than gut tailcord. I measured and drilled just big enough for all of them once I got the strings.
  2. Hi Deo. Yes, that was my plan. I made a maple endpin today as well which will get the same treatment.
  3. For the baroque cello I'm making, I'm planning on rosewood pegs and endpin and a red-brown varnish on the instrument. I'm making the tailpiece for the instrument out of maple (see the attached picture) and I'm wondering how I should finish the tailpiece. It has an interesting two-tone wood pattern on it that I don't want to hide. This is roughly based on a tailpiece Bruce Carlson described in 2015 on maestronet from a Stradivari exhibition and I think there he said that tailpiece was varnished...as in the same kind (but maybe not color) as on the instrument? In any case, I don't think I want a particularly shiny finish nor one that exactly matches the instrument color. So, other suggestions from the centuries of wisdom from maestronet? Thanks!
  4. Does anybody here buy casein from Amazon? I guess it is popular now for bodybuilding so every search I do for casein even if I try to pre-filter by the art category takes me back to bulk casein for human consumption. There is "ultra casein powder" at earthpigments.com but I'd rather order from Amazon as I already have some other stuff in my cart. If you get it from Amazon then can you tell me the exact product name or how you searched to actually find it there? Thanks!
  5. Getting back to the topic, I'm going to buy a bending iron and I see some are marketed as violin/viola whereas others are marketed as cello. The cello ones are taller and from what I can tell are larger in the other dimensions as well with larger radius curvature. Would the larger curvature of the cello ones make it impossible to get tight enough bends for a violin? Conversely, the violin ones are generally 13cm tall which seems tall enough for cello ribs but not much margin. Seeing as I'm an amateur luthier and only want one bending iron, which one should I get? I'm leaning towards the violin-sizes ones as they are generally cheaper and have the tighter radii for violin work.
  6. I had a partially completed modern neck lying around that my cheap amateur self now wants to convert for use on a baroque cello. The length of the neck from mortice to nut has been set as well as the angle of the top of the neck (where the fingerboard board glues) relative to the upper block mortice surface (again, for a modern instrument...I can look up the exact angle if requested) but the length and width of the mortice face have not been finalized. There's a few millimeters extra length there that I could use to adjust the angle for connection to the button as well as neck height. The current plan is to adjust the button angle and to lean the neck forward slightly in the mortice to reduce the neck angle relative to body. I don't want to go perfectly parallel to the body and then need a wedge shaped fingerboard. I want to use a modern fingerboard and adjust the neck angle in the mortice to get the appropriate string angle over the bridge for a baroque cello. Do you foresee any big problems with this approach? Can the neck end still be trapezoidal if leaned forward or will that make it difficult or impossible to create the mortice and get the neck in it? My most pressing question though is about the fingerboard. I'm seeing some conflicting information. Some sites say that baroque fingerboards were wider than modern ones but http://www.alangoldblatt.com/specs/BaroqueInstruments.pdf seems to say the opposite. I should also mention that this instrument is going to be a 5-string so should I just go with a modern 3.3cm fingerboard (at the nut) and not trim it down any in the width direction to make a little more room for 5 strings or is 3.3 cm not wide enough for a baroque 5-string? Any advice much appreciated!
  7. I'm an amateur luthier and just started getting into rehairing. Most videos online don't show much of the part where the old hair is removed so there aren't as many examples to see how people get the plugs out. It can be difficult to come at the edge of the plug (given it's even with the surrounding material) nearest the center of the bow and try to lever the plug out but that is what I see people doing the most. It seems that rather than making that plug edge perfectly flat, you could create some little indentation there to get you a spot in which to insert a tool for leverage. As an alternative, you could drill a small hole vertically in the plug that would allow you to later insert something like a very small screwdriver and torque the plug in the opposite direction of how it was inserted. I'm just curious if people have experimented with making plugs for easier removal and if so why those approaches were found deficient.
  8. There's a thread on the Cello sub-reddit now entitled "Should the Cellos bridge be bent like this?" Basically, somebody's bridge was warped due to not straightening it after repeated tunings but they were oblivious and posted a picture wanting to know if it was normal. Below is a part of the thread of replies. How would you respond to these claims? With proper maintenance, is bridge warping and replacement indeed an inevitable eventuality? I've been an active amateur orchestral cellist for 13 years and in that time I've only seen one warped bridge on a section-mate's cello and that was fixed by steaming it back straight instead of outright replacement. [–]CustomSawdust 2 points 57 minutes ago No. Bridges fatigue and need replacement after a few years. [–]iamprivate 1 point 38 minutes ago Can you provide a link to provide evidence for this? [–]gnathan87 1 point 24 minutes ago Just ask any luthier. Eventually bridges warp and need to be changed.
  9. I've been calling around trying to figure out where to do a rehair. One place says if I dropped it off super early then due to the time to wait for the hair to dry it could be picked up right before closing. Pretty inconvenient when you live far away. Another place said it was 24 hour turn-around in part due to hair drying time. Those places are smaller shops with 1 or 2 employees. There's a larger string shop with like 10 employees who offer a 1-hour turn-around. I watched a couple rehairing videos from other people on YouTube and their stated drying times were no longer than 1/2 hour. So, what's the theory here? Full drying is the best because different hairs may dry differently and you end up with different tensions if you've put it together when it isn't dry? In one video, I saw someone pass the hair through a flame at the end to shrink hairs that were looser than others. So, is this an either-or thing? You can let it fully dry and not have to shrink in the flame but for faster turn-around you can speed up the process with the flame? So, in short, what's up with these wildly disparate times? Is a 1-hour job going to be inherently inferior to 8-hours?
  10. In the link below, a guy describes how he created a viola da braccio from a da Vinci painting. Viola da braccio project.
  11. On the half dozen cellos I've played where I explored for a wolf, the wolf usually affected only one note but sometimes if it were between notes you would get some affect on the neighboring notes. I've always been able to minimize this wolf behavior with soundpost adjustments, wolf suppressors, knee pressure, tailgut adjustments and/or more bow pressure. So, I guess it is possible this experience isn't typical but all I can report is my observations that in my experience the classic wolf issues on this cello responded to the normal sorts of wolf treatment. This G string, 4th position, near fingerboard issue was not really affected much by any of these things and feels qualitatively different than a wolf. Can there be two wolfs where one is on all 5 notes from D-F#?
  12. I happened to play a cello the other day and it had this behavior I've never encountered and don't recall ever hearing about before. On the A, D and C strings, it was possible to play in first through fourth positions with the bow near the fingerboard or near the bridge, loud or soft, and the way the strings reacted to the bow and the generated sound was normal (in my experience). If you played near the bridge on the G string, then everything was fine. If you played in first position on the G string near the fingerboard then still everything seemed normal. However, if you played any note in fourth position near the fingerboard on the G string, the character of the sound was drastically different, soft, muffled and stuttery like a wolf note but worse. The cello does have a slightly noticeable F wolf in 4th position on the G string but nearer the bridge it is manageable. Near the fingerboard, all the notes in 4th position are bad but the F is yet worse. Any idea what would cause something like this? (Tried another G string of the same brand and got the same behavior.)
  13. Personally, I found the 3-layer mold easier to work with. I didn't use what Strobel recommended but used his as inspiration. The middle layer of my mold went all the way to the exterior unlike Strobel's and there were cavities in the top, middle, and bottom to decrease weight and allow me to use screws (see below). I also used MDF and made the mold such that I could attach the blocks to the mold internally with screws attached to the part of the blocks that gets trimmed away. I had had problems with my violin blocks coming unglued from my mold and wanted to avoid that possibility with the cello.
  14. I used the Strobel books. I built a violin first for practice following the Strobel book. With this approach you spend a few hundred extra hours but I think the practice was worth it. My cello was better because of it and I was less nervous of ruining the expensive cello wood. Those books are cheap enough that I'd suggest you buy them and read them first. Strobel does provide a bit of a tool list. As a two-instrument beginner, I'd be happy to provide you my own perspective as a beginner on building/tools. Feel free to send me a private message if you are interested.
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