David Hart

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About David Hart

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    Bowral, NSW

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  1. The thing you need to be aware of is you're not paying for tonal superiority, you're paying for fit and finish. A cheap tailpiece can be carved down or refinished if it's not exactly what you're after. Or you can pay someone else and save your time. But weight, wood type, etc you need to decide on before you buy an expensive set, unless you plan on buying dozens of different types. Only occasionally, if someone is after a nice matching set of something, do I pay for an expensive tp. And I'm seriously considering tooling up to make full sets myself.
  2. I just don't see how this method can improve the sound of an instrument any better than installing a regular bar and adjusting it's stiffness by shaving it down. Will the bar behave differently to a normal bar with the same stiffness? Maybe. Will it serve it's structural function of providing resistance to the force of the strings? It's honestly hard to say, but I do not envy the person given the responsibility for their care after the maker dies. Is it always fun to try different things? You betcha!
  3. Well it starter life as something larger... So yeah, they are a bit thicker, and broke in a couple places.
  4. Sorry it's actually a bit weirder . for some reason the repairer stuck a piece of maple between the ribs and the block, but didn't think it was necessary to have it the full height if the block.
  5. Hi everyone, firstly I hope you are all safe, and taking appropriate precautions. Crazy times!!. I'm working on an interesting fiddle atm... Looks to me like a violin that was once a larger sized viola. One thing that struck me as I'm going over the repairs is the lower block... Perhaps not the easiest thing to see in the picture - it is not an easy thing to capture on camera with my limited skills - but the block at one stage had a cut-out and it appears the linings once went right around the ribs but for some reason in the cutting down of the instrument they became normal linings and the space where they once were has been filled with gunk. Is there any particular area or making style you are aware of that involved cutting the lower block this way? I'll put some more pictures of the instrument up if you're curious about it.
  6. Ah, sorry I was of the impression some substantive amount of sawdust was being produced. If you are producing enough sawdust to be a worry and your not doing it with power tools... perhaps revising your working methods will help?
  7. Looks like it says Jenny. Did you buy it off Stacey's mum?
  8. IMO your mate needs to get his priorities straight. I worked in a shop where they were using a bandsaw and sander with no dust collection at all, and it was a constant niggle in the back of my mind.. because it's not like that shop is going to still exist or those people still alive in the future when I get lung cancer. If I were you I would insist on an air filter and dust collection cyclone system. If he doesn't want to put in for it, pay for it yourself then take it with you when you go somewhere else.
  9. Perfection depends on the application of the instrument and the person playing it. A perfect teachers' aid is not a perfect concert performer, and I would say if you handed most of the world's teachers something up there like the Betts Strad and didn't tell them what it was they wouldn't like it. Some of the better teachers I've known swear by their German trade fiddle with full length table cracks and dodgy repairs because it simply has a sound that no other instrument matches, in their mind. I hope as time goes on I can make a myriad of different form types to the best of my ability, that they may provide the best the form has to offer. To date I've only made Strad copies on two forms, so I've got a long way to go!
  10. Good thing it's wedged. Planing of the crap will be a much simpler prospect. Sucks about the lower crack, but if the guy likes the sound like that, maybe it's best just to stick some gaffa tape over it and call it done.
  11. It can be useful having a violin for amplified performances. Putting your money into a good amplification system for it might be a better investment and provide some relevance for the poor violin. If the wood is indeed as poor quality as you described you might need a necromancer rather than a violin repairer.
  12. I don't like doing too much in the way of tonal adjustments. I used to spend my spare time doing it, when I still didn't know what I was looking for I would spend as long as I cut the bridge playing the instrument just trying to work out why it sounded the way it did. Now I have a system which starts with looking at the violin while I'm doing whatever initial work is done to get it playing. While cleaning I get an idea for what it should (theoretically) sound like based on shape and condition. Soundpost is placed according to these musings, and bridge is cut methodically and accurately, and often with a slight compromise here or there. Once set up, sound post may need adjusting - usually once, if at all, and bridge will need adjusting maybe once or twice. A violin has to have some serious issues to still have sound problems after that. If all else fails, just stick the "more fashionable" Obligatos on and call it done.