Roger Hargrave

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Everything posted by Roger Hargrave

  1. In my opinion, most successful modern varnishes (admittedly not all) attempt to emulate those of northern Italy C 1550 to 1750. Such varnishes usually (not always) do this, by artificially ageing all or part of the material in varnish film. This might involve oxidizing the drying oil by various means. Or, it might involve oxidising the resins before varnish making commences. Occasionally, it involves oxidizing the whole vanish during or after the cooking process. And finally, it might involve oxidizing the varnish after it has been applied. Visually oxidisation usually works
  2. I’m just back after a long pause and I’m having difficulty remembering how to use this site. I hope that you will bare with me if I ignore some post while I go on my merry way. I like the odd message that helps me to think about the topic, but please, I don’t need any more posts about such rubbish topics as the Messi Strad being a fake.
  3. I did not write Aha That would be telling. But I promise I’ll get around to that later.
  4. David you don’t need this. When I was at the violin school back in the 1970s, we were shown a film made by an old (probably much younger than I am now) cello maker. At the end of the film he varnished his finished cello with a clear oil varnish. I think one or two coats only. Of course, even back then, as mere first year students, we all knew he was wrong, but he wasn't. The problem we all face when trying to reproduce any classical varnish, is that what we are seeing today, is not what the great violin makers saw when they applied their varnishes. Varnishes, like human skin, suffer
  5. An absolutely perfect illustration of worn varnish. I have already copied it for future use. Thanks David!
  6. Either he/she or you misunderstood what is meant by fit. Fit is the most important factor for the health of the instrument. So it goes without saying that when the post is in the optimal position for sound, it should also be fitting the plates exactly. Too often people find the best sound position, but ignore the fact that the post does not fit perfectly, thus risking damaging the instrument permanently.
  7. Wallmart is a supermarket and I've seen them for sale in Walmart. But that was a couple of years ago so maybe they've stopped.
  8. Change the word probably to certainly and I am in full agreement. I have been a 100% violin maker since 1987 and it was hugely rewarding, but not financially, at least for the first ten years. My wife bless her, always had a steady job and that kept me in boiled beef and carrots over this period. Being a full time maker ain't easy, but it's worth a try. And if you are making as an amateur don't expect too much. After all you are doing it for fun. I don't suppose you would not expect to earn money with another hobby. If you want to make money get a paper round. If you invest the same amount of
  9. This is close enough, although I usually simplify it to: Away from bridge opens or frees the sound (more volume), but too far away and the sound looses focus. Closer gives you more focus but eventually stifles the sound. Mostly however, I find that tightness-tension is the main key. Tightness depends on the flexibility or otherwise of the plates, but as a general rule, once in the "right" place, the post should fall over if the ribs are squeezed gently. The correct fit is most important of all, but only for the health of the instrument, otherwise it has little bearing on sound. Like everything
  10. The problem is that guns can also be purchased in supermarket in the US. And I fail to see how so many of you are making light of this. I only hope that none of your kids are ever killed by a gun legal or otherwise.
  11. Actually according to the Hills Antonio Stradivari married Francesca, the daughter of Francesco Feraboschi, and widow of Giovanni Giacomo Capra, who committed suicide with an arquebus[1] on the Piazza St. Agata (now Piazza Garibaldi), in April, 1664. [1] An arquebus is an early type of portable firearm usually supported on a tripod or a forked rest.
  12. Again Bill I am not refering to single shot weapons. I know that you have the kind of wilderness that we can only dream of. I also have hunter friends. My doctor is a hunter. What I am talking about is this lust for automatic and even assult weapons that are capable of cutting most animals and children in half. Surely these are unnecesary? I have to leave now and I will be away for most of the day so I will not be answering any more mails for a while. Good luck.
  13. Heard it all before I'm afraid. Its not crazy people with guns that kill. Its alowing guns to be sold to crazy people that kills. I could go on, but was talking about automatic weapons, guns that can kill so many by just squeezing the trigger once. The statistics alone must be evidence enough. Sure there are mass shooting in Europe, but nothing to compare with the United States. And since loosing my bees again this last year I agree with you about glyphophate, but I am talking about what each individual can do right now - today.
  14. A fine looking instrument Christian. I particularly love the way the light illuminates your edge fluting as it passes through the corners. Sometimes you can just see the sound. The thing about most utilitarian objects is that when they look right, they generally feel good and work well. This is the reason why cleaver dealers and violin makers can often predict how well an instrument will sound simply from its appearance. The argument being that someone so tuned in to the aesthetics of appearance must ipso facto be tuned in to the underlying principal behind the entire project. Throughout histo
  15. This is an open letter to all my violin maker friends. I know that the vast majority of you abhor guns and gun violence. Unfortunately, I am also aware that a number of you own many weapons; including automatic pistols and so-called assault rifles. It seems to me that this fixation with such deadly arsenals is linked entirely to either fear or macho aggression. Each individual must know in which category they belong; although it doesn’t really matter. No-one needs automatic weapons of any description, certainly not for hunting or protection. Make no mistake, by purchasing and owning such weapo
  16. I recently read that this particular sign was used to ward off evil spirits, in particular witches. It also appears on a Strad mould. As kids we used to draw them for fun with a compass, so maybe that's bull shit. Daisy wheel witches’ marks at All Saint’s church in Litcham, Norfolk
  17. I just checked my notes made in 1979. There were fifty six bars upright in a plastic bag. (Yes they did have plastic bags back in the 1970's). The only thing worth adding is: 'Most of them, (the baroque bars) look as if they were made from belly off cuts, mainly from the thin end of the wedge. Not much to suggest the wood was carefully selected.'
  18. I remember these bass bars and many more from the time that I worked at Hills. In fact I seem to remember telling Stewart about them. However, these figures and Marty's graph serve perfectly to illustrate the problem of using such information. Firstly there is simply not enough data. But as I remember these bars, some were cut on the slab some were quarter sawn and some were half slab. Simply choosing slab or quarter is not correct. Certainly not on the many more that I saw. On some only two or three year rings were present while others had up to ten. I did not measure their den