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Don Noon

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About Don Noon

  • Birthday 03/20/1952

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  • Location
    Carlsbad, CA
  • Interests
    Violin construction
    Old-time fiddling

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  1. So now I have the full complement of surgeries, with no more scheduled. Pacemaker, heart valves, and major rotator cuff rebuild. Things have improved greatly, and with extra motivation from VSA, I'm back in the shop after essentially a year and a half of incapacitation. I'm easing back into it, with replacing a bass bar in #4 (from 12 years ago) and I'll revarnish it later. If all goes well, I should re-start new violins soon. The varnish and ground testing continue, with my latest shown. There are 4 segments (from the left): varnish directly on the wood, bare wood, thick mineral ground and varnish, and terpene/mineral ground/varnish. I like terpene. The one below is the same sample taken outside on a cloudy day. Lighting matters (the shop was with a LED spotlight).
  2. I bought some from them too. I forgot about them. Good source.
  3. Sorry, I didn't read down in the description where it said the shank was 4mm. Most of these micro mills are 1/8" shank, which is what I use. My Dremel has 1/8" and 1/4" collets, but I use the bits on my CNC which has a wide selection of collets. I see there is a 4mm collet that apparently fits some Dremels, but you'd have to be sure it fits your model. I wouldn't bet on it, but maybe you can locate one somewhere.
  4. You can find some on eBay, but you have to be careful as most of the bits are the diamond-cut style for PC boards, not what you want. From China, inexpensive and decent, but watch out for shipping times. You can also get micro endmills from MSC Direct, decent prices and in the US. If it has to be from Canada, search around for a distributor of Accupro bits.
  5. Other than the ravages of age, the Guarneri instruments were almost all arched much higher than the modern ones. I suspect it is due to what most modern players want tonally and power-wise, which probably differs from the average "Old Italian Sound". Too bad we couldn't play the old ones.
  6. And perhaps he was right... one of his violins in 1950 might have been equal to what a Strad sounded like in 1850. Hard to say for sure.
  7. The back is also far stiffer than the top, and more likely to retain the original outline... unless the maple shrunk a lot. Life is so much easier NOT trying to make close copies. Or cellos.
  8. For "huge in the hall", which implies power across the entire frequency range, I'd agree. However, I recall the "Benny" Strad sounded dead when I played it, but clear and well-defined when I listened to someone else play it. My speculation is that weakness in the midrange and strength in the highs (the "Cremonese sound") is the source of the fable, which not only results from the frequency bands but also where the frequencies are generated on the instrument.
  9. My best guess is that if Strad was alive today and making new violins, they would sound like new violins. 300 years can do things.
  10. Looking and hearing what today's top makers are putting out, there's no need to clone Strad.
  11. Micro layer analysis to understand what the old guys used is one thing. Obtaining the same results of a great modern maker may be something else entirely. I too was greatly impressed with the Justin Hess VSA entry (and some others), and was mostly underwhelmed by the look of the Guarneris.
  12. IMO the result depends so much on the details that you won't find much agreement about the model. I'm using "model" here mostly regarding outline, as arching has not been mentioned and can be tweaked to make a large difference in result. I have made one Kreisler(ish) model that performed very good, and a generic Guarneri(ish) model that seems to work better. Now I have another family of generic Guarneri(ish) models, but the jury is not going to reach a decision until VSA next week. But again, it won't be the model (outline), but the other things.
  13. Yep, the Fulton oxidized turpentine cooked cautiously outdoors, watched constantly from upwind to avoid the noxious fumes. I agree about avoiding too much color on the wood. The terpene looks dark in solid form, but I have never seen it go over the edge to excessive color when used as a ground/sealer. I have cooked colophony several times, and it's not quite as nice to my eye. But the difference is small, and probably hard to see any difference under varnish.
  14. I have a preference for terpene resin at the moment, it adds a little reddish color, nicer than colophony IMO.
  15. That takes care of the problem of a dry joint, but I worry about the residual stress problem. The spruce endgrain areas will expand with the hot glue, and then shrink as it dries. The purfling is all long-grain, and will not expand or shrink appreciably along its length. When it dries, the spruce crossgrain will be in tension, and initiate cracks more easily... kinda the opposite of what you want the purfling to do.
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