Don Noon

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About Don Noon

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    It ain't rocket science... it's more complicated
  • Birthday 03/20/1952

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

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  1. I have been using iron rosinate too for the last few years. No madder or other pigments, and it can be quite red. I usually dilute it with limed rosin varnish, as the color is quite strong.
  2. I made it to #5 before the cutoff. I did the splicing using a milling machine, but it's the same idea with hand tools... I'd use tapers instead of straight cuts, and chalk-fitting.
  3. As long as the cut block doesn't bounce around against the blade, it looks fine to me too. I still like a well set up bandsaw and a good blade, though...
  4. This is getting far afield from the topic (so what's new?)... but I find lots of different things inspiring. Classical, Irish, clawhammer banjo, guitar of various styles, but the center of my playing inspiration is old-time Southern fiddling. I have posted this video of Alex and Tatiana Hargreaves before, one of my favorite tunes that I play a lame version of. I will never have their improvisation skills, but it is inspiring to hear them. And Tatiana plays a 5-string, which I hope I can make some day when my waiting list for regular stuff runs out. I also admire the clean playing of Aubrey Haynie, and am trying to learn this cool tune. It's a bit out of my comfort zone and not exactly "old time", but I like it.
  5. I'd rather be inspired (and perhaps motivated to improvement) by looking up to the best. Personally, I don't get any ego boost by finding stuff that's worse than I am, and it's certainly not motivating to improve my skills.
  6. This is an excellent excuse to get a bigger bandsaw and a top-quality blade... although since the early posts are deleted, I can't see what your miter saw is to really say much about it. I have a good chopsaw with a nice Forrest blade on it, which I have used in the past for cutting blocks. It works well, but it's some effort to get it out and arrange dust collection, so I've just been using my big bandsaw with the carbide blade lately. My smaller (14") bandsaw would work as well, but I'd have to put on a larger blade than I usually have on it. The right blade matters a lot, and with the right blade, a bandsaw can get a very good surface. With my hand-sharpened blades, I can resaw ribstock that nearly looks planed.
  7. Don Noon

    Wood densities

    You could glue a few planks together.
  8. Don Noon

    Wood densities

    If there's a meat packing plant around, maybe go there and pick up a scrap foot. But wear a 10-layer mask when you go there, for a couple of different reasons.
  9. Don Noon

    Wood densities

    I pity any animal that has hooves with the properties of redwood or cedar. I'm not really an animal expert, but it seems like just a few steps, and the hooves would be worn/split and otherwise destroyed. Seems like a tougher wood like maple would be a better test for your trimming tool. But again, I don't know hooves.
  10. Don Noon

    Wood densities

    Redwood and cedar are not "exotic". Try Home Depot or any lumber dealer. Balsa I think would be a poor substitute... spruce would be closer. If you are looking at modulus vs. density, there's a definite correlation across different types of wood. However, there's a lot of scatter as well. It depends how close you want to get.
  11. While I don't have anything specific to say, I would generally trust the arching of an actual instrument known to work, vs. mathematically generated squiggles.
  12. To which I'll repeat: So what? Available data shows tha particulart B mode frequencies are not critical for goodness, a particular M5 frequency is not critical for goodness, and a particular relation between plate modes and body modes is not critical for goodness. I can believe that with careful control of humidity, arching, and diddled graduations and bass bar you can get a high correlation between M5 and a B mode... I just don't see why anyone would think it is worth the effort.
  13. Don Noon

    Old strings

    If I can remember to do it, next time I change strings on one of my own fiddles, I'll try to measure tonal changes over time; it should be measurable. Unfortunately, I usually go for years without putting on new strings (if a string delaminates or breaks, I'll usually find one in the used string bin and put that on). String aging and related sound hasn't been a big concern of mine, as it is not within my control and won't contribute to my violin-building knowledge in any useful way. New strings are reserved for new instruments, not for my fiddling. And on new instruments, there's a lot changing, not just the strings, so that wouldn't be a good test for string effects.
  14. I have also noticed that higher arching tends to suppress the "B" frequency range, giving a more "old Italian" tone but less overall power. I haven't gotten to the point where I can assign the effect to the top or back plate, though. I agree that good violins don't necessarily have to have a low B frequency band, although I primarily like the strong overtones and punch it gives to the G and D string, and don't really like the offensive power and unevenness that usually shows up on the E string. I know Curtin thinks that the "old Italian sound" character is not necessarily preferred these days The real problem is excessive peaks in the B range, which are not that easy to control. Anyway, thanks, Anders, for all this incredibly detailed real-world work, which I find far more useful that just theory.
  15. Actually, I DO keep glue around almost always until something grows on it. Being "frugal", I figure I could do something with it until then.