Don Noon

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About Don Noon

  • Rank
    Using tools without supervision
  • Birthday 03/20/52

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

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  1. Managing our wood stock - how much wood we need?

    If this was a large business, you'd submit a requisition and rationally justify the need for it. For a solo instrument maker (or any individual buying anything), purchases are based on WANT, not so much NEED. I want more wood.
  2. Don Noon's bench

    Evan, Not to worry. Fiddles (I see you used the plural) always sound best when the varnish is still tacky and the strings have been put on just minutes before the competition.
  3. aniline dye

    Yep. Nice red color. Then after a few days, the only red left was in the darkest recesses of the scroll. Drying oils do something to the dyes, i.e. turns them colorless. Without the drying oils, as in spirit varnishes, I think they can be useful, as long as they can survive numerous days of sun exposure.
  4. aniline dye

    I have two thumbs, and a rule for each: 1) Don't use aniline dyes in oil varnish, as it will disappear. (And I use oil varnish) 2) For everything, test it out on samples and see what it looks like. And then do more tests.
  5. Mike Molnar's Bench

    My solution is to use a large rubber band and go from the pegs around the neck a few times. It keeps the strings from sproinging completely loose from the pegs, which is good enough for me.
  6. Integral bassbars

    An argument I made the last time this topic was discussed is that if you want to have a short-ish neck block for ease of playing, but want to keep the other blocks tall-ish for volume, it's likely the easiest, fastest, most practical way to do it. If you had a uniform taper, then you'd either need slightly different size upper and lower corner blocks, or you'd have to plane/sand the upper ones down more. Easier just to put in the same size corner blocks and taper the upper ribs a bit.
  7. Integral bassbars

    I think of springing the top similar to springing the bass bar... everything's a noodle until it's all glued up to the ribs, blocks, and back. If it doesn't take much force to deflect it, then there won't be much stress in the wood due to the deflection (in general).
  8. Integral bassbars

    Spruce definitely does not shrink along the grain. However, a spruce top can shorten because of the wiggly arching resulting from string forces.
  9. Integral bassbars

    What would you think of a new instrument where the F hole wing was 1 - 1.5mm raised from the rest of the top? That's the pre-distortion you'd need to have to counteract this problem, and it seems to me that a bit of spring installing the bass bar isn't going to do it.
  10. Stradivarius Sound

    I think Sam Z. is the caretaker of that instrument, and he probably knows what he's doing. Maybe that's the best that violin can sound (I don't like it either, and not just this recording).
  11. Integral bassbars

    If you want to avoid the creep distortion shape shown by the red line, then you will necessarily need to have a distorted original shape shown by the green line (assuming you don't do something like use a super-stiff carbon fiber bass bar). And, while we're at it, the soundpost side will need some tweaking too... carving in a depression (viewed from the outside) on the back to account for the bulge later on, and carving the top into a complex S-shape to account for the bulge at and behind the post and the depression at and above the bridge foot. It just sounds like too much diddling to me, and would end up with a funny-looking new instrument so that it could look like a better instrument 300 years from now. No, thanks.
  12. Secrets in the wood (Stradivari's maple)

    Interesting, but it's not all good. A considerable mass of additive is needed to have an effect. It increases density AND decreases modulus... pretty significantly. I don't think it would be worth it for violins.
  13. Integral bassbars

    Not only that, but even the initial deflection from string pressure is high enough that I doubt springing the bar is going to do a whole lot. I think to really have an effect you would either have to: 1) Carve the corrective curve into the top to start with, or 2) Use a distorted counterform and clamp the top/bassbar into it with a very huge pressure (and who knows what shape you'll have when you unclamp it). Has anyone seen a brand new violin go saddleback right after putting the strings on? I haven't, so I'm presuming that this is a long-term creep issue. Then the question is: how distorted do you want the initial shape to be, and how much distortion do you want to allow and the end, and when is "the end"? Personally, I'd rather have it distorted later rather than now. Anyway, from what I know of structures, it appears futile to try to counteract the saddleback tendency by springing the bass bar installation, no matter how fancy you contour the gap. So I don't. I would like to see your finite element analysis to confirm this arm-waving reasoning, which I believe is incorrect.
  14. How do you "dirty" up a new instrument?

    The question was how to "dirty up" and instrument, not destroy it. I wish I had a real good answer, but all I can say is "it's complicated". Real "dirt" on an old instrument isn't necessarily dirt, but probably a combination of sweaty hands, some dirt, case lint, and then polished over with something. Rather than try to duplicate the actual materials and methods, I think it's most efficient to find something that works, and looks like it. Still looking.
  15. Basic Acoustics Resource

    Not quite. Section modulus is the geometry of the cross-section that helps determine bending stiffness. Young's modulus of the material is the other part that determines bending stiffness. Both together determine the absolute bending stiffness. I don't think they would stop you from doing that, unless you want to dunk their wood in a bucket of water to measure density. The real annoyance is not just the time, but the equipment you need to bring in to measure things, and perhaps the disapproving stares. Going by appearance and feel, from reputable vendors usually has been OK for me. Picking thru the bargain bin has usually been less OK.