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. Atypical construction violin

    While this thru-the-top post is unusual, it is not unheard of. It generally tends to make a violin more like a viola, enhancing the low and mid frequencies while reducing brightness. There was a thread about it here.
  2. Cracks in Bending Ribs

    Also, when I am done bending a rib, all of the water is cooked out and it's dry, even if it takes a little more time on the iron.
  3. Cracks in Bending Ribs

    The first thing I'd think of is technique... to use a fairly hot iron, and apply as much pressure as possible with the backing strap, and rock the strap back and forth to gradually bend the rib to make sure it's all as hot as possible, all the while keeping as much pressure as possible against the iron. Second... avoid rib wood with flame that steep. I think at some point, the optical interest of the flame doesn't improve with more depth to the flame anyway. That wood in the photo is really steep, so there's not much long grain to keep things together. Third, when it cracks anyway, you can always glue it up with some counterforms to keep the shape, and perhaps a cleat. The linings will help. (throwing it out and starting over is a good option)
  4. Don Noon's bench

    It's the viola in this post.
  5. Don Noon's bench

    I was checking up on one of my instrument owners, and found a video from a few months ago. It's with my most recent 15 3/4" (40cm) viola, intended as a soloist instrument.
  6. Beady eyes... extreme version of fisheye

    It was a slow-evaporating solvent (not as slow as Lavender), and seemed really great at dissolving things and mixed with everything. So, initially, it looked like fabulous stuff. Unfortunately, it didn't work in the wetting department.
  7. One Very Loud Note (A5)

    One thing I forgot to mention... it is obvious from the diagram that the active areas are in the lower bout, closest to the player. So while this can be offensively loud to the player, it might not be all that bad to a listener.
  8. One Very Loud Note (A5)

    Reminds me of the recent irony of cutting my arm on the sharp edge of the blade guard on my bandsaw.
  9. Beady eyes... extreme version of fisheye

    No. Never tried. Doing normal things would tend to get normal results, and that's not as interesting. An interesting question, but I can't test that now, as the bad varnish no longer exists, and previous samples are used up. No real need to know at this point, other than an academic exercise.
  10. Beady eyes... extreme version of fisheye

    The beading happens with the same top coat over differing initial (dry) coats. But not now, with the change of solvents. Someone sent me the info about this solvent in a PM, so I don't know if it would be right to advertise it. And I think it's pretty obscure so that nobody would be accidentally using it.
  11. One Very Loud Note (A5)

    Michael, it sounds like you might have a variety of issues involved, and certainly nothing I could try to armchair-diagnose just from the descriptions of raspy, hissy, and boomy. Best would be in-person evaluation. However, if you could record a semitone scale without vibrato, it might be possible to find something that way.
  12. Beady eyes... extreme version of fisheye

    The fact that the varnish beaded up more quickly on a dried varnish sample that didn't use the mystery solvent leads me to believe that it's the non-wetting action in the fluid varnish that's the problem. Plus... I cooked out the solvents at ~200C and replaced them with a mix of the good-wetting solvents listed earlier. Applied over dried varnish, there is no beading or fisheyes. In aerospace bonding, there is a "break test" to see if a surface is clean, by applying a liquid and seeing if it beads up or wets and flows out. So I think this has proven to my satisfaction that the concept of wetting applies well to varnishing, to test the materials and see if they wet or not on a dried varnish sample. It was also perhaps important to note that an old batch of turpentine didn't wet well... at least it would be a good test for seeing if you should use that turpentine or not... but I'd also worry that the wetting properties of the turpentine in the varnish might change over time. Another lesson is that a great solvent isn't necessarily a good wetting agent, and can in fact be horrid.
  13. Beady eyes... extreme version of fisheye

    The photo of the beading is over the same varnish, dried. I also applied it over another rosin varnish, and it was even worse... if such a thing is possible. Actually, it was just quicker about gathering up, since you really can't get more beady than the one I showed.
  14. Cooking that varnish!

    There was a 23-page thread on this topic not too long ago: cooking colophony low and slow
  15. One Very Loud Note (A5)

    It's probably this strong body mode (840 Hz on the Titian), and maybe your violin is a bit stiffer. The only thing I know about to tame it is to move the soundpost closer (North) to the bridge foot, to reduce the leverage the bridge has that is driving the mode. Afterlength frequencies are too high to match to this, but you could add some mass to an afterlength to tune it to the offending note, and that should tame it. I don't like doing that kind of thing, 'cuz it's another moving part to get out of alignment and fuss with. Likewise, opening up the instrument doesn't sound great, as I think it would take some major modification to do anything significant, and you never know what else will be affected... and most likely in an undesirable way.