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Doug Marples

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    Lawrence, KS
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    Full time maker of violin family instruments

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  1. The bridge foot width is determined by the position of the bass bar, so only indirectly related to the separation of the upper eyes of the f holes. Doug
  2. Henry, briefly, I cut the sides of the mortise with a single edge razor blade then cut the mortise ends and gradually excavate the waste with a 1.8 mm wide chisel (Hirsch). Here's more detail: I lay out the mortise size and locations with a 0.3 mm mechanical pencil using magnification to check the size. I push the razor blade edges of the mortises just a little undersized because the wood compresses a bit and then swells back up when the linings are glued in. This is nothing original to me-basically the method I was taught in school.
  3. Actually, I'm using the c. 1750 J. U. Eberle in the RAM museum in London as a model for my current viola d'amore project. I looked at the information on Strad d'amores in Stewart Pollens' book "Stradivari". Of course, you could visit the Museo in Cremona.
  4. Acknowledging my limited Spanish language ability, I don't see the relevance of the Cuban violin (etc) factory on this compilation. Am I missing something there?
  5. Peter, I used something similar to the device you illustrate in your first post as a purfling Marker, then cut the sides of the groove vertically with two different knives, by hand. One has a left bevel, the other right bevel. The double bladed purfling marker can't make parallel groove walls to full depth by itself because the width of the blade blanks is too great (at least on mine) to permit the bevels to be on the inside, and I think the waste would jam them up before you could get much depth anyway. I used a purfling pick like the one in your second photo with a drastically reshaped cutting head for a few years, until it broke. Then I made a new one out of an old pocket knife that works as well. The whole process remains a meticulous, time eating pain but working in a patient, methodical way does eventually produce good results. Doug
  6. Tango, If you're referring to your rough arching gouge, then I agree with other posters that a large, two-handed handle is essential. The width of the cutting end of the blade, on the other hand, may be a bit less significant than it's sweep. A flat gouge takes a wider curl than one with a tighter radius would do. I think mine has a #5 sweep and is something like 25 mm wide. Rotating the tool around it's axis as you advance the cut (a twisting motion) tends to improve control and makes the cut cleaner. And there's no substitute for a sharp edge. Doug
  7. I make linings of willow or spruce also, planed to 2 by 8 mm (for violins and violas) with 'quarter sawn' grain orientation to make the trimming easier after installation.
  8. Hi Tango, That's the Ex-Primrose Amati model viola you noticed. After sealer (gelatin-alum), tea stain and UV exposure (sun or cabinet depending on the weather) I burnish the wood with equisetum then apply ground varnish. I use an emulsion ground concocted from stand oil and water with a small amount of water mixable (Winsor-Newton) raw sienna-just a tint of yellow. For a viola it's approximately 20 ml of oil and 1 ml of water. This stuff requires several days, maybe a week of UV exposure to cure before I start with colored varnish (I use shop made balsamic oil varnish for that). Doug
  9. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marples-Violins/38556232304?ref=s I don't believe you have to have a Facebook account to view the images-let me know if you have trouble with the link above. I intended to post photos here but didn't discover the technique in the time I had allotted to the job. Doug
  10. I checked the H. Amati violin on the NMM website. To me, if it's genuine, it's Hieronymus son of Andrea, not Hieronymous II, but I'm just a hick out on the plains so my opinion won't carry much weight on such issues! The f holes look right to me to be Hieronymus of Brothers Amati generation rather than his grandson. I'm surprised it's not containing the usual Brothers Amati label though.
  11. Hi N.T., You can just search for "Marples Violins" when you're already on Facebook and you'd be there with a lot less effort. Sorry. I make this model in it's original, 16 1/8" size also. That's an uncut contralto in near original condition so I like the Amati aesthetics that it preserves. For smaller violists I make 15 3/4" based on the Ex-Primrose Brothers Amati ca 1590 but that instrument has been reduced in size from a much larger original. As far as labels go, I always use my own. H. Amati used the "Brothers Amati" style label throughout his career, for many years after Antonio had retired and then died. The Ex-Primrose provides a deep authentic viola sound at a smaller corpus length. I really don't care for the outline of the ever-popular Andrea Guarneri viola model and prefer emulating the Amati. I've also made Brescian models and a late Guadagnini model. Doug
  12. I just uploaded a batch of photos on the "Marples Violins" Facebook page showing my most recently completed viola. Thanks for looking. Doug
  13. Another possible fix would be to try an e string with a different tension, like that of the Vision Stark (thick) e.
  14. I measure the neck + FB thickness at the nut end at its minimum and use 18.0-18.5 mm (usually the larger) for violin and 19.0 for viola. At the heel end I measure at the junction of the straight portion with the curve and use 19.5-20.0 mm for violin and 21.5 for violas. For violins I use 23.7 to 23.8 for the nut width at its junction with the fingerboard and 41.5 to 42.0 for the FB width at it's bridge end. The width at the neck foot depends on the amount of side concavity but is usually 32. 3 for violins. For violas I use 24.5 for nut width. The widths at neck foot and bridge end vary for violas depending on neck length but are in proportion to what violin fingerboard widths would be if projected out to the greater length.
  15. Evan, By quartered linings, I mean that the growth rings of the linings are perpendicular to the ribs. That way when you are trimming the linings down, after they are glued in place, they should be easier to carve down. Oded's point about losing lining material when the plate is re-opened is perhaps a valid one, but he's certainly bucking tradition there.
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