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Doug Marples

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Everything posted by Doug Marples

  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.
  16. spruce linings are traditionally made with the grain quartered though you can find about anything if you look long enough. In school we were advised to avoid basswood but I don't know what the justification was. I would think that trimming spruce linings would be easier if they are quartered. Doug
  17. My understanding is that 'whistling' of the e string occurs when the bow induces it to oscillate around its long axis (twisting) in preference to the desired lateral displacement type of vibration. Previous posters have mentioned playing technique, soundpost fit and the nature of the specific e string as possible causes. When a player brings this problem to me I first investigate how the other strings are responding to the bow. If there are responsiveness issues elsewhere then I assume sound post tension, position or fit is amiss and correcting that typically resolves the issue. Other set-up concerns like bridge cut and position may also produce this but seem less commonly responsible. If the instrument responds well to the bow other than for the whistling e string then I would suggest experimenting with other e string types.
  18. I prefer a curved cutting edge on gouges because I believe it encourages a cleaner, slicing cutting action. For the same reason, I tend to rotate the gouge along its long axis as it cuts through the wood.
  19. Viewing the artifacts in the Museo now requires the presence and assistance of a museum staff member, who politely opens one drawer at a time for you to inspect (through glass). Priority is placed on security and preservation, which seems appropriate to me.
  20. In response to questions raised last week I've posted some additional photos of the Kloz labeled violin. The extent of scroll fluting far into the throat and the one piece lower rib with locator notches are shown. The photo of the bottom block is to show the (rather extreme) height of the linings. The top block photo shows a repair 'clavette' peeking out under it. The nice swell of edge thickness into a back corner is shown. The instrument will be returning to the school that owns it after repairs are completed so I'm not sure the attribution makes much difference-we just thought it would be interesting to see what everyone thought about it. Thanks Doug
  21. In response to the question about the scroll fluting on this instrument, it does extend deep into the throat. I'll have more photos next week.
  22. A little additional information: the material added to the inside of the treble half of the back appears to be parchment (I even thought maybe craft paper at first, but on closer inspection I'm fairly sure it's parchment). From the outside there does appear to be a sound post crack, and I can't say what sort of repair was done without getting under the parchment. The instrument is in my colleague's care and the budget for repair work is limited so I'm not sure how extensive any restoration is likely to be at this stage. I'll get a good photo of the scroll in the throat when I visit his shop next week, as well as the lower rib. The label appears to be handwritten rather than lithograph but I could get a macro photo of it next week also if that's important. Thanks for all the input. Doug
  23. Right, of course it says "Senior"-I had a little brain fart when I was typing. I wasn't aware that the word was the same in German. The lower rib is one piece, with small notches at the centerline. The linings are rather tall-around 9 mm-and not mortised though the interior work is neatly done.
  24. My colleague has a violin in for repair that's owned by the music department of an area college (Midwestern U.S.). I was surprised by the English form 'Junior' on the label but found a very similar label description in the Dilworth Brompton's book, right down to the same serial or model number "308." Anyway I wondered if anyone would like to express an opinion as to whether the appearance of this instrument is consistent with Joseph Thomas Kloz (I)'s work. Thanks, Doug
  25. Kimmo, My inside template length (mold plus blocks, except my mold doesn't have any blocks in it at present) is 344.3 mm. You can add a little total length (as del Gesu seems to have done on some of his instruments) by making your bottom block slightly proud of the outline of the mold. But for the Plowden model I left everything pretty much as indicated by the Strad poster CT of the ribs. It made a nice sounding, and very responsive instrument. Doug
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