kevin Prestwich

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About kevin Prestwich

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    Boise, Idaho

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  1. Have tools will travel

    I can get most things needed to build a fiddle into this handy tote I picked up at an estate sale.
  2. charging for stringing up?

    I do free stuff for my customers all the time. I also offer lifetime free service on violins that I have built. It is in my own best interest to keep my fiddles looking and sounding as spiffy as possible. Sure I lose a few bucks here and there but I have found that these small gestures are always appreciated and they generate more business down the line.
  3. David Burgess Violin(s) Wanted

    I've got one right here but the label fell out. Would you mind sending me one?
  4. Spruce grain

    There are still lots of massive old growth Engelmann here in the western U.S. I count the rings whenever I harvest a tree and they generally run between 150-300 years old, usually around 200-250. Grain spacing is a huge gamble and the grain width will vary wildly even within just a few yards of each other. One tree I cut last summer had a grain width of about 3 mm and just 20 feet away I found one with a tight .5 mm spacing. We have to have some awareness of what is going on on the ground and underground as well. close proximity to a perennial runoff stream will greatly increase a trees water intake thus creating a wider grain. Soil composition and nearby competition comes into play as well. Here is a standing dead tree I cut last summer. 46" across at the base. Many people say that 1 in 1000 trees are suitable for tonewood. I'd say those odds are a bit optimistic.
  5. Spruce grain

    Nathan, Thank you for sharing this. I have not found this to be the case in my experience but I generally split off any off looking material and only process what I consider to be the "ideal" portion of the log well away from any branches. I am currently splitting my time between being a violin maker and a tonewood supplier. I'd love to send you a few samples . I show a bit of my process and available logs on my Facebook page linked below.
  6. Spruce grain

    Not true in my case. I hunt every tree on foot and I rarely find one close to the road. I have never set foot in a lumber yard. I carried 20 feet of this log off of a mountain last summer, each 80 lb chunk being a one mile round trip. Bad business model? Probably. Do I have nice legs? Absolutely.
  7. strings

    Dominants with a Lezner Goldbrokat E, as a starting point.
  8. bought mouldy tonewood...

    Do you have any pictures?
  9. Video of the 2014 VSA Convention and Competition

    Wow! Thanks for sharing David.This looks truly incredible. I've never been, but plan on making it in 2016.
  10. Any consensus on sound post position?

    As a starting point, I set the East-west "depth" of the post at the exact same depth as the bass bar. I set the north-south position (distance behind bridge foot) at a distance which is the same as the top's thickness. Then I string it up and play to do the final adjustments.
  11. Male and Female Trees?

    Engelmann Spruce have both the male and female parts. I checked.
  12. Mastering setup - courses, resources, techniques

    I have attended Hans Nebel's summer workshops twice and they are very good. The topics of study are always changing but there is generally a week devoted to set-up. You will also have the privilege of hearing what are undoubtedly the corniest jokes in the business.
  13. Going out of business sale.

    Hey, you're a guy that likes high density Engelmann. I gotta do everything to keep you going! Thank you for the kind words and know that this is an open ended offer. Happy Holidays.
  14. Turpentine for thinning Robson Varnish

    Joe, do you find it necessary to decant the Diamond turpentine as well? Is this a recommended general procedure with all commercial turpentine?
  15. How slim do you make the neck

    From my limited experience it seems that Players seem to prefer slimmer necks. I really don't know how much is required from a structural perspective but I use 17.8 (top) and 19.5 (bottom).