Julian Cossmann Cooke

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About Julian Cossmann Cooke

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  • Location
    Austin, TX
  • Interests
    Making; restoration; psychoacoustics; grounds and varnishes; aesthetic and tonal development of the violin family instruments form

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  1. Anyone have recommendations for a benchtop planer -- principally for thinning walnut form stock? Which means it won't get a lot of traffic.
  2. Walnut for durability, assuming I think I will be making multiple instruments. Thickness depends on rib heights to some extent: thin enough to leave room between the linings and the form to allow easier removal of the form. 12 is probably a good general number for those purposes. Much thinner and the walnut may begin to cup. I think it is available at Woodcraft but have never bought it there, still having a stock from a specialty lumber outfit. Plan to have to plane it down because it tends to come in non-lutherie thicknesses.
  3. There is that. Remind me sometime to tell you about the property in Muncy that I wanted to buy. My last major manic episode. Would have cost me 300k and probably never would have been able to become a luthier.
  4. And just a hop, skip and a jump from the town where I grew up. Now if only my wife had not grown up in center city Philly -- a die-hard city girl, I'm afraid. Then again, it would get us back into the state and a quick train ride to the City of Bruh-ly Love...
  5. Screams B&B. How many of those have elevators for people with disabilities/the physically infirm? ADA conversion if required would be expensive, no doubt. If not required by law, might still be necessary if targeting the market of this population along with the general market. Too bad the addition was put on without much thought to blending with the original structure. Or a museum to house the Bromberg collection -- though a little remote: The Museum of the American Violin. Sounds MAVelous to me!
  6. Or consider it an experiment and make the next one to proper dimensions and see how they compare. Won't be able to say anything definitive about the effect of the different dimensions because of all the other variables, but it would salvage something out of the first instrument. And if #1 sounds good to boot, so much the better. If everything else about the first instrument turns out well, then you have achieved your objective for #1: it shows where you are in your command of the tools and the wood and where you can direct your efforts at improvement in #2 and its successors. Learning to make is a lifelong marathon. Whether or not your mistakes along the route compromise the structural integrity of the instrument -- and in this case, it sounds like they don't --, there are in abundance opportunities to progress. IMHO, getting it done and moving on is more important than "getting it right" in this case.
  7. From the vault of Martin Schleske -- this may be of interest. Or at least stimulate further discussion. fingerboard accoustics.pdf
  8. Hard to beat that source. Unless of course, all of THOSE labels are fakes!
  9. As to the date 1736, it might be significant that the seven does not have a bar on it that is common to some older German script, though perhaps not always used at that time. Someone else -- Jacob Saunders -- would know better than I.
  10. Agree with Thomas and Alex. You are better off making your own flexible templates based on readily available drawings and photographs. While this method has it's limitations, rigid templates have more. I am also experimenting with a cheap phone app called Da Vinci which allows you to draw something onto a surface with the help of an image of what you are trying to transfer. I am still trying to dial in the process but I can see where it could be very useful for reproducing the outline of an f-hole without having to cut a template.
  11. Thank you, Alex, for what you are doing through the VMAAI to support all of us in the trade.
  12. If I only had a car there, Thomas! It would be great to see you.
  13. Planning a trip to Chicago this fall accompanying my financial backer (read: my wife) as she attends a work conference. Assembling a list of must-see locations. So far in no particular order: Ryan McLaughlin Chicago School of Violin Making Darnton and Hersh Michael Darnton Bein and Fushi Kenneth Warren and Son Greg Sapp William Harris Lee Seman Violins Any other recommendations? My purpose is two-fold: see fine instruments and visit colleagues in their natural environment. I don't expect to have a violin with me to show. I would love to search the MN membership by location and find others among you on whom I could descend, but alas...
  14. Because before you harvested the first eye, the newt's vision was 20/20. Five years later and the remaining eye had been under significant strain, doing the work of two, contributing to a change in the second eye's ratio of fat to muscle. Et voila! (Or Bob's your uncle if you have an uncle named Bob). Crap varnish.