Julian Cossmann Cooke

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About Julian Cossmann Cooke

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  • Birthday 10/19/1955

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

    Studied with Karl Roy, Jim Robinson, and Zoran Stilin at UNH summer program for three years; completed studies at VMSA studying with Charles Woolf,Georg Meiwes, Sanghoon Lee, and Aubrey K. Alexander; attended 2016 and 2017 Oberlin Summer Restoration Workshop

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  1. The detailed schedule for the VSA convention/competition has hit the streets! See it here: https://www.vsaweb.org/2018ConventionProgram
  2. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    Indianapolis Violin Making Competition

    Is the reverse true as well: makers without a violin available for sale are the best makers? [Blows on finger nails and polishes them on non-existent lapel]
  3. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    uv box lenght of time needed

    My experience has been that the box speeds the drying even of spirit varnishes, particularly to the extent essential oils are used. I use a little lavender oil in mulling pigments. Granted, we're talking very small amounts in the scheme of things and I may be overly cautious, but I feel better knowing that I have given the drying process a little extra help.
  4. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    uv box lenght of time needed

    I got this, David. A marble doesn't roll off the top or the back.
  5. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    uv box lenght of time needed

    The answer in part is a function of the concentration of bulbs in your box. But when it comes to spirit, I don't leave an instrument in the box longer than 30 mins between coats. My box has 12 48 inch black light bulbs. I seem to remember discussion in other threads about different kinds of UV bulbs being best for curing as opposed to tanning. You should be able to google those threads.
  6. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    violin lining thickness

    Aren't there also relationships between lining thickness on the one hand and lining width and rib thickness on the other.? In making a Brescian viola, I scaled back the linings because the ribs are thicker per Dilworth -- 2mm in the instruments he examined. The gluing surface already is substantial and I didn't want to further inhibit the movement of the ribs. In fact, Dilworth points to the absence of linings entirely. I wasn't willing to go that far in deference to the modern set-up, seeking a little extra strength instead. Blocks also seemed advisable for the same reason.
  7. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    Is this a good book to read?

    Geschichte der Geigenlackierung: Werkstoffe und Techniken; eine Studie über Spirituslacke und Andwendung von Propolis, Raimund Klawitter, Verlag Franz Schmitt
  8. Julian Cossmann Cooke


    And L'Archet Brasil which encompasses United Strings International. Theyre very responsive if there is any problem. My other recommendation is that you find opportunities to establish face to face contact with any of the suppliers folks have mentioned here. A number of them, for example, can be found in the vendor hall at the VSA conventions. Especially if you buy a set or two from them in that setting, they will tend to remember you when you call later for another batch of wood. An established relationship is your best assurance of getting above and beyond service.
  9. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    Is this a good book to read?

    I agree with the wise Thomas Coleman. I have (or had) this book but found it not to be a practical guide. The Karl Roy book -- The Violin and Its Making -- was not intended as a how -to as I understand it, but the varnish section is pretty comprehensive if you want a good overview. It also contains a number of recipes for more or less standard varnishes both oil and spirit. I recommend getting a copy from the library or interlibrary loan and copying those pages. There are more specialized books on varnish, but this section is the best intro at least in English that I have come across. If your reading German is very good, I can recommend a small book that goes into more detail and has recipes as well.
  10. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    Julian Cossmann Cooke's bench

    The box on the da Salo viola is closed. Purfling channels are marked (actually finished marking after the photo), and shop mascot Mephisto gets ready to test out the new bench's utility as a bowling lane.
  11. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    Bass size saw

    Looking for a large (deep mouth) fret saw for cutting bass f-holes.
  12. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    Bridge Carving Question

    I would still use parchment and get rid of that useless bit of rubber sleeve. Otherwise, over time that E string is going to cut into the wood and you will be back (near) where you started. Melvin can speak for himself, but it appears to me that the E string groove -- whether originally cut this way or not -- is deeper on the tailpiece side. Whether the parchment will take care of this or the problem lies deeper Melvin I hope will answer.
  13. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    Scroll eye question

    This would seem to support my point of the importance of the unified whole. The treatment of the edges -- even of the pegbox -- and the eye is consistent. I actually prefer this look whether on a fresh, antiqued or old instrument. But again, I think it is a matter of personal aesthetic sense. Wonder what the consensus is if there is one among competition judges -- sharp v. smooth...
  14. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    Scroll eye question

    Just my own aesthetic sense, but a rounded eye amid crisp lines -- the chamfers, the scroll "spine" -- would seem out of place, undermining the sense of a unified whole. And there's the added problem of where to stop the crisp chamfer leading into the rounded eye. That would be an awkward segue it seems to me.
  15. Julian Cossmann Cooke

    25 Classical Violas

    Luis is a contemporary viola maker who participates frequently in the conversations here on MN. Look for his member page and you can see his posts. With any luck, he will see this thread and jump in. Same with Dwight Brown, though he is not a maker. He has a significant collection of violas made by contemporary builders though and is familiar with some of the historic instruments.