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Julian Cossmann Cooke

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Everything posted by Julian Cossmann Cooke

  1. You might look into baby bottle warmers. With digital thermostat controls, you can control the temperature pretty precisely. The one I have is no longer made. Others from overseas probably will need a voltage converter, but I've found the set-up a good investment.
  2. Happy to help out, Crimson. Let me know any specifications you have, e.g. grain count, flame orientation, density. I'll ship it, you can see it, and then you can tell me what you would like to pay. Selling one's stock of wood is not a money making proposition in my experience - unless the wood is extraordinary in some way.
  3. Not a problem. All work and no play... Don't suppose either of you will make it to LA in November. Would be nice to meet you guys.
  4. Pls PM me with mode of payment information. If the book still is available.
  5. I may have a buyer here. PM me and I'll tell you more.
  6. Stock available for linings, blocks, necks, back plates. I am selling at cost on behalf of the property owner - wood came with the property of a deceased Texas maker - and I have exclusive access to what is a substantial supply. Photos are representative. Based on the likelihood the maker was not still collecting wood after he turned 80 (he died at 102), the stuff is at least 20 years old. Process: contact me at julian@cossmannviolins.com. Do not contact me through this listing as I am rarely on MN any more. Give me your specs and I will select pieces and send you photos from the site. Once you have committed - this is based on an honor system -, I will transport to Austin (about a 2 1/2 hour drive) and ship from there. Once you have received the shipment, you pay me. Price equals: owner's price for the wood + my time in making the selection (5-hour driving time and gas not included) + transport and shipping costs. If shipping costs can be saved by some kind of in-person hand-off, I will try to accommodate that, e.g. if we are both attending a workshop, you can meet me half-way between the workshop and your location, you are coming through Austin. Shipping time subject to Austin's not exceeding Stage 3 of its Covid risk-based assessment for the community (we are headed back to Stage 3 as I write.)
  7. Yep, that was my thought. Thanks for the advice. I'll let the MN hive know what happens when I have a chance to try it.
  8. Thanks, Jim. This is some of the stuff I am helping the fellow out in Brownwood dispose of. I'm going to try a couple different thicknesses on the advice of Edward Maday, who doesn't use it but of course uses a lot of other nontraditional woods. I'll let MN know how it turns out.
  9. I've been AWOL from much of my online activity, trying to simplify life a bit, particularly in the face of an onslaught of repair and restoration work as people inspired by Covid-related isolation/financial constraints resurrect or maintain instruments they own rathe than buying. My question is: are there any ways to compensate for the porosity and fragility of sycamore when making the ribs? Any ways beyond the obvious: just don't use it. I haven't used it yet, but am selling large quantities of American sycamore and willow on behalf of the owner of a property formerly owned by a maker now deceased. (Must be 20K worth of wood in the workshop.) Many thanks in advance for any insight. PS No idea as to what kind of instrument the late maker had in mind for #2.
  10. For anyone who plays blues violin, what progression do you recommend to move into that style of playing? I have taken classical lessons off and on for the last 50 years. My skills aren't bad, if a bit rusty, and am a maker. By progression, I am referring to something like: 1. Basic fiddle skills; 2. Listening to blues fiddlers; 3. Basic blues fiddle concepts, including fingerings and "licks"; 4. Find a blues fiddler who can provide tips; 5. Work from recordings (or a specific book?)
  11. For the initial work on the fluting, I use a curved Iwasaki. It produces a very smooth cut so minimizes necessary scraping. It does not yield the proper fluting in the Stradivari style, but that can be added toward the last stages using scrapers or other tools. I like the Iwasaki curved round because the convex shape is easier to match to the curves of the fluting: https://www.woodcraft.com/products/iwasaki-curved-half-round-fine-file?via=573621f469702d06760016cd%2C5764197769702d3baa0002e9 I can't remember whether these are among the chemically treated Iwasakis that seem to cut better. Woodcraft carries them: https://www.woodcraft.com/categories/files-rasps# Not for those who want to stick closer to tradition. And, of course, this requires that one not be suffering from MTAS (more tools aversion syndrome).
  12. Right you are, David. The recordings will be available to VSA member non-attendees starting next month. VSA has been moving the recordings over to Vimeo from YouTube. Attendees should be able to access the recordings now unless some are still in transit to the new site. The intent is that they be available "in perpetuity" like the Proceedings Journal -- if you kept your copies ;)) --, just in e-form. So anyone who joins or renews at any time should be able to access the material starting next year. An email will be going out to the membership next month. I'll provide a heads-up when that is on its way.
  13. When I was searching for a microscope, I was impressed by the LabX.com lab gear auctions. If you have your specs well-defined, you may be able to find what you are looking for at a reasonable price. Bidspotter.com is another option. Of course, I also looked on eBay. Even if there is a return option, though, these things are monsters from a shipping expense standpoint. My sense from looking at things like reviews online is that it is hard to go wrong on quality with an older Bausch&Lomb which is what I ended up buying. It is adjustable both laterally and vertically and gives me plenty of room to work with tools, brushes, etc. with good resolution. I don't think I bought mine through one of the cited sources, but I was (and still am, why I don't know) on their notification lists.
  14. Bench space is in hatch marks. Shelves are dotted. Bench island is in chessboard. Dashes are hutches on top of a cabinet. Inside features not to scale -- but close. Woodworking on the left of the half wall and machine room on the right. Two areas are also separated by clear warehouse curtain strips which keep AC, heat from being wasted in the machine room.
  15. Much of what follows already has been mentioned. But the list reflects what I wish I did or did more of and consequently what I try to impress upon the occasional first-time maker who asks me to look over their shoulder. 1. Marry -- or otherwise partner -- well. And yes, my wife who has conventional employment knows I say that. 2. There's an amazing amount of fascinating stuff about this trade and places to find information. But resist siren song of digging into everything at the outset. Focus on the basics. Get those down. Plenty of opportunity to branch (and nerd) out later. 3. Sharpening. Nuff said. 4. If you are working with a book, read about what you are going to do next. And before you do it, read about what comes after that. Knowing by looking ahead why you are doing something and doing it in a certain way can enhance the results of a given step. 5. Be fearless in applying tool to wood. Timidity does not lead to good results. Take the wood off -- it does not feel pain. There are fixes for a lot of mistakes, though not for all. Make mistakes so you have opportunities to learn. Most of us make VSOs the first time (or two or three or...) out. It's OK to be average at this stage. In fact, give yourself a pat on the back if that is where you end up at when your first few instruments are done. Most of us were below average in our initial output. 6. Invest in the basic tools. You do not need to buy everything at once, certainly not the stuff with a high niftiness rating when you can do just fine on your first few instruments without it. Believe me, the tools will have plenty of time to accumulate. (See #1 above.) 7. If you have the opportunity, show your work to a maker as you go. Get feedback on what to try for next time. 8. Keep a thorough notebook and review it in the evening after any working session. Notes are worthless and paper is wasted if you don't look at them when the work is fresh in your mind. Document with photos if, like me, you basically suck at drawing. 9. And even if you are good at drawing, draw some more. Draw curves of the outline. Draw the whole outline. Draw how curves transition into each other. Draw scrolls. Draw f-holes. Draw corners. Draw six-shooters if you are from the West. But DRAW! 10. Whenever you have the opportunity to see fine instruments, do it. Go out of your way to do it. Promise to give up your first born. Pictures are important, but there is nothing that beats seeing well-executed instruments in person. 11. Look at high quality photographs of which there are scads online and in the better books. Choose a maker's work and study it. Outline. Arching long and cross. All of the things you're practicing drawing. These suggestions are stream of consciousness. Revising the order in which you attend to them should be pretty straightforward. Good luck!
  16. I've been reading the Cahill book The Gifts of the Jews and your reference to Michelman brings to mind the worldview of the Sumerians -- the Wheel, everything coming back around, rendering life predictable. I thought I was done with Michelman and yet -- here he is again! I guess if I lived in ancient Sumer, the inevitability of his turning up would have been a given. Up until now, nothing has motivated me to take him back down off the shelf, but this will do the trick.
  17. Well, I think she is more sentimental about the instrument that she played professionally than insane. Now, sentimentality about the family VSO AND being willing to pay the going rate for significant repairs? Might be a horse of a different feather. As to ordering, it was more a matter of her saying "Sure, you can have my viola for a couple weeks to make measurements and we'll see how it turns out" and my saying "Of course, no commitment on your part to buy." Once again, perhaps my choice of words implied something else.
  18. Point taken, WB. Please know that a change to my use of the nomenclature will be thoroughgoing -- not just here, but on social media as well. That said, I don't recall my ever saying that even the terms "model" or "inspired by" involve only soundhole tracing and outline design of an original. That may or may not be what your statement was meant to imply, For purposes of clarity in this dialogue, I still use what arching information I have on instruments so described by me. I use all available dimensional information. Where I can -- as I am doing in the case of the Craske -- I often come as close as I can to the original wood appearance. And then there are photographs upon photographs upon photographs. If my efforts are "inspired by", that is an acknowledgement of the shortcomings in my making skills rather than a characterization of the research that goes into my making. So, as I said in the original post and at the outset here, your points are well-taken. But as far as I recall I never have suggested here or elsewhere that a copy involves only outline and soundhole templates so we agree on that point. I think we are now on the same page -- which happens and sometimes doesn't among folks here on MN. At least this conversation has provided some clarification of appropriate terminology, will move me to make the suggested correction in nomenclature, and has given me the opportunity to enumerate the resources I use when following an inspiration and/or using a model. Thank you for your contributions to those outcomes.
  19. All good points, WB. I appreciate the effort that went into steering clear of condescension. And if that statement itself sounds snarky, I don't mean it to be. The job of upolding a culture of respect on MN belongs to all of us. This IS both less and more complicated than making a bench copy. You are absolutely right. If this were going to be a true bench copy, I would have at least done laser arching shots. So, strictly speaking, we are talking about something simpler -- a viola modeled on a specific Craske. The challenge of reflecting the precision of a bench copy has been eliminated. The complication lies in trying to make up for not having done the laser work -- which I didn't do because I did not have the set-up at the time. What I do have are some good photographs of various views of the archings. I'm attaching a couple. So, I have the general shape. I am trying to compensate for the lack of the laser material by using the photos and the arching drawings of a Craske viola made in the same year. It's an imperfect solution and therefore, the result will not be a true bench copy. The ex-owner of the original had decided that she was not really happy with the sound. If I had actual arching information, I would be better equipped to try to address her concerns. Fortunately for me, she is not looking for the qualities of a bench copy. The moral of this long, tortured story is that I should have been more precise in the terminology I was using and I do appreciate your raising that issue.
  20. Oooooh! It's a great resource. Annual subscription of $45. 460+ instruments with background notes, dimensions, photos, arching drawings, and laser arching pics. Admind by the folks at David Kerr Violin Shop in Portland. http://luthierslibrary.com/luthiers_library/ http://www.luthierslibrary.com/faq.html#faq-8
  21. Back to working on the Craske viola copy model. [cue ] Checking my files, I see I have detailed graduations and lots of photos. But I have nothing on arching. I can find information on Stradivaris of which he was known to make copies. Assuming I can find something close in rib height, length and widths. But I thought I would check here and see if anyone has any leads. Not that there are a lot of folks making Craske copies. I wouldn't be either if it weren't for a friend who sold her original and may be interested in buying this one instrument. And then there is the exercise in making SOMETHING AS CLOSE TO a copy AS I CAN WITH THE AVAILABLE RESOURCES-- this is the only person to ask me to make one A VIOLA BASED ON THEIR INSTRUMENT.. OOPS! Forgot about Luthier's Library. I'm shocked. Shocked to find a Craske viola in this establishment! But I am leaving the post up because no doubt someone else out there is looking for the same thing.
  22. I use a small muller -- about 2" across -- and find I waste less pigment. But maybe that's an illusion. I just find I spend less time scraping everything back up into a pile for further mulling since I tend to make small batches. I also use a coffee grinder starting out -- I cheat? -- to start out with a finer consistency, reducing the time. I have mixed turps or alcohol with the pigment as it comes off the filter -- turps for oil varnish, alcohol for spirit --, I get a "mud" which stays wet in a sealed jar for quite a while. Sounds a little like what Michael does, though the oil instead of the turps may make a difference. But my perception is that the mud results in a varnish that is too opaque. I have assumed that is because the particles are too small to allow for the transit of light to the wood and back out again. Would love more information from the more experienced here.
  23. David, is his own mover and seconder, but in case he gave me his proxy and I didn't get the message...I second his emotion. Sorry, Smoker fans, but... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO5YmKrxnSY
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