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  1. Hello! An even cheaper, but slower to use solution: 1-4 x 20 screw. These bolts are amazingly accurate and have been used by amateur astronomers for years to drive their photo rigs, a process that requires uncanny accurary. Make a thin "U". The legs should be as long as needed for the instrument, the thickness for the instrument as well. Drill a hole at the end and push in a a threaded insert. Record how many turns and fractions of a turn for the screw to go from one end to the other. Amateur telescope makers cut out small circles and calibrate it to 50 or 60 subdivisions. If 50, then the rig is good to 1/20/50 or 1/1000 of an inch. That is a bit optimistic. Maybe 1/100 of an inch reproducibly. When thicknessing, record how many turns and fractions to get to the wood and subtract from the total and convert the turns to inches or millimeters, whichever is desired. It takes longer than the caliper, but is as accurate (maybe a bit more so) and is cheaper. Best regards. Mike
  2. Hello! Mr. Chambers seems to be saying that he had control of the wood selection and the design/gradation, which was completed in China Mike
  3. Hello! Go to his E-bay store, or search for Simeon Violin on E-bay, and they show up. Mike
  4. Hello! I see that Simeon Chambers is offering Chinese-made violins on his website that use his wood and his graduation scheme. I'm considering purchasing one of his violins and trying my hand at regraduating one. Has anyone heard any opinions regarding these violins? Best regards. Mike
  5. Hello! I've read that some/many luthies soak the hide glue granules for a day before heating/melting it. What does this do for the glue? I've ben picturing hide glue like a gelatin, and I'm unsure what effect a pre-soak has on gelatinous glue. Best regards. Mike
  6. Hello! "Gelled off"? I'm not sure what this means. Best regards. Mike
  7. Hello! As I've used hot hide glue, I just put it into a jar, cover it with water so tht it is about 1:1 by volume, and put the jar into a sauce pan of hot water. Initially, I let the water boil, then turn it down so that it is below boiling. I figure that would give me about 200 degrees F. I thickened or thinned the glue as needed, and when I finished my work, I closed up the jar and put the glue in the refrigerator for future use. I've read a lot of comments about a glue pot. Is it really necessary to have such repeatable temps? Other than the thickening of glue as it is heated at a higher temp such as how I used it, does the higher temperature preparation affect the strength and/or workability of the glue at all? Best regards. Mike
  8. Hello! Thank you for the responses. I'll look into wood purfling. Best regards. Mike
  9. Hello! As my first violin comes near fruition (it will look ugly, but has been satisfying to make), my thoughts turn to my next violin. What are the advantages and disadvantages or wood vs. fiber purfling? Best regards. Mike
  10. Hello! I'm a pure newbie, so I use my imagination, often to dubious ends. I've seen several strips of 3" x 3/4" thick ebony strips. It struck me that I could glue three together (instead of the usual two for maple) and have an violin-sized ebony plate. An off the wall thought, but I was wonderng what the acoustical properties of an ebony plate would be. Thanks. Mike
  11. Hello! Thank you for your replies. The sound track of the Balsa fiddle sounds great! Mike
  12. Hello! I've seen a few discussions regarding flat back basses. What does a flat back do to the sound of an instrument? Have flat back violins, violas, and cellos ever been made? What would the effect of flat backs be on these instruments? Best regards. Mike
  13. Hello! I just got back from traveling. Thank you all for the posts! So many. I didn't think that there was that much interest. I thought I would repost so that the main thread information would be easier to follow. I weighed the top plate - 60 grams. That seems to be on the low, but acceptable side, of what Wake recommends at 68 grams. I'm following the Betts outline. The initial thicknessing guide I downloaded for a Strad from the Luthier's Library. The bottom plate comes in at 125grams. On the high but acceptable side, of what Wake recommends at 115 grams. The top plate's tap tone is about 240Hz and the bottom plate at 370 Hz. I measured these with an inexpensive computer microphone and the Analyzer Overtone program. My guess is that I should thin the bottom plate more, aiming for 105g to 110g, and for a tap tone of about 265 HZ give or take. Does this seem reasonable? During the initial thread, several folks discussed the pluses and minuses of using tap tones, Frequency Analyzer, and such on my first violin. All good points. My thinking is that, since I don't have much wood working experience let alone violin making experience (I was a fairly good amateur violinist at one time), tap tones and Frequency Analyzing a la Vigdorchik or Hill's Area tuning technique would help me learn to correlate what I'm feeling and hearing in the wood with an objective measure of the wood. I didn't read any posts that felt that "tuning" plates in this fashion was harmful - the feeling was that it was not helpful in consistently making a superior instrument. So, I thought trying to tune a plate for this reason, that is, to gain insight into how wood responds when being worked, would be a good thing. And, who knows, maybe it might help me make an OK first instrument instead of a bad first instrument. Anyway, that is my thinking of the utility of tuning for my first violin - to advance woodworking and listening skills rather than to create a "better" instrument. Thanks and best regards. Mike
  14. Hello! I'm traveling now, and I'll get back this weekend. I'll check the current weights, and double check the tap tones. I appreciate the offers for guidance off-line, and I'll take advantage of that as well. Best regards. Mike
  15. Hello! My first violin is progressing nicely, but I've over-thinned the top. Two small places I ifted the wood away and had to glue back. On tap tones with an Overtone Analyzer, the tones range from about 210 to 240 Hz. The top ranges from 370 Hz in the middle to 250 Hz in the lower bout and 270 Hz in the upper bout. I leery about aggressively thinning the middle to try and match the top. What would a reasonable bottom thinning be? Thank you and best regards. Mike
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