Ernest Martel

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About Ernest Martel

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  1. Thanks HoGo. The late grain isn't abnormally wide but is definitely harder than normal, especially in an outer section of the wedge. Interesting to read that compression wood can happen if the tree stem is leaning. I always thought of it as being in the larger branches of the tree.
  2. Interesting...one section of the wedge was noticeably harder and could be felt when gouging across grain and cutting the f-holes.
  3. Great to see it finished! It's a lovely violin.
  4. Three years and still not done? Dwight Brown's VSA viola took only months. After all Neil contributed here you would think it would have been completed sooner....and what is the status of Craig Tucker's tribute violin?
  5. To be honest Don, I don't know the method of how to check for sos. So, at least you are familiar with this type of wood. It is noticeably different from anything I've come across so far. I can send you a billet if you would like to investigate the properties. What is the reason for such hard late grain? Is there any weather or growing properties that would contribute to very hard winter grain? I don't know how old the wood is or how long it was sitting in Merrill's shop. I bought it after his death and his relatives didn't know anything about it, only that they called it German spruce. I'm guessing that the hard grain would increase the density but do you think this would contribute any negative effects structurally? Do you find the winter grain lines harder after torrefication compared to non torrefied wood?
  6. I noticed while carving this top that the late grain lines are especially hard while the summer growth feels pretty normal, not too soft and not too hard. I'm questioning whether to use this spruce or make another top. Any thoughts about this hard winter growth and if there would be any downside to using it?
  7. Interesting,...I never felt comfortable using low density spruce for reasons mentioned above, my best sounding fiddles were made with .40 plus spruce.
  8. Many different opinions here. Maybe this relates to the question of another kind...."What kind of spruce is this?" Quote... "The only way to be certain of a spruce species is one of the following: 1) key the living tree and harvest it yourself 2) have a trained scientist with a high powered microscope, a library of appropriate reference samples and a lot of skill and experience, give it a serious lab analysis. And realize that there's even some question about the absolute reliability of this method—the best there is—because the reference sample libraries are not always complete and comprehensive. Other than that you are operating on pure faith in the seller, or on pure imagination, because things are quite often not what they seem." http://www.lutherie.net/eurospruce.html
  9. Article about European spruce by the late Paul Hostetter... http://www.lutherie.net/eurospruce.html
  10. One piece top which I was told is "German Spruce" purchased from Merrill Franz. He had 5 of these hiding on a shelf out of sight in the main warehouse. I purcahsed all 5. This one has a density of .45
  11. Love it, everything looks and sounds fantastic Don!....Thank Annelle for the lovely videos!
  12. Absolutely! When I was delivering semi trailer loads of fresh salmon coming down from Alaska into Seattle, the trailer could not be washed out and had to be reloaded with fresh produce going back to Alaska. To get rid of the smell several cans of ground coffee was spread on the floor of the trailer before pallets of produce were loaded. We never had complaints of the produce smelling like fish, of course the trailer was refrigerated so that kept the smell down too...I would try some fresh "coarse" ground coffee.