Matthew Noykos

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About Matthew Noykos

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    Enthusiast
  • Birthday 05/13/1978

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    http://grandrapidsviolins.com

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    Male
  • Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

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  1. I don’t do anything special. I did have one tiny seam that I just glued. Up until this point I didn’t have any seams on the few instruments I have varnished in this newer box. Before I used to have all kinds of seam problems. I also feel it’s okay to push your instruments a little at this stage because I think the stress can be good for sound. Just my belief.
  2. I don’t think it was custom. I just ordered a light package directly from Solacure. I cannot remember the guy’s name but he’s the main brains behind the Solacure line for varnish curing. He helped me figure out what to get. This was also a few years ago so I don’t know if they still offer it. They are 2 foot bulbs. I have 12 of them so I know it might be overkill but it does a great job of tanning. I can get the same results in 5 days that took me 3 weeks with reptile bulbs. I also have a bunch of humidity in the box and it’s a sealed system so there is some ozone going on in there too. I have a fan blowing air through a tube into a bucket with a screen and water and then back into the box. It cools the air down so it’s not too hot. It ends up being about 80 to 85 degrees in the box with about 70-75% humidity. Also the ballasts are installed on the outside of the box and they are mounted on aluminum fins that also dissipate heat. I would have opted to have the 4 foot bulbs and if you can fit a bigger box I would just do that. There is only a section in the middle of the bulb which is actually pumping out the UV so bigger is better. We had to fit the box in this window ledge so we were limited in space. Which is why I have to varnish the body of a cello separately from the scroll. The ground is nothing complicated. It’s the same stuff a lot of other people use. Just tanning, oxidizers, and then resins without oil rubbed into the wood.
  3. This is the ground for the current instrument I’m working on. I’ve since put some varnish on but I snapped an iPhone shot a couple of weeks ago before I started putting on the varnish layers.
  4. I just saw a post on Facebook by Joe Joyner. He owns the Little Rock Violin Shop. He apparently was contacted by the state department a few weeks ago inquiring about an US made viola. He sold them an instrument made in 1938 by Ivan W. Allison of Charleston, West Virginia and that’s the one that was given to the emperor. Maybe Joe can elaborate. I’m not sure if he is on Maestronet. I can send him a message to look at this thread.
  5. Sorry I’m later than I said on this. The shop got super busy this week. The stuff on the tiles are the OldWood alcohol colors in alphabetical order. The tile with the duct tape residue is the one that has been sitting on my car dash for 5 months. The other has been in a drawer for the same amount of time. I’m putting it back in the car to see how it continues to develop under sunlight. The other 2 pictures are the orasol sprinkled onto white paper and dissolved with a couple drops of alcohol. I labeled them by the code that they sell them. The outside ones turn more orange (as you can see) when you layer more on. Very thin amounts are more yellow. It’s hard to tell the hues in the photo but the one on the right has more brown in it and the left is a little more vibrant. The middle yellow pretty much stays that color even as it is layered.
  6. Hello, Sorry I didn’t see this earlier. The Orasol dyes work very well. They are a professional dye like David was describing. They are also very lightfast. They have a lot of yellows and some of the yellows might not be what you would consider yellow. When I’m in the shop again on Tuesday, I can take a photo of a few of the yellow colors and I might have some more to discuss once they are in front of me. The biggest complaint I have from the orasol dyes is the intensity. You have to tone them down with something else like a lamp black to make them work well. It’s like anything else, you have to work with them for a little while to get the hang of it. Lately however I have been trying OldWood alcohol colors and I like them a lot. I have only been experimenting with them for a few months but so far so good. I usually use a glazing technique for touchup meaning I put the colors (orasol, OldWood, or dusted earthtone pigments) directly onto the piece without any medium and alternate layers of shellac to seal the color in. The OldWood alcohol colors have a nice flow off the brush that I appreciate and the colors seam easy to match. As far as lightfastness goes, I’m working on figuring that out. I have all the colors painted on a tile and taped to my cars dash. I also have another tile with the same colors on them sitting in a drawer and not exposed to light. I’ve been doing this for maybe 4 or 5 months so far. I’m going to continue through summer and then I will stop. So far the colors have held up pretty well, except the yellow actually gets slightly darker (I was expecting it to fade). I can post a picture of the 2 tiles on Tuesday too.
  7. The Luthier’s Bench straps work well. They are thinner than most straps which I think works well. I have used the Luthier’s Bench straps with my Gewa iron (for cello) and my custom violin/viola iron made by someone in school that was based on the Gewa with a slightly tighter curve. It’s a good combination but if I were buying now, I would probably get the Luthier’s Bench iron as well. It’s hard in general to find something that does everything well. A side note: I believe Aehnelt used to make irons for Gewa. Not sure where I heard that info but it makes sense. Here’s a photo of the custom one just for my vanity sense.
  8. The Luthier’s Bench straps work well. They are thinner than most straps which I think works well. I have used the Luthier’s Bench straps with my Gewa iron (for cello) and my custom violin/viola iron made by someone in school that was based on the Gewa with a slightly tighter curve. It’s a good combination but if I were buying now, I would probably get the Luthier’s Bench one. It’s hard in general to find something that does everything well. A side note: I believe Aehnelt used to make irons for Gewa. Not sure where I heard that info but it makes sense. Here’s a photo of the custom one just for my vanity sense.
  9. Phil Kass wrote an article about this in one of the Strad Magazines. He talked about the effect of the World Wars on violin values. Spoiler alert, it didn’t help the value of the German instrument even though the price of a good German, Italian, or French violin around 1900 was about the same. Edit: when I say good violin, I mean one made around 1900. Something like a Bisiach. If you compared the prices of the French, German and Italian contemporaries at that time it was similar. But today the Italians are way more.
  10. I like willow but spruce is fine. Finding good spruce is a lot easier though.
  11. This is interesting and I think I could buy some of this. There is also the string tension pulling on the neck which could affect arching.
  12. Why do I get the impression you are trying to get me in trouble here?
  13. Although I did just see a guy outside wearing shorts. It was negative 8 when I saw him. There’s a small but persistent “always shorts no matter what” population here. -8 F is about -22 C.