James M. Jones

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About James M. Jones

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  • Birthday 06/12/1966

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    Mason Wiconsin U S A
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    I have been working as artist craftsman since 1983. In 92 I began a three year apprenticeship for blacksmithing /doing fine architectural work in the high style. and have been working in the field since .In2007 I was able to attend a semester of violin school. My goal is tho create works that honor the work of the masters . I am happy to have MN to continue my learning

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  1. James M. Jones

    Hand made versus machine made violins

    Slept in my truck ...in the parking ramp ...worked. I haven’t been to VSA in a few years due to family priorities, but consider the years attended perhaps the most valuable time spent in education mode. Strad Amati Nicola the brothers Andrea bergonzi and a Peter of mantua testore, and others . Hell of a time for violin geeks and hard to absorb even a few percent of the offerings. As for the competition, upstanding outstanding and mind blowing. What realy struck me as amazing was the hor Concorde list, judged over several years by an array of judges. The system may not be perfect, but it damm well is as near perfect as any I have seen. If we consider the variety of opinions it is amazing the amount of consensus achieved. As for David B..... yea we all get frustrated at the amount on withholding of information he offers.....still know next to nothing of what he does, .....but without doubt ....,, he is one of our strongest and well informed allies the violin making community enjoys to have. It is an honor to count him a friend. As for machine made vs handmade.... inevitability machience will give different results from hand made.
  2. James M. Jones

    Joining plates: anyone use wood glue

    Not advocating PVA, haven’t used it on a violin,and yes it will fill a gap, but, I personally know a few very fine makers who use it for good reason and get good results.also seen some pretty crappy hide glue joints that held well.
  3. James M. Jones


    Build , from old English , as in a building, or structure. Make from the German translating “to put in place” from the google. it would seem build would be very appropriate to violins as the many individual pieces become a structure, as in building a rifle an engine or a boat, whereas we may say,make the bed, to make a mess , to make noise. We might make a violin ready to play, by setting up the bridge. Building up the bridge would be a very different scenario. Either or ..wouldn’t hang someone over it though.
  4. James M. Jones

    A Tribute to Neil Ertz

    Who da man? ...you da man!
  5. James M. Jones

    New Article By Adam Goltry......Fixing a Broken Button

    Man, you guys do a great job of explaining , love all the triangle articles,thanks for sharing!
  6. James M. Jones

    Learning repair on cheap instruments

    Not much of a gambling man , but willing to bet there are any number of violin repairmen and restoration specialists...who learned later in life post teen years,and who work at the top of the profession. Certain other projection have methodology’s that overlap.That said it probably is best to learn from someone versed in the craft. My personal mantra when restoring...or repairing, to be more precise ,is to do no harm and that the work be reversible, as much as possible. Also to not work on expensive violins beyond a certain skill set.
  7. James M. Jones

    Question for makers who work alone

    Just started using home made, not a hard job,rather fun from a makers perspective, but costs more than off the shelf. Not what I would call a game changer in terms of overall effect on the eye as the effect is small. The real advantage,aside from pride in work ,imo, centered around having a bit wider stick, and being able to set it into a thicker edge for the Hargrave style edge work. Relating to the bread , there is a wide difference in quality of product depending on the mill and age, loads of bakers are ,maybe not growing the grain, but grinding the flour to insure freshness.
  8. James M. Jones

    One-Piece Ribs Violin ID?

    The one I saw, had as I recall, a one piece rib all around joined at the neck, with milled corners, produced in some sort of molding machine,is that correct?
  9. James M. Jones

    Tool rust advice

    Ouch , sorry John, in my experience with metal ,Vinegar works a wonder , but depending on how much rust there is sometimes only an hour or two is all it takes,it will eat into good metal if left longer than needed. most important is to neutralize in a solution of baking soda and water, or it will rust again , I dry my stuff in a oven set below the temper point as well 150f ish Jim mentioned naval Jelly , works good maybe less aggressive on bare metal as well. One nice trick I learned with guns , a copper penny, softer than iron , harder than rust , a vigorous rubbing will float the rust off, leaving the steel un touched.particularly useful to help preserve whatever is left of precision surfaces like plane soles , straight edges , ect. Stay away from sanding , on those surfaces that need to be straight and true.
  10. James M. Jones

    When do you convert 1:20 pegbox taper to 1:30 ?

    The joint it,s self is a Sort of a half dovetail ,with no shoulder ,as would be in a guitar. the neck heal and taper of the neck forms the angles , most , these days are fit as close as possible using chalk to mark where material needs to be removed., you do not want a gap at the ribs and heal ...or anywhere for that matter.best to have a real idea of process steps, as duane88 suggested,to realy get at the core of neck setting a good proper neck setting thread would be in order, it is the most difficult joint to nail correctly, involving 4surfaces and 3axis ..... effecting playability tone and the overall health of the violin. . As long as the joint is solid adding a button patch will not noticeably affect the tone.
  11. James M. Jones

    William Fry Internal Scraping Method

    I,d be much more inclined to state there is no magic bullet. Lot,'s of makers use lots of methods, even the experience and arching, can be mitigated by things like poor teachers or practices habits, failure to learn and bad wood, ect.
  12. James M. Jones

    Tapering the Ribs

    That’s my take as well. Unless the wood is internally stressed or desperately fresh, a little movement a mm or two won,t hurt anything. We are about to load it with apr 26 lbs of stress and all kinds of movement is gonna happen. Not advocating sloppy or careless work by any means, but in all trades there are acceptable tolerances. Working too close to the zero zero simply consumes time with no noticeable improvement.
  13. James M. Jones

    Fingerboard plane?

    Applying the biggest tool rule . A scrapper is handy for touching up after the plane , before sanding. As for dips, slight or not , you can,t make a hole go away by digging deeper, gotta focus on everything but the hole otherwise the overall geometry goes wonky bigly fast. My guess by the very nature of the question, is your best bet is to have a pro do the work.
  14. James M. Jones

    Tapering the Ribs

    Not that hard at all, if you can make any kind of half decent violin, ..you can taper the ribs , no special tools needs either.
  15. James M. Jones

    Brian Lisus' Organic Primer...

    Another brave soul ,thanks for sharing your methods , specifically the alcohol cut , I,ve been thinning mine with water a bit . Of all I have tried personally Like it the best, especially the natural quality of the color under varnish. Not saying I will never try anything else , in fact probably will , but....for now.