David Beard

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    : Santa Barbara, California

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  1. Sacconi I found very interesting. Certainly he took large steps in helping us understand the old methods. He also inspired Hargrave. And Hargrave took very large steps in helping us understqnd and respect the old making. Muratov was entertaining to read. But, like many, he has only shown a way to approximately trace the shapes of classical making. But his work does nothing to enable you to create classical shapes from scratch. You have to already know where your going to put his spirals in the right shape. If you want to know the state of my research as of a few years ago, you can check out my 'David of Santa Barbara' blogs. However, the research has continued and extended, and in places corrected since then. Also, the results has moved forward from an observational persective, to a how are these results practically achieved in the workshop perspective. Over the coming year, I will be putting out a thorough presentation of the full results. This research has focused understanding how compass geometry and simple proportions interacted with the making in old Cremona, from A Amati thru Del Gesu. And it has explore both the principle that held consistently across the generations and families, but also on the variations the allow thw diversity we see in the historic instruments.
  2. Thank you, Andreas! That was the answer to my question. Overheated glue doesn't solidify properly when it dries out. I've never actually experienced that problem.
  3. This is what I'm getting at. Cennini often warns about things where he sees a need. And it is very easier and natural to let a water bath get to a hard boil. So it doesn't seem to me that he likely shared that concern. Maybe that particular concern was just invented by a thermostatic gluepot salesman? I too know that steam is much hotter. If you let the water boil down bellow your inner pot, then the steam can lead to much hotter temps. I know that on occasion I've done that. And each time I've thrown the glue out think 'that must have overheated'. But, on these cases, I could never see anything wrong with glue. And, many times the water has hit a hard boil for stretches of time. Usually then I haven't thrown the glue out. And I've been able to see and issue. I can see clear issues with old glue. But I'd like to understand how to tell if some used glue has been ruinned from overheating. If I put it in kiln and turn it to ash, I can tell. But short of that, does anyone know what goes wrong and how to spot it?
  4. So why not use the better term 'reversed'. And, why not call the standard violin the 'lefthanded' violin?? True, it is chiral, but there is no definitely 'dominant' side. There is no valid argument defending calling the standard violin 'righthanded' that will not have an equally valid dual argument defending calling the standard violin 'lefthanded'. Consider again cars. Also are chiral (or for each a chirsl can be made), but the same car should be used by righties and lefties. We don't drive on opposite sides of the road in reflection of our handedness.
  5. I suggest 'standard' and 'reverse'. The current terms are understood and common, but they are based on a fallacy and promote continued confusion. 99%+ of all violinists, left and right handed play a standard violin. Almost all lefties play a standard violin. The official ' lefty' violin by any measure is the standard violin. Only a very small percentage of anyone uses the reverse violin. It certain has zero claim to be the 'left handed' violin. This language probably mattered less in the past. In today's environment, more people are learn from social media and youTube. Fewer people who are still figuring out which way is up have a direct real teacher. For this reason, a bad name like 'left handed violin' will cause more people to get confused and think they should use a reverse violin, or that it is somehow a reasonable alternative. In truth, reverse violins should only be used when they are the only viable option.
  6. Ah! Well I too can tell if glue becomes infected or rotted. And I throw it out then. What I can't tell is if an old glue has been damaged by overheating. But I see people writing about that worry. Can anyone help describe how to identify glue that has been overheated?
  7. Our recent threads, and some conversations on FB, have made me think about this notion of left and right in the violin. This whole thing is flying under a false flag. The 'lefty' violin, the only 'lefty' violin, is the standard violin. The 'reverse' or 'backward' violin is no more 'left' than 'right'. And, the 'standard' violin is no more 'right' than 'left'. Many things do have a real 'righty' v 'lefty' aspect. But somethings don't. What is a 'lefty' book? Are we going to read a 'left handed' book from right to left? Cars? In America, most people driving on the right side of the road are right handed. Are we being biased making the lefty minority also drive on the right side of the road? Does driving on the right side of the road constitute right handed driving? What about England? Is 'lefthanded driving' driving on the right in America, and driving on the right in England? Violins are similar. The lefthanded violin and the righthanded violin are both the standard violin. And the reverse violin is neither. It is only entirely appropriate for cases of injury when oppositions for fingering and bowing are improved by the switch. Or for insistent oddballs. But even in these special cases lefthanded or righthanded is irrelevant. ***** We should not use or echo the lefthanded v righthanded language reguarding violins in anyway. It only validates and extends the underlying falsehood and confusion. Standard v reverse.
  8. I would suggest it most likely was a conscious acceptance of the natural consequences of the limits of the tools and methods the chose to use. In other words, if thought of it as a problem, they could have done differently, but they didn't. If they thought of the degree of random drift their plates show was considered a neutral non-issue or an actual positive feature is a more open question. But, they didn't take steps to avoid that drift. We can see that. I consider this another example of them 'repeating what works' or learn as a community by 'process evolution'. Is their level of random drift in plate thickness a virtue? I suggest it might well be. This unevenness will I beleive tend to raise the Q of resonances in the instrument, broadening and blending their responses to driving signals. But the old would have no need for a why. They had a good accepted tradition that gave this result. If they experiment with making a few plates more perfect, all they need do is consider if the like the resulting instruments better, or not. Not appears to be their answer since they made including the drift for centuries.
  9. This is great to hear some varied in the workshop glue practices. I'm curious if people have some simple 'in workshop' for determining if glue has 'denatured' or gone bad? In modern literature, you hear lots of concern about keep glue temp from getting too hot, even keeping the temp below a hard boil. But in old literature like Cennini, these concerns are conspicuously absent. In deed, the old descriptions of making glue are basically to make a soup of your protein source and then evaporate off to a gel. No cautions about not boiling. The old source do show concern about over heating as they all describe a water bath heating to use the glue. But not a concern about boiling. So I'm curious. How can you tell if a glue is bad from over heating?
  10. I very much want the plate and the block well joined. But lighter glue seens ok
  11. It's an economic and personal question. Do I want to do this work for free? Will it pay enough that I want to do this work for the pay? Only you can answer these.
  12. It isn't an easy task to partition a range like 'modern instrument varnishes' into parts that both completely cover the field and that strongly capture all the different natural options across the range. I'm not going to try. You did a good enough job to get people talking.
  13. I don't think the options in this poll cover the issue very well. I picked #2 as the statement I least disagree with. There are some antiqued instruments I like. But in truth, I'm not at all a fan of antiquing. The problem is that most new varnishes I like even less. Most new varnishes are so starkly simplistic. I really am repulsed by most of it. A flat brutal modern varnish I find much more offensive than even most horribbly botched bad antiquing jobs. What I like for new violins just isn't that common. I like a complex appearance to the varnish. You mostly find this in instruments that are also antiqued, but it is a different issue.