Conor Russell

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About Conor Russell

  • Rank
    Enthusiast
  • Birthday 01/23/1965

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Ireland
  • Interests
    Old Irish violins, and life in general

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  1. Conor Russell

    Cloth linings on cello ribs

    Look in charity shops for used wedding dresses, white is the new black.
  2. Conor Russell

    Cloth linings on cello ribs

    I wouldn't say that I've run a test exactly. And it's not really about rib thickness. Thin cloth lined ribs are vastly stronger than thicker ones, and much more suple and lively. If wood cracks it's because fibres have separated, either by tension due to shrinking, or impact. It's common sense that if you glue in a piece of cloth that acts against the stress, the thing won't crack as easily.
  3. Conor Russell

    Cloth linings on cello ribs

    I'm not sure that I understand the problem you see. I have a template for cello grafts made from a scrap of poplar rib. The heel got cracked so I put a patch over it the next time I was lining a set of ribs. It didn't even bend the 1.5mm thick flat piece of poplar. The patches aren't stretched in. They're just laid in like wallpaper. The ribs don't distort much at all. If they did you'd have a problem because they'd be deeper at the blocks, where they're held tight. But when you skim the surfaces to glue on the plates, they're still pretty level.
  4. Conor Russell

    Colin-Mezin post 1910 worth while?

    Well, at least you can fit the bridge with a couple of swipes of a block plane.
  5. Conor Russell

    Colin-Mezin post 1910 worth while?

    Some of the late ones have an unbelievably flat platform between the ffs. I especially dislike these ones.
  6. Conor Russell

    Cloth linings on cello ribs

    You do sometimes see a cloth, paper, or velum lining that's broken along with the crack it was supposed to support. But I have no fear for the strength of good silk used to line ribs.
  7. Conor Russell

    Cloth linings on cello ribs

    One reason i like silk is that it's thin and very smooth. Another is because it's insect resistant. Occasionally, I come across instruments that have been attacked by beetles especially along glue joints. You'll see tracks running around under the linings, blocks and bar, and under patches in the ribs. I think that the less glue there is lying around, the better. And it seems too, that the beetles like to lay eggs in fissures and rough surfaces. Silk, because it's strong, smooth and thin, might I hope, guard against infestation.
  8. Conor Russell

    Cloth linings on cello ribs

    I lined a set of cello ribs last week like that. It has the added bonus that the threads don't fall out of the weave at the edges and so are much easier to handle neatly. I heat up an old waterstone in the glue pot and put the cloth on it to spread the glue. It keeps it warm and fluid while I put glue on the rib.
  9. Conor Russell

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    I do have a bandsaw! We learned to do it with a bow saw at school. It was probably good training, but a pain in the neck.
  10. Conor Russell

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    You know, all of these modern conveniences are really very modern. Thirty years ago there were no computers, a few books, with pretty poor pictures, and very few power tools etc. Rural electrification arrived in Ireland in the 1950s and was complete in the 70s. Until then, everyone worked 'off grid', and there were great craftsmen doing all sorts of incredibly fine work, under the same conditions as craftsmen since time began. As a child I went to the countryside on summer holidays, where there was no electricity, and everything was made by hand. People got up with the Sun, and lit the lamps after dark. I worked with a maker who, until the 70s had a shop in the centre of Dublin. They chose to use gas light in the workshop right to the end, because it was a clean light, and they had a charcoal burner on the bench. In many ways violin making has suffered from the mass availability of information. It has become homogenized, to the point that I'd be hard pressed to say what was made where, and by whom. I'd be very comfortable making a violin in 17th century conditions. I'd have to reorganise a bit, but it'd be no big deal. Let's face it, what do you need to remember when making a violin. A scroll template, a form with a few measurements marked on it, and an f hole template of some sort.
  11. Conor Russell

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Don't get me wrong, I do think that tool could very well have been used to check the thicknesses around the scoop. I use a hacklinger sometimes, especially when I've put the instrument aside for some time, and need to check what I did inside. Almost essential, if a violin was being made by several people. It's the fine tuning bit that I question. An accuracy of .25mm is fine for making a violin, but won't be very useful when measuring a few scrapings here or there. This is where measurements don't matter - the conversation in your head Is less " I shall remove .1mm to increase flexibility at this point", and more "that feels a bit stiff - we'll take another shkelp out, I suppose" As for setting up in the white, apart from the hassle of it, you would have no access to the areas under the tailpiece, bridge, or fingerboard, so the options would be limited.
  12. Conor Russell

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Why not?
  13. Conor Russell

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Really, when you're used to cutting the edge fluting after closing the box, you find that the edge thickness comes out very accurately as a matter of course. The tool above would hardly give a sensitive enough reading to finely adjust the sound. I dislike the idea of fitting things up in the white. They tend to get dirty, and the peg holes get varnish in them.
  14. There was a thread about sound posts some time ago where a cross section of the Betts cropped up. I can't find it just now. The scan showed a similar distortion of the front arching. I don't think it's uncommon, to a greater or lesser extent, in old instruments.