Conor Russell

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About Conor Russell

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  • Birthday 01/23/65

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    Old Irish violins, and life in general

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  1. re-gluing the fingerboard

    Good Lord, think of the expense!
  2. re-gluing the fingerboard

    I like jaganfiddle's method. But I have found that as I put on weight over the last few years my pinky has got fatter, and is no longer a reliable measure. Any suggestions as to what I should do?
  3. Perry Sultana...

    E, you could simply run your purfling tool around the half of the plastic template you prefer, snap off the edge, tidy up witha knife and little plane, and use that to make a form. I use that material for tots of things. It's so easy to work. I don't know what it's called but i buy it in a model shop. Would you be tempted to make this one on the back, with no form at all?
  4. Widely varying rib thicknesses

    I think that thick ribs can strangle the sound. It's especially noticeable in cellos, where it's preferable to have thin ribs, and to line them for strength. I like my ribs to feel supple and flexible, and will decide on thickness on that basis.
  5. Widely varying rib thicknesses

    Possibly a mixture of fluke and intent? If you plane out ribs, and run them through your fingers to see how flexible they are, and just spot check the thickness, you may well get little variations in the thickness. That's how I plane ribs, and if I have a slightly thicker bit I'll try to put it under the chin rest and lower block area. It also means that the thicker rib will be given the most open bend. In my case a couple of tenths will be about the biggest variation, and .8 seems like a lot, but the maker may well have thought along the same lines. You'll often see ribs planed quite thin at the corners in old fiddles, I think to make them bend more easily.
  6. Perry Sultana...

    Just a little on the origins of the instrument. I've been confused by the variations in stringing that Perry produced. I've seen six string sultanas, and thought I remembered nine strings too, but presumed I must have been wrong. Today I came upon a book by the V&A MUSEUM that cleared it all up. I should probably check my facts before posting in future! Edit. My photos failed to upload. In shortthe museum has two examples, each with six courses of strings. The six string Sultana has six single strings. The nine string has three single lower strings, and three double upper strings. All were wire.
  7. I don't have the instrument here. But no, the endpin is straight. I think the wire looks a bit off. I'll have to check on it.
  8. These pins are to be found on Perry's English guitars too. They take a loop of the metal string. I wonder was this Sultana originally a six string because of these. I know of another made with six strings, but more with ten. The tailpiece facing has been cracked for years, but I saw no reason to repair it, other than to make a few missing pins, as it was holding together well. I'm a bit disturbed about the wire gut! It doesn't seem to be seated in the button properly!
  9. The tailpiece is original, and I think the wire too. These don't often break, or at least I don't think I've seen one break. Even if one did, I'd say the tailpiece would just move enough to let off the string tension, like a normal gut. I've never seen a tailpiece that flew through the air, and decapitated the conductor! Funny, in my insurance, I pay a chunk for product liability, despite suggesting that my violins are reasonably safe to be around. Maybe insurance companies are reading the pegbox, and assessing the risks from there.
  10. Cleats Variety

    Me? Anal about cleats? Probably. I tend to be a fussy repairman and a pretty relaxed maker.
  11. Perry Sultana...

    That's really interesting Jim.
  12. Perry Sultana...

    Yes. The head's a stranger, but it's been on it for a century.
  13. Cleats Variety

    I generally make studs like these. I find it useful to make strips of acetate with slots that fit the stud pillar. I tape the acetate in place and chalk fit the stud, split it off, and glue it, using the slot to keep it exactly positioned. I find it hard to keep studs dead straight without a guide like this, and it used to drive me mad. I also use an acetate frame when I'm trimming the studs to thickness. I just cut down level to the plastic and automatically get them all to the same thickness. I make another thin plastic frame for the rounding and smoothing, to protect the belly. Then bevel the ends with a really sharp knife tip.
  14. Bow ID and is this an unusual repair

    At 52g I have a hunch it may be a bit soft.
  15. Bow ID and is this an unusual repair

    I see it better now. I wonder if it's a crack coming from a wind shake?