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About MikeC

  • Birthday 08/23/1961

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    Violins, Varnish, forex trading & many other things.

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  1. Hi Andrew, I'm looking forward to the varnishing phase also, I would like to antique it but don't have the experience so will probably just do a straight varnish and let it age naturally. The bass bar makes me think of tillering a bow (bow and arrow type bow). I think it may be more flexible with the grain in this orientation but not sure if there would be much difference from having it oriented the other way and I'm not sure if flexibility is a good thing or not. I am tempted to do it over because I want everything to be right on this build as much as I'm capable of anyway. But there's a part of me that likes to experiment so I'll keep it like this and see how it turns out. One thought I have on varnish.. If you cook rosin long enough for it to get good color and then make an oil varnish out of it with say a 1 to 1 ratio. The oil dilutes the color and in a thin layer there isn't much color. The analysis that has been done on Cremonese varnish seems to indicate that it's lean, more rosin than oil. Of course it has lake pigments too but being lean might make it more colorful. That's why I want to make the linoxin an alcohol soluble version of linseed oil. It would be easy to make a lean varnish that way as a spirit varnish and with the oil content it would look like an oil varnish. Well that's what I'm thinking anyway, we'll see how it turns out. At one time I was interested in the ancient illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Kells for example. They used pigments such as orpiment and cinnabar. Some of that has been found in varnish samples but I don't know if it's original or touchup. I may try acquire some of it but it's toxic but then I'm not going to eat it or inhale it. (Redneck famous last words)
  2. So I was searching for information on bass bar grain orientation and found this article https://finelystrung.com/2011/01/14/stiffness-of-soundboard-braces-harmonic-bars-and-bass-bars/ " from Stewart Pollens’ book Stradivari (ISBN-13: 978-0521873048) the Hill collection of 50 bass bars taken from violins and cellos of the first rank, including those attributed to Antonio Stradivari himself, contains 11 that are flat sawn (that is to say, the annual rings are orientated horizontally).
  3. Well based on those comments I'll leave it as it is but I'll do it right next time. Thanks! After all that effort I wasn't looking forward to removing it and starting over.
  4. I did it wrong didn't I? Well I'll get more practice then. Another lesson learned.
  5. hmm... uh oh, did I do it wrong? It's not too late to remove it and do it over. Are the grain lines supposed to be vertical not horizontal? Here's a top view and a side view.
  6. That's from Roger's PDF. I go for more like a 45 degree angle. Oh you mean the corners not the purfling join.. yeah those look pretty long. I hope he doesn't mind me posting that picture here.
  7. You could be right. I just eyeball it, cut one side then lay the other side on top and if it's not a good join I trim the top piece with an exacto knife till it's a good tight joint so I'm not sure what the angle is.
  8. This from Roger Hargrave is how I do it. My thoughts are that it would be the most invisible since you are always looking at wood no matter how much wear there is to the purfling as opposed to a butt joint which would have to be perfect to not be visible. You could use some kind of jig to cut the ends at exactly 45 degree angle so they meet perfectly or I just do it by eye. There are three of them on my back plate but looking at it just now I can only find one of them just barely visible.
  9. I don't know if I should show these pics but sure why not. Let's all take a trip in the 'Way Back Machine' to 1985. I was young and stupid back then but that has changed... I'm not young anymore Top plate cut in half shows how thick it was. The back plate ignore the finish that was a recent failed varnish experiment but the thing to notice there is how bad the arch is. It's pretty much a dome shape with no recurve in the purfling area. And in the inside view you can see the rib linings didn't even meet the end blocks or corner blocks. I didn't know that they were supposed to. And it was all held together with white Elmers wood glue.
  10. Hi Davide I just now weighed the plate with bass bar attached. Before gluing the bar in the plate was 67 grams. Now with the bar it is 69.9 so the bar weight would be 2.9g. So it's less than yours at 4.5 but it doesn't have the extended height that yours has. In a previous post Spelk said the bar may not be cut on the quarter but I think it is. Here is a picture of the end grain and the grain lines are pretty much parallel. On the glued surface however since that surface is at an angle to match the plate surface some of the hard grains go at an angle across the bar glue surface so I had to be careful not to get dips in the softer grain especially when using the scraper.
  11. Hi Davide thank you for explaining your bass bar. Here is the discussion where I got the measuremnts for the bar. https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/326270-bass-bar-profile/ "I use a simple plan that is based on something I got from the Carl Becker shop, who get full credit for it. The basic idea is to measure the bar height including the top thickness, with a graduating caliper. Divide the bar into eighths (nine pencil marks, including the ends) and the thickness of top plus bar is 5.0mm, 7.6, 10.2, 12.8, 14, 12.8, 10.2, 7.6, 5.0, from one end to the other at each mark.
  12. It's 2.5mm thick and as even as I could get it over the whole surface. I was going for a Strad like thickness which can be pretty thin but maybe got a little carried away at the F hole edges. I found an old discussion here where they said to divide the bar into eight sections with specific heights with the center being the high point so I did that but after cutting I realized the high point was north of the bridge location and wasn't sure if that's right or not so I guess it's ok. The wood for the bar seems right the grain is very straight and parallel with the bar, maybe a better picture would show that. I'll post a picture later. I did go back to the plane for closer shaping and then some final shaping with the scraper but I didn't size it first maybe I should have and I need to get better at sharpening the scrapers. I call this one numero uno but actually I built a vaguely violin shaped object back in 1985 and it was terrible. That was BI and BM, Before Internet and Before Maestronet. I still have some remnants of it laying around in the shop. Maybe I'll show a picture of that so everyone can have a good laugh at it. Right after that one I did a partially pre-carved kit. But all that was decades ago so this is my first real effort at building one of good quality. I've learned a lot from all the great builders on MN and a lot from watching Davide Sora's awesome videos. Speaking of Davide Sora, I watched his bass bar video and his bar has a rather long section of maximum height about a third the length of the bar which seems kind of unusual.
  13. Bass bar finished. Now I still have to come up with some kind of label before closing it up. The tallest part of the bar is not directly under the bridge. Is that a mistake? Also was trying to think of some kind of stain to darken the inside so it's not so white or maybe just leave it as it is.
  14. I'm no kind of an expert but my guess on the treble C bout would be dents from the bow hitting it. ?
  15. I know what knives and planes are but what are those other tools?
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