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About violins88

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    John Schmidt

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    Wellington, New Zealand
  • Interests
    Violin making, tool making, varnish making, casein emulsion grounds

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  1. David, thanks, flattery will get you everywhere.
  2. The link for Jamie Lazzara should be That’s “info” not “com”
  3. As for gouge honing guide, a very simple one can be made. I am in New Zealand for a year and don’t have access to my shop, so a text description will have to do. Make a dimple in the very end of the handle. Next, obtain a thick piece of plywood maybe 25 cm (10 inches) x 40 cm (16 inches). Make a vertical post of a pine 2 x 4. Make it 20 cm long. Install this post on the end of the plywood. A screw into the bottom? Only one pin is shown in the diagram, but I have several at different heights. i start with 220 cbn plate, then 1000 cbn plate, then 2000 Shapton, then 4000 Shapton. Works for me. Sorry about the crude drawing. Addendum: I use a main bevel, with the 220 and 1000 grit stones, then increase the angle slightly for the 2000 and 4000 grit. The practical way to manage this is by placing a 5 mm plywood piece under the 220 and 1200 grit stone. Remove it for the 2000 and 4000.
  4. Tim, I did testing of powdered metallurgy steel and published the results in The Scroll magazine, a VSA publication. I would attach the article here, but I don’t have permission. Perhaps permission can be obtained. Essentially the result is that PM steel, both my PM-X and Veritas’ PM-V11 hold an edge 3 times longer than O1 steel at HRC 65. And they are much easier to re-sharpen.
  5. Would you please give us a report in 6 months? My experiment with yellow glue showed that it creeps.
  6. It just seemed to me that some folks don’t appreciate the function of the button. Of course the dovetail should fit properly, but the button should be well fit too.
  7. Jerry, I respect you, and I respected Professor Baldwin. i shall wait for the experimental results. I can’t do the experiment this year, since I am in New Zealand. Do we have any volunteers? Someone? Anyone? This will be a real surprise for me.
  8. To answer the question of the importance of the button in holding the neck from collapsing, I propose the following experiment: Take any violin with steel strings. With the strings tuned to pitch, somehow freeze the pegs so they won’t move. Measure the end of fingerboard height above the top. Now make a saw cut at the base of the heel, effectively separating the button from the heel. Now put the violin in a safe place for a long time period ( a year?). measure the fingerboard height again. Report back to maestronet. If Professor Baldwin is still alive, I will try to report the results to him.
  9. From a quick reading of this thread, it seems many of you think that the block is providing the necessary force to keep the neck from coming apart. That view is erroneous. Just ask Professor Baldwin, my teacher of engineering Statics at the University of Wyoming, 1965. The important force of tension is provided by the button. Nails and screws and glue in the block are of little consequence. You are quite welcome.
  10. Noemie Viaud, French violinmaker, living in Denmark. Cool videography in the YouTube video.
  11. How will you test to see if you have an excellent edge? I use loops of 40 wt rayon embroidery thread attached to a 65 gram weight ( 26 USA pennies). Also, I believe that a super sharp edge will oxidize over night and won’t be as sharp in the morning. Has anyone else found this?
  12. I scraped the whitish powdery glue, then used hide glue to re-install the neck. Now, a week later, the joint has failed. Does any have suggestions about the kind of glue used originally? Chinese violin from Shanghai..