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Posts posted by scordatura

  1. I think the Wurlitzer shop will have a permanent place as one of the "Camelots" of our business.

    He said that the early years of Wurlitzer were indeed a great atmosphere to work. It sounded like Sacconi took Bellini under his wing. What is interesting that under that roof there were many big personalities that under different conditions would have suffered from too many cooks in the kitchen. Somehow it worked, probably never again to be dupicated.

    Bellini said that he had a chance to spend some extended time with the Lord Wilton Guarneri. I think he said that it had a strange bass bar in it. That lead to his conversion from a Strad man to one who appreciated the Guarneris. He showed me the photographs that he works from given to him by Pollens. We compared those to the Biddulph del Gesu book and the color was not accurate in the book. This was due to the lack of proper color correction by the printer.

  2. And then there are those who are REALLY good at this

    Marco Coppriardi for one.

    I understand that Luiz Bellini is, but I have not seen his work.

    on we go,


    I spent an afternoon with bellini yesterday. It was awesome. He had just finished a Lord Wilton copy. That violin was awesome. After a few decades wear and tear it might come closer to the original as the varnish had a newness to it. For a violin only five days old the violin was great sounding.

    For a 75 year old man he is still passionate and loving his work. The amount of detail in his copy was astounding. He was pretty open about some of his techniques.

    It was also fascinating hearing stories about sacconi, wurlitzers and francais. Hearing him talk about milstein, heifetz, szeryng, etc was also fun. I should put a post up about my visit. I felt privileged to have shared an afternoon with him.

  3. So my summary at this point would be great reflectivity, bad refractive index. But that one top layer looks great. In my opinion, that's not enough, and there are other non-water-soluble choices that give similar sparkle with more depth.

    Care to share what the other choices would be? Pretty please?

  4. Not at all, I have wondered about this point.

    I'm guessing that the "straight across platform" is there to ward off physical plate distortion - and that, properly done, there is not a tonal penalty.

    Originally I was taught to follow the blocks around, then I tried the straight line method, and I liked what it did for the plate. Now, for what it's worth, I incorporate a compound curve that is somewhere in between the two.

    Then, the bridge area comes under suspicion, which is where thickness, arch and stiffness (properly split and quartered wood) come into play. Those three points are key stress points in my point of view - in particular, for some time down the road.

    That's my guess.

    As far as your bass bar question goes - I agree, there are decisions to be made there also.

    I like your thinking on this one. At one point I would not have bought into the straight across method. In my mind I have been trying to visualize the effects of more thickness in these areas. It must have some effect...depends on how much as the block extending would add stiffness in these areas anyway. After seeing the Strad 3D video I am now hesitant to leave any more thickness around the f holes. I am rethinking my "Little Red Books". Sounds like another topic is in order :)

  5. I have purchased and cooked my varnish in the past (can you say exothermic reaction?). I am considering "cooking" again but wanted to explore opinions on bought varnish.

    Any one have opinions on Joe Robson's? Hammerl (JOHA)? Imprimatura Dorata (Magister Varnish)?

    Before anyone gets hot and bothered, I realize that each has it's own system and one needs to buy into that system.

    To be quite honest I want to keep it simple. I am thinking that I would like to purchase at the very least something resembling the mastic varnish as proposed by Gary Baese using my own sealer and ground. Despite the support of some, I am not convinced of linseed as a basis for a ground varnish unless it was high resin low oil version (short). Fat over lean also works for me.

  6. What solvents and ratio of solid to liquid for each? I would think this would be somewhat important.

    Repost for ideas? Solvent referrs to the original posts where shellac was being compared.

  7. is what NOT to do or what to avoid in my own making.


    Funny you should mention that. Even though I have a Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting, I learned most by watching conductors closely and making mental notes about what not to do and once in a while what to do!

  8. Looking at the price, 350 + 30 Euro to ship to the US, surely is pricey.

    I feel like I should get a 90% discount for having written a lot about the same subject and making it freely available :lol:

    All jokes aside, your overwhelmingly positive comments have convinced me to bite the bullet.

    And I found a video link about the book:


    I am blown away by the wealth of information. That's it. I am getting it right now.

    Even though the person in the video does not quite know when to say less the video is a great look into the book.

  9. There have been few books written about Stradivari or Cremonese makers for that matter that have information that even approaches useful. Many makers or repairmen do not take the time to write a book. Either makers are protecting their "secrets" or their information is passed verbally to apprentices. When the "Secrets of Stradivari" came out, even with it's shortcomings it was the best we had in terms of a written record created by a man that had the privledge of seeing many great antique instruments. I asked Hans Nebel what he thought about the work and he said good book but forget the chapter on varnish.

    As with posts on this forum I have learned to take everything I read with a grain of salt or even possibly sugar...It is easy to believe someone's dogma especially if you are an "expert" or eloquent in your posts. David Burgess and Jeffery Holmes post here but where are Zig, Curtain, John Becker, Rene Morel, etc.? I would suspect that they are too busy working, stay away from this forum for ethical reasons, don't "do" the internet thing, or are posting or reading secretly...

    Does one person know everything? Didn't Einstein fail to construct the unified field theory? Does that mean that his theories of relativity are wrong or incomplete? Only time will tell until the next Einstein comes along...

  10. scodatura,

    If you click on the varnish system link below you will get an overview. My convictions....interesting wording....include the input I have had from makers, the scientific analysis, historical and technical writings and my own experience as a varnisher. Most important to me, though, is seeing a detail and then learning to reproduce it...preferably using the resources that were available to the classic period makers. I have a strong interest in the nature and appearance of the original varnish as it came from the hand of the maker.



    I would not read into my use of the word convictions. It just seemed that you were convinced that linseed was the first application to the wood. I have considered purchasing your varnish system. I am just trying to understand what it is and why you are doing it that way. For me sound and appearance are equally important. Not saying that you are not approaching it that way but I get the impression that for some it is about how it looks. As a player who makes, I would sacrifice sound over looks. But only a tiny bit!

  11. Having fun reading the thread, folks... and I'm going to steer clear of the linseed thing... but just wanted to mention that I don't find that many fine old instruments that I've had apart have tops that "ring like a bell". Some ring a bit more than others, but there's a distinct "thuddy" factor present. Constantly makes me consider the ringing/damping relationship when working on them.

    Well OK. What I am saying is that an instrument that is dull (too much damping?) never appeals to me. I prefer an instrument that does the work for me (rings if you will) rather than trying to get something to sound that never gets up to speed. If that makes any sense...

  12. Bill,

    No doubt in my mind that this "first contact" varnish has a cooked oil component. All oil varnishes are vulnerable to alcohol at different phases of their life.


    I am interested in your varnishing system. What are you basing your conviction on? The appearance of the wood, historical evidence, scientific evidence?

    Not sure why (hunch or "prevailing knowledge") but I am hesitant for sound reasons to subscribe to the first contact being linseed. Unless it is more resin than linseed...I want my top to ring like a bell.

  13. well, I guess I'm not explaining myself right, because I agree with what your saying, I guess what I'm really tring to say is that when you cut a tree down, shortly there after it looses its ability to produce sugar sap and or for it to flow out. The sugar that was in the tree when it was cut will remain in the tree, no new sugar will be produced, yet none will be lost.

    Well, she's a lucky girl, tell her to be careful in the water. Funny thing about the sugar industry, when I was there it was king, never seemed like it would go away, but I think HSC just shut down a little while ago.

    Small world. I lived in Honolulu for six years. When I first toured a sugar mill the comment was most of the sugar industry went to the Phillipines. Similar to the Pineapple industry. Granted both industries are still there in at least in some small way. Hard way to earn a buck harvesting sugar cane...

    OT Sorry - There used to be a guy who lived on the big island named Jim Robinson. He had worked in either Jacques Francasis w/Morel or at Nigos. Does anyone know what happened to him? I got to know him very well when I was playing in the symphony and had my shop there.

    Back on topic. What is the problem with the Vernice Bianca as proposed by Sacconi? The albumin is a nice substance to ossify or harden the wood. Hard to remove once dried as evidenced by my door being egged for reading chamber music too late one weekend in Honolulu. It dried (water resistant) in the HI sun and was a bitch to get off the door. The honey adds a nice whetting to the wood and good color. Gum Arabic problematic for some reason?

  14. There are many repair threads including photos on Maestronet submitted by a number of participants and dating back several years. Try using the search function and include the information you're interested in (bass bar crack, soundpost patch, doubling, button graft, collar, back crack, cleats, etc.) and see what comes up.

    If members think there is a particular thread, or threads, that might be good to include in the reference category (first subject in the forum), let me know by notifying me through the personal message function (be sure to provide the URL corresponding to the thread(s)). I will consider adding to the list based on interest and the quality of information contained.

    I would also suggest using the google site search eg - keywords site:www.maestronet.com/forum

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