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Ernst

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Everything posted by Ernst

  1. You seem pretty knowledgeable on this subject. I have an ivory cue ball from a billiard table. An uncle gave it to me when I was a little boy. He claimed to have it from when he was a little boy. It is genuine ivory and obviously over 100 years old. Naturally I have no documentation. Is it illegal for me to own this? Is it illegal for me to sell this to a bow maker or ivory carver?
  2. Ernst

    Bass bar help

    I'm not sure where I read it; probably something I found on the web. I believe it was some sort of seminar. The only thing I remember for sure was the concept of building in a tiny amount of upward tension. I printed the article and stored it someplace for the future. I really have to organize my files. I have reams of web articles and concrete tips/instructions from this board. I just never got around to getting anything sorted into an orderly researchable-file. I'll see if I can dig it out this weekend.
  3. Don't forget the offer I made a while back.
  4. I see animals, horses and hounds, riding on a great hunt through the night. Maybe I better go to bed
  5. Ever use a PA system head? I just picked up an old Peavy MP-4 to mess around with. Right now I'm testing it as a preamp to input multiple mic's into a digital sound card. I got it for a hundred bucks in a pawn shop so if it doesn't work out I'm not into it $$$ heavy. If nothing else I can use it for playing with friends at summer parties, if this winter ever ends!
  6. Ernst

    Bass bar help

    Do you remove any additional wood after that fit? I've read that some design a tesion in their bar that would tend to have an upward push at the center. If I remember the articele it was accomplished by additional shaving at the ends.
  7. Hi. Try a search and a post on the fingerboard. There were quite a few recent posts and thats a popular topic.
  8. That's amazing! Definitely a "don't try this at home kids." I'll be grateful if I can do a decent rib graft and get that neck on right You guys do these things all the time but for me it is the most complicated repair I've attempted. We shall see.
  9. How is a top pressed out? Is it what it sounds like?
  10. Thanks Michael. I can remove the pins and not make them any more visible than they were before. Only the lower one is exposed and it actually looked like a small varnish chip. Touching up cracks? Ha! A while back you warned me about the perils of unnecessary "touch ups", I found your advice to be entirely accurate. If something is bad I can seal it and blend it in to be less noticeable but invisible, that's for super-heroes.
  11. It's pretty much a time thing. Time spent practicing correctly will build muscle memory until the moves become automatic. The key is to practice doing it right. If you allow yourself to slip while practicng you will only be reinforcing the learned bad habit. Practice in short bits. When you feel tired or cramped take a break. We get sloppy when we are tired or camped. A little time spent practicing it right is far more beneficial than a lot of time spent practicing it sloppily. The merits of a good teacher cannot be over emphasised. I spent my first three months trying to teach myself from books, pictures, and videos. When I finally started taking lessons it took about as long to unlearn all of the bad habits that I had acquired. Above all enjoy! In time you will make the beautiful music that brings tears to the eyes.
  12. Fix them or leave them be? I asked this question by tagging it onto a post below that is titled - "(ebay) Any details about this maker/violin?" - but it got lost in the shuffle. The post had a picture similar to the cracks my violin has. The basic question is should I do anything about the cracks. They both were stopped by the purfling. I examined it under high magnification. It is not a repair and the cracks did not penetrate through the thickness of the maple back. More details and a better explanation are below. This is what I posted in an the "ebay...." topic. Thanks. Mine isn't that bad off. The button definitely didn't break off or crack beyond the surface strains that I mentioned. What caused the problem was a neck that wasn't sitting on the block. Some home handyman in years past apparently worked on it and put the neck on crooked, which is why it was off the block. Naturally they used a permanent glue. This person then tried to chisel under it, probably in an attemot to pry it off, so I also have to graft a piece of rib in. It took me the better part of a day to get it apart without damage. I'm begining to hate opening violins. I've done three so far and they all had a combination of various glues. I do not know the history of the violin. There is no label and it came from an estate sale. I've seen enough violins to say that it does not resemble a factory trade violin. The materials and original construction are very good so I am positive the maker did not foul it up. The fingerboard shows appropriate wear for an instrument that at one time was playable. The violin looks like it fell on hard times in the hands of a butcher and was probably in storage ever since. Perhaps the person was changing necks, but the varnish seems to match the rest of the instrument. It is a mystery. In any case it's the best specimen I've had my hands on and I'd like to put it togethr right, thus my question; should I attempt to reinforce a button that obviously had a good deal of stress on it but did not break? Also, is it common practice to leave the guide dowels in the front? This is not an ancient instrument that was pegged, they are just two alignment dowels, one upper and one lower.
  13. Thanks for the advice. I was wishing that I had chosen the Courtnail & Johnson. I was too cheap I guess you get what you pay for. Maybe I'll cut my losses, use what I have for now, and pick up the Courtnail & Johnson when I get rid of a fiddle or two. Right now I'm needing some repair wood, fittings, varnish, and stains.
  14. Thanks. Mine isn't that bad off. The button definitely didn't break off or crack beyond the surface strains that I mentioned. What caused the problem was a neck that wasn't sitting on the block. Some home handyman in years past apparently worked on it and put the neck on crooked, which is why it was off the block. Naturally they used a permanent glue. This person then tried to chisel under it, probably in an attemot to pry it off, so I also have to graft a piece of rib in. It took me the better part of a day to get it apart without damage. I'm begining to hate opening violins. I've done three so far and they all had a combination of various glues. I do not know the history of the violin. There is no label and it came from an estate sale. I've seen enough violins to say that it does not resemble a factory trade violin. The materials and original construction are very good so I am positive the maker did not foul it up. The fingerboard shows appropriate wear for an instrument that at one time was playable. The violin looks like it fell on hard times in the hands of a butcher and was probably in storage ever since. Perhaps the person was changing necks, but the varnish seems to match the rest of the instrument. It is a mystery. In any case it's the best specimen I've had my hands on and I'd like to put it togethr right, thus my question; should I attempt to reinforce a button that obviously had a good deal of stress on it but did not break? Also, is it common practice to leave the guide dowels in the front? This is not an ancient instrument that was pegged, they are just two alignment dowels, one upper and one lower.
  15. I got one five months ago and I love it. Picking is natural for me because I've played the guitar most of my life. The frets on the mandolin are a hassle but I guess they keep me honest.
  16. In reply to: ...Is to feed my soul perpetually starving for music. It's an order from myself to myself. It's something I've never experienced before. Or maybe it's just dreaming that one day I could make my violin cry while playing one of Paganini's Adagios... Aaahh, another candidate for violin's anonymous. Pull up a chair and I'll tell you how I got hooked. It all started less than two years ago. I was approaching my 47th birthday when I happended upon this garage sale. There it was, siting on a bench , I reached out to touch it ...............................................
  17. The first picture shows two small cracks; one on each side of the back button. I have a violin apart now that has similar cracks, caused by a poorly fitted neck. How serious is this, if the neck is re-set and glued well. If something should be done while I have the instrument apart what would you suggest?
  18. I wasn't involved with the project so I really have no right to stick my nose in but I do have a suggestion. If I remember correctly the end result was planned as a charitable contribution to the arts, young musicians, or something like that. If this hasn't yet been achieved why not raffle it off on this board? With 4000 + members even a 10% involvement at $25.00 a chance would yield $10,000.00 US. If it's worth more than that sell additional tickets in your shops until the dollar value is correct. There are few who dabble with strings that wouldn't take a 25 buck chance on a fine instrument.
  19. When you get a chance to read the book let me know what you think of it. I was a bit disappointed with the many references to his other books. In some cases if you want to know exactly what he's saying you would have to buy at least two others. To be fair, I have to say that I see no reason why I couldn't make a violin using just this book, so I guess I can't complain. It's just that I'm the kind of guy who likes all the details. If you want to give me additional instructions about x or y don't tell me to see pages *.* in your other books. I realize that a book that size can't be all inclusive but if he stuck strictly to the subject there would have been room and energy available to further cover "violin making." I'm refering to the first fourteen pages that deal with how to use, maintain, and organize your tools. For the most part this could have been left out; at least for my interests this is the information that could have been in the other book. Maybe Im just being picky, and I probably will eventually get the other two books that he references.
  20. I believe that shrinking, caused by loss of moisture, is what causes wood to crack. Hot sun would tend to dry the wood and could definitely be a factor. I was intrigued by the way that the varnish blackened on the top side of the instrument. As Michael pointed out the wood in the scrool and the top are different but both are darkened. That would make me guess that a reaction between varnish and wood seems unlikely. The UV reaction seems probable but does that mean that someone left the violin out of it's case, face up, and lying flat for a period of time? That is not the usual way to keep your violin when it is not being played. Even if that were the case I'd imagine that the ribs would show some degree of blackening. I've seen varnished wood on gun stocks that were in a house fire. The side facing the fire was permanently darkened, although the heat was not intense enough to blister the varnish. The blueing on the metal was totally removed by the acid fumes in the smoke! The guns were in a glass door cabinet and the fire was extinguished before the cabinet burned. The glass had cracked from the heat and that allowed the fumes to enter. I not suggesting that is what happened here. The smaller mass of the violin and the more delicate varnish probably would not have fared as well. Sun exposure seems the most logical answer. I'd be curious to know if it cleans up.
  21. Are the light spots in the location of the bridge feet "worn spots" where the finish is gone or are the spots created by the bridge feet protecting the finish from ultra-violet rays?
  22. I checked my links, it is Quinn's that has the sampler, although Shar and the others also have a big selection. The link is e strng sampler pack At the site click on strings, then violin, and then misc. E's -- The sampler pack is at the top of the list. If you can't find what you want or if you can't decide try a phone call.
  23. I'm at about the same leve as you mentioned. I've been supplementing my lessons with Wohlfahrt Book One and Schradieck section one work. I just bought a book called "Scales Plus" by William Starr. Shar sells it for $6.96 US. It's a study in scales, arpegios, common finger patterns, and shifts in a multitude of different keys and positions. This is the most "fun" book I've studied from. I highly recommend it.
  24. In reply to: does that mean I have to get a set just for the E? No, all strings can be purchased separately, including the e. Violinists experiment so much with e strings that Shar or Quinn's (I don't remember which) even has a sampler pack of the most popular brands of e strings!
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