Kevin Miller

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About Kevin Miller

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    Atlanta, GA

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  1. For cellos I use a laparoscopic grasper like this one. The type of jaws that bend inward at the tip give a good grip on round stock. They're also handy anytime you need to pick up something inside the instrument. I've actually managed to pick up an endpin that fell into the body and maneuver it back out the hole in the plug without having to take the strings off.
  2. Thanks, Matt. They're made similar to how Franciscus describes, but on mine the stamp itself is etched in copper rather than magnesium. I also make sure to position the text at the edge of the stamp rather than the middle to make it easier to see where you're stamping. I don't really use heat to stamp, other than the small amount you get when you hold it in a candle flame to coat the stamp in soot. In my experience, the results from that usually look better than "branding" the bridge with a hot stamp. The candle flame certainly isn't enough to ignite the block of magnesium, but I'd be a little wary of heating it in a torch flame. Anyone interested in details can either PM me or send me an email.
  3. David, when you tested the Ace spar varnish, were you able to get the oil-based version (which I think is what Craig was talking about)? I think it was a couple of years ago that they changed the formulation, and the cans now say "solvent-based." I don't know how the new stuff is for violins, but anyone looking for the oil-based version might have to try a few stores to find one with old stock still on the shelf.
  4. You might try this. It's not quite tiger stripes, but it's the closest I'm familiar with.
  5. When you say "octave strings" are you talking about the strings like the ones Thomastik and Super-Sensitive make that sound an octave lower than a standard violin? If so, you probably don't want to go too much bigger than a 14" viola, which will have about the same string length that the octave violin strings are designed for. You could use a larger viola, but in that case you'd probably want to get octave viola strings instead. Be aware that the body still won't be quite big enough to project. Octave strings are a lot of fun under the ear and in intimate settings, but if you need real projection you'll probably need to think about amplification.
  6. Charles Holzapffel describes the use of a caul in veneering in a book published in London in 1843, so I don't think you can blame Americans for this.
  7. A caul is also a piece of wood used to distribute clamping pressure.
  8. I like these clamps from Howard Core, with a couple of the larger version for the places you need a deeper clamp.
  9. Looking 125 might make you the "young guy" at that meeting. I'm hoping to see you there if you go; I think I started going right after you stopped. I've always found your posts helpful and informative (all the way back to the MIMF days), and it would be great to meet you in person.
  10. Don't worry - eHow has that covered too: How to restring a violin bow How to repair a violin bow How to restring a violin bow string
  11. If you think you might ever do another small soundpost, a smaller setter is a good tool to have. I used to use the fractional size Herdim Duo. It works very well, and isn't all that expensive.
  12. I'm so sorry to hear this! Get better soon.
  13. Despiau makes 4/4 violin bridges in sizes up to 44mm. You might check with IVC or Howard Core. If they don't stock them they may be able to special order them.
  14. According to this article from Teen Strings magazine, the Turtle Island String Quartet uses Crown GLM-100 microphones.
  15. Actually the German Empire was formed in 1871, but if you're just going by the label items imported to the US only required the country of origin after the McKinley tariff in 1891, and the words "Made in" were added to that requirement in 1914.