Brad Dorsey

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About Brad Dorsey

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    : New Hampshire, USA
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    Irish music

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  1. After I get tired of fixing up cheap bows I may start a project that I've been thinking of for a long time but haven't had time to do until now: a series of demonstration repairs that I can show customers. For example, whenever I am brought a candidate for a sound post patch, I have to explain to the customer what a sound post patch is, how it's done, how it functions, etc. by verbal description, cross-sectional drawings, etc. I'm never sure if the customer really understands what I am talking about. I always wish that I had a top with a patch that I could show the customer. So my plan is to do a patch in a junk top. To give a sequential explanation, the top could have a patch bed excavated in preparation for a patch, a patch glued in but not trimmed and a finished patch. Since the patches would be for demonstration only, they wouldn't need to fit well except around the edges where they would show, so they could be done quickly using a leftover cast made for a different instrument. And I could do similar demonstration pieces for other types of repairs such as neck graft, crack with cleats, edge doubling, etc, depending on how much time I have to fill.
  2. I think this is what Adam meant. Perhaps make them more like Ebay in some respects. I think Skinner, Tarisio, et al, already get a lot of bids from, and sales to, on-line bidders who have not personally examined the lots. And I think Skinner already runs online-only sales for other types of merchandise. Perhaps Skinner would give consignors the option of not selling their consignments until the next normal sale. Living conveniently close to Boston, I have only missed one Skinner viewing in almost 30 years. But if even if they have a viewing this May, I doubt that I would want to attend for fear of the plague.
  3. A friend of mine spoke to Adam at Skinner a few days ago. Adam said that, as of now, Skinner's next "Fine Musical Instrument Auction" will be held as scheduled on May 31, but it may be run as an online-only sale.
  4. I once worked a Soviet-made violin. It perfectly epitomized the concept of VSO (violin-shaped object). Everything on it looked somewhat like what its counterpart should look like on a real violin, but nothing was right.
  5. That describes my situation, too. After a busy few months I have just about finished the work that I have to do for customers, so now I have time to fix up some bows from the box of bows that aren't work fixing. It turns out that most of them can be fixed up if I spend enough time on them. I have mounted several with butt cracks in the lathe, drilled out the butts, glued in pernambuco dowels, turned new nipples and drilled new screw holes. For years I've been meaning to practice doing this on cheap bows to become more familiar with the procedure. I also have a nice stick or two that I want to make frogs and buttons for. And several dozen violins needing repairs and set-ups. I have plenty to keep me occupied. But I wonder if there will be a market for bows in the new economic landscape that I anticipate.
  6. I've seen that red stuff, too. I don't know what it is, but it was used to stuck together one end of the hairs in the single hanks that I used to buy from suppliers many years ago. It was never intended to hold the hairs together in the bow. You were supposed to tie a knot then cut off and discard the end of the hairs with the red stuff.
  7. I would be curious, too. If you don't like the label you find underneath, you can always cover it up again. I once had a violin with three labels stacked atop each other, and in another I was delighted to remove the top label and unearth an E H Roth label.
  8. Good thought, but definitely not Gotz. The third letter is an R.
  9. I have a rather nice silver-mounted bow violin bow that appears to be stamped "GORZ-BAUSCH" I'm wondering what GORZ means in this context. The first letter could be something other than G because it did not receive a clear impression, but the other three letters are definitely ORZ. I searched my German-English dictionary for every first letter followed by ORZ and came up with nothing. Thanks to previous discussions on this forum, I realize that the BAUSCH stamp is almost meaningless because it could have applied by many people. The bow is also stamped "G.A. PFRETZSCHNER ***," and I also realize that G A Pfretzschner was not a maker.
  10. If that doesn't work, you could try gentle scraping with a dull knife blade held at about 20 degrees to the surface. If you're lucky, the paint will not be strongly bonded to the underlying varnish, and your blade will be sharp enough to scrape of the paint but too dull to cut into the varnish. I once managed to scrape a clear overcoat off a violin in this fashion with no damage to the underlying varnish.
  11. You could go to Lynn Hannings' website: She lists the tools she recommends for her bow making classes, and she sells them.
  12. Has anyone tried Lie-Nielsen gouges?
  13. Brad Dorsey


    It is a mistake to think that you can select a violin just by brand name, because two violins of the same make and model can have different sounds. And two violins of the same make and model can set up differently, making one much harder to play. All this means that to make a selection you should try out as many different instruments as you can. If you don't play well enough to try them out yourself, you should have someone else play them for you so that you can compare the sounds, and so your tester can assess the set-up for ease of playing. Welcome to the violin world and good luck.
  14. My teacher made SP patches square with rounded corners, but I have shifted to the shape shown in the Weisshaar book -- straight parallel long sides running with the top grain and semi-circles on the ends. I think I went to this shape just because it's easier to lay out. Would oval or elliptical be better?
  15. I sometimes do quick touch-ups on cheap instruments by applying dry pigments with a brush moistened with alcohol then covering the area with a heavy coat of Deft. The next day I do a bit of scraping and sanding on the deft and call it finished. The total time I spend on a single gouge in this fashion is probably less than 10 minutes. It takes perhaps 10 to 20 minutes to treat several worn edges. The result does not make the area look like new, but it does make a big improvement.