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Brad Dorsey

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Everything posted by Brad Dorsey

  1. It wouldn't matter, but that's not what Ton asked. Ton wants to know whether the map of graduations is shown looking at the insides of the plates or the outsides, because an inside view would be the mirror-image of the outside.
  2. In my experience, Caspari pegs work fine as long as the screws are properly adjusted and the bushings are solidly attached to the peg box. If I were going to play an instrument with Casparis, I would be sure to keep a screwdriver in the case, because the pegs cannot be adjusted without one. And the blade on a regular screwdriver is too thick to fit in the slots in the screw heads; you need file one thinner.
  3. Instruments of this type sometimes have quite asymmetrical pegbox wall thicknesses, so I wouldn’t draw any conclusions or make any generalizations based on them.
  4. Probably WEIDLICH — a name often found on cheap mass-produced German bows. But this is not the name of the maker. It is probably the name of the company that distributed the bow.
  5. I think that these points are important enough to be emphasized and explained: If the cloth is too wet with alcohol, you risk removing the varnish that you brushed on. The polishing cloth should not be in contact with the surface unless it is moving. If it does stop, it will leave an imprint of the fabric weave in the surface finish. The movement can be reciprocal or circular or figure eights or anything else; just keep it moving while it's touching the surface. Before you try it on anything you care about, you should practice on something else first. The something else could be just about anything made of wood -- a cheap violin or any kind of finished or unfinished wood surface. Experiment with different rubbing speeds and pressures while observing how the finish builds up on the surface. If the cloth feels too sticky, try adding a drop or two of oil. Be aware that things change as the alcohol evaporates. But don't be afraid. I think I might be making it sound more complicated than it really is. When I was trying to teach myself how to do it, I was able to pick it up by experimenting on a couple of cheap violins.
  6. Does it need to be neutralized for our purposes (violins)? Why? Or do you neutralize it to drink it?
  7. What is the dollar equivalent? No one can answer your question without knowing that.
  8. Check out this recent discussion that addresses your situation: Final spirit varnish coat finish - The Pegbox - Maestronet Forums
  9. It probably depends on what you want to do. The normal (for furniture) French polish is shellac dissolved in alcohol, but I assume you want to use it on a violin. Do you want to use it to varnish a white (unvarnished) violin? I guess it could work, but violin varnish is usually brushed on, not applied with a tampon. Do you want to apply it over the existing varnish on a violin? This is generally frowned on. Regarding the 50/50 alcohol/spirit varnish mix: since spirit varnish is mostly alcohol, diluting it 50/50 with alcohol just yields a more diluted varnish. And some people use the term "French polish" to mean rubbing the varnish of a violin with a pad with straight alcohol on it.
  10. I agree completely. But if the soundpost can go anywhere and the bass bar can go anywhere, then trying out all the different possible positions of both in an attempt to optimize the sound would impractical. Besides the aesthetic appeal of symmetry, I think that the reason for this particular symmetry rule might be simply to eliminate some variables to make set-ups practical. There are already too many other variables.
  11. You are. Though it may noy be optimum tonally because it violates this symmetry rule, I use a standard-width bridge and fit the post in line with the bridge foot. To make everything symmetrical, the alternatives are to use a different bridge width or to move the bass bar.
  12. For years, this forum’s general consensus was that Courtnal & Johnson was the best violin making book available. But Derber’s has come out since then, so perhaps it is has superseded C & J. Along with Nathan, I think that it doesn’t make sense to work with a book that would probably teach different methods than those that will be taught where you go to school. And note that Weisshaar’s subtitle is “A Manual for Violin Makers.” It assumes that those using his book already know how to make violins, so it probably makes more sense to get it after you finish school than to get it now. The Sacconi book is a great in-depth analysis of Stradivari’s working methods. It’ is not an instruction manual, but it is a classic and a basic reference. If you have the money, get them all now if you want. You can probably learn something from all of them.
  13. I have found two problems with plastic tips. One is that I haven't found a glue that sticks to them. The other is that the cost of installing a tip is not in the tip itself. The cost is mostly in the time spent trimming it after it is glued, and trimming a plastic tip takes almost as long as trimming a bone/ivory/Tip Armor one. So, for me, plastic tips don't make any sense. Do you put on plastic tips? If yes, perhaps you can give me some "tips."
  14. I think I have seen a few frogs like this, or close to it. I don’t like this shape of ferrule with the extremely rounded end, because, with the end extended so far ahead of the sides, the extension is easily bent up by the ferrule wedge. I might hair and grip a bow like this if I were really hard up for cheap bows and the stick were not too weak, but it’s certainly not worth replacing the tip.
  15. No. The bow that was the original topic of this discussion is hexagonal.
  16. I think that French bows are unlikely to have brass screws, and it could be true that they never do. But I think a lot of German bows have steel screws. Otto Hoyer is a well-known example that immediately comes to my mind. I have Albert Nurnbergers with both steel and brass. I have seen a lot of Chinese bows with one brass screw each.
  17. That is an eight-sided bow being sold by someone who cannot count beyond six.
  18. A few years ago, I put up some pictures showing how I do one here: Bow Wrapping, Whalebone style - Page 2 - The Pegbox - Maestronet Forums
  19. Does this test distinguish elephant ivory from bone or mammoth ivory?
  20. Upon close inspection, if you see that bugs have been eating it, you can be sure that it is real whalebone, because bugs don't eat plastic. But if bugs haven't been eating it, that doesn't tell you anything, because it could either be plastic or it could be whalebone that the bugs haven't found.
  21. No. It’s exactly like French polishing without the shellac.
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