Urban Luthier

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Everything posted by Urban Luthier

  1. The wonderful thing about the Ashmolean is that one can see the Messiah in context of dozen or so other first rate instruments. The room is almost always empty so it is easy to spend quality time. Lots can be seen with the naked eye (even in low light) that can't be seen in photographs.
  2. thanks - I got mine at home depot as well - but ages ago and I haven't seen them since
  3. Anyone know where I can find these clamps? Ebay is full off look a-likes but these ones are different - the pads are thicker and the spring tension is higher (just enough to clamp a well fitted lining) but not too tight to leave marks. There are no manufactures marks on mine but they look similar to larger Bessey clamps. I can't find a 50mm version anywhere. Not sure where i got these but I'd love to find more
  4. I really wish we had a 'like' button for posts here. Still laughing!!! I've held a so called Vuillaume messiah copy in my hand. It looked like a Vuillaume. The Messiah looks like a violin from the strad workshop.
  5. Regarding the varnish - it clear from naked eye observation that the Messiah has been polished at some point in its history. Like many, I've stared at it for hours, it is truly a sight to behold. The entire Ashmolean collection is outstanding
  6. Who really knows for sure. I like John Dilworth's speculation that "‘Messiah’ Stradivari was the first instrument completed by the young Giovanni Battista and kept by his family for sentimental reasons"
  7. Scientifically the dendro report by @Ratcliffiddles noted above has to be the final word. For those who continue to doubt (unlikely anyone here) - I have two simple questions: Have you seen the Ashmolean Messiah? Have you see any of the Vuillaume's supposedly copied from the Messiah? For those who have seen both the answers are simple: one looks like a fine instrument from the Strad workshop - the others look like Vuillames.
  8. Re Baroque setup. It is worth reviewing Roger's baroque setup articles. See evolutionary road and period of adjustment. General argument is that there are certain requirements that need to be met to make a violin playable and modern setup is a continuation of what was done in the baroque. To @David Burgess comment above about neck sagging, the only Strad with its original neck joint (medici tenor) appears to have had a wedge added under the finger board to compensate for the neck sagging. For what is is worth most of the Strad neck templates have an 86 degree angle. Including the Medici tenor. See Pollens, pg 3
  9. Great photo Don. I find the whole topic of imitating antique texture daunting. Fortunately I bypass many of the issues noted above. For my style of working, I strive to leave the final surface untouched. The example below has quite a bit more colour in it than the photos show.
  10. I agree your purfling work is stunning Dave! Is that a pear centre?
  11. Well documented workflows in the Bass Book. And I agree, not easy to do.
  12. This is a stunning photo, thanks for sharing. I've had the good fortune of seeing half a dozen or so Andrea Amati's - I'm convinced the ground (a form of gesso perhaps?) applied below the varnish to support the painted layer contributes to the unique and (stunning) appearance of the varnish. There really isn't anything else like these!
  13. Have a look at Davide Sora's video for a workflow on how to achieve the strad style flute
  14. Agree with Davide - the cello setup varies quite a bit from the violin. the Weisshaar book does contain sections specific to cello restoration and esp. setup. Some of the setup guidance has been debated here. So it is worth doing a bit of searching. We are fortunate to have are a couple of mNet members who worked in the Weisshaar shop...
  15. as noted above it looks like plane
  16. Experimenting with a using table clamps. They allow one to use a traditional strad like mould, without dowels and string. With everything properly dry fit, I was able to clamp in a few seconds. Faster than anything else I've tried. I will likely trim the metal post down so the clamping force is directed through the centre of the camp.
  17. Tons, I mean tons of recording out there - Search Steven Isserlis. He his records with Hyperion records - you can check the liner notes which often note which instrument he is playing. I think he gave the cello back in 2011.
  18. Feuernann 1730! You'd think he is playing a violin! remarkable.
  19. i use the standard jigs that come the unit + this one for gouges
  20. I hollow grind all my blades using a tormek grinder. I find it easier to sharpen and hone free hand with a hollow grind.
  21. As for CG visualization - i think what would be very useful as a study aid is the kind of techniques automotive designers use to study the curvature of class A surfaces. In the old days you'd need tools like Alias to do this but now you can do it in any number of tools like Fusion (Free) or Rhino.
  22. Guad Simpson poster from the Strad is 7/8th ish (cant find it in their shop). The Saveuse Strad (the one Robert Max plays) is a bit smaller.
  23. If you are talking about making a solvent free oil varnish than yes many here have done that. Typically 1:1 ratio of linseed oil to cooked resin by weight. Have a look at the Bass Book by Roger Hargrave. It is all there.