Urban Luthier

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Posts posted by Urban Luthier

  1. I haven't read the whole thread Trevor, but next time an easy way to do this is to mount your jointer in a vise upside down and take both halves of your top and draw them down over the blade with light even pressure. (Your blade needs to be flat and as sharp as you can get it). Any inaccuracy from left to right will cancel out. be careful not to apply two much pressure at the beginning and end of each pass over the blade. Test accuracy by putting one half in the vise and use the other half to test for front to back and side to side (there should be no rocking). If it is a perfect fit you'll feel a bit of suction as you place the two pieces together. Make a pencil mark across the front so you know where to line up when you glue.

    Once you have a perfect joint - especially with spruce you have to glue it right away. So your glue has to be ready once you finish the joint. Any change of humidity and temperature can really mess with you. I warm both sides with hair dryer and pour the glue on the joint with a squeeze bottle. Rub the two halves together for a bout 10-15 seconds and ensure your pencil lines up. No need to clamp - leave it in the vise standing up for a couple of hours and plane flat.

    I highly recommend @David Burgessarticle on working with hide glue published in the Strad. One of the best in the trade secrets series. Once I started following his guidance, gluing became a lot let stressful!

  2. See this article - a scarf joint in Cremonese work is not uncommon according to the author - the great thing about a scarf joint is that you can precisely fit the corners and even if the scarf itself isn't perfect - you'll cut the low spot when you do the fluting anyway, 

  3. 15 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

    People tend to see what they want to see.

    This reads like a rather generalized (and possibly) sarcastic statement to me ;). Not exactly sure what you are referring to. But for the sake of argument, I don't think it is unreasonable to draw the conclusion that certain similarities of the Cremonese arching system can be observed throughout the classical making era from the 1560s to the 1750s.

  4. Davi's post above is very interesting and makes a lot of sense.

    It is quite possible that the long arch (and overall arching height) was formed by the design objectives and working methods of forming the arch itself. Have a look at this article "Arching, Purfling & Edgework in Cremonese Instruments

    On 2/16/2021 at 12:25 PM, Owen Morse-Brown said:

    There has to be a method rather than just copying because they had nothing to copy. 

    Actually i think that is exactly what they were doing. Copying the working tradition of their shop. Andrea Amati was working into the 1570s a hundred years before the first strad. Extreme examples aside, one can easily see a continuity arching from Andrea Amati to Guad

  5. Cool projection technique!!

    for the interior layout i simply find the thickness centre per Sacconi, drill down to the max thickness at that point and use series of compass dividers set to the correct radii to mark the central section and lungs on the back. As you carve the lines disappear so having several dividers preset is handy to re-mark the layout

  6. Thin coats of Holiter varnish applied with your fingers or a pad should dry overnight in a drying cabinet. Heck i could get his stuff to dry to the touch with a few hrs of strong sunlight. 

    if you do use a cobalt or japan dryer and you varnish with your finders or palm, make sure to wear gloves. 

  7. I generally use a french curve to modify the curve at each corner following the outline traced by the washer. The corners will naturally trumpet out a bit with slightly more overhang in the c-bouts because the french curve follows a tighter radius. Then square off using a fixed reference point along the centre line.


  8. 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. 

  9. 10 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

    I might have only some of the look alikes and bought them at HomeDepot before departing to Japan. 

    I experienced a similar problem with a tool search (forgot what exactly it was) and in the end I figured out that my better version must have been more expensive to manufacture, thus it was discontinued.:unsure:

    thanks - I got mine at home depot as well - but ages ago and I haven't seen them since

  10. 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




  11. 21 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

    Vuillaume also “made” a copy of Paganini's “Canone”. The (marketing) yarn was that Paganini couldn’t tell the difference when he came to fetch his fiddle. That copy now lives in the same glass case in the council house in Genua as the “Canone”, so you can tell from across the room for a fact, that Paganini must have had a great big white walking stick

    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.

  12. 23 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

    Is there any known reason why the Messiah remained unsold in the shop for so many years, other than the patched pitch pit, lumpy red varnish, accidental ripple on the wing edge?  Probably sounded crappy. :)

    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 

  13. 3 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

    Is there any known reason why the Messiah remained unsold in the shop for so many years, other than the patched pitch pit, lumpy red varnish, accidental ripple on the wing edge?  Probably sounded crappy. :)

    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"