Urban Luthier

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Everything posted by Urban Luthier

  1. I'm so envious of makers who have the access to great instruments to measure. For many amateurs like myself (who don't have access to old masters) the strad posters are a very valuable resource. Like Guy, Tests and others, I've also found printing errors in some of the posters that make them unusable without correction. But CAD apps can be a valuable resource. What I typically do now is scan the Strad poster, bring it into a CAD app, scale the outline to verify it against the printed dimensions. IF things line up, it is easy to trace the outline using 3-point curves. Symmetry can be verified and even bits from either side can be use to compensate for distortion or wear to better estimate the original outline. If there isn't a ct scan of the ribs, it is a snap to create the mould structure by using the offset function from the outline. Typically I use Autodesk Fusion for this. It is free and the drawing tools are easy to use. Moulds, outlines, and templates can be easily sent off for laser cutting or cnc.
  2. Thanks! awful lot of learning still needed before I attempt the cello project
  3. Thanks Nathan. Good to know the quartered poplar is holding up. Although like Conor, it seems there is a general preference for a slab cut poplar for the back at least. I'm going to keep researching... Thank you both for your guidance. if this piece winds up in a chest of drawers, i'm ok with that!
  4. Thanks for your honesty Conor, it is a lot of work at my stage of development to invest in something that doesn't have the right acoustic or aesthetic properties. I spun through the Rugeri cellos I could find and none seem to have quartered poplar backs - perhaps there is a reason for that.
  5. That is a seriously cool looking back, nice work -- quilted maple?
  6. Here is the back -- the photos don't do it justice -- the wood is has an iridescent-like reflectivity. Conor there is a small split mark along the winter growth at one corner, so you may be right about the stability of slab vs quartered poplar. This billet is cut just off quarter.
  7. Thanks Nathan and Duane. My poplar is likely local to Ontario or northern US. It is 2-piece cut off quarter and appears to be a bout 40% lighter than a maple of the same dimension. Beech is strong but it isn't as hard as event the softer maples, so I agree with Nathan's advice. Plus it looks stunning when it is cut on the quarter. The scroll will likely be either beech or pear grafted on to a maple neck. Cello wood is very expensive so I'm trying to work with what I have.
  8. I'll be working on a cello in the next year (likely inspired by the smaller Rugeri, Rogeri forms). I have nice off quarter 2-piece of poplar for the back. I'll likely use quartered beech for the ribs. I'm a little out of my depth here, so I'd like some advice from members who have had experience using poplar in cellos Back Graduations - my poplar is about 40% lighter than maple. As a starting point, should I simply scale up maple grads by 40% across the board (centre, lungs and edges) and monitor stiffness along the way? Impacts on arching? higher and fuller at the edges to accommodate for the extra thickness? Ribs - quartered beech -- how thick should they be? 1.5 mm? thicker? Any guidance would be much appreciated! Chris
  9. Still researching... Any thoughts on this lovely Rugeri cello in the Royal academy of music? I saw this when I was in London a few months ago. Looks and sounds really nice. Seems it was cut down at some point. I overlaid the Rugeri outline with the 1717 P.G. Rogeri (see ref to strad poster above). Apart from the rather flat upper bouts of the Rogeri, the outlines are virtually identical.
  10. Stunning! it would be great to see photos of your new shop when you have a moment...
  11. I also use the 315 Thordahl glue based on the recommendation of members here. I've generally mixed it a 3-4 parts water to 1 part glue and watered it down based on task.
  12. Not being a professional musician, i've never really understood the viola joke thing. Manfio makes excellent sounding violas, as do many other makers here.
  13. funny you should mention this Manfio. When I looked at the Strad CV templates the overall setup isn't all that far off from modern. 224-225mm body stop for the Archinto built off the CV form. Neck pattern shows a ~ 149mm length from nut to pin marks a the foot. This would give a 2:3 mensur, with dimensions close to what modern makers use.
  14. You mean your cello wont fit under your neck?
  15. Thanks Mark. So a short board would be quite long if one is extending from first. Out of curiosity, Would a player be able to reach to forth position on a contralto viola with a board that extends to the middle of the upper bout? I did a bit of research on the Stad templates for both the CV and TV violas. The TV has a longer fingerboard and the CV a shorter one! The Medici TV also has a neck profile that looks very modern
  16. Thanks Marc and Manfio. Nice viola Manfio. I haven't seen Giardino Armonico live but the video below shows a mixture of Baroque setups - including a violist who is playing what looks like a Bros Amati copy with a short fingerboard! Wonderful sound indeed. The concert master is the new director of Tafelmusik here in Toronto. See below As a pro player, Mark C is in the best position to comment on the makeup of baroque groups. I can only comment on what I've seen in concerts. I saw the Monteverdi choir et etc in London in June perform 12 Bach cantatas over 3 nights. I sat in the second row literally 6 feet from JEG. The group played a variety of setups from old and new insturments with baroque fittings to purpose-made baroque instruments. It was an incredible experience!
  17. Thanks Ben - I looked at the both the CV and TV viola templates. Funny that the TV fingerboard template is actually shorter than the original on the Medici Tenor. Strad must have changed his mind at the last minute!
  18. Yea I guess you are right Martin, perhpas not the best example but there there must be others... I think Christian Tetzlaff plays a Stefan-Peter Greiner violin. It would be interesting to note other top players playing modern instruments.
  19. not sure if she's ever refused 'a good strad' but she seems to get along fine without one
  20. This is an old. thread I know but I have a similar question regarding my current project - a Strad CV viola based on the existing strad templates. The CV fingerboard template is ~ 236 mm which would drop it down to the middle of the upper bout as Ben notes above. Presumably this makes sense for music ca 1690. My question is -- would a short fingerboard like this be suitable for viola music throughout the entire baroque era -- in to the 1750s?
  21. Here is the Archinto viola and cello in recital. Start at 5:30. Amazing what one can fine these with a bit of careful looking...
  22. Beautiful as always Christian. I enjoy your photography as well -- you always find a nice ways to capture the spirit of your instruments in pictures.