Urban Luthier

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Everything posted by Urban Luthier

  1. I agree with David -- the test is rigged! There was one nice sounding violin, an ok sounding one and one that sounded, well not so good. With the assumption the best one is the strad, making the correct match was easy
  2. If you are looking for a a good modern take on an historical typeface, then Bembo is a nice choice. Cheers Chris
  3. and back to your earlier point -- your pipe jig is really cool -- i think I'll try that!
  4. Being an amateur your point about stuff moving faster than we can measure is intersting. I expect most make more quickly that i do so the changes may not be as measurable from stage to stage. But because I work slowly (often several months will pass from when I finish a rib garland to when I start to work on the plates for example) I can see how stuff moves -- a perfectly leveled rib garland comes un-true -- especially in the c-bouts over time. Also who knows how much the strad forms have been altered since they left their shop! The real convincing part of Roger's argument for me is that the corners on many outlines appear higher or lower that where they should be if the back was glued to the garland while on the form. Cheers Chris
  5. Wouldn't this invalidate Roger Hargrave's theory about Cremonese workflow? (Rib garland removed --> neck attached --> outline traced on plates with the aid of locator pins to pivot the garland to establish the centerline along the neck through the body) I'm no expert, but I've traced the outline of every Stradivari plan featured in the Strad magazine and overlaid them on the forms in the Pollens book. Without exception, none of them fit properly. Certain corners are either higher or lower than the corner blocks in the forms (physical evidence for Hargrave's theory). Some instruments show signs of the rib garland being either squashed or stretched (my interpretation). See the Betts for example it looks like it has been squished lengthwise making the bouts a little wider than one would expect for the PG form Chris
  6. anyone notice a speed bump? MN is faster than I've ever seen it!
  7. Maestronet is much faster today than i've ever seen it. wondering if the administrators upgraded something. Site has been down for the past 5 days
  8. Similar to what Andre Roubo describes as a Polissoir. Reed burnisher -- use for applying wax finish
  9. I'm in the same boat as you Oringo! I use tripoli as a ground as well. The challenge I have is that mixing the tripoli into the varnish to make the ground uses up quite a bit of varnish itself. As result one needs more varnish on hand to get the job done. OK if you are skilled at making your own, not so good if you are relying on commercial products
  10. an embarrassing typo on my part I'm afraid! my apologies Chris
  11. My goodness! Although I'm likely one of the younger members who participates in the Pegbox, my questions were not meant to be ageist! (However NewNewbie's comment was quite witty!) Seriously though Roger your commentary is illuminating. What I find fascinating about this dialog is the conflict between developing an historically authentic varnish recipie and creating an authentic looking varnish based on what we see today. The pictures are wonderful -- any chance you can post an image of the front of the viola during the varnishing stage in #263? Thanks Chris
  12. Roger,I apologize if this is daft question but if there is a possibility (as Professor White suggested) the red colour is a result of oxidization rather than cooking the resins, what did the original varnish look like? Was it intended to be pale/colourless? In other words is the lovely red colour we see today primarily a result of the natural aging/oxidization process? Or is there a possibility the varnish was intentionally oxidized at the time of production by other means to achive the colour? (fiddlecollector alludes to the possibility in #246 with nitric) or does cooking the resin simply oxidize the resin itself? also Mike's post above #278) Thanks, Chris
  13. Just received this in a news letter from the Ashmolean. Looks like it will be a fabulous exhibit!! The Video below has a nice interview with Charles Beare http://www.ashmolean.org/exhibitions/stradivarius/video/ Enjoy Chris
  14. I love the look Melvin. What about thinning to brushing consistency with linseed oil rather than a solvent? I'm slugging through the Brandmair book as well but i confess i simply don't understand how the varnish is cooked to achieve the wonderful colour you are getting! lovely work Chris
  15. I bought one of these recently. While the smallest blade would work on a cello F-hole, the bow saw excels and cutting out plates. By the time it takes me to get to the garage and set up the band saw, I can have a violin plate cut out by hand. old news to some, new to me! Chris
  16. If you are able to track down a copy of the Stradivari Varnish book (perhaps at a university library?) you can see very fine photos of the Back starting on page 156. The arching appears to be very high -- almost 22 mm on the table with a steep recurve, no doubt that has an influence on the sound. good luck Chris
  17. correct me if i'm wrong but the whole process of madder lake making is about dying aluminum sulphate so one's yield should be equal in weight to the aluminum sulphate added to the madder dye
  18. beautiful -- i love the Amati model
  19. I'm with you robertdo, i get that the spike is movable (very clever), i noticed this when i posted the photo but I can't for the life of me see how the anvil stop at the bottom is moved to accommodate the offset caused by adjusting the spike. Anyone have better photos?
  20. Thanks Roger. This is helpful. If one is lazy, Lee Valley sells a nice tapered gauge, to complement the graduation punch. Although I like your idea of a stepped gauge made out of ebony to set the tool. With regards to symmetry discussed earlier in the thread -- there is also a tool in the Strad museum that looks very munch like the pencil calipers you refereed to -- the we were taught to use in violin school -- pictured below.
  21. Any reason the gauge spike would off center Roger? I believe the image below is the one in the Strad museum -- the spike looks like it is slightly closer to the pivot, but I didn't measure. Torbjörn, your version of the graduation punch looks very nice -- i want to make one myself Thanks Chris