Urban Luthier

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Everything posted by Urban Luthier

  1. Melvin, Does the increased body body length of a long pattern Strad result in an atypical set up that players find uncomfortable? I must say I love the look of the long pattern Strad! I think there are three posted in the Luthier's Library (2 from the Met and one from the Shrine museum). Thanks Chris
  2. Thanks Joe. Very informative!
  3. Bruce and Guy, thank you very much!! This is exactly what I was looking for. These subtle tool marks really do give clues of their working method. They also add to the texture and sculptural character of the scroll itself. Chris
  4. Thanks Joe, when you say bark I assume you mean bark from the buckthorn tree itself? and thanks Fiddlecollector for posting the recipes!
  5. Does anyone have a large photo that illustrates this on the Alard (or any other finely finished Amati? I have the excellent Ashmolean catalogue. The photos of the Alard are wonderful but the lighting condition for the pictures of the scroll don't pick up this type of detail thanks Chris
  6. Thanks Michael! The form is a left over scrap of american black walnut. I may regret choosing an off the wall model down the road when it comes to setup. Although small, the f-hole position in this model should result in a comfortable modern setup so I'm hopeful i'll be OK. This particular Bergonzi is quite small and doesn't exactly confirm to either of the forms published in Reuning's 2010 catalogue. I enjoyed your Strad article by the way! Chris
  7. xsno4 infill block plane made by a friend of mine named Konrad Sauer. I use it to surface rib stock and for the odd trimming job
  8. I've been using 1 part dye stuff, 1/2 part (potassium carbonate) and 1 part mordant (alum) for both madder and buckthorn berries with cold extraction. The recipe posted on David Rubio's site apparently works for weld, madder and buckthorn
  9. Just started a Bergonzi 1736 this week. This model is rather petit at about 350 mm in length
  10. Thanks robertdo and fiddlecollector. I did indeed use aluminum potassium sulphate as the mordant. Fiddlecollctor where would one find aluminum sulphate? When I filtered the dye stuff it turned the cloth a brilliant bright yellow! See attached
  11. Hello Members, I've been experimenting with making my own pigments. I've had good luck making lakes from madder roots and I decided to give it a go with buckthorn berries. I was expecting the resulting lake from the buckthorn berries to be an orangy-yellow (the colour often referred to as 'Indian yellow'). It appears however the lake is tending towards the green side. Method was cold extraction: 20 grams of ripe buckthorn berries into 1.5 L jar filled with tap water (not sure of the PH but our water is quite hard) with 10 grams of potassium carbonate to extract the colour. I left it alone for 24 hrs and filtered the dye into a clean jar and added 20 grams of Alum. Image on the left shows what the berries look like during dye extraction -- when held up to the light the dye stuff is a brilliant orange yellow colour with a hint of green. The image on the right shows the lake as it precipitates with the alum The resulting colour tends toward what I would call 'sap green' rather than 'indian yellow'. In the end the green may be more useful complement to the madder. Any idea why the lake is tending toward green? Thanks Chris
  12. A legitimate question indeed. One of the finest concerts I've ever attended was with the SFO & Christian Tetzlof performing the Schoenberg concerto. If memory serves, the Guarneri-like object he played was actually a violin by Peter Greiner. Personal option, but I thick a lot of professional musicians would do better with instruments made by talented contemporary makers built to accommodate their needs as a musician. Chris
  13. For those of you who find a small block plane useful, you might be interested in looking at Lie Nie Nielsen take on Stanley 101. They are marketing it as a violin maker's plane. At first blush the thumb screw adjustment looks very handy. I can't tell if it is a bevel up or bevel down plane but I suspect it is the former. In my (albeit limited) experience I've found the Lie Nielsen A2 blades to keep their edge for a very long time -- subjectively longer than the A2 blades on my Lee valley planes. Wonder if Lie Nielsen consults with industry professionals when they develop products. Chris
  14. I also read that some 'tin cans' also have aluminum content in them http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_can
  15. I'm glad you mentioned this as I've been wondering if these types of pots would work for varnish making. My only concern is that the ones I've seen look quite thin and I'm worried about even heat distribution. Would buying two pots (a large and a small one) and making a sand bath be advisable? Chris
  16. End-grain is traditionally more difficult to glue, I don't know if that would impact grain orientation for the nut or saddle. Would love to hear from others what makes the most sense
  17. If GDG did work in the Strad studio, why should we assume his work there would be the same as in his own labeled violins? If the Strad shop did employ other makers, GDG and Bergonzi for example as recent scholarship suggests, it is reasonable to expect they would have to adhere to quality of the Studio brand. In terms of style, is it possible assistants performed specific tasks only, to help manage shop efficiency? -- Hypothetically speaking, is it possible GDG for example specialized in arching tops and backs? This could have enabled the studio to take advantage of different thinking but deploy it a manner fitting to the 'Strad Brand' As for GDG's labeled violins -- as an individual maker, he may have been making them as fast as he could to capitalize on the lower end of the market -- an area where the Strad studio didn't compete I suspect market conditions and economics play a role here more that we might think Looking forward to further scholarship from Roger and others on the topic! Chris
  18. in addition to understanding who plays baroque violins it would be good to know what types of instruments players prefer. Ie per Lyndon's comment above or modern copies. For makers who make baroque instruments -- what pattern do your customers prefer?
  19. There is a very fine article in the Strad by David Rivinus on madder lake making (I believe it is in the Best of trade secrets volume 2 as well). Mr, Rivinus' article is very easy to follow. (He uses potassium carbonate instead of lye) The natural pigment's Madder lake powder recommended by Ben in post #11 seems very cost effective. The supplies to do this yourself will cost considerably more! Ben have you tried the above pigment? Does it work for you?
  20. Historical records cite preference of leading players like Correlli (Amati), Viivaldi (Stainer) and Geminiani for earlier instruments. I'd have to dig around for actually citations. If memory serves Charles Burney may have been one source.
  21. There is also a Zygmuntowicz cello up as well at the same Tarisio auction. Nice to see high quality photo's of his work
  22. The Strad magazine sells a number of plans. The Jacob Stainer violin of 1679 violin is shown in baroque setup. Roger Hargrave has generously posted the original article on his website
  23. wow, just saw this thread now. Two observations 1) my how threads can morph from one topic another! 2) a comment on earlier posts about evaluating violins through sound media over the internet. I personally find this virtually impossible for several reasons. The compression needed to play files over the internet leave virtually nothing of the original left to evaluate. Potential sound manipulation and harmful dynamic compression can change original sound beyond recognition. Not to mention the fact that it requires considerable skill to capture a good sounding recording in the first place. One example where I've seen this work is the Strad 3D project. There is consistency through the performance and recording process. On the DVD there are higher res files. You can (or at least I can) hear a difference between the Plowden and Titian for a lark listen to Neil Young's view on the topic of media compression
  24. Very interesting point about Strad's square block and the bigger overhang on the center bouts -- this makes perfect sense. Following this logic, would the same square block increase the width of the overhang as the scriber approached the concave corners of the upper and lower bouts? Sacconi noted something to the affect that Strad's corner's begin to flare out about 8 mm from the end. Could a simple scribing tool play a role in the geometric layout of the broader corners we see in may golden and late period instruments? Chris
  25. I was the one that made the comment about print quality -- I've got no 2 on order and I'm looking forward to it -- I'm glad you are finding it useful. Number 1 is very useful as well despite the slight color shifts from the original article -- I just wish the binding was a bit more durable -- i use it all the time and it is a little worse for wear