Urban Luthier

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Everything posted by Urban Luthier

  1. Couldn't agree more about, especially the way you approached your Gofriller viola -- getting inside the head of the maker and understanding how they used their tools from the marks they left behind, and trying to replicate that makes a ton of sense to me
  2. Nice Manfio, And Ben's original point it is valid, the videos show off the affect quite well and anyone considering the purchase of your instruments would be happy to see the videos. That's good marketing and there is nothing wrong with it! Some of us even make a living from marketing Chris
  3. So I was on the right track. One further thought ... Bease in another article american Lutherie GAL #18, 1989 refers to an apparatus designed by Leonardo da Vinci to produce essential oils like spike or turpentine. Looks like a device to hold covered alembic pots with a fire underneath. This suggests that some form of turpentine was available ca 1500 as Lyndon notes above. Chris
  4. I looked at the 'seeding' thread and I confess I don't understand the concept of cooking varnish to the firm 'pill stage'. Does it have to do with the length of cooking time and the temperature? The little I know about the Marciana recipe comes from reading Geary Bease's Book 'Classic Italian Violin Varnish' and his article in the Strad published July 1996. In the latter Bease talks about once the resin has been added, increasing the heat until a slight froth or foam appears and cooking the varnish after that until it 'strings well' (about 15 cm). The longer the string, apparently the faster the varnish will drying apologies in advance if this has been covered before
  5. you can make a Roubo square yourself out of wood which is a lot of fun. unless you are doing machine setup, the precision stuff out this is totally overkill for violin making. I bought vintage starrett stuff a tiny fraction of the new price. This stuff lasts for generations
  6. try emptying your browser's cache Ernie, that might help. Just checked and Brian's site works for me
  7. Can a dichromatic affect be achieved with a single coloured pigment over a good ground? My limited tests with my own lakes derived from madder root, the colour starts of orange and develops to a warm red then on to a red/brown brick colour as successive coats are added. Same pigment but the colour changes. I've only had to add the tiniest (and i mean tiny amount of bone black to soften the madder lake. I expect with a good ground the dichromatic affect would be enhanced -- or could it be part of the source itself? Chris
  8. cool, while we are naming names, couple of other maestronet members i've noticed do a brilliant job of straight varnishing -- Brian Lisus and Frank Ravatin. I'm sure there are very many more
  9. as for squares, i look for vintage Starrett, measuring tools at flee markets and even eBay.
  10. in terms of cultural preferences -- much of the contemporary markers work I've seen for sale in shops like Heinl's and the Sound post tends to be straight rather than antiqued. Joe you mentioned Raymond Schryer as one example. Take this with a grain of salt as my experience is limited to a couple of local shops in the toronto area I visit a few times a year
  11. Hans, Thanks for commenting and posting the picture. This is exactly what i'm talking about! the overall affect of how the varnish enhances the wood and the sculptural detail is very pleasing to the eye! Seeing work like this is what keeps me excited about the craft. Chris
  12. makes sense Joe, to your point earlier in the thread, I like the idea of using the natural character of the wood as a starting point for the ground and ultimately with decisions on the varnish colour itself.
  13. Sadly for internet apprentices like myself, examples of David's work is difficult to find online. but his reputation in this regard as I understand it is legendary! Raymond Schryer's work is a little easier to view for Canadian folk -- I would agree -- stunning work.
  14. yes I caught that Joe, as always your insight makes perfect sense!
  15. Precisely Joe, that's why I started the thread. -- beyond good judgement, what techniques do contemporary makers do to make a new, straight varnished instrument look good? I DID NOT start the thread to debate new vs antiqued, antiquing techniques or the market conditions that lead makers to antique. All of that has been covered before. As I noted in post #1 take a look at the some of the makers work who post here who have achieved good results making straight varnished instruments. It is their visualization and technical techniques and thought process, I think is a subject that hasn't been discussed all that much Chris
  16. Picking up on Joel's thread about Antiquing help. There is so much good information on 'antiquing' on this forum. Neil Ertz posts come to mind. however... While I admire those who 'antique' -- Neil and Melvin among others here do a very natural job), I find myself asking 'why don't we hear (here) more about the techniques of members who do a 'straight varnish job'? -- The work of Hans Pluhar, Kelvin Scott, Peter Goodfellow, et al. come to mind. Personally, I find a fine straight varnish job every bit as alluring as a good antiqued instrument and would love to learn more about how makers approach the challenge of making a new instrument look good in the finishing process. Chris
  17. would want to be the mail carrier who had to remove that package from the metal mail box!
  18. i was tongue and cheek about the Reynolds painting. He apparently used a medium often referred to as meglip which contains mastic and linseed oil and a whole lot of lead as a dryer. Which led to some nasty effects. I think there is an article by raymond White kicking around which talks about the use of mastic varnish in painting
  19. I know this has been discussed before but the same logic applies to other aspects as well: the rib garland can be squashed and stretched while the outline is taken, overhangs and corners can be adjusted, a variety of looks for a scroll/pegbox can be achieved from the same template
  20. i find the arching photographs with the laser lines and the PDF to be very useful from a visualization perspective. as an aside do you think the Cremonese masters actually used arching templates? Or did they simply visualize the end result as they were working and use a pencil caliper (like the one described by Sacconi) to help with symmetry. I got to believe that after carving a couple hundred plates, one would really have a feel for it and not need any templates. Chris
  21. I made the Darnton mastic varnish following the instructions in the PDF noted above it turned out as he said it would. Essentially adding linseed oil in a weight equal to the mastic I started with. My eye is still developing but, I find this varnish very attractive, easy to work and dries in 24hrs w/ UV exposure. What I'd like to know from those in the know is: 1) How does the mastic react with the linseed oil? Is the mastic simply suspended in the linseed oil or does the resin actually bond chemically with the oil? Given that the mixture changes from being very cloudy to very clear after the oil is added, I'm wondering if there is a chemical reaction 2) I hear nasty things about mastic varnish failure -- any experience with this recipe varnish and failure? Michael says no, but If it does some of the nasty things we see in Joshua Reynolds paintings happens that wouldnt be half bad in my books! Chris
  22. mandolins often have this type of dovetail joint. I've seen it on some viola da gambas as well
  23. Ha, hardly fair as the photo appears in the Amati DNA catalogue which you helped author .The photo is on page 49. And a fine publication it is! (the scroll isn't bad either) Chris