Urban Luthier

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Everything posted by Urban Luthier

  1. yes I caught that Joe, as always your insight makes perfect sense!
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. would want to be the mail carrier who had to remove that package from the metal mail box!
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. mandolins often have this type of dovetail joint. I've seen it on some viola da gambas as well
  10. 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
  11. i think the scale is wonky -- don't quite understand it and you are right the scale give the wrong idea. Ease of sharpening comment comes from a tester who has over 6 months experience with the blades. Looks promising
  12. More on the PM-V11 blades from Lee Valley. Check out the video -- bit geeky but really interesting stuff!
  13. Well what ever you did Melvin, it seems to have worked out well! Lovely work. I love the "What's on your bench?" thread -- all this great work is very inspiring. Love the photo above Manfio!
  14. Lee Valley (veritas) should be releasing replacement blades for their planes based on the PM-V11 alloy. Reports from those who have tested the blades say they are as easy to sharpen as O1 and hold a edge longer that A2. Good news -- I hate sharpening! Chris
  15. 2010 Bergonzi Catalog, p. 64 (Becker article) has an image of a 1722 Strad showing what appears to be a faint scribe line on the under edge. Becker notes a scribe line in the text but what I see is a line that delineates where the varnish has worn off. Chris
  16. If I can share the perspective of an amateur with limited training... I took a few violin making classes at OCAD in toronto with Phil Davis over a decade ago. It would take the average person with some woodworking skill 2 years to finish a violin on a casual basis -- and even then Phil had to set the neck on many of these instruments (the class included two colleges who went on to Newark by the way so the class wasn't full of talentless folk). Because of the Herculean challenge of just constructing ones first instrument, we were advised to use Pratt and Lambert 38 varnish over a couple coats of diluted shellac for finishing. Fast forward a decade, with new research, social media and generosity of industry professionals, the info to make your own is readily available. Great, but it isn't cheep. The cost of the materials, shipping and mistakes are far greater than the cost of a quart of P&L 38. While not authentic, this stuff isn't bad -- it is easy to work with, has a lovely amber colour and dries over night -- an inexpensive way of experimenting with varnish that will give one a good result the first time out. One could do a lot worse! Chris
  17. If you are intested in violin making, the book The art of violin making is a good place to start to inform yourself on what's involved. The method described here is similar to what is taught at Newark. If you are able to take a violin making class, that would be even better.
  18. Thanks for doing this Brian -- Fantastic work -- very inspiring. I love the figure on the top The F holes are exquisite! -- did you take your inspiration from the brothers Amati? Chris
  19. Now if that where a sheep I'd be impressed!
  20. Beautiful. The more pictures the better! The best part of being her is getting to see other makers work! Chris
  21. Coming late to the thread... I've only read the first part of the Strad Varnish book (Peter Greiner essay) but I recall a reference to locally available Spruce resin rather than Pine resin. Is there much of a difference between the two resins? Thanks for posting Guarneri viola pics -- that instrument must be stunning to see in the flesh! Chris
  22. I am very grateful Brian is here. I just watch the quartet of peace video again. Mesmerizing and therapeutic I might add!
  23. Oh my, I'm still laughing -- don't make the same mistake that i did and watch it with your 10 year old.