Urban Luthier

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Everything posted by Urban Luthier

  1. 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
  2. More on the PM-V11 blades from Lee Valley. Check out the video -- bit geeky but really interesting stuff!
  3. 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!
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. Now if that where a sheep I'd be impressed!
  10. Beautiful. The more pictures the better! The best part of being her is getting to see other makers work! Chris
  11. 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
  12. I am very grateful Brian is here. I just watch the quartet of peace video again. Mesmerizing and therapeutic I might add!
  13. Oh my, I'm still laughing -- don't make the same mistake that i did and watch it with your 10 year old.
  14. Thank you! Jacob I like 'idiot-proof' methods! Suits my personality Chris
  15. I have the same problem! I've never been able to get the my fingerboards back in the exact same spot after varnishing -- they are always slightly off. I would love to hear the tips and tricks of more experienced makers on how you deal with this issue
  16. Clearly worth the extra effort Don, I love the look -- especially the colour Chris
  17. David Rivinus also published an article on madder lake making in the Strad a while back. I believe it is published in volume 2 of the best of trade secrets. It is a fine article and the recipe is easy to follow. Chris
  18. Brian, welcome to the forum! I've been an admirer of your work for some time
  19. For those interested, I found his Quartet of Peace project fascinating Chris edit -- woops just saw the link was posted above -- apologies for the extra noise
  20. My first couple were sealed with diluted shellac, similar to what is described on Michael Darnton's website. It is simple, effective, easy to apply and affordable -- you could do a lot worse! It appears Michael is updating his thoughts on varnishing. http://www.darntonviolins.com/violinmagazine/
  21. Interesting -- although I confess I skipped ahead . As an alternate point of view, many modern plan makers don't believe in chip breakers (e.g. Karl Holtey). In the end, all that matters is the iron gets the job done as efficiently as possible!
  22. This thread now comes up as number 1 in Google when you search for "john Harte violin". So hopefully anyone considering the purchase of the violin in question will be able to educate themselves fairly quickly.
  23. There some leading makers already have a more sustainable approach to ebony use in their studios. David Rivinus for example http://www.rivinus-instruments.com/DesignConcepts.htm
  24. I couldn't agree more. I paid $60 at a local exotic wood dealer for blackish ebony billet from which I was to get 6 oversized viola finger boards. Although there are some lighter streaks, the wood can be easily stained with india ink. others might reject the wood because of the colour but there is no reason to do so from my perspective -- it is nicely quartered, dense with small pores. I refuse to pay 60$ plus for a pure black fingerboard blank, while perfectly good wood rots by the wayside I do wish taylor included a 'reforestation' plan in his dialog. A part from that -- he is doing the right thing. Chris