Urban Luthier

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Everything posted by Urban Luthier

  1. Just received my copy of the Ashmolean Instruments Book, oh my -- I'm practically speechless! I won't attempt a review, but I will say this is the finest violin book I've ever seen. The production values -- binding, printing, photography, art direction, layout, research and writing etc -- are stunning and set a new standard for me in book production. The photography alone makes it a valuable resource as the pictures extend the viewing experience beyond what you can typically see behind a glass case. As an aside, the packaging was bullet proof http://ashmoleaninstruments.com/ Chris
  2. Joseph, I'm in a similar situation. Personally I will buy some varnish from Joe to start. BUT I do want to learn how to cook my own. The one thing will NOT do is attempt a varnish with cooked turpentine. This seems way too dangerous for me. What I'd like to try is the recipe 339 from the Marciana Manuscript documented in Geary Baese's Classic Italian Varnish. (2 parts Linseed Oil, 1 part Greek Pitch, 1 part mastic) Any advice from this community on how to do this safely, would be much appreciated! Chris
  3. Not sure if this has been covered here before, but like many, I grab photos from the Tarisio site when items come up for auction that inspire me. For a lark, I tried to print an image today -- a Brother's Amati violin. The results are stunning. I'm a hobbyist photographer with a good printer at home. I grabbed a few of the images, dragged them into Adobe Lightroom and printed them on my Epson R2880 with Ilford Galerie Gold Silk Fibre paper (good archival stuff). I did 2 tests: one with the front bouts image (which has enough res to be printed more that life size) on Letter paper. The second was the front image (res is lower 5 X 11in a 300 dpi) on B3 paper -- 13X19 in. Although these are JPEG files and they are not huge, virtually no artifacting can be seen with the naked eye. My monitor and printer are calibrated so the output looks identical to the screen images. I didn't try printing from a paper roll but theoretically you could print a front or back image full size! (although this would be pushing it from a resolution standpoint) The images look better than anything you'd see in the Strad Magazine poster and I hazard to guess give the printing in some of the best violin books out there a run for their money. Unless you are using an Ezio monitor the prints look vastly better that what you'll see on screen. How accurate is the Tarisio photography? According to the histogram, there was no dynamic clipping of the colour spectrum in either of the two photos I tried. As an amateur maker I don't have access to great work on a regular basis and rely on photos to study and learn. This just opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me Chris
  4. These are quite nice! Like many I have the IBEX planes but I don't find them very comfortable -- the edge of the detachable blade clamp dig into my fingers. What I really want is something like the old Norris or Preston finger planes -- but there doesn't appear to be modern copies on the market)
  5. Thanks for your kind words! I'm not a sculptor but I work in a software company that develops some of the leading 3D software for the design and entrainment industries. Frankly, I'm quite embarrassed to even post my work given the quality of much of the work I see from you guys. Not to mention the god-like stature of many of the makers that post here. -- Got to get out of my shell I guess if i'm going to learn and grow Don't have a photo of the finished side -- this one is early on before the chamfering, throat and peg box were cleaned up. (Also the colors may have shifted when the files were uploaded -- the white balance and black levels look off in my previous post) Thanks! Chris
  6. After completing my first instrument a viola, I laboured under the misapprehension that I could actually build a cello in a reasonable amount of time. Working in high tech and learning the skills of a luthier are not always compatible from a time management perspective! I'm going to let this rest for a while and start into a violin. Chris
  7. Totally agree! for amateurs like myself who don't have access to quality instruments on a regular basis -- the photos on this site are invaluable -- especially the accurate arching templates
  8. Just heard back from the NMM the domain name has indeed changed to http://www.luthierslibrary.com/luthiers_library/
  9. Thanks that has to be it -- they must have just changed the domain name in the past couple of weeks. I'll update my bookmark! Thanks Chris
  10. Hi Members Not sure if anyone else uses the lutheris' library http://www.theluthierslibrary.com/ (linked from the national museum of music's website) This is a fantastic site with lots of good photos of instruments in the NMM and Met collections I just paid my subscription and used it a few times. When I went to log-in this morning I wasn't able to access the site -- I received a domain name error. I sent an email to the NMM asking what's up, but I haven't heard anything yet. Anyone know what's going on? Thanks Chris
  11. The Maggini pictures are really interesting. Thanks for sharing. I'll check the HIlls reference as well to see what they have to say
  12. This is very cool, joe thanks for sharing. Wondering how early the trend started.
  13. Oh I get it. The end of the paint tube unrolls and is actually open. Never thought to unroll a paint tube to check. I always thought they were sealed like toothpaste tubes.
  14. This is a good idea, just wondering how you manage to pour your varnish through the small opening of the empty paint tube. Do you use a small funnel? Chris
  15. I've often wondered if some of the latter Cremonese masters 'lightly antiqued' their new violins. I've read In the late 17th and early 18th century some violin virtuosi preferred the work of the early masters from a tonal perspective-- Correlli played a 'Grand Amati' Vivaldi a Stainer. Correli's violin could have been a hundred years old when he acquired it. Is there any evidence that players in baroque area also preferred 'antiqued looking' instruments over say the sharply defined 'le Messie'? Would there have been makers who offered newly finished instruments as well as antiqued looking ones based on client demand -- similar to what we see many makers do today?
  16. ha, fun would be taking one of your varnishing classes!
  17. Would love to understand what this looks like at a molecular level -- but I suspect it is beyond my limited knowledge of chemistry! I've been looking at old posts trying to understand the various ground options. My head hurts. I'll probably experiment with something simple like a vernice bianca or shellac ground this time around (I used sprit varnish as a ground last time). I'm fairly early on in my work on this fiddle, so I have a bit of time to experiment on scrap. I want to be better prepared this time around. Spending 200 hrs making the thing, only to wreck it with a poor finishing job is no fun.
  18. Thanks guys. This is helpful. Joe, if I understand correctly your coloured varnishes have the colour attached to the varnish molecule itself. Does that make your coloured varnish more intense compared to mulling pigment into the varnish? Thanks Chris
  19. Good advice thanks! When you say 'by weight' do you mean the weight of the pigment vs the weight of the varnish or by pigment weight vs varnish volume? Looking to compare apples to apples. I know I will have to experiment and this is part of the fun, but I'd rather get on the right path and tweak from there than start out by making a real mess of it. Thanks Chris
  20. Hi forum members, I've been lurking here for a bit searching the archives and this is my first post. I'm an amateur maker, back from a 10-year hiatus and now getting into violin making again. This time I'm experimenting with making my own lakes to colour the varnish. I made my first batch of pigment from madder root and I plan to mull the raw pigment powder into linseed oil to the consistency of toothpaste before mixing into the varnish. I need some advice on how much of the lake should be mixed in with the varnish itself to get on me the right track 10%, 20%, 30%?. (For example I like the color consistency of the varnish in the article by Adele Beardsmore and Alan Coggins (see the last photo http://www.abcviolins.com/varnish.html). I'll be using Joe's varnish when I get around to ordering some. Thanks for your advice Chris