Evan Smith

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  1. Evan Smith

    Cork Burnish?

    No But I do Tango with Mariah
  2. Evan Smith

    Doming pegs

    Lay sandpaper in the hollow of the gouge of your choice, the one with the radius that you desire. While holding the sandpaper in place with the thumb of the hand that is holding the gouge,,,,Hold the peg perpendicular to the gouge with the other hand,,,, and rub the peg the length of the gouge as the peg is slowly rotated by the fingers. It will be perfect.
  3. Evan Smith

    Don Noon's bench

    Hey Don! Are you home? I came by for a visit and found a party going on,, Grab Yer fiddle lets play a tune ! Are you going to the VMAAI this year?
  4. Evan Smith

    Any good experiences with taming a ~540 Hz issue?

    1. There is a lot to try,,, have to start somewhere,,,, 1.Check the neck fingerboard assembly What note is B0 on ? Raise it up by placing hardwood wedges under the board. Keep them over the upper block just snugly pushed in, keep them off of the free plate or it could affect any change you may perceive. I use hard plastic so there is no energy loss. To permanently raise it , remove wood from under the board with in the last 1.5 inches or so. Or cut the end of the board off a bit. Usually a rasp then work it up to a few thousand grit whatever………...To check lowering it,, add puddy to the end of the board underneath. To permanently lower it remove wood under the board close to the neck root. I have special round tipped curved gouges , and scrapers for this task. 2. What note is B-1 on? Raise it by taking off the chin rest, lower it with a heavier rest and,, or,, adding puddy to the end of the scroll,, or under the pegbox under the heel. 3. Use some magnets one inside one outside with some scratch proof what ever on it, Move them around the violin corpus to assess the situation, sometimes one at each corner block, the back or the top,,, just the top or just the back.It you find a difference then you have to decide if the change is caused by tightening up a frequency that is already too low and slowing it down or lowering a frequency that is too high, an area of too great a stiffness that is causing it too work too hard elsewhere.Think about a 10 ft 2x4 with a 1 inch notch cut out of it. Too stiff and too weak at the same time. It feels like it would break easily. Running the board through a planer makes it even, then it feels flexible yet durable and does not feel like it would break so easily. Something is flexing too much at one point and I am just gathering information about it to get a grip on exactly what is happening. 4. Use the bridge to filter it out.Have the height set so it feels right, leave it a just a tiny bit thick and thin the upper part last to fine tune the high frequencies. Start narrowing the waist as you play it .Narrow the waist but don’t make the arms thinner, you are making them longer,,keep them strong. I have some special file stubs on handles to do this without removing the bridge. The file runs parallel to the strings ,,,,the handle runs parallel to the bowing direction. You can cut one with a knife when you get an idea what is happening and how to resolve it. It is important to keep the upper and lower halves balanced,, and side to side balanced. A bic pen taken apart and the ball end used to tap with is about perfect. The two sides will never be the same but will switch from side to side. Always take off the high one. File slightly toward the upper arms for the top, the legs for the bottom. It is usually good to cut the underside of the bridge to at least match the belly profile or even a bit more if the bridge is stiff and the legs are thick. You are working with leaf springs here and using them to take the bounce out of the road. They can be set to absorb a certain frequency. But the whole bridge has to work together or you will loose the high frequencies,, it will then filter them right out if it gets too off balanced, or go too far and it will just let the odd and nasty through. This type of selective tuning is done on vehicle suspension all the time, these are just much smaller bumps..Think about putting 2 inches on the bottom of one foot and running for a mile..you would not like it,, bridges don’t like it either and won’t work very well, engines also like to be balanced and put out a lot more power(focused energy) when they are balanced, just simple physics.If you reach a better point and then go a bit past it and the problem starts increasing a bit,,(you will),,, then cut a bit off of the sides of the upper bridge or put some nice chamfers on the top edges, it will bring it back a bit.If you reach the B-1 frequency it will start going soft right at that point. To reverse that a bit just cut the sides off of the upper bridge a bit. Usually just a nice chamfer will put it spot on from there.., you might reach that place, but the problem might be resolved long before.It is often resolved with in the first little bit, if not go through the process to assess the damage. To hear the B-1 frequency hold the violin upside down by the tail piece with the thumb and index finger while resting the strings on the edge the same hand to mute the strings. Lightly tap or scratch the back of the scroll and listen at the end pin area. To hear the B0, hold the fiddle the same way and tap the center of the back of the neck,, tapping the button on the back renders both frequencies audible. To hear the fundamental of the bridge, rub the upper corner side to side,, the direction of the bow, with a piece of wood. Place the feet on many different objects and rub it to practice hearing it. The bridge is a must,,,When that is it's best then sound post but the neck and fingerboard are most likely ok,, but sometimes they can contribute greatly to the problem, so it is good to disqualify them. If the fingerboard is an obvious problem fix that first.The neck and scroll phasing is probably ok, if it wasn’t the bowing would either start with an abnormal ugly crunch no matter what you tried, or it would be soft and rubbery. Some of the bridges that come from the far east are very hard stiff and light wood,, great for such adventures, and they are inexpensive. I am thankful and Grateful To Ed Campbell for sharing all of this information,, it works if you get it. He would always get the worst wolfy garbage fiddles then make them playable right before your eyes. The Ol honer y Scot wouldn’t tell you exactly what he was doing, just enough to keep you guessing never the full meal He'd just drop a bit here and there,, like scraps from a table,, you could watch him a thousand times with open jaw, and if you paid close enough attention you could start to pick it up,,,, You ask him about it,,, and if you got it right he would just get this gleam in his eyes and a big Smirk on his face,,, Then you understood,,, one little piece.
  5. Evan Smith

    Amplitude of B1- / Importance and causes

    Is there no answer to this question? I have found that if the back plate is losing it,,, and the G bottoms out, or reaches full volume too easily,,,,,,, The edges of the back plate can be thinned a bit to create a greater differential of stiffness and weight between the center and edge of the back plate,,, Then the tension that the G string needs to feel sexy, might start to return, with the best parameters it would fully return. It is easy to start going dark from here. So before that point and the edges are thinned more, more wood can be glued in, one to two mm over all the c area like a blanket. It is possible for the fiddle to have a great G- string again, How does this correlate with the B1- Data,, Evan Kindergarden dropout
  6. Evan Smith

    Andreas Preuss Super-Light-Violin Project

    Sure,,, But for today I'm done typing long winded dirges,, work calls
  7. Evan Smith

    Amplitude of B1- / Importance and causes

    So is greater amplitude achieved with a larger variation between thick and thin ,, or if a back were one thickness throughout, would there be no B1- or a massive B1-
  8. Evan Smith

    Speeding up suntanning

    Exactly, Misting with water makes a beautiful golden natural color at around 100F, Warning, all of my wood has been repeatedly soaked and dried, it does make a big difference and is worth the extra trouble,,,,,,, so a little heat and water are of no concern to me, be careful, learning curves are not fun. Or a faster method is to spritz a bit of dilute tannic acid in water on the fiddle exposed to the sun for a day, ,,,a bit of Osage orange wood boiled down and the tannic acid will make a nice warm golden color for a ground. Osage orange is sold all over because it is a great dye, but it is insanely expensive at times,,, it grows like a weed throughout the Midwest, in Oklahoma and Texas the ranchers will pay you to cut it down and take it because it gets in the way of their grazing cattle. I bet not telling has some in her back yard. In fact just boiling up most woods will give a color to wood when re applied using 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen, just concentrate it to make it stronger. Different shades can be handy to even up the natural color variations, depends on how much one wants to futz around. Sure don't want to look like a North Dakota Norwegian girl in Jamaica in January. Evan Viking by Marriage
  9. Evan Smith

    Indianapolis Violin Making Competition

    Looks like an opportunity to me,,,,, a good one I will assume it's a good thing until otherwise proven. Unless I know the future,, it won't be proven till it's all over, as are all things.
  10. Is there any reason the arching must be symmetric? Not at all. I have seen old fiddles that are asymmetric that after all of my research I believe they started off crooked,, others straight,, and they are still fairly straight I have actually deliberately made dozens of asymmetrically arched violins. For a while I made the sound post the high point of the arch, with a long straight lines to the bass side, and the treble side curved with more re curve at the channel. They worked good with the right graduation, real good. Then I made the bass bar side the high point, tapering off to the treble side,,, still worked,, according to players, not just what I thought, I never rely on me to judge the sound, For I can be a self serving predigest S.O.B and totally deceive myself,,, but I have done well in competitions with such asymmetric things, and somewhere out there they are being played. I have raised arches and lowered arches on the same fiddle several times over. I made a set of plaster casts that I could reshape the same plate several different ways to observe the results using everything the same but the shape,, even bending the bass bar at the same time, using the same bar. I have seen and played a number of those fiddles 20 years later, and they are fine. Doing these kind of experiments give insight that can be had no other way. The difference is the tonal fingerprint that the fiddle produces, curves create localized Hz. responses, more curve= higher Hz, less curve= lower Hz. Nowadays symmetrical is good for me, I don't deliberately make them asymmetrical, if they lean a bit to the right or left I don't sweat it, later it will just give something to speculate about,,,,,,, Was it part of my secret? Evan Sneaky
  11. I think that what you are saying here is completely incomprehensible to the modern violin maker, all of the scientific learning has blinded the common sense and all the arm waving and blind religious dogma has taken over. Violin making is basically a follow the numbers cult with almost no true understanding of what is going on, in my most humble honest opinion. Most of what is seen and heard is just grandiose thought experiments and infatuated musings related to just how smart we think we are with no results to show for it. Trying to discuss things at this depth will only result in ridicule and confusion and endless surmising and counter arguments. However that may be,,,, The longitudinal HZ, the neck phasing, the fingerboard and the B-1 Hz are powerful players in the construct of a great violin. I have brought this up several times but to resistance and laughter, and it is great,, it gives me something to really laugh about. It is interesting to see that some one else has researched this a bit. It is one of my tricks at workshops to make the eyes bulge and the jaws drop by using the B-1 and neck Assembly to completely change a junker for the better in a sometimes dramatic way. Ed Campbell knew about this and would use it to make junk work pretty good, it was lost on most poor souls,,,, but it is the truth.
  12. Evan Smith

    A fantastic new machine

    Hi Oded,, While I am not familiar with that particular machine, I do have a delta that appears to have the same basic frame,, and sad to say it is almost total garbage, and I don't say that lightly. I would advise anyone that is serious about quality to stay away from that one. If it was going to be used to do basic hogging of old dirty wood to reach a point of placing upon a nicer machine it will do the job till it breaks,, I've had mine for about 15 years or so and have been into the motor several times, the bearings several times, cleaned the goofy gibs several times Why? The feed table has a very goofy design that is wobbly, and with a bit of wear starts to bind up, you can never depend if it is true to the output table. The tables on the delta are soft aluminum and clean spruce will actually Gaul the table. and super LOUD. Here are comparison photos,, it is evident it is the same basic design,,,, I ended up getting an old rockwell delta 37-290 and it will last for generations. one like this,, $125.00 including shipping on Debay,,, Adjustable infeed and outfeed tables,, the gibs are smooth and tight, the tables are perfectly parallel, The fence is insanely accurate, it has nice ribs running along the back of the fence to hook your fingers in to keep them safe and stable and out of the way,,,a very precision thingie,, sometimes old is definitely better,,, just like me. I also have an old Chinese 6" super long jointer that is a replica of the delta 37-290 only much bigger,, I throw logs across that thing,, it is bullet proof and still does precision work when I'm done abusing it.
  13. Evan Smith

    Tap tuning a violin back

    Those numbers are very strange I would like to know,,,,,,, 1. the weight of the plate 2. the thickness of the center at the thickest spot, and thinnest area toward the edges in the central section 3. the thickness average of the upper and lower bouts 4. arching height 5. what kind of wood is this, does it seem extra light,,, heavy,,, or like a lead brick No not really, it needs to be within an acceptable range,,,,,nothing more. and that range varies depending on the sound you are going after.
  14. Evan Smith

    Fantastic violin

    Michael Darnton took these when it was stolen, I couldn't find the link,, so here are my copy's,,,,