Evan Smith

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  1. Evan Smith

    Laser arching visualization

    Hey Big E, Arglebargle, I welded this up with a stick welder almost 30 yrs ago, 2 6' GENERALS,,, looks nasty but it has worked great, flip it around to check for symmetry or hold it against templets or drawn arches for comparison. It really works great and it is very straightforward and accurate. I have a much nicer welder now and it would be a kick to put 3 of them end to end for 18" of fun,,, Viola long arch ! Evan, in search for more time!
  2. Evan Smith

    Development of Taste

    Hi Not Telling,,, Jerk # 4756294731 reporting,,,,,,,, Often our idea of perfection is in reality sterile imperfection. Real and true perfection needs to be by its very nature living and have an aesthetic of being created by an intelligence much greater than itself. The nature of natural laws allows complete freedom within that law. Thou shalt not kill also alludes to and includes the thought, anything less persuades the perpetrator into a state of a hateful mind that is next to useless,, whichever one it is,,, the damage will be done, it is the law. In ballet, there are rules, there are laws, If you stay free within the boundaries of the rules and laws then you are free to Dance how you will and it will be good. If you break the rules it won’t be traditional and you run a high risk of looking like an amateur. You will never dance exactly the same way twice,, yet staying within the bounds set by the creator will assure that everything you do has the potential for excellence. Violin making has many rules and laws, if there is a good solid understanding then it is much easier to relax and let it flow. If there is some unchangeable pattern for each and every step, then it becomes the challenge to cut all the pieces out perfectly and assemble everything like paint by number. There is nothing wrong with working that way, many fantastic and beautifully stunning fiddles have been ,,and are made extremely clean,,, close to perfect,,, and symmetrical. I do that sometimes,,, but not always,,, I much more enjoy letting it loose a bit more. We are just discussing the difference between perfection as in very straight and clean,,,,, or how to achieve the relaxed feel without going to such extremes or so far out of bounds that it ends up forcing it into a contrived state of being. So it’s probably best not to take sides or get all butt hurt over it. It’ll all come out in the wash. It is so rewarding to be making decisions along the way, looking at it and deciding what it will look like as it is coming together. The separate parts might not be exactly the same, it won’t be precise and perfectly symmetrical, but if you stay within the law it will look good and deliberate and have a maturity that can be very desirable. But,,, you have to know the rules,, what works, what won’t,, what looks good and what doesn’t. When you Don’t know the rules it immediately screams amateur, when you know and understand the rules and stay within the boundaries then it will work out and the imperfection will look like it belongs there. When you drive we are told to look ahead as far as can be seen, we get a sense of the goal,, where are we going? See the mountains up ahead in the distance, we make adjustments. When Ed Campbell used to go on and on about corners and f-holes and channels and curves and curves and more curves,,, I would get a bit impatient and think geeze it’s about how they sound not all this other junk,,, am I really paying for this ? who cares what style a corner is, or where the loops are on the f’s and the bee stings. At the time I just didn’t know what it was that I needed to know, but he did and I’m grateful. He wouldn’t just talk about how it looked,,,, but why it looks like it does,,,, and what makes it look that way,,,, a real education to allow one to master the final outcome like an artist learning to master a full understanding of his medium, visually and expressively. Wax On,,,, Wax Off,,,,, practice, practice, practice. It would be easy to start the art or craft debate here,,,,, I think that it is foolish to try to convince anyone as to how I see it, or argue about it,,, woah,,,, what is the point, it is completely pointless, all it says to me,,, is that we have too much time on our hands and have too much food and spend too much time on mindless entertainment,,,, Someone that sees it as art,,,,, sees art,,,, Someone that sees it as a craft,,,, sees a craft. I see both,,, and I am comfortable enough with myself to allow anyone to see it as they are able with their own understanding comfortably and with good cheer. If you understand the rules you can move along at a pretty good clip and it will work out, just keep pulling it back to the law and it will work out fine... Hug everyone for me. .
  3. Evan Smith

    slab cut - wide grain front

    This angle of grain is quite flexible, unbelievably so, it will feel like you could roll it into a burrito, so being the curious type,,,,,I have used this angle of grain and have seen no difference in sound on violins, quite surprising actually,, also have seen a few old ones this way that were great fiddles and quite expensive with a very fine and clear sound not dark or tubby at all. My biggest concern would be the sound post area and lack of hard grain contact, a thin post lamination would remedy this problem With violas and the issue of greater width,,,the lower cross grain stiffness can show itself rapidly and be rather dull. The claim that this type of grain orientation can produce a fine fiddle ect. is based on the observation that the wood in question has to be excellent in every other aspect, it must be reasonably light, strong, a good speed of sound, just like any other regular cut of spruce. To use angled grain with a lower grade inferior heavy or soft wood can produce a real dog.
  4. Evan Smith

    Clamping Broken Peg Box

    This is really an elegant design. Out of my concern that I would not always have the perfect place to clamp and might wish for a bit more movement and choice I probably would do this,,,, Have you ever wished just a bit, that the clamp was a little more one way or another, or an I overthinking again? None the less this is an Excellent Jig, I do love good jigs,,, and waltzes are fine also. Thanks for showing this. Evan
  5. Evan Smith

    Purpose of tuning the fingerboard

    I third
  6. Evan Smith

    VMAAI Shutdown?

    The Idea of shutting down the VMAAI is basically,,,,,,, "fake news", I do feel stupid for not digging into this sooner as the time is late,, and the competition is coming up fast. If any one would like to attend,,,, the advance registration will be waived at this point for any and all that would like to attend, you will not be turned away. You just need to be there a day before your event to register and allow the time necessary for the varnish and workmanship judging. Gary Vessel will be the chisel and brush judge. http://vmaai.org/meet-the-judges The website needs updating,,,, yes there could be more help to run things,, and in a frustrated response in addressing some of these issues someone asked a "rhetorical" question, the fire started and instead of asking questions and checking out the facts the rumor has spread. I have made a few phone calls to verify things ,,, and here is a letter I received from Pablo just a moment ago,,,, It is always a good time with lots to learn and acquaintances to make,, hope to see everyone there.
  7. Evan Smith

    William Fry Internal Scraping Method

    Hey You! Don't get smart with me.
  8. Evan Smith

    Tap note of Mode 5 with back players glued to rim?

    It is just One more way to measure stiffness, with enough data compiled, it might actually be another something,,, that is useful for something,,, other than nothing. But since the universe was supposedly idiotically made from nothing, with all of it's flawless mathematics numbers and DNA codes,,,, maybe it is something after all. Don's numbers look right on, Higher numbers equal stiffer, lower numbers equal softer, What does your customer want?
  9. Evan Smith

    William Fry Internal Scraping Method

    How would you explain steel drums? The stress is within the frame itself. How easy is it to confuse stress and tension? Are they one and the same? Musical saws?
  10. Evan Smith

    Which one has better tone?

    cannot tell anything with that clip, there are some good sounds and some not so good. 1. Need to work all the strings up and down in all positions, play slowly, how easily can you pull the notes from a whisper to full blossom, with and without vibrato. Does it have good sound at low volumes as well as full throttle. How clean and articulate is it in fast passages, do the notes pop out and stop just as fast. How much snap and crunch can be had at the start of the notes in the higher positions, or is it glassy and slippery. 2. Get out of that acoustic space, outside in the open will reveal more of the instrument. Or a place in the house where rooms and halls meet with curtains and chairs, ect. to break up the background resonance. 3. There is a certain slippery shallow cheap sound that they both have that could be the bow, or just how you play, not enough core to the sound not enough grit. There is a tendency for players to make all instruments sound like themselves, there is a lot to be said for personal technique that goes beyond the sound of the instrument and it's capabilities. 4. Have several different capable players try them using different bows from stiff to soft to see what is really there, see what they can get out of them. See what happens with a heavy handed player, and a light player. 5. Hope you find your one true love, good luck.
  11. Evan Smith


    Yes Bill, Leather and brass knurled nuts,,and one more thing to make them "tits" are nipples cut upon them and a touch of wax for lube to eliminate the friction and they can be held on with one hand and tightened with a roll of the same thumb. Only took 30 years to figure this out,,,,,,,,,,, but better late than never, to me it is really worth the effort,,, think Rolls Royce,, Evan,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,slow
  12. Evan Smith


    It is truly amazing in it's qualities, even safe for infants,, we've used plenty. Never knew what it looked like. What they say that not been proven,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I find to be true.If you would like to grog out and relax,,, this is the ticket. But when I have mixed it with other legal herbs it all turns into hyper drive, with me!. I experiment with herbs too. https://www.rxlist.com/passionflower/supplements.htm However Hon, please be sure to thoroughly check what you have, I have been told that there are subs that are a bit toxic, but the main is not. Take with salt. Evan Does not want to sleep right now!
  13. Evan Smith


    Those are amazing, Have you had passionflower tea?
  14. Evan Smith

    Violin shop bankruptcy in Chicago

    When weird things happen like this,, I just pray they find the right home.
  15. Evan Smith

    Help me choose a viola, Please!

    You Dog You !