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About Okawbow

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    Southern Illinois
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    Almost everything

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  1. I used it on my first violin 20 years ago, before I knew better. That violin sounds and plays very well, and is played daily, and exposed to all normal conditions. I’ve never had to repair anything on it, and it holds its tune. I hope I don’t ever need to remove the top.
  2. I've only made a few over a dozen violins. About half were with European wood, and half with Englemann spruce. My Englemann tops seem slightly louder under my ear. When others play the instruments, I think the Englemann sounds at least as good as the European spruce.
  3. Do you have a link?
  4. All this talk about wood density made me check out the Engelmann spruce I bought for a double bass top. After carefull measurement, it comes out .385 and has about 8-11 grains per inch. How does that sound for a bass?
  5. I think most makers use European Black poplar. The yellow/ tulip poplar I see is soft and has very wide growth rings. I was just at a sawmill near Highland, IL this week, and saw some wide yellow poplar boards. He has a shed with all kinds of 30 year old wood. Ever consider sycamore/ American plane? He may have some wide 1” sycamore. Bass makers seem to like it. I would have bought some, but he didn’t have any thick enough for a bass. Look up Thick n Thin lumber Highland, IL 618-654-3615 J.R. Pothast you would probably have to go there.
  6. Thanks i just found a good 2 pc Engelmann set for a very reasonable price. Would still be open to sale or trades for the violin wood I listed.
  7. Added contact information. Surely someone has some suitable wood they don't need.
  8. I need a B or A grade spruce 2 piece, or winged set for a double bass. 42” ( 1067mm) x 25” (635 mm) . Arching will be 1 3/4” (45mm) Looking for something inexpensive, but workable. Do you have something you’ll never use? Will consider European, Sitka, Engelmann, or Red. Will pay cash or have some really nice well seasoned ( almost 20 years ) Sitka viola or violin sets and lots of black willow block and lining wood. 1 also have 4 European spruce 2 pc violin sets and 2 maple 2 piece back sets, all bought 15 years ago, to trade. US only. International shipping is too high. okawbow@yahoo.com 6one8-2eight3-39five4
  9. I made a bridge from American Sycamore, ( Platanus occidentalis) for a cello I made about 15 years ago. It looks good, sounds good, and has held up just fine. Because the wood is not as dense as hard maple, I made the bridge just slightly thicker.
  10. A coat or two of ruby shellac cuts down the bright yellow and completes the ground color. I use red madder and tar. No green. Ruby shellac ground back by okawbow, on Flickr
  11. Yes, it is wax free. The wash contains mostly yellow color and some resin. It does seal the wood to some extent, and smells great! My cello still smells like honey after 14 years. The wash penetrates deeply. It goes through the ribs in places when brushed on the inside. I’m able to use less varnish and get good color and coverage. Seems very durable also. Here is the finished cello.
  12. This shows a cello with the propolis wash that I use for a color ground before a coat of ruby shellac. I make the wash by dissolving raw propolis in acetone. I use the clear, color solution from the top of the jar for this. I brush on two coats and let dry before shellacing. The wash adds color and some sealing. it also protects the wood from decay and fungus. I brush it on the inside of the instrument before closing also. propolis ground front by okawbow, on Flickr
  13. Has anyone found a correlation between total instrument weight and tone, volume, or playability?
  14. I have a 3/4 that looks like it could be from the same shop. It has a label that only reads, Copy of Antonio Stradivarius. Germany it was given to my Father in Law in 1936. Quality construction. Good sound.