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About Okawbow

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    Southern Illinois
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    Almost everything

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  1. I have sprayed thousands of archery bows with two part epoxy finish. I use an HVLP spray gun. Thought about even trying it on an instrument, as the formula I use is very flexible, but tough. That might be viewed as heresy, however.
  2. Thanks Michael. I am leaning in that direction. What would be the best type alcohol for spraying? Speaking of stargazing....I dug out my Celestron 80mm tabletop telescope a couple nights ago, and got a good view of Jupiter’s color bands and 4 moons, as well as Saturn’s rings. It really helps to get a little edjucation on how to use the telescope.
  3. I have a separate shop building for finishing, so I don’t need to move the bass around. Does anyone spray spirit varnish? How would you keep it from “flashing off” too soon?
  4. I hope to be finishing a double bass this year, and am thinking of using a spirit varnish. Possibly varnish made with button shellac, sandarac, and propolis. What are the drawbacks and advantages of using spirit varnish on a large instrument? I have only used oil varnish in the past. Thanks
  5. Okawbow

    violin linings

    There are lots of black willow trees in Southern Illinois. Some are large enough to get cello and even dbl bass wood from. I use willow for blocks and linings. Works well. Light and easy to carve. I’m building a double bass and an using willow for the blocks and linings. It takes a lot of wood for the top block and I had to splice together two pieces to get good grain.
  6. Okawbow

    Viola rib height

    My 16” Strad model viola has ribs 39mm-37mm. Table arching 18mm, back arching 17mm. Sound and response is wonderful. C string is equal to the others.
  7. I believe a known fake label should be removed! Anyone that sells any thing with a known fake label is perpetrating a fraud. Just like passing known counterfeit money.
  8. Any product one can think of involves the death and destruction of living creatures. Just getting a product to market kills thousands of animals and insects. Cutting a tree for tone wood takes away the habitat of animals and insects. Growing anything in farm fields destroys the ecosystem and pollutes the land with chemicals. there is no ethical way to exist in this world without destroying living creatures.
  9. I’ve made 3 violin bows and 2 finger boards from Osage Orange wood. I have literally a ton of Osage, as I use it for longbow laminations. I pick dense, fine grain boards for violin bows. I have found Osage that will sink in water. I’m not a proficient violin bow maker, but one of my Osage bows is better than any other bow I’ve tried. Some good players have agreed with me. The Osage finger boards worked well also. I’ve even made a couple bridges from Osage. I also have some very nice persimmon boards from very large trees. I’ve made violin finger boards, and treated them with acid to get a very pleasing dark brown color. Not quite as hard as premium ebony, but close. The acid treatment hardens the surface nicely. They polish up well. I am making a double bass that I will use persimmon for the fingerboard and tailpiece.
  10. When a good player plays the Guarneri copy, it sounds powerful and very clear. It seems very loud under my ear, but not really harsh. It definitely has more “punch” than the Stainer.
  11. I had a good performer play 4 of my best sounding violins on stage in a noisy, medium size hall. He was accompanied by guitars, piano, and banjos. My Guarneri copy was so loud under my ear that it made my ears ring, but could barely be heard across the room in that hall. My Stainer copy was very soft and quiet under my ear, but was very clear and projected to every corner of the hall. It almost over powered the other instruments. The other two Strad copies were a little better than the Guarneri, but not nearly as good as the Stainer. Is is that the effect you are discussing?
  12. I have found that properly cleaned and clamped, wood to wood joints glued with EZ Bond thick cyranocrylic glue will not come apart without destroying the wood. I have used it to apply thousands of tip overlays on archery bows and never had a failure. I’ve only glued one violin bow head with it, but it has held for many years. You can get EZ Bond glue from Amazon or EBay. The thin works great on hairline cracks. It will wick to the bottom of any crack, then just clamp for a few minutes. They also sell an excellerator if you are in a hurry.
  13. X2 I brought home a bunch of split spruce from Washington state about 18 years ago. I re split all the quarters into violin billet pairs. Drilled holes in the outside corners and wired the book matched pairs together and hung them from the rafters of my garage. No cracking, splitting or warping. The wood was dry after 2 years, and made excellent tops. The few I have left are still perfect after hanging for the whole time.