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Everything posted by polkat

  1. I believe he's talking about the open strings. I doubt nut groove depth has much effect on fingered notes, but I can hear the difference on open strings. Has a sort of dulling effect (to me anyway) when the grooves are too deep. You can't see it in my pic, but I cut even a bit less then half the string diameter, but too little and the string can pop out of the groove.
  2. In this era of travel safety concerns, it comes down to what the boarding hostess's decide (and they are sometimes called from the baggage check if there is concern). If they say no, it's no, regardless of any written guidelines. If you can afford it, a sturdy travel case that can survive the baggage hold, is the best bet. It eliminates embarressment and anger which can get you unto trouble, and offers the overall best protection.
  3. I assume we are talking about a top that's been taken off and is now being glued back on. I've usually found that how well it fits back on has a lot to do with how cleanly it's been taken off. Almost always the tops I've removed fit back neatly with no realignment necessary. In fact (and I'll probably catch some heat for admitting this) sometimes if the fit is quite nice, I don't even bother with the spool clamps anymore, just grab a big handfull of heavier rubber bands, lay the plate on the glue and strap her down! Never had a problem doing this, and the plate is quite smoothly aligned. Sometimes though there is some spring in the garland of older violins when the top is removed, and so this 'quick-n-easy' method doesn't work. When that's the case, I use a method similar to what Johnmasters spoke of.
  4. I've found a lot of these "repairers labels" in older violins. I often chuckle at the fact that they are almost always bigger then the original labels! Once found an old crossword puzzle glued into one!???
  5. What I ended up doing is I used an Australian super glue called Q-Bond. which will glue anything. It comes with a filling powder that I think is a mixture of graphite and iron...not sure. Anyway, I filled the old groove with that, let it dry and sanded any excess back to shape, then buffed it out with 0000 steel wool. Cut the new groove and done. The color match was only slightly off, so I used a drop of some old board dye I had laying around...and you can't see it! Worked great and only took maybe 20 minutes total. Then again, I probably wouldn't have done this if the groove was very deep or the nut damaged. You probably can't tell much from the pic, but here it is (the pic is shot at a slight angle)...... Thanks for all the suggestions.
  6. What I said above..I was not implying that iburkard put it in! I have seen some weird stuff that amatuer repair people have done. I once had a cheap Strad copy that someone put an aluminum bassbar in! Just a rough bar of aluminum vaguely ground to fit. Also had a ground flat penny glued in under the post position with a flat tipped post! Epoxy in both cases. Sounded terrible. Heh, you see some weird stuff sometimes.
  7. Thanks guys, some good ideas here. Since the new groove will be pretty close to the old one, I will try David's idea of filling the old groove with a bit of ebony first. I'm a bit concerned about the string wear issue as well. How well does super glue really work with ebony?
  8. Have a violin here with a very nice nut on it, well shaped an seemless fit. But, the D string groove is not quite centered and is closer to the G then the A by a noticable difference. I can feel this while playing the instrument. Since the nut is so nice, and my time is often short, I'd rather fill the old groove and recut it, then make a new one. But, what to fill the old groove with? Perhaps a tiny spec of ebony? Epoxy? Anyone here done this? Thanks!
  9. Might be someone's experiment, but it looks to me like some amatuers attempt at a quick fix.
  10. So......did this question actually get a usable answer? That's what I'm interested in!
  11. This may have no relevance to what you are discussing, but I've always believed that volume of an instrument depended on both the things you mentioned, and the overall form used as well. I once had a friend who played a Russian made violin, a Rigat Rubus. This rather odd instrument had no edges, but rather the edges of the plates were smoothly moulded into the ribs, and the corners protruded outward in smooth archs from plate to plate. It was made of the standard woods (spruce/maple) with standard F's and demensions. One problem in the design was the difficulty of mounting a chin rest, and near impossibility of mounting a shoulder rest. While the tone was okay...average, this was way by far the loudest violin I have ever heard, both under the ear and at a distance. Just plucking it would fill a fairly large room with sound. I found this quite unusual, as beside the strange design, it seemed the box inside was about they same in demensions as any other. I eventually bought it from him to study it, but it was years ago and it's long gone now. Interesting website by the way.
  12. I've been reconsidering how I finish some instruments with Tru-Oil. I've been using 400 and higher paper to knock down between coats, but a friend says he gets better results with fine steel wool. What have folks here used?
  13. The title says it; what are the best brushes to use for oil varnishes? I had a badger hair brush that suddenly seems to be lost. It worked fairly well. Is boar hair better, or perhaps something else without getting rediculous about cost? Thanks!
  14. The mixture Sacconi wrote about is called Vernice Bianca. I use it myself inside and out, but is there any real evidence that the old masters used it?
  15. This is the bass side lower bout of an old Shraphine copy I was given many years ago. I had it in another post about something else. I was just beginning violin repair when I got it, and did the best I could. Lately, one of the old cracks have begun to rattle a bit. I can see a tiny bit of movement in it, but the cleated area is holding strong! I was advised here on Maestronet to clean everything off and start again. This came to me with the area shown broken clean off in 4 pieces. The story was that a horse stepped on it (No, I have no idea how a violin came to be under a horses hoof!). The bigger cleats actually cover two cracks maybe 1/4" apart (one not visable to the right of the visable one). yes, the cleats are ugly, but they are holding. The plate as a whole is quite strong and flexiable. So, how would folks here approach redoing these repairs? A luthier friend locally told me to just fix whatever new I can find and leave the rest alone. make any sense?
  16. I've been running across the term "Eyebrow" cleat lately looking at websites demonstrating different plate crack repair. I've never heard the term before. Can anyone explain it to me? Thanks!
  17. Was thinking of buying a semicarved top plate from a prominent American company for one violin I have that merits repair, but not the effort of carving one from scratch. I wrote them about it and found that the halves are glued together with Titebond rather then hide. Is that common practice, or a bad idea?
  18. Thanks for the replys guys. I had also heard that roofing or road tar could be dissolved in turps and added to oil varnish. I tried this once, dissolving a large pebble size piece of road tar in a small amount of turps, then adding it to the small bottle of Tru-Oil (3oz I believe). To my surprise, the oil bearly darkened at all, although it did develope a rather nice, if weak, golden hue. Perhaps roofing tar would have worked better. I think I got the idea by reading a Darnton post, but not sure.
  19. Wittner advertizes there geared pegs by the diameter of the trim ring from what I've seen. What's the point of that? Shouldn't they state the diameter of the locking area that goes into the bigger peg hole? Does anyone know the true size(s) of these things?
  20. I hear that I can get good violin supplies at good prices from a company called NOVA. I googled them and found nothing. Have I got the name right, or the full name? Thanks!
  21. Okay, I'll give it a try. I mentioned that my repair skills have improved (at least a little) over the years, but I remember that this plate really was a mess to begin with. These were complete cracks resulting in 5 different seperated pieces. Though it can't be seen in the pics, I also had to add little slivers of wood here and there to replace missing wood in the cracks. They are tight, blend fairly well, and don't pass any light. So how might I approach it differently now? Smaller cleats (I used the long cleats seen, as two of the cracks were less then 5mm apart)?
  22. Quite interesting! Never heard that before. So, just mix the soot into the tru-oil? It will dissolve and not end up a gritty mess?
  23. Those of you that have tried B&C Tru-Oil as a finish, what have you used to darken it? One suggestion on another site suggested using road or roof tar dissolved in turps first. But it was also suggested that such tar slows the drying process. Anyone here tried it?
  24. Thanks Zulu! Heh, that was my first attempt at crack repair, many years ago. I've improved a bit since then. I just wanted to see if others thought the plate was saveable. Apparently others think so.
  25. Whenever I try to download a pic from someone's post on this site (I usually surf the Pegbox), I get about 2/3rds of it and then it quits. This always happens to me on this site. I never have this problem downloading from other websites, so I doubt it's my computer. What can I do? Also, maybe only once out of three of my posts were I ask for email notification do I get it. Anything I can do about that? Thanks!
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