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Everything posted by polkat

  1. Probably a stupid question, but I've been looking at grounds and am courious. What would happen if you tried to mix egg white and shellac as a ground? Would they even mix? Look elsewhere?
  2. One would assume that a good repair person would take care of as much of that as would be possible first hand. I never assume that the glueline on older violins is also the centerline. I have had several that were not the same. That's why I always find the centerline first. In fact, I was taught to use the 1/14 rule rather then the 1/7th. Measure across the bouts (full width of instrument) at the widest spots and divide by 14, then come in from the same bout edge on the bass side by 6 divisions at both the top and bottom, while keeping the bar under the bridge foot (roughly 1mm in) and you are set. By the way, this usually works out to roughly 12mm and 15mm anyway, but it bypasses a possibly offset glueline problem (assuming the bout edges are in good shape) because it doesn't take the centerline into accout to find the proper measurement.
  3. Here is where I think my confusion (if there is any) might lay. The average violin bridge spans 41mm between the outside edges of the feet. If the bar outside edge should sit 1mm in from the outside edge of the bridge foot, and the 12mm and 15mm rule is used, AND the bridge is placed even over the plate centerline, then in general there is only one place the bar can be, with the outside edge of the bar at the area of the bridge being 19.5mm from the centerline. If we assume that the above measurements are a set of (very) flexiable rules, and the outside edge of the bar should be that 1mm inside the bridge foot, then there's no other place the bar can go. I'm not accounting for arch size or other oddities and i realize that, as i said, that this is all flexiable, but what's wrong with my thinking here?
  4. Brad said "...I use these measurements to determine the angle, but not the position..." And a few others seem to agree. How then, do you determine the position? Seems to me that if the bar should sit 1mm inside of the outside of the bridge foot (of a standard bridge size), and you are using something like the 12mm and 15mm I mentioned, there could only be one possible position. Or am I overlooking something?
  5. I was always told to use good, straight grained spruce (preferrably with grain similar to the top plate where it will sit), and to have the bar 40mm in from each end (which I've always assumed meant the edges), then to place the inside edges of the bar 12mm from the centerline at the top and 15mm from the centerline at the bottom (assuming a 5.5mm thick bar). What is the reason for this slight offset? My guess is to distribute the viabrations more evenly to the different sized bouts. Is that correct, and are my measurements above also correct? Thanks!
  6. I've read a lot about F hole cutting, but not much about tone changes as a result. There's fluting, undercutting the bottom edges, etc. But what tone changes, good or bad, might result say, with just these two examples? Thanks!
  7. Well, I had been buying it in the local art store-a liquid at 50% arabic and 50% water, but the store stopped carrying it. I read tonight that the market for it is having trouble due to political problems where most of it is produced. Gum arabic is a natural sap gum, one of the few that is soluable in water, and that got me to thinking about the posibility of guar gum as a substitute as, while not as good, it has similar properties and can be found in health food stores.
  8. I use Vernice Bianca on my instruments and like the results, but...I don't make that many. So I'm tired of trying to find gum arabic in small amounts in my little CA mountain town. Considering what the gum actually does, I want to keep it in the mix, but I am wondering what alternatives to gum arabic I might consider? Any suggestions?
  9. Working on a hand made Strad copy (made in 1922). This violin has good volume but the tone is a bit nasal and weak on bass. I tried moving the post around, different bridges and even strings, without much effect. I just popped the top plate to fix a small crack, and noticed that the bar is quite long (maybe 15mm in from each end), just less then 5mm wide, and is just barely 10mm at it's highest point (for a distance of maybe 50mm along the center of the bar) not including the plate thinkness. it is tapered toward the top, but only at it's highest point, the rest is square. It is nice, straight grained spruce (8 or 9 grains showing along it's length), and is well glued in. The arch of the top plate is about 15mm (above the top of the ribs) and is graduated to about 2-2 1/2mm thick all over, yet fairly stiff when flexing. Is this bar too long in length and not high enough? Thanks!
  10. Well I got the top off rather easily, fixed the little crack, and got ready to cut the pins off. But first, for the heck of it, I tried fitting the top back on with the pins still intact. It fit perfectly! So, any reason not to just leave the pins in? Also, the bass bar was a little strange, but I'll start a different topic on that.
  11. A two part question: Was just given a nice Strad copy dated 1922. Very nicely detailed; I don't think this was machine made. Anyway, there appears to be pins at the top and bottom of both plates (right at the edges in the centerlines). I want to pop the top to fix and cleat a small crack, but I've never pulled a top with pins before. Anything to watch out for? The second thing is that the overstand of the neck heel above the top plate is just barely 5mm. I've always heard that 6 or 7mm is best. Is this a problem? Thanks all!
  12. Well, regardless of who wrote it, it does seem to say a lot about the author. They are this persons terms and descriptions after all. Maybe I should post my catagories of teachers! They also vary widely.
  13. My grandfather played and made banjo's and violins deep in the Blueridge Mountains in Virginia (I learned a lot about luthery from him). One day he took a trade on an old handmade "fiddle" much like the one discussed here (but without the screws!). The thing was quite rough (not unlike some of the violins in the Foxfire books). We laughed at it....until he played it. One of the sweetist sounding instruments I have ever heard! Guess it's the old judge a book by it's cover thing.
  14. Looking at a sharp closeup pic of the Smith violin, I noticed that the top plate has a quite wide grain pattern (compaired to most other Strad's I've seen) which is uniform across the plate. Does anyone know how this violin sounds compaired to his instruments with closer grain? Thanks!
  15. I don't know...when you consider that Jacinto in the 1880's was probably little more then a farming community, it seems probable that this kid had little or no access to decent tone woods, proper tools, or even decent glues, let alone trained guidance in his endevor. The animal head and pegbox alone does point to talent, misguided or otherwise. I say right on for the effort!
  16. I'm studying swing jazz (think Grappelli) and presently I can improvise okay basically using scales....the problem is my licks sound heavily scale based. I am aware that arpeggios are a mainstay of this kind of improvising, but I've been having problems thinking in an arpeggio mindset. I have most of the Gypsy jazz, Django, and Grappelli books, but they only seem to cover basic scales. Can anyone suggest any books that discuss and teach using arpeggios in swing jazz?
  17. I haven't had the top off in a while (took it off to repair a small crack-same volume afterwards), but I'd guess the ribs are about 1 and a half mm. Length of top plate is about 354mm. With of upper bouts is about 164mm. Width of lower bouts is about 204mm. Closest width between C's is about 109mm. The back arching is a bit more then the top. The top plate arch is about 12mm above the top of the rib at it's highest, a little smaller then real Seraphin's that I've seen. I have not measured back thickness, but I'd guess it to be around 3 to 4mm.
  18. I guess it's no arguement that steel strings are the loudest, but who has found what brand of synthetics to be loud (and still retain decent tone), and how do guts compair in volume? Thanks!
  19. I have a Sanctus Seraphin copy that was either built, or regraduated, in 1888 (label is hard to read). The top is roughly 2 to 2-1/2mm pretty much everywhere. When strung with Dominants, it has a very nice tone and is well balanced between the strings. However, it is quiet overall, both under the ear and at a distance. No post when I got it, and I found the sweetist position was about a full 5mm behind the 'standard' setting (in snug but not tight). Too much distance? I've never strung it with anything but Dominants. How can I liven this thing up a bit? Thanks!
  20. For you long time users of gut strings (Eudoxa, Olive, etc.) who have switched over to synthetics, what synthetics did you choose and why? Thanks!
  21. Yes, he liked that instrument well and played it until the early 1980's. During that time (after the Warlop violin) he also played a Cappa and a Eberle (and others), but after 1980 he played almost exclusively on the 1750 (era) Guadagnini. This instrument is seen in all the color footage from 1980 on in the "A Life in the Jazz Century" DVD. There is a strange stain in the full length of the top's varnish along the treble side. It is supposed to be in the Paris museum of music, but there don't seem to be any images there.
  22. Stephane Grappelli's favorite instrument, and the one he used most often at the end of his life, was a circa 1750 Giovanni Guadagnini, which is supposedly in the museum. I'd like to copy this instrument, and was wondering of anyone knew of any color pictures of it on the web. I could not find pics of it on the museum's website. Thanks!
  23. Let's assume for the fun of it that this might be true. Exactly what effect would the urine have on the wood? Nagyvary tried this I think. What results did he get, and what was his application process? Also, one might assume that, other then water, Strads general beverage was wine (and possibly beer). What effect might that have had on the quality of the urine when applied as a treatment to wood? And should it be assumed that he always used his own urine? Or is this all so rediclous that applying any scientific thought to it is a waste of time?
  24. Tim, did you ever work out that arrangement for Manoir de la Rue we discussed on another forum? Thanks!
  25. Having read all the responses, I'm left with the feeling of..."duh?!" Sort of leaves the question of tension or no tension still up in the air as a sort of personal choice. In his first reply to this post, Anders said, "Fitting bars with tension is mentioned by Bagatella (1782) and Count Cozio (b. 1755 - d. 1840." Is there any evidence that makers from the classic golden period used tension in their bars? Bars were generally shorter then, and if they introduced tension it must have been a more difficult process.
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