nathan slobodkin

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  1. Absolutely. I had the misfortune that one of the first instruments I worked on at Francais' was a Vuillaume cello made with torrified (baked) maple. I had to feather out ribs for through patches and doublings and it was like carving stale bread which just crumbled under the tools.
  2. Jeff, i got the impression Djuj is not very experienced and was talking about basic peg fitting. If using bushings then yes what is now sold as boxwood is anything but and includes poplar or other totally unsuitable materials. I generally just make maple bushings. The compound I am talking about is just the standard Hill or Sacconi wax/rouge mixture. Again had the impression the OP has little experience for which I apologize if I am wrong.
  3. Djuj, Fitting pegs properly requires a perfectly matched set of reamer and shaper. The holes and the pegs must be perfectly round and absolutely straight along their length. It helps to turn the reamer backwards to cut the last 5-10 mm. It will still cut but will compress and burnish the wood inside the hole. I always dress the peg with a wax and fine abrasive mixture before cutting the length to keep the peg from moving in too much after finishing. Unless unconventional wood was used for the head there should be no need of a bushing.
  4. Exactly. I have heard that parralel FFs thing more often than I have seen it. As regards A. Guarneri (whose instruments I love by the way) I think that many of these makers were guided more by the tools they owned and the quirks of their working process than self conscious final adjustments. In Andrea's case it looks to me as if he habitually ran a smallish gouge right down the center of the corners and then brought the arch down to that level and called it good.
  5. Alberti. Expensive but worth it due to time saved by not having to sink with them.
  6. I don't make heavily antiqued instruments but do add some distressing and shading as I go. As Michael said this gives the impression of dents and wear over a period of time. In general I wear off corners and the most worn edges before starting to varnish and then put color into the wood but little or no varnish on the areas where no varnish will remain at the end. The problems with most antiquing jobs is that the areas which should be the darkest sweat soaked and discolored wear areas are also the first to wear naturally and once they wear through to new wood the whole thing looks ridiculous .
  7. If you are just starting to learn to play you really have no way to test or compare instruments for playing characteristics. You might really be better off going to a decent shop and either renting an instrument or buying an inexpensive entry level violin. Most shops will let you trade up or have some sort of credit for the rent which will let you choose a more advanced instrument once you have developed enough knowledge to know what you want. You will have to trust the people you buy from to set the instrument up properly whatever you buy and therefore should be looking for a trained violin maker rather than a music store or on line seller. Even buying a brand new violin doesn't guarantee that it is set up properly.
  8. Bjorn is great glue and their info is excellent. For ribs to back you want medium strong glue which will not release by itself but can be opened for repairs if absolutely necessary. For tops to ribs it is almost impossible to make it too weak. You should be able to easily open the joint with a thin blade and if it should come loose from some stress of wood movement it can simply be glued back and no harm is done. I put on tops with old almost rotten glue which has been used several times and thinned down again over a week or more.
  9. Absolutely. Although reality currently bites it's fairly important to pay attention to facts and resist spreading confusing or inaccurate information.
  10. Not only do beaver teeth sharpen themselves they also grow continuously for the life of the beaver.
  11. This is standard procedure and plain common sense. When removing any foreign substance or even routine cleaning of a violin you may need to try a variety of methods and generally proceed using the mildest to strongest methods and testing on tiny areas in unobtrusive areas. While I think the chances of a neophyte getting great results on this project are small I think you should limit any further damage to the instrument until you at least get an idea about what you are working on and what might be needed to restore the varnish. If you were planning to replace the white paint with a nice rose pink enamel that would be another story.
  12. Usually soldered although some can be extruded especially Vuillaume style.
  13. What happened to the thread of a couple days ago about the cool fiddle that people were thinking was perhaps rustic old French? The pictures looked very interesting and I was waiting for a jury verdict but now can't find the thread at all.
  14. Best to test whatever you do in the area which will be hidden under the chin rest.