nathan slobodkin

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About nathan slobodkin

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  1. old German violin

    Thanks Deans. I don't see many Austrian violins showing up in my neighborhood and info is apreciated.
  2. old German violin

    How high is high? 30 seems pretty normal although I would probably make about 29 on a violin this small.
  3. Fixing an ivory frog

    Same as xylene no? Available at any hardware store.
  4. Violin Making Schools

    Although I was lucky enough to get a good education through an apprenticeship I would say that working in a violin shop does not necessarily translate into training as a violin maker. I would recommend graduating from a good violin making school and then getting a job in the best shop you can find to learn repair, restoration and the business in general. This is a very complicated business and you will eventually need to specialize as a maker, shop owner, restorer or expert. Whichever you choose solid, basic training in making instruments will be a firm foundation. Most of the violin making schools are very small and may only have one or two teachers so you should really be looking at the teacher you want to work with rather than just the school. Right now Roman Barnas at North Bennett street in Boston is very good as is Brian Derber in Wisconsin. Other people may know the teachers at some of the other schools but those two are the one's I know and think highly of. The last word of advice I would give you is to look carefully at the realities of making a living in the violin making profession. As I said, it's complicated.
  5. Fitting New Fingerboards to Old (Not new) Violins

    Under Communism man exploited man. Under capitalism it is just the opposite.
  6. Fitting New Fingerboards to Old (Not new) Violins

    That sounds like "Fake news" to me. Seriously, you can pretty easily widen the nut end or narrow the heel end by about 1mm with careful shaping of the edge profile.
  7. kiln dried wood

    Martin, what species of wood are we talking about? In maple from this area (Northeast US) I would see much deeper checking. You are certainly correct that specialty logs are treated very differently than regular lumber as veneer logs are cut to exact lengths and there is little room for trimming. Most of the tone wood dealers in this area are log buyers for veneer companys and can pull out likely tone wood from large numbers of veneer logs.
  8. old German violin

    Top wood doesn't look like Nurnberg.'
  9. Importance of grain direction on maple backs

    I've learned that the worry factor involved in trying to use questionable wood makes it best to simply not use it. Even if you do find a way around the defect you will always wonder if the fiddle would have sounded better if you had used a better back.
  10. kiln dried wood

    Martin, I'm surprised to hear you say that you processed wood without end sealing. In my area any veneer or specialty log is immediately sealed at the time it is marked. Ted, If you look up the structure of a tree you will see that the wood is made up of tube like cells and other structures whose purpose is to transport water up and down the tree. If the tubes are cut the water evaporates out of the ends much faster than it does through the sides of the wood and the difference in drying rates is what causes end checks. Sealing the ends slows (not stops) the rate of drying and evens out the difference. Wood cells are permeable to water and once the free water between the cells evaporates the bound water within the cells does evaporate over time. Too rapid drying can cause the cells to collapse which is undesirable but slow drying keeps the shape of the cells and leaves them hollow and empty of excess water.
  11. Boston Luthier?

    In Boston you can throw a rock and you'll hit three of them. Chris White, Kevin Kelly, Carriage house violins, Andrew Ryan, Andrew Weinstein......
  12. Fitting New Fingerboards to Old (Not new) Violins

    If you have to move the board over or if the original neck wasn't shaped perfectly (very common especially on less expensive instruments) then it may be necessary to make a variety of compromises as far as one side being slightly more curved lengthwise or having slightly different profiles. The trick is to make the profiles blend well enough that the difference is not noticeable. As far as the edge profile of the free end of the board that should be as close as possible to the profile of the part that is glued to the neck. I plane a chamfer from one end of the board to the other before glueing on the board to give a clean even line between the edge of the board and the playing surface of the board so when you sight along the edge you see a smooth slightly concave line. The chamfer goes down close to a third the thickness of the board and starts the rounding off of the edge of the board. The lower third of the board should match the angle of the neck heel. Scraping off the ridges between the three sections of the thickness will give a slightly radiused profile to the free end board edges which runs right into the radius where the board is glued to the neck. the free end edges are sanded carefully at the same time you are sanding to blend the new board to the neck. I also French polish that area or apply whatever finish is going on the neck. Hope that helps.
  13. Importance of grain direction on maple backs

    These kind of defects tend to be bigger than you think. I'd make sure you have solid wood where you need it before putting much time into this one. Did you buy this from a tone wood dealer? Many will exchange a back where this stuff shows up.
  14. Fitting New Fingerboards to Old (Not new) Violins

    Looking back to the OP I think it's important to note that you can only correct the boards measurements by a MM or so and that you are going to have to scrape, sand and repolish the neck as part of this job. I start with the board about 2 mm oversize at each end, straight sides and the playing surface roughly planed to shape. I establish the center of the board at the bridge end and move the nut end to get the board pointed where I want it. I check to see how much difference in the over hang of the board on each side, At that point I plane the sides to spec so that the top of the board stays aligned with the bridge but I tilt the plane as needed to bring the bottom width of the board down to just over size (0.1mm) at the neck root. If I am moving the board quite lot I may leave slightly more or less side relief on each side by adjusting the width at the bridge end in order to disguise the correction. At this point I have the top edges of the board with a clean line from end to end and some degree of side relief according to the original neck and the bottom side of the board overlapping the neck everywhere and about o.1 mm wider than the neck at the neck heel and what is necessary at the nut.. I finish planing the playing side of the board down to the first sanding, plane a !0-15 degree chamfer down the upper third of the board's edge then glue the on the board and an over size nut. When glue is dry I shape the board and nut to the neck touching only the lower third of the board's thickness using rasps, files and scrapers. Finally I finish sand the FB playing surface then sand the neck from 150 to 600 blending the transition to the varnish as needed and blending the sides of the new board without touching the uppermost line of the sides. Finally color and polish the neck as usual and its done. If the original neck was set well and the board removed because it was simply too thin then the new board will be perfect. If any kind of correction was done then the new board will be some sort of compromise and my job is to make it look and feel perfect.
  15. Opinions on this bow?

    Playing tension or frog full forward?