nathan slobodkin

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  1. Paynter, Many or perhaps even most labels in violins are fakes. Identification is made by construction methods, models, varnish and idiocentricitiesof the makers work.
  2. Are people really thinking that tone is affected by having a metal frog liner between the frog and the stick? I have heard a lot of bows with liners that are considered absolutely fabulous by top players and while different bows definitely sound different I cannot imagine being able to quantify a tonal difference between lined and unlined frogs. Surely a few strokes of rosin, the humidity in the room or whether or not the player is wearing a watch would have as much effect.
  3. I believe V.C. Squire was trained by his father and could and did make some nice violins. His father on the other hand was really very good and made some beautiful stuff although I think both also sold other things with various labels at times.
  4. I think I figured this out myself actually. The gelling and remelting basically makes it act thinner even though you are not adding more water. After that first time however the glue tends to thicken slightly with each remelting which requires adding water which dilutes and weakens the glue. If I remember at Jacques' we were often sharing glue pots and it was sometimes difficult to know just what was in them.
  5. Workbenches can be made of different woods for different purposes. I have a beechwood Ulmia joiners bench which I use for rough carving plates, planing and joining plates and general wood work. Even at more than 300 lbs. it still needs to be up against a wall or it will walk across the room.My other benches are a commercial 2x4 and particle board built in with a plywood top and replaceable hard wood edges. I can clamp things on top of it like bending irons and plate cradles easier than the Ulmia and it is L shaped and very stable despite weighing less. My bow bench is a trestle type bench made from standard lumber yard framing stock which has now lasted more than 40 years. As David said what you make on them is a lot more important than what they are made of.
  6. If glue stays in the pot for hours on end or is left out at room temperature it will deteriorate although remelted two or three times should be just fine for medium strength uses like purfling. I find that it is a very good idea to soak the glue, melt it once adding water until thin cream texture. Then I stick it in the refrigerater and allow it to gel completely and then remelt it again. At that point it will be more liquid than before without any "snottiness"and can be adjusted to whatever fluidity you want and used for very strong joints such as center seams, bass bars or neck sets. It can be refrigerated and remelted a number of times afterwards but will lose a little strength each time. For top glue I will thin it and remelt it quite a few times before use and only discard it if it starts to smell or no longer gels when refrigerated. I am using 315 gram glue from North Carolina for almost everything.
  7. Nick, i dry fit the purfling making the channel just wide enough that a slight push with a hammer face can smooth it into the groove. Then I pull up the c bout leaving the outer bouts in place glue the c first and then when gluing the outer bouts I leave the last centimeter or two and the miter in place and run the glue into the rest of the groove. When the purfling is smoothed back into the grove it will push glue into the miter and a bit of glue can be tapped in from the top as well.
  8. I have made terpene varnish once with a much more knowledgable friend and don't remember any problems. I believe we simply followed the directions in the book and the accompanying pamphlet and cooked until a rod dipped in the resin pulled a string about a foot long or so cooled it and then added it to hot oil. I varnished one Viola with it and the stuff was so hard that I have a picture in my mind of the viola eventually crumbling to dust and leaving a carapace like a bug. I used it in a single thin coat for an under varnish ground on a number of other instruments until it was used up and never made any more.
  9. Rehaired a very beautiful bow today by a top maker. The bow had a conventional ebony frog but was without a metal slide or liner. I have seen this on Hill style bows where the edges are protected but not often on regular frogs. Are many makers leaving off the liners?
  10. I'd be pretty careful about using the fish glue for sizing. You want something which seals the wood but doesn't stiffen it too much. I have even seen cases where some one sized the end grain of a neck with thin but strong glue and actually caused it to check.
  11. If you are going to deal with humidity issues the first step is getting a decent digital hygrometer. Don't guess.
  12. Thicker glue with a shorter working time might be better. You dont need the stronger glue for purfling. If the fit is good it won't be going anywhere. The problem which you now have might best be solved with a protein based sizing before your ground stain or varnish coats in order to equalize absorption.