nathan slobodkin

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  1. nathan slobodkin

    The importance of varnish

    Obviously all precautions should be taken when making varnish. But the conjecture that the varnish can only be responsible for 10% of the sound is not really relevant. The difference between a good violin and a great one is like the difference between the horse that wins the race versus the one who came in second. Tiny differences in performance are involved and I would say at all good violins would be found in the top 1% of violins as a whole.
  2. nathan slobodkin

    The importance of varnish

    Are you saying hat the harshness adds options to the player and that you are trusting that a good player can still smooth the sound when they want to?
  3. nathan slobodkin

    Bow. Info request + worth restoring?

    Bow repairs are touchy and it is unlikely that glueing the crack would hold without a bushing to strengthen it. Pictures are a little out of focus and my computer is lousy but this appears to be a plausibly decent bow and probably deserves the attention of a bow specialist. It's a pretty routine repair for someone who does them all the time.
  4. nathan slobodkin

    Ansaldo Poggi authentication

    Take this one to an expert.
  5. nathan slobodkin

    Valuing Handmade Instruments for Divorce

    I believe that any business inventory value is the price you paid for the items or in the case of a manufacturer the price of the materials used. The tax is paid on purchases in the year they are received based on that price. Any profit you make later is taxed in the year the merchandise is sold. I would certainly think that the appraised value for a divorce would be no more than inventory value. I don't know where your divorce is taking place but Carla Shapreau in California is both a violin maker and a lawyer and might have some helpful information.
  6. nathan slobodkin

    Instrument finishes...the missing link?

    Coatings used on wooden objects vary almost infinitely. Basically you have some sort of solid combined with some sort of liquid to allow it to be spread on the wood. This can include resins and gums both natural and synthetic as well as mineral powders. The choice of resins and solvents or oils depend totally on what kind of film is wanted, ease and labor costs of application, and desired protective properties. When used on instruments the acoustic effects must also be taken into account.' Guitars and violins are different in that instruments which receive a single impulse of energy to start their vibration benefit from less damping while instruments which have a continuous input of energy from a bow benefit by having coatings which add damping to some degree. There are lacquers and spirit varnishes which can be formulated and applied to achieve either goal where as drying oils generally add some damping. There are way too many generalities made about spirit vs. oil especially since many fine finishers use layers of several different coatings in building up the final film.
  7. nathan slobodkin

    Toothed blades

    I believe the Batta(?) Stradivari cello is the one where one of the ribs has saw marks, tooth plane marks and scraper marks all showing on the same rib. I believe I saw it at an AFVBM meeting in NYC about a dozen years ago. If any one else remembers that meeting maybe they can refresh my memory. Also can't tell you which ones (not in the shop to look things up) but there are certainly tooth plane marks on several Del Gesu violins and a great many on the DG cello of 1731.
  8. nathan slobodkin

    Toothed blades

    Of course a certain feel is required for any tool but when one is dealing with figured maple you would be planing in the "wrong" direction half the time or forced to plane across the grain. On any sculpture there is a direction of movement which lends itself to the integrity and vitality of the shape and being able to follow that without regard for grain direction is very helpful. Also as Melvin said we do see tooth plane marks on many good antique instruments and I tend to leave some as a testament that the work is hand made and to lead the eye around the shape in certain ways.
  9. nathan slobodkin

    Toothed blades

    How to work the wood??
  10. nathan slobodkin

    Toothed blades

    Right. The reason you get tear out is that the blade is lifting a chip (shaving) which is held down by the front of the plane's mouth. If you have the plane set to take a very thin shaving and the throat set small the chip breaks because it is fragile eough that it can't lift any fibers against the pressure of the plane mouth. If the plane is set for a greater cut then the mouth must be set wider and the distance from the blade to the down pressing sole in front of the blade gets large enough that fibers can be pushed up ahead of the blade causing tear out. A perfectly sharpened and set up plane can avoid this but in practice it is easier for us lazier types to use a plane where the chip is fragile enough that it breaks before it can lift fibers from the wood. The marks of the tooth plane make it easy to see any low spots which have yet to be reached and subsequent scraping is also easy to read and scrapes easier due to, again, a more fragile chip.
  11. nathan slobodkin

    Toothed blades

    The toothed planes shown in the attachment are set up to provide a substrate for veneering which leaves space for glue and avoids bubbles rather than real wood removal. In normal planes the toothed plane makes a very fragile chip which will break rather than pulling up wood ahead of the blade. I love them for planing ribs or flattening wood with nasty grain patterns. Good discussions of tooth patterns, making blades etc. in previous threads.
  12. nathan slobodkin

    Boxy, honky nasal sound.

    Don, I don't believe I have ever seen one split without some trauma. They usually break on a line with the back of the neck or a bit lower. Instruments with a higher apuis will break easier. My assumption has always been that thus is due to the higher apuis resulting in less support against the rotational torque. Also may be true that many makers set necks with the button end of the neck a bit tighter than higher up on the theory that if the button area can't move the rest of it can't move.
  13. nathan slobodkin

    Switching glue brands...

    The 315 strength glue can be mixed to a variety of strengths but the number of times it has been heated changes it dramatically. I use fresh glue heated once, gelled completely, remelted and only then thinned to working consistency for permanent joints, maybe up to three days old for semi permanent joints like back to ribs and glue that has been heated many times and allowed to sit at room temperature for tops. Other than top glue the glue should be kept in the refrigerator when not being used. There is a great deal of feel involved in judging the thickness and tack of the glue and sticking with the same source is helpful. There have been some other discussions of glue on this site which get pretty involved and you may benefit from searching them out.
  14. nathan slobodkin

    Boxy, honky nasal sound.

    With older, thinner instruments the post definitely can loosen slightly under string tension and on all but the stoutest instruments that are set up in a dry environment the post will loosen slightly with just a short time at greater humidity. Days not weeks and usually the change will not reverse completely when the instrument returns to the initial humidity.
  15. nathan slobodkin

    Switching glue brands...

    Bjorn industries in North Carolina USA. I think this guy knows more about glue than anyone I have ever spoken to. Very good glue, very nice guy and reasonable price. I use the 315.