nathan slobodkin

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Everything posted by nathan slobodkin

  1. I also use the retouch varnish for filling but can't say I've ever seen any thing that wouldn't shrink over time.
  2. I have monitored this instrument for several years and have had to glue some seams in the winter but this warping is new since the owner started using the in the case humidifier
  3. No. There were several open seams which had allowed the top to warp rather badly in that area. I think what happened was that the rapid humidity changes from filling the in case humidifier swelled the top and encouraged warping in the areas which were not glued down. Hopefully popping the seams and regluing will return the original shape over time but best to avoid the problem in the first case.
  4. Jane, Trying to manipulate the humidity your instrument is subjected to without a hygrometer is dangerous. i have had clients tell me that since they are boiling a gallon of water a day on top of their woodstove they are sure the humidity must be alright only to find it at 20% once they checked with a hygrometer. You can get a reasonably accurate digital one for less than $50 that will let you know the humidity when you check it and some will have a memory which will tell you the high and low since you last checked. If the instrument is stored in a 40 to 60 percent range when not in use it should be fine. I do not really like any of the in case humidifier options and suggest a small room which can be humidified or dehumidified as needed. I have a very good cello in my shop right now which has been damaged by using water absorbing and releasing crystals in a tube kept in the case. Most of the in case humidifiers wind up cycling the environment from too wet to too dry over and over again.
  5. Randy, Lighten up buddy! My tongue in cheek response was in no way hateful. As I said I cannot imagine any one buying a violin with a white pine back. On the other hand if you felt like trying it I'd be happy to hear what it sounds like because tradition is not always based on logic.
  6. Comparing white pine to willow for use in musical instrument backs is absurd. If you did use it you certainly couldn't sell the instrument and might get locked up in your local loony bin. As to how it would sound? I don't know. Call me from the loony bin and let me know.
  7. Yes, Perry. Perry and his various partners made instruments of differing quality and may even have imported pieces and parts from Germany. This looks like a cheap one.
  8. I have seen the red tint he is talking about but it turns browner with time and light. Also can be modified slightly greyer by fuming a few hours with household ammonia.
  9. Agree. I put the stuff on with a sponge and keep going back over again wet on wet until everything evens out. I also figure at least two applications and an extra on maple. Most of the time I am making willow backed cellos so the only maple is the scrolls and sometimes ribs. I also use 3% not 4.
  10. I have seen Bill Salchow flute a bow using a scratch stock in about 1/2 an hour. My recollection is that the tool he used actually centered the blade as the taper narrowed. This could be easily done by using a U shaped holder and keeping both sides in contact with the sides of the bow. This would also narrow the cut of a cove type bit as it turned but I can not figure out how it could cut on both sides when tilted. I think I remember him pushing and pulling the stock back and forth in both directions.
  11. I leave tool marks on both sides of the ribs but actual chips or tearouts can start cracks when bending. Since the bout ribs are bent from both directions better to smooth both sides to whatever degree one uses although obviously the actual look of the inside is less important.
  12. Duane, I think he is asking if there is a different way to measure string height when there is a bevel. VBW, Romberg or not you measure from thee under side of the string to the finger board surface. Normal for steel strings would be about 7 mm under the C.
  13. Interesting topic here. My own initial thought was and is that given the history of the wood in question the cracks were already present in the rough blank. However the comments about torture testing and allowing for and accelerating expected changes to the finished instrument make a lot of sense to me. I have often wondered if the competition rules requiring instruments to be only a few years old to enter are actually encouraging practices which will shorten the useful life of instruments. I am quite happy with instruments which take several years to be at their.best and like David am pleased to hear that they are considered somewhat bulletproof under touring conditions.
  14. If you do make your own toothed blade straight slots are better that triangular and random spacing is better than regular because it won't run in it's own tracks.
  15. Interesting. I will keep this in mind. Do you use tapes or decals to mark finger positions on beginners cellos? I find these can necessitate higher string action to avoid buzzing. I agree. I see many rental instruments which will guarantee failure except by the most determined students.
  16. Buying instruments on the Internet is pretty risky. There are numerous issues which could result in your having to pay more to make them work properly. Best to look up a qualified, reputable violin shop and work with them to find an appropriate violin. Even if that involves some travel you will probably be better off.
  17. What is the body length on the cello? What are the lengths of the FF's? Where do the FF's fall in relation to the lower corners? What is the length of the neck? I measure everything on the instrument before starting any work at all. Sounds like this cello is pretty strange. Other than now having some time invested is there any reason to think this instrument is a worth while project?
  18. got pictures of your fake GA Chanot? I have one which may be right but am interested if some one was using his labels as a regular thing.
  19. I would be interested in hearing from other experienced makers on the relative importance of string length over neck and stop length. On violins the most important factor is that when shifting to 5th position the first finger must be in tune when the thumb hits the heel of the neck. That means that if one stretches the neck length to accommodate a short stop then the player has to learn to make the shift without the guidance of the thumb which is doable although more difficult than it needs to be. If the neck is made shorter to accommodate a long stop then the situation is far worse because the thumb hits the neck heel and then a second motion must be made to slide the fingers further up the neck to where the shift note is in tune. This doubles the time to make the shift and is far more difficult than accommodating a small difference in distance between notes. In general the relationship between the neck and the stop of 2/3 with a neck heel measurement of 26 will make an instrument where the shift works correctly. I usually use a ratio of roughly 7/10 on cellos and don't make the necks less than 280 unless the stop is shorter than about 398. It does make sense that an excessive distance between the first and fourth fingers of the left hand would be a problem and in the case of a large cello I would still set the neck at 280 but might push the bridge position up a bit to keep the finger spacing in a comfortable range.
  20. Since equisetum is used in a direction perpendicular to the striations it's pretty hard to use it on the inside of a concave edge without flattening or rounding over the crest.
  21. I would find another source for your measurements. There are some serious errors. The length of the neck which is almost universally accepted is 280 from the edge of the top not 275. Dealers and players will check this even if they check nothing else. The inset of the neck into the block sounds about right and should be slightly deeper at the back. Remember however that that measurement is the block and rib only and when measuring the cut off of the neck you need to add the over hang of the edge as well so you should be cutting off the neck at 293 or 204 from the face of the nut. Also the overstand (appui) of 19 is a bit on the low side. many people myself included are currently using 21-23 and some people even higher depending on arch heights etc. Lastly The important measurement on the neck root is measured after the neck is in and shaped and should be 42-43 mm measured from the edge of the top to the curve of the neck root with a divider. The rough measure may be 36-37 but depending on how deep the root of the neck winds up and how big you want your button you could get caught short when finishing the neck. I leave that large until the neck is fitted then cut it to 37 and bring it almost to final shape before gluing .