nathan slobodkin

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Everything posted by nathan slobodkin

  1. Another explanation which I hope the scientists here can expound upon is that the body resonance and the air resonance are going back and forth from in phase to counter phase and in the process momentarily cancelling each other out creating the warbling sound of the wolf. In my experience sound post adjustment can help by moving the frequency of the wolf to a point between notes where it will not be heard as much. This is especially true when the wolf can be heard on the D string as well as on the normal, lower strings. Various wolf eliminators definitely can help as well although usually at some cost through out the instruments range. I do wonder if the size of the cello in this case may have some relevance but again would wait for the scientists to weigh in on that.
  2. Yes the top has to come off and the cost for a strong and invisible repair would be significant. Functional but ugly would cost less. What is the fiddle and what condition is it in otherwise?
  3. Clavettes can work although elegant they ain't and require a fair amount of time when you add in making sure the block is glued properly to the rest of the fiddle and or resetting the neck. Also agree that the long lower bout top crack needs proper repair and reinforcement. Although this looks like it was once a nice little violin it is still only quarter size and there are few if any kids at that stage of playing who need anything more than a violin which has normally proportioned measurements and a good set up. If I was trying to benefit a school I would offer a scholarship towards a rental rather than a fragile violin which they cannot afford to maintain. That way students can be given larger instruments as they grow and the maintenance will be done by the shop that owns the rentals. On the other hand if the goal is to learn to do these repairs have at it although I think you'll find working on smaller instruments more challenging than larger ones.
  4. Investing in art or antiques hoping to make a profit is pretty iffy. You would be competing with professionals who have spent years learning the fine points of the market as well as questions of authenticity and condition. Not to mention the con persons who have spent years studying people like you who they can fleece. The fact is that the majority of people who buy a musical instrument have no idea what they are buying and even in the case of modern makers where authenticity is not an issue there are people having white instruments made by computers which will never have the personality or rarity which leads to value in the market and others whose prices are determined by sales arrangements with teachers rather than by the quality of their work. Years ago people who bought instruments or bows which they liked sometimes found that they went up in value over time. Sometimes astronomically so. My violin teacher in junior high school played a Ruggierri violin which he bought for $5,400 in the early 60's and was rewarded handsomely when he retired and the thing turned out through random luck to have been real. People who bought Poggi's or Sartory's from the makers also made good investments. Many other people paid similar prices for instruments or bows which were either spurious or did not appreciate much in value because they were not particularly rare. And in nearly every case the same money invested in the stock market and left alone would have gained just as much value.
  5. Jacob, Is this bent in two dimensions like a rib or pressed with a transverse bend as well? Any kerfing involved? I presume not still under tension but bent using heat? What is the purpose of making a plate in this way? thanks
  6. This job sounds easy as pie so don't forget to multiply your estimate by 3.14.
  7. Yes! I did notice that she does use quite a bit of makeup and thought that might be part of the issue. Now how to tell a pretty girl to stop using makeup while playing her violin. What sort of stuff is in makeup which could be causing this caked on mess? I have not tried vinegar but will do so.
  8. I am reviving this thread due to an incredibly dirty contemporary instrument which I think is less than 20 years old which came into my shop yesterday. The client was a conservatory student who stopped playing for personal reasons and the violin sat in it's case for several years. The instrument has areas which are covered with a shiny,whitish gray scum primarily in areas which might get touched by skin or clothing. There is none in the c bout ribs and a thick perhaps 1/4 mm coating on lower and upper edges, upper and lower ribs and bouts, transition areas of the neck and so forth. Distilled water, spit, Vulpex and citrus oil all seem to have zero affect at least when let sit with no scrubbing. Sanding with micromesh immediately clogs the paper and powdered abrasives seem to stick in the film without really removing anything. Xylene does take it off with enough time and scrubbing and Naptha type cleaner designed for tape residue works even better but both seem to soften the varnish slightly ( sticky when touched). The dirt coming off on the toweling is more of a brown than black but the color of the varnish underneath seems right and undisturbed. Standard looking oil varnish. What the heck is this gunk? I left the slightly tacky varnish to harden over night and will see if I can use micromesh or further cleaning methods this morning. Also will be asking the client if she had been using some kind of polish on her instrument before it was stored. One of the more challenging cleaning tasks I have encountered. Comments and suggestions welcomed
  9. I believe there are now electronic thickness gauges that are less expensive than the Hacklingers.
  10. Conor, Is this repair done with hand tools? What does the bottom of the perpendicular shim look like? Does it extend past the bottom of the mortise?
  11. That looks like black willow which costs about $3/BF I would think grafting a button would be very much not worth it. I also think that 15" is a bit tough but 15.5" or even 15.25" is possible. I liked what Duane88 said. I think I would try for a some what bottom heavy design and or put an extra large taper on the ribs to give a little extra air volume without making the upper bout hard to get around. There are some really nice late 18th and early19th century Viennese small violas you should definitely look at. Also for what it's worth see if you can get access or photos of the Solo Viola Otto Erdesch made for his wife Rivka Golani. Its basically a cut out which is a violin on the treble side and a viola on the other. Does not look grotesque however.
  12. Was this on his label itself or hidden in the instrument?
  13. There is a big difference between applying varnish and making varnish. When you are applying varnish you certainly have to see what is happening and vary the protocol to achieve the desired results. What one colleague refers to as "turning crisis into opportunity". However when making or cooking varnish repeatability is crucial. I have an early 20th century book on German varnish making which states that attempting to make varnish in batches of less than 300 gallons is futile because errors in weighing and transferring ingredients will be too significant below that point. Needless to say I don't subscribe to that but do recognize that any small batch varnish making will, at best, have subtly different results which must be accommodated during application.
  14. Hi jerry, Welcome home. Do you find other issues such as grain reversal or varnish marking coming from leaving things clamped or is that a matter of excess pressure rather than time? Do you tighten or loosen clamps after the initial glue set? I often find when gluing on new tops that clamps which felt right when I first tightened them are close to falling off just a few hours later. On the other hand was taught to loosen bass bar clamps after an hour or so except for the end ones to avoid top deformation and never to leave clamps on varnish over night. Definitely see your point as to sound post patches but when setting necks (which as you know I have done a lot of) if I am in a hurry will take clamps off after 2-3 hours and start shaping the neck and have never had a neck change pitch or any other issues.
  15. nathan slobodkin

    Bow ID

    Were these hand engraved with a burin or stamped in some way?
  16. Don , The Mode analysis is not something I have used or have much knowledge of but for sure I agree that soft wood should be left thicker and dense heavy wood should be thinner.
  17. Sound file? Is there a recording on the OP's post somewhere?
  18. I was thinking "anemic" meant hollow sounding. If simply a lower output of sound I am sure you are right.
  19. nathan slobodkin

    Bow ID

    Why do you say amateur engraving?
  20. While it is possible that making changes to the bar might help if the regraduation was done by the same person who put in the bar then most likely the top is too thin which would usually give the sound qualities you describe.
  21. I once found a note saying "I am 13 years old today and this is my 10th violin" signed Theresia Toth and I believe 1911 The elevator operator of the building translated it from Hungarian. When I looked her up I found a bio that said pupil of her father which ended 1918 and for years have assumed she was a victim of the Spanish Flu however just now I looked her up in Brompton's and found she lived until 1972. Glad you made it Theresia!
  22. Shrine to Music is the best but The metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and the Smithsonian Institution/Library of Congress in Washington DC both have significant collections including Strads.