Joel Pautz

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  1. Joel Pautz

    Baroque violin

    Borisravel, bienvenue a Maestronet :)! I want to caution you not to spend all of your money when you buy your violin - some should be saved for the adjustments it will almost certainly need! Sometimes the adjustments are minor - changing the string heights and string spacing at the nut and bridge for example. Sometimes more work is needed - its not uncommon for the bridge provided to be weak garbage, requiring a new one carved from scratch. Many of the members here have lots of experience working on these instruments, and I'm certain they all have a check list of tasks they know are needed before the instrument ever is seen by a customer. Buying over the internet eliminates the middle man, but since the middle man is responsible for the set-up, you will probably have to see him (or her) sooner or later anyway. It's impossible to tell how much work will be needed just from photos. Dealers who are familiar with the supplier would have an idea of what would be necessary though. In my experience, in the U.S. you should expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $600 (Depending on how much work is needed) to perform these tasks that are standard practice in specialized violin shops. Joel
  2. Joel Pautz

    Intriguing small cello

    I've been meaning to sit down and make sense of the NMM's cello piccolo (508 mm body length)( in an effort to figure out the difference between a successfully scaled up (or down) in size cello. In other words, I can't help here, but perhaps you might feel like posting bout widths, rib heights, neck & stop lengths, and or a projection measurement? Can confirm it's interesting. Especially the outline, and the Archimedean spiral looking scroll turns.
  3. Joel Pautz

    Purfling channel below button

    I was taught to use trammel points as well. Since I've started to broaden the scope of my work, I find it easiest (for Cremonese Inside Mold models) to start by simply connecting the two upper bout trenches using that model's mold template. I feel that this method provides a solid guide, custom to each instrument, with no extra work on my part.
  4. Joel Pautz

    L & T Carcasi scroll 'beauty spot'?

    Good Catch!
  5. Joel Pautz

    Early Amati with three peg holes?

    That makes sense Ben - after all why would the Amati install them after the decorations were applied? They wouldn't. On a side tangent that the OP brings up, I've been thinking of late that Andrea's success and legacy in establishing a tradition of violin making had a great deal to do with who he knew as well as what he was doing. Charles IX's mother was a Medici after all, and they famously picked winners (loosely tied to Da Vinci, but also Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli, Michelangelo, even Galileo later on). I'm sure when Amati was commissioned to supply instruments to a Medici heir, people paid attention - that kind of success can stifle innovation and lead to copying. If this link is actually credible, it could have implications towards shared artisonal knowledge that would be more appropriately discussed in that awesome violin / instrument geometry thread you were part of.
  6. Joel Pautz

    Question about f hole fluting and eye relief

    I think I have earned the title 'king of the thread killers'. It takes great skill to share a pic of a Strad, a Del Gesu, and a Hargrave quote, and still manage to shut down a discussion !
  7. Joel Pautz

    Early Amati with three peg holes?

    I know we're just throwing out ideas, but that's when I usually say something stupid that I regret posting. Glad you posted because it was starting to feel like one of those times. I've slept beautifully the last two nights which means I haven't come up with any new ideas on this point. Regarding the OP, I don't think we have enough info here to make a conclusive ruling on 3 peg violins as an early Amati variation.
  8. Joel Pautz

    Question about f hole fluting and eye relief

    Regarding the OP - it shows up in Del Gesu's work, and to a lesser (and less extreme) extent in Strad's as well. Last year I modeled a violin after Del Gesu's 1741 'Vieuxtemps' (the one played by A.A.M.). It displays this characteristic, and in his analysis Roger writes of the F fluting "On neither side is it effectively blended into the arching, and a small raised delta is left about the lower circles." Pic 1 is the 1728 Strad 'Thunis' which has this characteristic Pic 2 is the 'Thunis', and shows just how mild it is Pic 3 is pic of the 1741 'Vieuxtemps' DG's bass lower eye Pic 4 shows my interpretation on my 'Vieuxtemps' model violin
  9. Joel Pautz

    Early Amati with three peg holes?

    Perhaps Dimitri is referring to these mid-scroll bushings? Wish I owned a copy of that Amati DNA book . I found it more often on decorated instruments instruments, it seems to be absent from time to time as well (see the NMM 1574c violin). I spotted a version of it on the relatively early Brothers Amati violin 'King Henry IV' of 1595, but that's the last time it showed up in my photo collection. Since the bushing diameter seems relatively the same on both sides of the scroll, and its generally off the center-line placement (except for the Andrea Amati viola) I'm not sure that it's a peg hole. It does seem to pop up in the same general area, but it seems rather large for some sort of marking pin, and then there are scrolls that seem to completely lack it, so it probably wasn't fundamental to the Amati Construction Method. So my second (and last guess for the night) is perhaps a dowel passed all the way through and served as a bridge for the top peg? This might explain the non-center-line placement (again, excepting the AA viola). Good riddle to ponder when staring at the ceiling at night.
  10. Joel Pautz

    Selling in a saturated market

    Don pointed out the 600 lb gorilla in the room, but I'm more concerned about the elephant . Nobody has raised the point so far, so I guess I will; it's important to remember that if we want our work to be valued, it is in our interest to make sure that the work of others in our community is valued as well. I probably won't get 100% agreement on this, but there is some evidence that wages vs the cost of living is a growing problem, affecting more people to a greater extent than in the past. As an example, in 2016 the federal reserve found that 46% of Americans don't have the money to cover a $400 emergency expense. I'm bringing it up because this is the reality that my neighbors, and most of the people I interact with, are living in. Even cheaply made instruments are a luxury item for many out there, without the cost of music lessons on top. This saddens me, not because I want my neighbors to buy my instruments, but because part of why I love what I do so much is because I believe In music's ability to unite people across cultures, time, etc. We can mourn the death of classical music, or the appreciation of fine craftsmanship, but before we start nailing the coffin shut I think we should consider that maybe someone's income doesn't dictate whether they appreciate these things, just their ability to appreciate them. After all, let's face it, who knows better than Maestronet that the presence of cheaply made imported instruments isn't a new thing? :).
  11. Joel Pautz

    Violin geometry references

    I've been skimming through Stewart Pollen's "Stradivari" this morning, and it touches on a couple of the questions I had in the section discussing the Viola D'Amore. Right up front Pollen's brings up a tracing that appears to be of a 'damaged or distorted instrument" (mss. 349 & 350). I know its been already mentioned that the paper patterns lack lay-out markings, and that the significance of a distorted pattern probably indicate a lack of distortion being the norm in his personal patterns, but until I learn more I think it's interesting that Strad was fine expending that paper on a distorted pattern. After all it appears that he was very stingy with his molds, and in the next passage Pollen's mentions a guitar form in Paris (MM E.901.4) that Strad changed into a cornerless Viol form by, among other things, adjusting the bottom bout "through the addition of strips of veneer held in place with small wooden pegs." These adjustments allow the mold to conform with paper pattern MS 368 which Pollen's believes was the basis for the mold's shape, but honestly, without the layout markings, I'd probably do it the other way around. So, Strad was comfortable with basing a project off a quick tracing and a few key measurements while an instrument was in the shop, and he wasn't concerned with distortion, at least at first. Perhaps he felt he could true it up later. Apparently this was all he needed to start with though, similar to Mr Denis only needing a few key measurements of Ben's Viol. It also appears that Strad was indeed using his molds to their fullest, modifying them as needed. Would anyone care to elaborate on what this process would have looked like? Excuse my ignorance in terminology, but do any of you think it to be the case that this drafting/ measuring, geometric, etc. knowledge was purposefully absent from these patterns in order to prevent shop hands from having access to a more prestigious skill? I'm still also interested if anyone has come across curious idiosyncrasies in their research that I guess would be an example of an 'exception to the rule'. Kind of like a Del Gesu back joint that's off angle, or the fluting going off the center line of the scroll. These curiosities always interest me, and I guess they show what that maker was mindful of, and what he wasn't. I believe Roger pointed out in his bass thread that the Amati family were scaling up their scrolls for larger instruments, but others in Cremona started from scratch. Do any of you feel that the Amati were working at a different, perhaps higher level of understanding than the other cremonese workshops when approaching a new pattern, or were they all using the same toolkit at the same level?
  12. Joel Pautz

    Violin geometry references

    Thanks all for sharing your insights, expertise in this thread, it has been a great read. I have a couple basic questions I'd really like to hear some of your thoughts on. First, if I recall correctly, I was taught in violin making school that one of the strengths of the internal mold was it's ease not only in being copied/ transferred, but also modified: need to remove a little? Trace a divider along the edge, cut down to the line, and blend with the greater curve by eye. Want to add a little? Thickness a rib, glue it to the form, and again, blend by eye. Have you encountered evidence that cremonese masters were using the internal mold to it's fullest capabilities (transferring and or modifying the form without without starting from scratch)? I'm not suggesting that they would be daunted by starting from scratch, just asking if they were open/ aware of other options. Second, Stradivari was making what we would consider today to be a wide variety of instruments, and doubtlessly based some his work on models he had encountered. Do we know what procedure he followed in these instances? Would he have taken a tracing and measured key lengths as we would today, or was drafting out the instrument the measuring process he would have used? Did he alter these forms, or are they a faithful representations of the norm at the time? The old masters seemed to less than fond of rigid attitudes in some areas of their work - alternating between slab and quartersawn orientation (I understand that Da Salo even used slab tops occasionally). They paid no mind to whether the rib structures flame was oriented the same way around the garland, or the orientation of the back flame (pointing up or down). It was all good. I understand that the instrument can not function if its proportions are way off, but I'm curious if any of you have encountered examples that made you say "hmm - they could have cared, but apparently they didn't".
  13. Joel Pautz

    DIY string jack

    Thanks, those are great suggestions. I'll do some thinking while I'm traveling out of town the next two days, and perhaps try putting something together over the weekend.
  14. Joel Pautz

    DIY string jack

    Hi all, I started drawing out a violin sized string jack based off this design I found online: I'm thinking I'd like to divide it a little more equally in half (with a taller base) and make feet at the bottom to ensure that pressure is distributed over bassbar and soundpost. I was wondering if anyone could comment on what makes a good bridge jack, design flaws to be avoided. Thanks, Joel
  15. Joel Pautz

    Original Baroque Fingerboards

    One last idle question - the Jacob Stainer tenor viola at the NMM's fingerboard is supposedly pear (looks like a 1 piece board with no side borders built around a core to me by the way). Are any of the Amati fittings or Da Salo fittings pear? Stainer's lion head scroll on the 'King' violin is also pear if I remember correctly.