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About Ken_N

  • Birthday 06/20/1955

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Goodrich, Michigan
  • Interests
    Violin making. Art (just got some oil paints, been doing water color). Driving the back roads. Music, especially orchestral and Christian rock.

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  1. Hi Anders, the wood is very well quartered for the most part. The treble side is almost perfect, the lower bout on the bass side flips almost sideways right at the end; until the last 1/2 inch it is perpendicular. I don't think that edge is going to matter at all. I'm not worried about it, but then again, I don't worry about ANYTHING, so that doesn't mean much! The wood is very stiff, and the arching is very strong. The numbers on the poster were all pretty thin, not for this model, this I just got from a calendar that was in The Strad from Hans Weisshaar violins. The same model was used 2 times, and I like the way it looks. The Maggini poster is much wider, and looks more like a small viola to me. Carving violins you don't notice cross grain stiffness as much. The wood starts out stiff, and you carve stiffness into it. If you took 4mm thick slice of it, THEN you would notice cross grain thickness right away. I was shocked when I could bend a 1/4" piece of redwood from the arch top I was making with absolute ease. It came out just fine. Now I don't go around pulling on the wings of the f holes or anything like that. I tune everything after, just by getting the tapping in sections even. They are damped off, it isn't open ringing tones. I only use the open plate tuning as a measure of where the plate stands compared to others. I think this kind of tuning is used more for tuning large soundboards like pianos, and harpsichords. Maybe it allows the top to move more like a sheet over the prescribed arch, the more even it is, the more free it is to move? I don't know. But it seems to work, even in blending a back in the c bouts from 5 mm thick to 2.5 mm thick. You can do it on the outside without measuring. This is the first time I ever fully completed the parts before putting them together. I usually glue the plates on, and then put the purfling in, and cut the recurve, so I don't even know how they feel completely done. This one still feels pretty stiff. The arch is a little under 18mm. The back is only about 14, because that's all I had left, when I split what I had left after cutting two pieces for a guitar back and sides. I just have to finish the neck and I can glue it up. I'm going to do varnish it all first. Try something different. I like different.
  2. I just finished a top with .45sg wood, Port Orford Cedar. It ended up at 66 grams, complete with bass bar. It is thin, 2-2.5 in the bouts, 2.5 -maybe 3 in the middle. The edges are maybe 2.5. It's a Maggini, but it is a different one than the poster I have, but the thicknesses on the poster are similar. It is a little longer, but it isn't any wider. It is 366mm long, but the stop is 195. I don't tune with tap tones, I get the inside arch where I want it, and get the outside to be even when tapping it in sections that are blocked off with my fingers. It usually gets it fairly even, but your ears can play tricks on you. The tap tone is between e and f on my guitar; so abut 340 or so. I would thin that belly down. I've seen many posters with 2mm and under on them. See how much the bridge area pushes down under gentle pressure. That is probably what gives you the "bow feel" that they were talking about. If it isn't moving much at all, with a bass bar what will it do? Yes, I KNOW POC is not a violin tone wood, but it sure looks cool. And it carves really well. When roughing the smell can be quite strong. I'm tanning it now, and the color in the photo is off. It is way darker, and like a greyed yellow. I never could get ANY color on bellies with UV. Now I use water in a jar full of cherry chips, and water with wood ashes. Now I can get something. Sun, or 4 20w black lights alone do nothing for me ever. The back is 99 grams, dare I say that it is wicked looking Padauk? The tap tone on that never was very high, so it is about D# on the guitar, or 312. It seems like the low mode of backs is usually higher than bellies, but the back is low F and the belly is F, (87/92). Like I said, the back never was high. The thick point is about 4.8, high on the c bout; that's what the poster said. The rest goes down to 2-3mm. Again, that's what the poster said. It isn't that dense of a wood. .65 sg. It has large pores. Then again, I know nothing, so it is just my experience.
  3. I put have the strings on the guitar, and up to pitch; they are still stretching. When I did it on Thursday, the bridge broke off. Nice clean break, no wood. It is a tiny bridge. I used thin 195 high clarity. Re-glued with 315. Worked. I need to figure out fret diameters that will work, and order some string. I switched the tuners up on the first and last pairs so the strings aren't rubbing so much. Seems better to me.
  4. I've made a couple sycamore violins. The piece I had was very resonant wood. But then I've seen guitar makers using OAK. What's up with that? The two sound pretty good. Like violins. I had no problem with dust, but the walnut one I'm finishing didn't bother me either, and some people have trouble with that. The ribs bend easy, (hot) and I even use it for my linings, because with the interlocked grain they don't snap! I couldn't get spruce to bend at all. The grain shifts. The specks will go one direction, and the rays in the other. So you have to watch sometimes when you are planing, or doing finish work. The flecks are very hard, and it takes a very sharp tool to get things really smooth. That's probably the only thing against it that I found. I wouldn't worry about thin wood warping. That's what thin wood does best. My backs and bellies never stay flat either. After it is tamed with the iron, and has linings on it, it will be fine.
  5. Thanks about the binding. I used my homemade purfling cutters that actually cut, not just mark. The long one is set up there for the binding width, and the purfling depth. I like the screwed on cutter better, but the sliding adjustment is more flexible than shims. The blade just falls out sometimes! It has a 540 scale, so it SHOULD work in G. Using the calculator on Gamut strings, a medium set should give 4.5/3.4/3.4/3.0/3.0 kgs per string. So about 75 pounds total. I have a plan for a Voboam guitar in E with a 635 scale, and it comes out to 4.5/3.4/3.3/2.9/2.9 with mediums. So it seems that it will work fine in G at A 440. It has 10 frets. That seemed to be standard for a while, then 11, then 12. I have a plan for one that is only 9.
  6. Thanks Jim, I still need to order strings and fret gut too. That is by FAR the most expensive part of the project. I've never even spent $200 on a piece of wood! But I do want to find a new back and sides for a cello, so we'll see about that.
  7. I've been working on getting the violin and guitar ready for varnish. The guitar is easier. I want to get a seal coat on it before I glue on the mustache. It is not the usual frilly thing. By now you know I'm not one for doing things the usual way. Yesterday the Bible verses started disappearing from my posts. First the newest ones, then the older ones. All 3100+ They were still there online. Today they are gone online as well. Don't you LOVE it when you are censored, and they don't even tell you? How nice. My writing is still there, but the verses are all gone. The title is there, and the verse numbers, but nothing else. Some have a line or two spared. Yes, I am NOT politically correct. But don't we have the freedom of speech? EDIT : AHHH. All but two of the posts have been fixed. Someone must have been playing around.
  8. For a second instrument with no mentor/teacher for guidance; I'd say that you hit it out of the park. Your scroll and pegbox look nice; the nut and saddle look smooth and even; the arching is hard to see, but I like the way that the f holes look on it. Your overhangs are better than most of what I've done. I might have one out of 10 that isn't terrible. Even leaving them big, to smooth up after gluing the ribs, it ends up not fitting right somewhere. Maybe the corners could be better, but couldn't most of them be better. It seems like corners really take a lot of thinking about to get right. You had the corner templates, so you know what I mean. The varnish? I've had the last few come out fine. The rest? Too opaque, too pale, too blotchy, too much texture showing through. They haven't peeled off, or chipped, so they work. But. It seems to be very hard to get a nice violin varnish. Cellos would be even harder. Especially if you want to have some color, like a reddish color over a golden ground, like on a Montagnana. They look COOL on photos, but how do you do it? Usually it is a few spots that look FANTASTIC, but the rest could just be ordinary. I find that instruments can look COMPLETELY different in every light, and they NEVER look like what I see when I see photos of them. Yours isn't bad at all. It isn't anything close to being scary. I've done that. There's always next time. That's why once you start, you can't stop.
  9. Well D. A. T. I'd like to be the first to welcome you to maestronet. For a "non professional" you show a lot of skill around the workbench. How much experience do you have? Have you had the chance to work with input from others, or with a mentor of some kind? Do you have access to nice instruments? All of those things seem like they would contribute to developing a sense of what you really want to accomplish. I watched your video this morning, and it is very well done. I really enjoyed it. The music is great, and doing it in black and white ties it together more. I'm sure that most (all?) of us here know that music stirs the spirit and soul more than just about anything on our senses. Even without words, it was easy to see what you were trying to convey. The finished cello looks very nice. Nice job.
  10. For violins, the Lie Nielsen 100.5 convex sole plane works nice.
  11. Well the barn wood top is scrapped. I filled the dark lines with wood patches, and then it started splitting where there were no dark lines. A thin wedge off a wedge of Bear Claw Sitka cut into three pieces; the outside has worm holes; is going to work just fine. I have the rosette in it now, and I'm just going to use two harmonic bars like the original. I have no bracing at all on the back, and very small linings. It shouldn't be long before it is all glued up, and ready for binding. I noticed that the Aquilla set of strings has a wound low A. That sounds like a bad idea. Why would they do such a thing? Other really cheap sets do too. They are hard enough to find. I guess that Gamut will be the choice. At least they are a small, somewhat local company. He does offer a set of mixed fret gut too. I need to make more to spread the cost! I see that he says the thickest fret is at the top, and they get smaller. I was figuring it out, and it seemed just the opposite. I saw a video talking about flamenco guitars, and they said the strings are higher at the body, and lower at the nut, and low at the bridge. I thought, "Cool, I did something right." I'll know more when the belly is glued on.
  12. Your work, is always so clean. I guess everyones is compared to mine! I haven't made a shouldered pegbox yet. I always read people complaining about them. Who needs that? I haven't seen a cello without one, so what's the problem? I like your pegs. I'm going to start on ten today for the little baroque that I'm making. Your guitar came out great. I noticed that you made ebony frets. I was just looking up fret gut. YIKES. They can set you back $75-$100! I don't mind paying that for strings, but frets? The wooden frets are starting to sound interesting. I sure can't use metal; the fingerboard is less than 4mm thick! I have two different pieces of rosewood for the head, and the fingerboard, so I can't get the cool monochrome look that you came up with. Well done. Did you string it with nylon? DGBE? 4 strings seems like it would be easier to play. I have a lot of interference with my short FAT fingers. I have 7.5 mm spacing on my guitar, and it isn't nearly enough. Supposedly, that is wide. The baroque is planned on 7.8-8.3mm at the nut. Maybe it will work. Between the pairs it isn't that wide though. We'll see. I can't do full bar chords, the e and b string mute. 4 strings are fine, maybe 5, but not six. Even then adding other fingers below that may work, and may not. A 5 string might be the answer, but maybe 4 is even better. I've only been playing since Christmas, so I probably just need more practice. Sorry, I was born before the short phrases of Social Media!
  13. Now that is really nice Thomas! I'm not an antique look guy either, but that one looks good. The color and texture are just right. I always wondered about the double wear from the chin on both sides. If someone held it under the chin at the treble bout, wouldn't they do that all the time? Every instrument had people playing them both ways? Was some of the antiquing done from the get go? They did both sides for some sense of symmetry? I think that maybe antiquing in the beginning might not be a new thing. But like a sunburst on a guitar, it is often hard to pull off. The f holes seem to command attention.
  14. His work is already FAR CLEANER than anything that I've ever done. I think I've done something halfway decent, and a photo proves that it is garbage. Even with the 5X magnifier! I don't think that I've seen any of my 4 grandsons ever have enough patience for something like making an instrument. Goofing off with Legos, and video games; yes. Serious art and craft? No.
  15. I see that spell check changed dummy to yummy on the last post. Thanks guys. I did use a wedge shaped to the fingerboard angle and thickness to set the neck. I also had a strip of wood, pointed on the end, and marked at the stop length to set the projection. It worked great. It's all glued together; and I realized that I don't have and purfling. I don't have strings for it, or the baroque guitar, so I have to buy some things. I looked up nylon strings for the guitar, but they seem to have 1 or two wound strings. I don't want wound strings on it; they shouldn't be needed. The guitar is ready to glue together. I haven't picked out fingerboard stock yet. I thought of putting a single dark binding around it. 1 mm X 3 mm, just to cover the end grain and the seam. I should have something that I can make that, and the fingerboard out of. The back is just flat. It is thinned towards the edges, but it has no bracing at all. The original belly had two transverse braces, but the Eastern, or Atlantic Red Cedar from a 100 year old barn a friend tore down has a very weak E modulus, ERC is listed at .88! So I decided to bolster the longitudinal strength with double X braces, and forgo the transverse bars. My wife claims that I don't do anything the normal way. So here it is ready to start gluing the neck and back: My blog post this morning had an old Motown song. I found a cover that is VERY GOOD. People Get Ready (Live) - Curtis Mayfield (Sara Niemietz, W.G. Snuffy Walden, Jonathan Richards) https://youtu.be/vaspHfblJ5E
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