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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. I have the curve on the A and D looking good. Nice and smooth. Checking with different lengths of scales and broken carbide endmill shafts for "fret rock" I don't find any. But I only got the relief to about .03" The D does not buzz, but the A will, unless I push hard with my nail on the string. Bowing you don't even NEED to hit the board. But that's a whole different thing. Sliding the finger up and down the sting like a glissando, up the board, the A still isn't perfect from about C to D#. Plucking on the NUT side of the string you find the high spots where it needs to go down Really, the high spots stand right out doing that. We will see today if that system pans out. The D string has no problems except way at the end of the board, and that is going backwards (the end of the board is a bit rounded over?). I'll smooth that up anyway. I guess .03 clearance looks like a lot to me. I thought it was way over 1mm. Maybe I should get a set of feeler gauges. I had some, but I sold my machinist box with some things in it. I checked the other 2 strings like that, and they have more problems. They don't buzz, but I'll fix them up. The C slipped after I retuned it when I bottomed out the tuner. That's why it felt loose. It was at A. Tuned up, there is still no buzz at less than a mm of clearance. The A appears to need more than the C! That is the difference between 7mm above the board, and 5mm above the board. Are those numbers about right? If they need to go down, the relief needs to be deeper. I set up a violin really low,and it works just fine. I bought a 16 X 24" carpenters square at Menard's yesterday. A good find for less than $8. I can lay it up right against the string and I know that is where the string goes. I'll pull out the little plane today and make the A curve deeper; especially in the middle area of the neck. Then smooth up the other side. Evan; scraping with a plane blade across the board I noticed high points in regular spacing. It must have some curl. That doesn't usually help.
  2. Ahh. I just found a cool way to check relief. The A is 5mm above the board. If I push the string down to the end of the fingerboard it has about 1.2mm clearance at the end of the neck. Probably not enough. The clearance at the nut is less than a thin card Maybe .02" Using the same trick, the C is 7mm above the board. At the end of the neck it has only slightly more than the A string has. The string has a little over a mm clearance at the nut, a credit card fits. I thought that I had 2mm! The actual measurements there are 3 1/4 mm on the A string (and I can feel the scale rock!) and 4 1/4 mm on the C. There just isn't enough clearance. I need to get a long solid straight edge. The longest solid one that I have is 12 inches. The 18" flex rule flexes. Then go through, and check for rock, like checking for high frets on a guitar. The relief actually looks bigger and smoother on the side that I worked on. So far this is the hardest part about making a cello: next to putting the sound post in. Making a cello is a piece of cake. Setting it up is hard. Thanks Doug for the suggestion to measure what I actually have. I should have thought to do that.
  3. I worked on it for about an hour an a half yesterday. I used a 6" scale, and moved it from the end of the board, and then in 2 inches at a time, looking for, and finding high spots. It seems like I've taken a lot off the area by the end of the neck, but it still buzzes. Drawing the path of the strings with a pencil helps. I was using a scale that was too flexible, and that doesn't help at all. The drawn lines helped. I bottomed out the C fine tuner. No buzz. But. The entire string now feels more flexible, and I have a slap bass! Really. The string slaps the board when I pluck hard, and it feels way more flexible. Maybe I'll have more time today. I didn't even touch the bass side of the board.
  4. Thanks Mark. I usually make my own tailpieces, but ordering a Whittner tailpiece was fast and easy. Thanks for the tip on fine tuners David. I'll pull the strings off, and plane down the offending bump. Actually, I'll probably use my plane blade scraper. It worked pretty good on it. Holding it almost parallel with the length will find the high spot easy.There is relief on either side of it. It's cool how you can feel the sound everywhere.
  5. Looking at the cello this morning, I see that the bridge was tipped way forward. I don't know when that happened, I thought I was watching that. Moving it back to straight, it still has the original 83 mm projection, and the strings are 6 and 8 mm above the fingerboard; about where I had them, because I didn't know how it would settle. So it hasn't moved at all. I still have the buzz on the A. There is also a strange metallic buzz that comes in the decay sound if you pluck the C really hard. No other string will give it. It seems that if I hold the C fine tuner on the tailpiece it isn't there. But maybe I just don't pluck it as hard then. You get the same sort of sound if you bang the metal end pin shaft.
  6. Hah! I'm not getting through. The string height over the board was lower. Now it is up to 9mm on the C and 7mm on the A, to the middle of the string. To the middle seems like an odd way to measure.. So now the strings seem a bit high. It doesn't seem to be moving now. Maybe it has gone where it wants to be. The belly rose, or the nut rose. The high point of the bump is right at the end of the neck. It is a bump right in the middle of the relief. It would be hard to carve in unless you thought about doing that. Either the finger board, or the neck, or both, wasn't completely flat when I glued it. It is hard to believe that a stiff finger board would bend like that. There are no gaps on the glue line. Now. Maybe I just didn't look at it good? Is a projection drop of 1.5mm or so normal?
  7. Brad, To the middle of the strings. It always seems odd to me. There is a hump. Right at the end of the neck.
  8. The people would be ME! The strange buzz on the A string on my Cello around D to D#? I was testing it today, and it is only there when you pluck it hard. Bow it, and it is fine. I know what that is: Fret buzz! I thought I had the fingerboard set before I glued it on. 2mm relief on the bass side, a bit over 1mm on the treble side. I might have played with it some after gluing it on, and must not have paid attention to what I was doing. At least it should be an easy fix. The projection went from 83 to 81. So now the strings are 7 - 9mm to the middle.
  9. Cleaning up yesterday I found the photo from the calendar that I made the cello from. 3 X 5". It was aChristophe Landon Rare Violins calendar. I made a viola from the mix between the two. I haven't made the violin.
  10. I put a new sound post in. It is longer, and maybe closer to the right spot. I lowered the top of the bridge, and cut the radius to the top edge more. It is around 2.5mm or less. I finished rounding out the legs, and did some on the flat side. The wolf on the D isn't as bad, or is gone. The D# on the A string is still there. It sounds like;; TWANG! Cool. The scroll is easier to do on a cello. At least it seems to be. I can see bigger things better. You can see where the nut split on what must be a check. It is my take on Matt Noykos nut carve idea. The top is bigger than the back. 750/330/220/420 and 130/320/210/410
  11. Yes,but I need to make better ones. It has a resin rich, corduroy top. That's what it wanted, Contrast with the rest that is mostly smooth. I did the same on the scroll where the sides are smooth but the fluting is just gouge marks.
  12. Evan, Yes, the iron wood worked good for that. The other end of the board must have had checks in it, and the nut and saddle both split, and had to be glued. I have 2 project to finish, and 2 started. I go for weird, and whatever I make up in my head. Starting a 7 course Vihuela from 1600 or so, and a counterpart, a 7 string arch top. The Vihuela is like a guitar in D with a high g. The guitar will be in D with a low A. The thirds are in different places. I need to finish a walnut/yellow cedar violin. Since I need to make 13 pegs for the Vihuela, I can make the pegs and end pin at the same time. Make a tailpiece and it is done. The Electoless Paul needs the varnish dried up good, and polished. Then a tailpiece and it is done. The photos in the morning sun came out perfect. The ones in the basement like a toy camera.
  13. Ken_N

    Mike Molnar

    I just saw this now. I was talking with him on pm about red pigments back in September. He was one of only a half dozen or so on this forum that I've actually met. Nice guy. Sorry to hear that he is gone. Ken
  14. Well, as done as I can get it. It plays, and didn't fall apart. It does have a wolf, or two. I never noticed them before on violins or violas. Funny sounds on G# on the D string, and D# on both the D and A strings. The tuner gets stumped and doesn't know what to think. I gather that wolves are fairly common on cellos. I'm happy to get it done. I liked making it. Setting up is a lot of work. Not a fan of sound posts. Violins are hard enough. It is my own design. Based on the back of a Gagliano cello on a Weisshaar calandar that had the back of a violin too. I made the front larger with tapered sides like a Guadagnini. So it should feel smaller than the belly seems. I'd make another. I like the size of it better, even the scroll is easier to carve, even in hard maple. I like the sound better too, but it is hard to play with my cheap fiberglass violin bow. You really have to move your left hand. I even figured out how to get the photo on my kindle fire. I still don't know how it did it.
  15. I've been working to get this cello finished. Setups are a rare thing for me, so I'm not good at them! I have a bass bar sort of in place. It doesn't fit perfect, but I need to put a new one in anyway, because the setter went in too many times; and it almost has a chunk out of it. Should be goo enough to get the bridge set up. The fingerboard was pretty easy to do. It is probably still a little thick. But that is what planes and scrapers are for. The bridge is fit to the body, and trimmed down some. I should be way high. Bridges are not a problem. I'm almost done on the neck side. I do get carried away, but it is fun. Pegs. I usually make them. I don't have a fixture made up for cello pegs. If I do another I'll make one, and make my own. These are plain Jane. They were 14mm at the knob end, so they seemed too big. A 12mm hole seems about right at the pegbox. So I needed a peg shaper. I made one out of a piece of cherry. Something harder would be better; but it worked. I made it yesterday, and it started to split on one side. It already had a check, but at first I wasn't thinking that I needed 2 separate shapers to cut the pegs. I glued it up overnight, and started on this in the afternoon today. It doesn't work great; but it works. Certainly a lot cheaper than $150 or so. I filed the top part, and put it in the lathe to smooth that part up. Making a peg is easier that playing around with the shaper. It is certainly a lot more fun. I started the nut. I used an offset from the Ironwood. I bought blanks for the nut and saddle, when I bought some other stuff; something I never do: but the nut was about 2mm too narrow. I didn't have the dimension police around to tell me that a nut can only be 50mm wide!
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