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About Ken_N

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  • 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. Ken_N

    Odd jangle noise

    This afternoon the low C came in the mail. I have one around the basement somewhere; I used it to be sure that the holes in the tailpiece were big enough for them. I'll find it now. I put the string on and set it lower at the bridge. (I had a spare D string on before) Then the rattle came back. I put my ear right up to the tailpiece; it was not on the C, but on the G still. Then it stopped again. Odd. Never tried Helicore strings. I don't think that they sound that bad. I hear the body more than I hear the strings, at least on the lower strings. "They" say that they are bright. I don't hear that at all. Not like Zyex! They have a nice, flexible feel to them. The tension is supposed to be high. I was worried about that, the viola isn't built like a battleship, and there is 25% more tension. But tuning it up to pitch, the projection is still 35 mm. Yeah, the neck could have pulled up, and the belly could have sunk, but if they did, they did it equally. It is still about 382 long. I'm happy. It sounds good, and I got the playability right; I think. I've only done about 10 so what do I know? Especially since I don't play! Maybe that's the last of the mystery rattle? It isn't loud enough to be noticed, it sounds like a slinky.
  2. Ken_N

    Odd jangle noise

    A guy at work called me Kenny Bojangles, but I don't think that is it.
  3. Ken_N

    Odd jangle noise

    It seems to have stopped. The ball end of the string not seated? The TP I made has short slots. 4-5 mm. Didn't know the slots have to be so long; the strings wanted to fall out when loose. Wasn't planning to put the thin stop on, that was as long as I could do. No chin rest yet.
  4. Believe it or not, sometimes it's easier to make a blade flat on a coarse flat stone.
  5. I put strings on the 5 String finally. The process takes me a long time. I've done about 10 in 18 years! Finally have it about right, and I hear a soft jangle from the tail piece when I pluck the g string. That's a new one for me. Any ideas? Ken
  6. My unheated basement is 54 degrees and 46 percent humidity right now. In the path of heavy rain, ice, and wind in Michigan. My biggest concern is the battery backup sump pump. The water table is so ridiculously high already, without rain. I will just make sure that everything is off the floor.
  7. I drew mine up from photos. I have a pdf of an article by Jan van Capplelle from the GAL; I think that's where it's from. He found the scale unit, 40.25 mm to the inch for the forms. I don't know if it is right, but the article is good, and all the dimensions are given. It's kinda large, we'll see if it loads. There is a plan for a baby instrument. My drawing has a similar motif at the bottom to yours. It uploaded! If it doesn't work; I just found the article on line! It's pretty good. Getting tone wood from people who don't know what you're looking for usually results in very few pieces. I would just look for pieces cut through the center of the tree. I did get the two small tops, but that's it. WR Cedars don't get that big anyway, do they? I'm just re-learning, and haven't gone past g yet! but the pieces by Carulli have all of my fingers moving at the same time. stradivari-article-al-122-lr.pdf
  8. Nice. I built a 1/2 scale guitar for the Grandsons on a reduced size Stradivarius Sabionari guitar. I didn't realize then that he had a bunch of forms and patterns for guitars. It is slightly smaller than the MM.E 901.5 that a chart I have says it should be pitched in F. I put a twelve fret neck on it. Half scale guitar strings, minus the low E. I made it thicker than I would for me, but 4 boys? I'm planning to make a proper copy with the same mold. A chart I have suggests pitched in F for a 23" (580 mm) scale. This one will have a 21.25" (540mm) scale. A 600mm scale is in G, I don't know why F is suggested. They must have given it a longer neck too, because according to the chart the 901.5 is only 16mm longer than the one I drew up. Mine will only have 10 frets to the body. I think mine will be in A. I fits into a baritone ukulele case. I found a baritone with a case for $5.00 at a garage sale, and fixed the loose neck, and cracked ribs, and gave them both to the boys. Hey, the case was with 5 bucks. The body of the guitar is 370 mm long. I'm going to use maple cello ribs for the body, and the last piece of 100 year old red cedar barn wood for the belly. Making different instruments is fun. You have to think a lot more. And as you said, little guitars don't take a lot of time. The neck was the hardest part. This one will have tied frets. I like how the pattern on the bottom of the belly is reversed on the fretboard. Ties it in.
  9. The fastest year I remember. I hope that I learned Something though! Happy New Year!
  10. We caught some of the Flint Symphony Christmas show last night. It was good, but I like music through headphones, the TV sound isn't great. The filming was great though. Saw HUGE violas! Every one of them was huge. At least they looked huge. We saw mostly excerpts from The Messiah. The soprano had a nice voice. I don't like much contemporary Christmas music. Never have. Especially the rock stuff. Maybe Lennon. Mariah? Doesn't do it for me. I have The Messiah with the LSO on my iPod. I'd rather hear them sing. One I always liked was this one:
  11. Get the Montagnana poster. It's not much different from a del Gesu in pattern. Maybe a hair narrower at the waist, and a little longer. Longer pointier corners, same pinched look. Nice F holes. Long stop; so I gave it a 132 neck, and light strings. You could ignore the nicks if you like. High swooping arches, at least on the belly. I got my arching from the inside, nothing too special, but the high arch looks cool. I used baroque type tailpieces to clear the arch. If you could pull off the color of the instrument, you'd have something special. I used .29 Spruce from Simeon for one, but it has a stiff Birch back, so it is NOT in the category of super light. It is extremely easy to play. The strong back may have some to do with that, so, I would keep the back thick with Aspen. Thick Aspen should still ring. The ring of the Birch was very low from the beginning. Just a suggestion because I like the way it looks.
  12. Ken_N

    Wood ID

    I turned it round and it looks like a baseball bat, out of curly stock. Talk about grain fill!
  13. Ken_N

    Wood ID

    Ash has a peppery smell? Who woulda thunk?
  14. Ken_N

    Wood ID

    I used to pick chunks of wood, 3 X 3 X 12" or so pieces of wood out of the scrap bin at the shop I worked at. They were used under bundles of steel bars coming in to be sawed up, and turned into forgings. I'd see flame, and grab it. I found Maple, Sycamore, Cherry and even Walnut, the Walnut wasn't flamed, but I'm making a neck out of it for a Walnut/Alaskan Yellow Cedar violin. This chunk is an enigma. Very nice flames. Very distinctive dark/light grain. Then the smell. I though maybe it was White Oak or something, but not after I sliced it. I thought something like hickory too. But it is Very fragrant. Peppery. Kind of like P. O. Cedar, but not as funky. I measured it out and weighed it. 7 X 7 X 12 cm chunk comes out to .55 s.g. Any ideas on what it is. I'm going to make a canister like thing for a gift out of it. It would be nice to say what it is!