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About Ken_N

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  • Birthday 06/20/1955

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  • 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. Maggini violin data points from Liutai in Brescia book

    I've been intrigued by Maggini. Started a violn from the 1630 Stead poster, but the wood I picked for the back I thought was too flimsy. I threw it away one day when I was cleaning up. Impulsive? The one in the poster has dimensions like # 3 in your link. The Has Weisshaar calendar had the same Maggini in it 3 years in a row. I think it was three. He must like it. It looks NOTHING like the 1630 poster I have. Much slimmer looking. F holes that would make del Gesu blush. I'm working on a 5 string I drew up based on a Maggini cello. I wrecked the plate with the purfling groove trying to cut it all the way with the marker. It's 385 long with a 195 stop. It looks like this one came out more like 200 mm. I had them lined up on the inside. I'll have to play around with that some. The cello's stop was right on center. Gashes for f holes, but way shorter. He shows a lot of variation : Like I said; I'm working on it! The wood cuts easy. Maybe 5 hours in it after gluing up. There are some wormholes. I might have to deal with some of them. I've heard that Maggini built on the back, which I tried, on the one I started, but it seemed to be much harder to do. At least I had problems with it! Maybe that's why he was much more flexible in his designs. Using a mold, you don't have a whole lot of leeway. He was a free bird.
  2. Oops! Slip of the gouge

    Jim, a patch should be a piece of cake. Chalk fit, and glue. Much easier than cutting a purfling groove! I've never been a gouge guy. I use my Lie Nielsen plane for all my roughing out on the inside, and much of the outside. Maybe it's slower? But there is no chance of serious grain grabbing. Where the grain shifts from forward to backwards it can bounce and chatter, but that's about it. Even the plain poplar I'm working with now has that shift in about 3-4 places, and opposite on each side because I flipped it. I'm just not comfortable with gouges at all. Left handed! Hat's off to you. I think. At least you can't be called a quitter. Really, try the plane. The only thing I changed (I modify everything) was to remove some material in an angle from the slot to allow a larger chip. I didn't change the mouth, only gave the chips more clearance.
  3. Fitting Bass Bar Over Cleats

    Hah I didn't see that picture before; only your text as I was starting to write, and do other things at the same time.
  4. Fitting Bass Bar Over Cleats

    I have never heard of cleats under a bass bar; especially on a new build. If you only used one, where would you place it? I've head of cleats for crack repair, and center seams, but a preempted cleat? It's like a sound post patch on a new build. I know some do that too. I just don't see what the cleat would do. Especially only one.
  5. Self-taught violin makers

    If you do it as a hobby without a mentor of any kind, it will be years before you begin to have the slightest idea of what you are doing. (Maybe I'm just dense?) You may be making objects that look sort of like violins, and they WILL play, and astonish your friends; but not many others. If you have a full time job, like me, 1-2 hours a day isn't the recipe for skill. That will cause you to be completely into what you are doing, but then you won't remember what you did. I suppose if you made only one pattern of violin, you could get better faster if you had a real good copy sitting right in front of you. If you are like me, and like to make different models, sometimes even from pictures without a plan, you may learn more about design and arching. You may not pull it off, but you should learn something. I learn something new just about every day. It is great fun, and about as mentally, and artistically stimulating as anything I can think of. It requires a tremendous amount of skill. Many different skills. Maybe building a kit car without a kit would be similar. Ah, a Porsche 356 clone? No, I don't have time for that. Be forewarned. It is very addicting.
  6. Woodworm Wood

    I want to replace the plates I made for a 5 string. I messed it up royally with the purling grooves. This was at least a couple years ago, when I was trying to get a lot of things done, and tried to use the marker as a cutter. I must have been OUT OF MY MIND; and I tried to ignore it by putting it in a drawer. Now that I put some pegboard up, and hung the violins up, and even have the ones that are unfinished on the wall; this one came to view. It reared its ugly head. Well, its ugly purling grooves anyway. The top is old poplar, the smelly populus kind, not Yellow or Tulip Poplar. I have the leftovers. I can't get it dead on, so 10 degrees spayed from the center would have to suffice. The problem is this part has worm holes. The other didn't have it. I've seen small patches in wood before, but this has more. Do I just toss it? Carve it, and fill when it gets close to finish? It is solid, and has a nice ring tone. It made a nice top, I just wrecked it. I could give photos, but it's time to go to work.
  7. Clamp for bow tip repair on a lathe

    I don't do bows, but I've been a machinist for 40 years. Make a fixture that can hold the bow. Wood with a couple clamps and mount it with tee nuts. Can you shorten the arbor? I don't like things sticking way out like that. Chatter. Heres a quick sketch. Really simple, but it should work. As long as it is solid on the compound table it should be fine out of wood. You aren't doing much. It's just a matter of holding it straight. I'm crazy enough to try it with a really slow rpm by hand. But I'm more fearless than smart. But you'd have to have a very steady hand, and a solid but light touch. I cut off wood all the time with a saw on the lathe. I'd recommend the fixture. I just noticed my sketch from the top needs the bow out further like the side view. I drew it first before I drew the side view. The side view shows it better.
  8. Purfling channel below button

    Am I weird? I thought you just did it by eye. That's what I do. It's less than 2 inches long! Mark it in pencil. Cut it with a knife. Dig the inside out, and trim it until the purling fits. Crossgrain on the maple is the easiest part for me. Maybe I'm more of a wood butcher than Wood Butcher. I probably just don't know any better.
  9. Broken Strings Cause

    Nut files. Thought about those when I saw them in a StewMac catalog. I never saw them before. They look like they are worth having. What sizes do you use? I do make a nice transition as shown by Matt Noykos. Maybe that's TOO much contact? Graphite I sometimes remember, sometimes forget. We have graphite EVERYWHERE at work. I mean EVERYWHERE. It isn't as bad as it used to be. Now they run a floor scrubber probably 12 hours a day. It's the main lube for the forge dies. You'd think I could remember Graphite. The one that broke in the box broke on the colored part of the string end. That part was no where near the nut. Roller nuts? They have roller saddles.
  10. Broken Strings Cause

    Yes, they didn't break at the nut or the tailpiece, but on the winding near the pegs, and in-between the tailpiece and bridge. They just unraveled, and pulled apart. They didn't snap.
  11. Broken Strings Cause

    I've put some pegboard on the wall that is on the opposite side of my workshop. I'm going to hang instruments and things there, like molds. Right now I have 2 instruments in cases, since I only have 2 cases, and the rest are on a string in front of the outside wall. They aren't against the wall, but a few inches off to it. I was just down there, and moving things around. I only have two holders right now, so I can't move them yet, and strumming a violin, the G string was floppy. The other strings are just a little flat. Turning the peg did nothing, the string was just coming apart between the bridge and the tailpiece. A wound gut. I found another string, and put it on. Strings are a rare commodity around here. I tested the rest of them, and none were really in tune, although one was really close, but the viola had a broken G string. Pulling apart in the pegbox between the nut and the peg. No spare for that one. Do strings usually break in the middle between the nut and peg, or the bridge and tailpiece? Do they usually pull apart, and not snap? What makes them break? It's not like it play them and they are worn out. The humidity has been from 50 to 60% all year long; at least every time I've checked. The dehumidifier only runs in the summer. It is cold down there, the thermometer says 40. I don't like it. My fingers turn yellow in protest. I usually only do planning, sawing, planing and rough work from about December on, when it gets cold down there. I was on the deck working for an hour or so Monday in the sun. It was 45 degrees but it felt really nice. No yellow fingers. And you can see! Today there is snow and wind again. Can cold break strings? I wouldn't think so. We have thought about a furnace.
  12. Stradivaris viola d ́amore

    Beautiful work, and great photos. Love the finish. Very cool.
  13. Cello backs and ribs

    I like the idea that poplar isn't frowned upon by cello makers, but I'd have to see it! One piece I found looks great, but doesn't have structure, it is too funky. I've only used poplar in blocks. I have worked with American Sycamore, and the piece I had was really nice. Not waxy, not crumbly, resonant as can be, and certainly not boring looking. Very easy to work. I use it exclusively for linings now. Bends great with no cracking. At least this piece does. The violins I made with it came out nice. They don't seem to be any different tonally, I'd need someone who knows to play and analyze them. They sound normal to mel. I'd have to find the right piece, but I think it would make a great cello. Some things that make Sycamore easier: 1/4 sawn is easy to find, because that's the way it looks the best, and It is a large tree, so wide pieces would be available. Just some pics I found on Google, the alternating ribbons are common. The way you finish it makes a difference it seems. I hope the one is in the white!
  14. Cello backs and ribs

    Jim, I'm sure that I've never seen Tulip poplar on Cello's, violins, or even violas. Maybe a couple guitars in pictures. I thought it would be a good tone wood looking at the data; light for its stiffness; but I've never seen where anyone has used it! I've never held a nice, quartered piece of it, let alone tapped one. The pictures I saw didn't do anything for me either. That said, I've never seen a flamed Padauk viola, but I'm going to do it. It should look cool. I know that people use European Poplar and Willow for ribs. Maybe they used Maple ribs because the had them, and they are nice looking?
  15. Viola Bridge Question...

    I printed out the 9 and 10 viola bridges. Put them on my Lightbox, and the 9 is very slightly lower. Nothing like the photo Jerry took, just slightly lower. I was going to suggest making one. I've made several, even from wood I found in the wood bin at work. Really fine, straight medullary grains. Nice flecks on one side, and dots on the other. You made a Sultana, Baroque gives you WAY more choices and looks. Stamm has many styles to look at, and there are way more. I made mine for high arches. The feet are always a problem with bought ones, especially with narrower c bouts. Not enough meat. The Sultana doesn't look that narrow, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. 30 mm projection isn't really low, is it? I use 27-28 for violins. I guess for a viola bridge it is. Design and cut them out to the arch that you have, it saves a lot of time.