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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. Boy, those photos certainly don't do that violin justice. I bought a 1/2 size cello at a garage sale for $5, and got the idea to finish up the cello I started a long time ago. The form is made, The belly is roughed out. The back needed to be replaced. It was a wedge. I sawed it in two; very badly! I tried to make it work, but gave up. I bought a large slab of Euro Sycamore a few years ago. It just barely fit in my Crosstrek. I made an arch top guitar out of a piece of it, when I thought that maybe it wasn't as thing as I really wanted. It is only about 29mm. I decided to use the rest of it, but it had bark on the lower part. I got most of it off, and it is about 26mm! There was a bend going up lengthwise, and a bend going down widthwise. It didn't really take that long to get it roughed out. The other one was Big Leaf, and it was softer. It is 670 grams now, and the tap tone is D#. I found a nice cello build site Osnes violins. It isn't easy to find. It comes up on my Kindle easier than on my iMac. He goes B-C for bellies, and C-C# for backs. Or so. Good to know just for reference. If it sounds A, it might not work! The back is smaller than the back, it will have tapered ribs. Someone, somewhere was saying a smaller back makes it more comfortable. I also heard that Cello ribs are thin, and important for the sound. Having them tapered may add some movement to them? I don't know. The form is made, the stock I had was only so big; so that is what it is. It is based on a Gagliano Cello back that was on one of those Calendars that were ads for a shop in California. There wasn't a shot of the belly. I drew it up a long time ago, and don't remember much about it! Being low, it is about 8.5 mm thick! The Sitka belly is very dark. It's been sitting a while in the basement. I haven't put the f hole in yet. It is still too thick. It is 500 g now, and just below D#. It is only about 26mm high too. I didn't know that stock was so thin. It was a good deal though! If it ends up working, what would thicker stock do? Sometimes it would be nice just to buy the good stuff. I think I'l do the ribs, now that the back and belly are pretty well roughed out. I can't do much more until the outline is finalized. I ordered a neck blank from International Violin. You can't find cello neck stock at lumber yards! It seems that laminated cello necks, in contrast to guitar necks, are frowned upon. Even built up heels. I mentioned that before, and no one though that it was a good idea. There seems to be way around a one piece neck. There ARE necks with peg box/scrolls grafted on; but that seems like a lot of work! I thought of making the neck adjustable, like the Stauffer guitar; but I don't know how THAT would be accepted. I know that Joseph Curtain said that he was working on the idea, or thought about it; but he is Joseph Curtain.
  2. I have my iPod mini on random play, so I get whatever comes up: I might get Prokofiev #5, Fortress Around Your Heart, South Side od the Sky, Mozart, Tarkus, Generation Landslide. Older Progressive rock, and stuff like Spirit. and older Christian rock, New music isn't on it, because most isn't very good! Shostakovich, Pictures at an Expedition, Spock's Beard. A lot of the classical got taken off, because there is only so much room on that little thing. I guess subscriptions is where they want you to be. All that cloud stuff. I don't have a radio, and the one on the iPad doesn't come in good. The cell phone doesn't work so well either. It is all familiar stuff I can sing, hum, or whistle note for note. Roughing is fine for music. Detail work isn't. I have enough trouble with details.
  3. That is a good question. To participate in the zoom meeting you do have to get an invitation, and they are sent out from the members list. So, somehow you have to get on the list. It does seem that zoom meetings do open the door for more presentors. You don't have to fly someone to Detroit, set them up in a hotel in Ann Arbor, and it is a two day commitment. This meeting has 2 presentations. We had one from the UK, and another from the east coast. They are great for someone who is not in southeast Michigan. I do miss the meetings though. Maybe Peter will come on and say how it works. There was provision for paying to come to one meeting, but now with zoom, I don't know if it has changed. The dues are really reasonable, the price of a cheap violin belly.
  4. I don't/haven't used templates at all. I start on the inside, and work from there. I've been told that it is not done that way; but it works. To get something very close to an arching of a certain model, you must do a lot of planning. You also have to be careful in your initial carving on both the inside and outside. I rough everything leaving a mm or so on each side; and more on the outer half or so.Then I tap them, flex them, and try to figure out if they seem like they are still way stiff, or already getting to where they should be. I might make them higher, or drop them lower, or make them to plan. There is a lot of leeway. If you want curate cycloids, then you have to be sure not to get the initial arching too close to the edges. Even flatter arches tend to look bulbous if you rough them closer to the edge; but it will work for a Brescian arch, I think. IF you had an instrument right in front of you to copy, it would be easier. With a plan and a photo? A VSO is all you will achieve; unless you have a lot of experience examining, and handling .edu instruments of the style that you are working on. I've only worked with pictures, so all I can create are facsimiles. Del Gesu changed things up on nearly every model near the end. He didn't have to conform to a specified result. You are normally only given 5 arches for the entire length. Even if you follow these, a lot can go wrong inbetween. Then again, I'm not normal.
  5. I usually only manage little scrapes and pokes, often from the wood. I dropped a violin neck on my toe and broke it. Just the other day I was cutting something circular on my small bandsaw, and the blade stuck. Turned it off, opened the guard door and spun the wheel to free it. My little finger hit the very sharp edge of the blade GUARD, and put a gash in it. As usual, something odd.
  6. Hey Jay, I just remembered that the forms are not there! Go to Thestradsound.com/maestronet/stradivari-forma-by-addie
  7. It is addictive, isn't it? I think that the scroll looks quite nice. I put a lot more fluting in the front, and under toward the pegbox, but I don't know if everyone does that or not; I just follow pictures if I can find them! You could thin the top of the pegbox walls so they don't look so thick. But maybe the model you are using is like that. Your overhangs look pretty even. I've sometimes roughed the outside outline too small, and have had irregular overhangs just trying to move the ribs around so they fit! The f hole looks nice. I sometimes get the tabs? too thin. Are they on the same angle? It's hard to tell. But not many old Italians are really symmetrical. I once used a 1/8 drill for the pin holes by mistake. Oh well. The recurve area is where I spend most of my time. That is the hardest part to get looking good. The transition areas. Look at the arching to see where it changes from convex to concave. Look for the low point. Watch where the confines transition into the channel. I'm not a real detail person. I see the big picture; so do my eyes! So details with a magnifier are an absolute must for me. What are you using for your plan? A poster? A photo? I use both, most like posters. Some even have a real instrument to look at. I'd go with a poster. Use a design that you like If you like the look of del Gesu, go with one of his. The Veuixtemps, and the Plowden are good posters with lots of info. Most of the new ones are like that. If you like Strads, go for one of his. If you like the design, you will like making it. You can use the mold outlines given by Addie in the pinned section at the top of Pegbox. I don't think you could go wrong with those for a mold. Purfling? I can't tell you anything about that! I think you've done a very decent job. You know what you'd like to change. My hardest part is still purfling, and then not wrecking it with varnish. The best thing I can suggest is to look at it all the time from different angles, and at different times. Do some work, set it down. Pick it up later, and look at it with fresh eyes. Do that over and over.
  8. I finished a violin that I was never satisfied with the varnish about a year ago. It is inspirited by fall leaves. The varnish is fairly decent, for me at least! It doesn't look new, or from a factory. Revarnishing is harder than varnishing. Do it right the first time! I managed to get the ribs looking ok. I usually don't think about them. Really. That's true. The fingerboard, pegs, and I think the tailpiece is made of Katalox. It was labeled as royal ebony. One side was black and the other cream. The cream is hard, but slightly less dense than the black. Maybe something like .78 to .9 sg. I don't really remember. It was hard enough for what it's doing. I thought that these days with all the wood bans, getting around ebony would be good. The light wood gives a different look. It glows more than the photos show.
  9. Yes, I can see how you would be disappointed in that. Really? It looks great! Everything about judging is about personal taste. Even things like workmanship are subject to pet peeves. Rounder edges, sharper edges. Style is the same way. The scroll looks wonderful with that wood and edge treatment, but Andreas wants less recurve. It is almost like trying to sell the cello to the judge. Actually several judges. You don't need to, you have a happy customer! Your photos of texture and close up varnish and edge work show nothing is lacking. Good job. Murnau sounds like a Polynesian island. A city in Bavaria? Hah. I would have never guessed that.
  10. Why does it say saved, and not sent? Weird.
  11. That's all I ever use. Just the smell of denatured alcohol gives me an awful headache.
  12. That's all I ever use. Just the smell of denatured alcohol gives me an awful headache.
  13. Christian, I agree with Tone, you are indeed a lucky man. Many go through life without a true friend, and you had a life long one. Outside of marriage, that is a pretty rare thing. Ken
  14. Ken_N

    Student Cello

    I was checking dimensions out. The neck is a half inch short. Isn't that something you'd want to get right? I'm still thinking of making a small one, based on something, so it doesn't look nasty. What kind of strings actually sound surprisingly good on 1/2 scale cellos? I looked up gut string tensions, and it's around 100 pounds for a full size, (80-110 from Gamut) and the same strings would give about 80 pounds at 600 length compared to 690. Do they increase the tension, or add some weight? The little guitar only has 80 pounds, on a 620 scale. The top 3 are nylgut.
  15. Ken_N

    Student Cello

    I guess to take the ugly off it, I'd have to start over. The guitar is a sweet little thing though. Maybe a small cello would be fun to make.
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