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Ken_N

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Everything posted by Ken_N

  1. Mine lacks a lot in the way of finesse. A bound fretboard and inlays would help. The head is horrible; someone should have stopped me. Roller tuners, at least, and maybe a scroll for fun? But it plays really nice! I just changed the bridge, tailpiece, and switched to steel strings. It is hard to play now! My fingers liked the 100 pound strings. But it sounds more like an arch top than a classical now. The "Stradicaster" is like a hybrid. Like an opened up hollow body/archtop/electric. I think they did a good job mixing that with the violin theme.
  2. I have to agree with Nick. It is a guitar. It isn't a violin. Guitars are short and fat. Some of the elements look like they were done quite well. I made my arch top with much higher arching, and scaled down Guadagnini F holes. It still doesn't look anything like a Guadagnini cello. It's a guitar. Would I pay $30,000 for one? No, but I'm not their market. Their market is 6 guys who HAVE TO have it. I've never spent $30,000 for a car! Why hate?
  3. That bent iron is very different. When you're done, you can grill some chicken or burgers. Why waste the charcoal? Almost like being a blacksmith. I am going to get with David one day soon. I have one rib left to thickness, and I have to get the corner blocks trimmed. The tapered sides make the bend more challenging; so they need to be correct. The form's been sitting there waiting since 2015! I'm not sure if it is really set. It is close anyway. The heating blanket and forms is used by guitar makers. It always seemed to take up a lot of space, and then one for each model. There is an intriguing idea used by a maker in Chicago, who's Amati guitar got me to make an arch top of my own. It could be modified easily for any shape or size. I don't suppose it would be adaptable for tapered sides. Tapered widths could be done. Flip the form with dowels on the other side. Keep the flat side against the form. Why I wanted tapered ribs almost 7 years ago I don't know. Seemed like the thing to do. I was making the top bigger, like Guadagnini. On a Gagliano shape. On a violin it isn't that much of a difference. On a cello: it is.
  4. Thanks Evan! It does have flame. It is a one piece slab, but still flamed. I like the idea of ironing the bouts. I didn't mention that the belly is larger than the back either. Should be fun. I do have an iron I got at a garage sale. I'm not that stupid.
  5. Ahh. I have the ribs cut out, and almost thinned down for a cello. It was more work than roughing out the back with planes! A lot more work than violins and violas. Now I realize that my 3" tall bending arm isn't going to bend them! I did an arch top guitar, but those sides are 3". I thought of a 2" diameter pipe, and heating it with a heat gun. Clamp it horizontal on the bench somehow, and go for it. 2" would work for the corners. I thought of the one from the UK, but who knows if I'lll make another. It is nice to work on a larger scale though. Has anyone tried this? Besides the corners, most of it is quite a gentle bend. What kind of material works? I haven't looked in a big box store since I thought of this the other day. Insolation? Extra length to cut down on heat? I used the heat gun on a hand made solid aluminum form for my first few violins, and it worked. Not great, but it worked. The Chinese one I have now is not what I'd call great either. Shapes are just not right.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Hey Jay, I just remembered that the forms are not there! Go to Thestradsound.com/maestronet/stradivari-forma-by-addie
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Why does it say saved, and not sent? Weird.
  16. That's all I ever use. Just the smell of denatured alcohol gives me an awful headache.
  17. That's all I ever use. Just the smell of denatured alcohol gives me an awful headache.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Ken_N

    Student Cello

    Ahhh, thanks! I'm going out to a wood store this coming Friday, and I'll look out for some spruce. I think the thing is HUGE. It only plays 4 notes, a third, lower than a guitar. The one I just finished is smaller than even a parlor size guitar; but it sounds pretty good. There should be no reason that a cello that has twice its volume, and 70% more area on the front and back should sound hideous. The neck is a couple mm thicker than the dimensions that I have for full size necks! It feels like holding one of those really fat pens. I don't know how far I'll go with the idea. Just a re top, and getting rid of the weirdness; or just making a small cello that sounds great. Maybe in a living room, and not a concert hall; in the same way as a parlor guitar, or couch noodler. Shouldn't that be possible? Hey. The f holes do have that Gofriller feel. but the body is skinnier.
  22. Mike, That is some serious color for "bare" wood.
  23. Ken_N

    Student Cello

    Well it does seem to have something like a Romberg flat. Hey, frets might help the notes for students. "Learn how to play with the frets, then we'll give you a cello without frets. It's easier on the ears". I was just amazed at how old the tuners, fine tuners and tailpiece seem. I thought it was small, but the thing is too big to sit on my couch and play, you'd need a real chair. No, I didn't try to play it without strings. I have an imagination. Did I mention that it is heavy?
  24. I found a student cello at a garage sale today, and posted it on pegbox. I'm not dead. The year has flown! I have the walnut/Alaska cedar, and the Padauk/P.O. Cedar waiting for me to make pegs. I just finished a guitar based on an 1829 Stauffer from Austria. The guy who taught Martin. It has an adjustable neck, like Joseph Curtin talked about at a Michigan Violinmakers Assn. meeting back in January? The turners are just regular tuners under the cover, and not tuners built on a brass back. You can buy those, with fancy engraving for $860 or so. Mine was about 1/50th of that. The guitar is small, with a 620 scale length. It sounds really good. I changed the bracing. Not the locations, I just made them a little lower, very pointed, and shaped like a cycloid down to nothing at the ends, and not almost straight across, with a curve out to 5mm tall. When I get the pegs done, I'll show some violins. I did varnish changes on some.
  25. Ken_N

    Student Cello

    I've never found anything musical at a garage sale. We were going to Kroger today, and I found a 1/2 size cello. Englehardt, made in USA. It isn't broken, Well a couple places are missing pieces of ply on the top, and it has scratches from the tailpiece not being attache with strings. The thing is heavy because it is overbuilt. The fretboard looks like it is some kind of cheap wood, with a hardwood veneer that is painted black. The tailpiece is huge. The pegbox is massive. It has glued on ears and machine tuners! I thought it was a double bass for 4 year olds! Besides the machine tuners it has gargantuan fine tuners that look like they were made on a forge a hundred years ago. They wanted to be sure that it was in tune! How about the Rube Goldberg tail gut of .080" wire? Cool eh? For $5 I bought it. I have no doubt that it could be set up and played. How well it would sound, I don't know. Now, what to do with it?
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