Jim Bress

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About Jim Bress

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    Maryland, USA

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  1. Equisetum

    I passed some around at the workshop last summer. Did I miss you? I tried it side by side with micro-mesh (foam backed) and I think the Equisetum burnishes maple better. That was with the micro-mesh and Equisetum I had on hand. Can't say if it's true for all Equisetum vs. all micro-mesh. The backing on Dorian Barnes' stuff makes it very flexible and user friendly. Natural Equisetum (without the backing that Dorian puts on) that I've tried is less flexible, but on average more aggressive. At least more aggressive than the single pack I have of Dorian's Equisetum. Small sample size for a meaningful conclusion. The other question is, does it make any difference after the first coat of varnish?
  2. JacksonMaberry's Bench

    Might as well get all the repair instruction while you're paying for it. When the instructors not looking try knocking off the head of the scroll so you can learn to do a scroll graph. Well, maybe not your first scroll. That ones too pretty to sabotage. -Jim
  3. Cracks in Bending Ribs

    I just bent c-bout ribs this morning. I was about to wet the surface of the ribs and a paper towel happened to be in my way. I thought what the heck, try it Berl's way. Turned the rib stock to rubber in a ~5 seconds. Flicked off the paper towel and slid the rib around the tight curve of the iron and let the shape set as the wood dried for another ~5 seconds. Very fast and easy. Nice tip! -JIm
  4. Cracks in Bending Ribs

    I'm assuming you're working with particularly uncooperative rib stock because you've bent plenty of ribs. I've used a 10% solution of glycerin for the corner bends with brittle purfling. Just a quick wipe with moist fingers before going to the iron. I don't know how long the wood takes to regain it's stiffness so I'm not sure if it's a good idea for ribs not backed by the corner block. -Jim
  5. Conforming f-hole templates to arching between c-bouts

    At the VSA, Joseph Curtin, Fan Tao, and Marilyn Wallin (I don't have my notes in front of me) gave a lecture on a viola study with 25 violas made from identical outlines (cnc forms). Part of Oberlin acoustics lab I believe. One thing they noted from the mountain of data that they are still wading through is that a trend is surfacing from the preliminary data that the area between the f-holes (f-hole length and distance apart) has a major affect on tone. Smaller area = brighter more focused; vs. larger area = darker less focused tone. Also that AO depends on length of f-hole, body of instrument (internal volume?), and stiffness of top. Again, this is from memory not my notes. -Jim
  6. Conforming f-hole templates to arching between c-bouts

    Is the issue the difference between caliper length of the f-hole vs. following the arch length? If so, in addition to Nate's advise (always good), you could drill the eyes based on the measurements given then make Strad style templates (sans eyes) to draw the rest. I wish I had a cast like the Bett's cast we saw at the LOC. Feeling the fluting and edge of the f-hole from the lower wing up across the eye brow are details that pictures really can't convey. -Jim Edit: Betts F-hole picture taken in 2013
  7. Good Cello Makers

    They is just Julian. He may. You’ll have to contact him and find out.
  8. Good Cello Makers

    You might try contacting Julian Cossmann Cooke, a maestronet member that lives in Austin Texas. http://www.cossmannviolins.com -Jim
  9. violin linings

    Aside from providing a larger gluing surface for the plates, do the linings also provide stiffness for the ribs? If this is the case, is there a point where choice of lining material can be too low in density?
  10. Joe's Varnish

    That would have been nice. I had my #2 with me as well. Open mic was a blast. The Nashville trio were great and some of the singers were out of this world. I was actually standing right behind you the whole time. That’s where I introduced myself to you, but a lot was going on at the time. ...next time. -Jim
  11. Joe's Varnish

    Berl, are talking about the viola hanging in the center position? All 3 were nice (of course). My taste went to the fiddle on the left. Lightest of the three, but showed off the wood the best IMO. Best varnish of the weekend, Carl Becker Jr's 2010 violin. I've never seen a varnish give that much depth to the top wood before. However Joe's varnish is available. I have pictures, but I don't know if it's OK to show other peoples instruments without their permission. Wish we had a chance to chat more than just a hand shake. Maybe next time. Nick, I guess we just didn't recognize each other. I never saw a fiddle walking around and you probably didn't notice a black bear in the hotel. Cheers, Jim
  12. Applying Vernice Bianca

    I understand "adhering ability", or at least the lack of adherence. I used a gelatin seal on my #1 top and likely applied too much. Not only did I have application problems with the top, but I continue to loose bits of varnish from the top only. The violin get used gently. No problems on the rest of the violin.
  13. Favorite small viola model?

    Is the size of the viola giving the illusion of relatively lower rib height, or are the ribs actually somewhat lower than usual? Really enjoyed the video. -Jim
  14. Trade Secrets Index

    Great idea Frank. Thanks for volunteering!
  15. Trade Secrets Index

    I finished adding the Trade secrets magazines to the index. Going through the contents of the three magazines made realize how much information I have sitting on the shelf. Thanks for starting this Julian! Trade Secrets Final.xls