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Everything posted by TedN

  1. OK, I see what you're saying. I'm more interested in certificates from living makers. I am a violin maker, and I was thinking about providing a certificate of authenticity when I sell my instrument. Is that a common practice? I was thinking along the lines of purchasing a new Rolex watch. With the watch, you receive a certificate of authenticity, or some sort of paper work that the owner generally retains to verify that the watch is authentic and it was purchased on a certain date, and other people who have purchased the same model Rolex watch will have the same paper work. It goes along way providing the paper work along with the watch if you want to sell the watch in the future. If you have the paper work with the watch it also makes the watch more valuable, and in some cases people with original paperwork can sell the watch for double the price. It lends credence that the watch is not a fake.
  2. Did you receive a certificate from the dealer or from the actual maker? Duane, are you speaking to certs from a dealer or an authenticating service?
  3. Does anyone here provide a certificate of authenticity with a fiddle sale? When you buy a Rolex, you get a box and papers that prove authenticity and provenance. Is it a good practice to provide this with a fiddle? If you do provide this, how does that work if you sell through a dealer? You just send the deal the cert, and they provide it to the customer? Would dealers have a reason to frown upon this practice?
  4. Thanks for this information Julian! I didn't realize you could deduct purchases from several years ago. That's good to know. I have several wood purchases I would like to deduct once I start getting some actual income.
  5. Thanks for all this information. It is very helpful and gives me a good list of things to look into. One thing I'm wondering about is if I need to have a certain amount of income from the business before I "declare" it a business, because it seems that it could collapse under it's own weight before it gets off the ground if I hire lawyers and take out insurance. All I will have is 60k for startup funds. I was hoping this will last 3 years. I would be paying myself $400 per week. I know that's not going to get me very far, but I think that's all I can muster. I'm assuming the first year will just be for making, because I won't have anything to sell until the first batch are made, so I probably wouldn't declare it as a business until the second year. I probably need to have a certain amount of income from the violins in order to be able to pay for taxes, and lawyers and insurance before this will work. Obviously, I'll need a certain percentage of that money to be profit so I can keep going as well. It's a lot to think about. I wonder if maybe I shouldn't plan too much for it, and just do it and let the chips fall where they may as necessity arises.
  6. For those of you who have made violin making into a small business, were there resources that you used to learn how to do this? I know about violin making, but I don't know anything about running a small business. Did you watch youtube videos or read books in order to learn how to do this? I'm concerned about taxes, creating an LLC, cash flow, dealers purchasing instruments, marketing, ect. Did you fly under the radar for the first couple years until you got established a little bit?
  7. TedN

    violin photography

    I wonder if something like this would work for the flood light: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Warmoon-Outdoor-LED-Flood-Light-50W-Warm-White-3200K-Waterproof-Security-Lights-with-3-Prong-US-Plug/464060495
  8. TedN

    violin photography

    Yes, I tried a white sheet over an iguana light, but it did make the problem worse. It reflected over a much larger part of the violin. It did also make the wood look kind of flat. I will try the floodlight method. Thanks for mentioning this Michael!
  9. TedN

    violin photography

    I was reviewing his article. It's quite in depth and he uses expensive equipment. I was hoping for the "poor man's" method to violin photography. Is there an easy and cheap way to film violins that cuts out the glare?
  10. I was wondering if anyone here has had success photographing violins without a reflection. I was thinking about purchasing a camera umbrella to do this, but I think there will still be a reflection. I was looking into camera umbrellas, and there appear to be white ones that shine the light through and reflective ones that have aluminum foil and reflect the light. I just tried putting a large piece of domed shaped tin foil in front of a light to reflect the light onto the wall, and put my violin in front of it, but there was still a reflection. So this makes me wonder if a camera umbrella will work for preventing light reflection. Has anyone had any success in doing this?
  11. TedN

    soundpost crack

    What causes a soundpost crack? Can a soundpost crack be caused by a soundpost that is too close to the bridge feet?
  12. TedN


    These guys look a little sketchy too: https://www.goldentonewood.com/shop/ https://www.carpathiantonewood.com/how-to-buy/
  13. Has anyone bought wood from this guy? http://flamemaple.sk Many years ago I got ripped off by a tonewood dealer around Slovakia or Romania. I am always leery about purchasing wood these days.
  14. Would you use this piece of wood for a scroll if it had an air check like this?
  15. It looks like that label could have been made illegible on purpose. Notice how the dirt is in a halo around just the label and no where else. This could have been simply from the dirt coming through the f holes in that circular pattern, but usually it's a bit more dispersed throughout the area than we're seeing here.
  16. I was in your shoes maybe 8 years ago. I thought I could teach myself how to make a violin through the Courtnall book. I gave it a shot and learned a lot, but the violin was horrendous. Then I found a professional violin maker (not going to name names here) who was willing to teach me. He told me on day one that I need to forget everything that I thought I knew, and do exactly what he does, with the exact tools that he used. I've been at it for a very long time. I've made high quality, professional level violins under his tutelage. I realized there was no way I would have gotten to this level if I didn't have instruction from an expert. There's too many nuances in building a violin to be able to teach yourself from a book, in my humble opinion. Well, that is, if you're going to build one well. My other opinion is that if you're not going to do it right, then it's not really worth doing it at all because it is an enormous investment in time and money. I've spent at least 40 thousand dollars between tools, lessons, wood, ect. Maybe more. So, my advice, for what it's worth, is to find an excellent luthier, and commit yourself to the lifestyle of violin making. It really is a life long commitment if you're going to do it right. I think of it like having kids. Once you have them, you have them.
  17. I'll give this a shot. I used hide glue.
  18. I purchased a white violin off ebay to practice varnishing. I varnished it, and it has been hanging around for several years. I figured I might as well glue on a fingerboard, put some strings on it, set it up correctly and pass it along to a student. In any case, I had practiced inserting a "test" label into this fiddle. I wanted to practice inserting a label through the f hole, before I attempted it on one of my real instruments. It was one of my real labels, but I can't sell it like that. What's the best way to get it out of there? Should I put some damp paper towels over it, and leave it for a couple hours, then hope I can peal it out? I suppose I could just label over it, but that could be a cause for confusion down the road if the first label became humid and peeled off. I'd rather start fresh with a new label explaining that I did the varnish and setup work, but it's a chinese instrument.
  19. Oh, I thought you were talking about a heat treatment for bluing like you'll see on old firearms.
  20. Don, this is the type of machine I was thinking about purchasing. Which type do you have? I see they can be purchased at Harbor Freight, but those may not be precision enough for flattening? Probably a conversation for another thread, but how do you blue your metal?
  21. I was wondering if anyone owns a miniature milling machine for flattening planes and things. If so, what kind do you own and do you like it?
  22. TedN

    kiln dried wood

    Well, if you felt grass clippings that were freshly cut and grass clippings that had been backing in the sun all summer, you'd be able to tell which one had moisture content and which one didn't, with a blind fold on. One is crisp and one is more malleable. I think you can do the same with wood, to some degree. ... Yes, but isn't it all connected? You seal the ends of the wood to prevent air checks, but the reason the air checks form (I believe) is because the wood is drying out unevenly? I think that's the cause of air checks, but I could be mistaken. But then when you seal the ends, the moisture gets stuck within the wood, (kind of like sealing the ends of a straw) and the only way for it to escape is to permeate through the wood cells. That, I would imagine, is a slow process, unless the wood cells are somewhat porous. I'm not sure. Eventually the moisture probably escapes. What I was wondering is if the water escaping through the wood cells makes the cells relax a bit and releases tensions in the wood. Purely speculating here.
  23. TedN

    kiln dried wood

    Thanks for all your replies! Martin, when you say " But correctly kilned wood has exactly the same properties as air-dried wood as Don says. Mainly it feels different to air-dried wood because it's .... dry. " Do you mean that perhaps air dried wood may still be retaining some of the moisture, whereas, kiln dried wood is totally, totally dry. Like desert dry? I wonder if it's too dry, if that impacts the instrument. The wood I have feels like saltine crackers it's so dry. Other air dried wood that I have, feels dry, but you can tell there's some moisture in there still. Kind of hard to describe I guess. Air dried wood is sealed on the ends with wax while it still has some moisture content within the wood. I'm not exactly sure how the moisture escapes the wood cells, but it must escape eventually by osmosis I presume. I wonder if the water escaping through the wood cells somehow relieves tensions within the wood?
  24. TedN

    kiln dried wood

    I had used wood from this particular seller before and my teacher suspected that it was kiln dried. The reason was that the ribs were impossible to bend. They always snapped. He couldn't even bend them, and he's an expert. I wonder if this is a characteristic of kiln dried wood? I wonder if the kiln drying somehow impacts the flexibility of the wood.
  25. TedN

    kiln dried wood

    I purchased some tonewood from a supplier, but it feels very dry to me. Is there a way to tell if wood has been kiln dried? If I can find out that it has been kiln dried, should I still make a violin from it? Does it make a lesser quality instrument?