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  1. Managing our wood stock - how much wood we need?

    First step in your recovery is to admit that you have a problem, second step is to send a pallet of your loveliest tonewood to me. I will pm you my address. This is going to be really good for you. I'm happy to help free you of this dangerous addiction.
  2. Nicolò Amati / Stradivari connection

    How many decorated Nicola Amatis are there? Does anyone know? Only two known? Or more...? I'm embarrassed that I hadn't seen this and didn't know about it, just about the numerous old man Andrea decorated instruments. Thanks for the link to the Dilworth article. He is such a fantastic researcher and maker. 1650 makes sense and is an interesting hypothesis. Edited to add: I just saw Roger Hargrave's article on N. Amati and the Alard, which mentions the two decorated instruments. The King Louis you posted has a date of 1656, which would have made Stradivari 12. Roger is a proponent of the apprenticeship to the extent that he believes it's pretty obvious that it happened. You may want to have a look at that too.
  3. Mad Money

    Ooooh. Probably a better investment than a year of Ivy League tuition. Still, pffff. I'm being as objective as possible when I say it's just not pretty.
  4. Widely varying rib thicknesses

    Yikes. What's it sound like?
  5. Nicolò Amati / Stradivari connection

    I could be wrong, but I thought everyone acknowledges the extreme Nicolo Amati influence in Stradivari's work, all the way up until the Golden Period. I think that is one reason some people are excited about the Tuscan Stradivari (Scrollavezza/Zanre vol. 2) , because the corners and some other features are very Amatise but there are also some unique features of Stradivari's work in that one (spell check is dinging me for that one, "Amatise", but I think it's a word). Well, my husband is excited. He likes Amati better than Stradivari, which makes him weird, but he is looking forward to making the Tuscan. I am not even sure if he has made a Stradivari copy before...I actually don't think he has! I know, really weird. Let me try with what I understood as what is generally the case...Amati arches really swoop up dramatically from the channel, as opposed to Stradivari arches, which I can kind of see in the example you posted...and I think the Tuscan, if I remember right, is an example of a clearly Antonio Stradivari arch. But it's still well before the Golden Period. So there was a ton of Amati influence. Isn't that generally understood? Or maybe I don't understand the question. I look forward to lots of dialogue on this topic, because it's something I need to learn more about too. I should probably just read the Hill book cover to cover, but I would rather hear it from you all. When Roger Hargrave was on here a lot there were lots of interesting debates about a possible apprenticeship. It seems logical and likely to me, but it's not something that's accepted. You'd think that, since they lived and worked on the same street, they would have to know an awful lot about each other's work. I like the decorated instruments but know nil about them. Looking forward to someone making it interesting. Please post more photos, everyone!
  6. Ha! Just in time for the 2018 VSA. Really good idea. A leisurely pace will be ideal for the participants.
  7. Harvesting and processing horsetail

    Fin: Your baby is adorable. I take my kids out to gather the equisetum too. And my baby also goes in an Ergo on my back. I was so pleased when my son went on a hike with his class and found a new source of horsetail, and of course he told his friends all about how it is used. He's old enough to help prepare it too, which is nice. Here is some of the horsetail from my area. It is really, really good stuff. I think anything usable for woodworking purposes is a variety of the equisetum hyemale, but I don't even know that for sure. The reeds on these are fat and it can be hard to press. As you can see, the little ridges or fissures are deep and sharp, and it's still very green after drying for many months now. Just the evergreen quality is something I would like to understand more. Some will turn more brown during drying, but regain greenness when soaked, which I think is so bizarre. I don't think I know that much about it, but I find it pretty interesting. I don't subscribe to the method of boiling and scooping and scraping out the waxy layers inside the reed, but that is an ancient method you could try just to try it. That will make it more paperlike. I just soak it and back it after drying it fully because I suspect boiling could remove silica or change the qualities too much, just personally didn't like it when I tried it. I do make a tea from it and this is part of the wood treatment too, because I think it makes sense to try to get silica in the wood by any means necessary, especially the spruce. No scientific evidence for any of it, just that my husband likes the results and prefers using that to sandpaper or Micromesh for some things. Dorian Barnes in Houton sells a horsetail product that has the green removed, and I wondered why too. I would like to know.
  8. Viola d'Amore check in, please?

    Absolutely awesome story, so much so that I forgot it was sad because I was too busy giggling about God hating the vanity and slothfulness people can enjoy with flush toilets (or something). What colorful family members! Will L should write a book.
  9. Harvesting and processing horsetail

    Also... I clamped the pieces flat a little vigorously a couple of times and they came out with the cutting surface blunted. That was a product very much unlike burnishing with typing paper, but those pieces also were not producing those perfect, neat little shavings, as good shaving grass will. So clamp to dry them, but just barely. Two weeks is too much maybe but I feel two or three days is rushing it. Also. Anyone who knocks this stuff hasn't used it for real. This thread isn't so bad, but the haters usually show up to weigh in on some sort of high-stakes heated equisetum debate. [In snivelly voice:] "Stradivari was stupid. Stradivari lived in the Dark Ages. Use sandpaper."... don't listen to that noise. Shaving grass is great, and its effects are unique.
  10. Harvesting and processing horsetail

    I don't bother the plants with rhizome shoots on them, for obvious selfish reasons, but mostly I just scissor off mature plants and store them inside, tied together or in tubes. Pretty simple. It's amazing to me that a plant that has been drying for 10 years will turn green when soaked. At which point I cut tubules off with scissors and split them (using sharp blade) and press them flat between cork lined boards. I suspect you will like the results if you press wet horsetail for a couple weeks, then back it with high-tack tape. It's awesome stuff and I wish you fun using it and learning about it. At first try getting 10 stalks, as you probably will not use much more than that in two years. Each piece will cut differently.
  11. Apparently someone cares enough to try to impersonate me or hack my account and otherwise just make things interesting. Aww, I'm touched. I look forward to seeing future posts of mine that I didn't write. Good luck, whoever you are. My password is unpredictable, wordy, and nonsensical, like me. Unfortunately the system locks users out of their own accounts for a few minutes when that sort of action is detected. That is annoying. Any way to change the default security measures to, say, an email asking the user to confirm or deny that the login attempt was made by themselves?
  12. How do you "dirty" up a new instrument?

    I'm so bummed that I can't seem to market my old dead skin and tracked-in filth, I mean, my artisinal schmutz. I just saw this super enlightening video of a lecture on how to antique violins, and maybe someone will learn something from watching. I didn't, but that's because I already read all of the same articles he did. Seriously, watch this. I think this guy got out of Newark last year or this year maybe... (spoiler alert: Vandyke Brown-start at 60 minutes for description of the method used by him )
  13. Was ist das? (German cello)

    LOB 759 Linings are morticed into the blocks The fluting doesn't stop short:
  14. Should I Hate This More??

    I guess Crispilli instruments have gone for less before. Huh. I don't think it's particularly pretty, at all, but who cares. Odds are good for higher resale value sometime down the line, right?
  15. Should I Hate This More??

    I would guess not, just because the year "1979" is written in such a Germanic fashion. I'm not even looking at the viola. But that also doesn't look local to anywhere in Italy to me...especially not Venice. My husband's on a major Venetian kick right now, so Venetian stuff is just about all I'm looking at these days too. ETA: Dwight! You should buy the viola. Do not hate the viola. It's never done anything to you.