not telling

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  1. Modern makers have access to such amazing wood in such quantities that you can choose not to use it if you see small (or serious) problems before things progress too far. If you're damn near done with the thing, maybe you fill that. But isnt a pitch pocket a very different issue structurally speaking, than a long crack in a bad spot? Which he knows about early enough to write it off. As badly as we are lacking any violin wood in my house right now, any, I would personally discourage my own husband to use this wood at all. I feel like you don't want bad things to happen because of a preventable error. What if the crack stretched out considerably as soon as it was sold? Not good. It could happen that way. It's a risk, and new instruments are too expensive to risk this. Again, only my $.02
  2. Selling a viola made with wood with major weakness and defects obvious to you (even repaired), calling it "new", could be seen as dishonest or in some "almost dishonest" gray area. Maybe only you would know, for awhile, but would you be really comfortable with that? You decide. The other factor...I suspect you have more wood, glorious wood, to use (as is your way), so if that's the case, maybe just start over. I hope you didn't lose a ton of hours on this. It's not even purfled yet. I wouldn't think about it more, that just wastes more time. I've seen people justify using far, far worse, much worse (!), basically out of impatience and laziness imho, and although I am not a buyer, I personally think it's dishonest and kind of crummy and a slippery slope to boot. New instruments should emerge out of the gate the best they can be. Yes...a cleated instrument is very functional. They're all cleated after 20 years anyway. There are a million justifications. But there's my opinion, and you asked for opinions.
  3. not telling

    But it's my favorite maker.......

    It would probably be an excellent investment even with the entire top not being original. Better start casing regional banks now. You will probably have to rob several banks! Good luck. Wear a cool mask. Send me the newspaper clippings detailing your ill-gotten gains; I'll be rooting for you.
  4. not telling

    Store bought varnish? I think I've found the right stuff?

    Joe Robson: Did you (or anyone you know) ever experiment with kermes? I definitely want to read about your cochineal concoction, but have always wondered about the earliest red dyes. I suspect the cochineal has some more desirable qualities and I look forward to learning more about it.
  5. not telling

    Flatening a plane

    Once my husband had to make a cello center joint with a Bailey, a decent old plane, flat, etc., and he was having a hard time with it. His boss, who guarded his Lie Nielsen #7 like a hawk, went to lunch. You can guess what happened, maybe. It took, my DH reported, three strokes to make the joint perfect...from total frustrated almost-not-quite, to perfect. Sometimes it is more the tool than the technique. Knowing the difference can be even more frustrating than just thinking that the technique needs work. Reportedly. A Lie Nielsen #7 is not $30 at the antique mall, you know?
  6. not telling

    Flatening a plane

    Huh? So people flatten their planes because they are not skilled enough not to?
  7. not telling

    Flatening a plane

    Assuming you are all-analog with your sharpening and flattening technology...as you should be... My husband says that his Stanley took him hours...and hours...to flatten. Be patient or get a Veritas/Lie Nielsen, which takes around an hour. Either way it must be flat, which you know. If you get a coarse diamond stone you could cut that time down some. Japan Woodworker carries them. Not cheap, though.
  8. not telling

    Scroll to pegbox transition

    Sorry, I misunderstood the question, but here is a nice old photo anyway. Peregrino di Zanetto, 1570-80. I thought if I knew the answer to one of these historical questions something must be wrong. Indeed.
  9. not telling

    Scroll to pegbox transition

    I think it's a common Brescian feature, as in P. Di Zanetto and Brenzi, probably others too, and super common in viols. Early period obviously., around late 16th c. Purfling on the peg box is an early feature too. That second one you posted looks not Brescian, but not Cremonese either. Not blending the box with the scroll looks weird. All of the earliest violin makers probably made viols too, so that makes sense.
  10. not telling

    UV Cabinet

    Not too keen. I am sure everyone agrees that sunlight is the best way, but most probably do some tanning in the light box (especially this time of year). The Michetschläger book is pretty good to have, just to know his thoughts. At one time, nearly all professionals relied on his varnishes and accepted that his opinions regarding varnishes and such were all formed through research. But at the same time, I think most also relied on some mix of uva/uvb in the light box (he advised low watt UVA only) and most were doing some tanning, and continued to do so.
  11. not telling

    UV Cabinet

    From Koen Padding's article mentioned by Urban Luthier. He recommended a specific bulb but it is no longer manufactured. Someone recommended lizard lamps to my husband, with a mix of UVA and UVB, in addition to the long low wattage bulbs. Works fine, but any of these setups work fine. Whichever bulbs you use, when you make your cabinet you may want to bear Padding's advice in mind as far as construction concerns. Hope this helps.
  12. not telling

    Don Noon's bench

    Wow, Don. Congratulations. It's been fun to watch you get better and better. I would ask what you're putting in the spruce to make it look lit from within, but you'd better not tell anyone. Looks good though. Good luck with the VSA competition going your way, or at least into the 3rd round of judging.
  13. not telling

    Store bought varnish? I think I've found the right stuff?

    Tad Sturgeon's website is pretty interesting because he, like Roger Hargrave, washes any oil he gets for artistic use. He's written up a nice piece explaining why which gets posted in these forums periodically. Roger believes in leaving some fatty acids (with his pouroff method) and Tad Sturgeon does the sand/saltwater method to remove as much as possible. Either way, it's just the tip of the iceberg as far as ancient knowledge, artist materials, etc. If you do use a food grade oil, you will want to do more washing maybe. I think it is best to buy the good stuff and wash that rather than taking a risk, but you can probably get by with food oil. I believe that it is a risk, but my opinion isn't that important.
  14. not telling

    Store bought varnish? I think I've found the right stuff?

    I never saw a walnut oil for human consumption that didn't have something else added, vitamin E is common, to keep the oil from becoming rancid. Any food additive would probably make it act differently, dry even slower, etc. It's important to source fresh and cold-pressed walnut oil with nothing added and then keep it cold and use it reasonably soon. There are sources but I can't think of the places now. Kremer obviously... maybe someone else can say where to get walnut oil for varnish. Edit: looking at the various products online, I am seeing no mention of any kind of additive to the walnut oils by Spectrum, Hain Celestial, Sulu, LifeFlo, Smart Century, none of them have any mention of additives. I can't find one that does. It's really weird. This was a real problem when I was doing research several years ago. But now, apparently it is not.
  15. not telling

    Store bought varnish? I think I've found the right stuff?

    I didn't mean the way that came across. It seems kinda obvious to me that violin varnish is a highly specialized product. I went through a moment when I thought I could wash flax oil a dozen times and use it, add siccatives, heat it with lead, etc. The obvious observation someone had for me at the time was along the lines of "Even if you could, why would you do that?" And flax and linseed oil are not the same. There was that too. I think it is appealing to come up with an idea that no one else has had, some great amazing idea...but the spoiler is that everyone thought of everything, and no, deck stain is not awesome on violins. And there are people who are great at these processes. At the risk of another Magister-proportion retail apocalyptic event occurring, why not just trust those specialists and pay them accordingly for doing the research, and the tedious and dangerous work of instrument varnish making? I'm probably being rude, but I am actually trying to help because I have been through this some.