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Everything posted by chanot

  1. I guess Strad added screws to his body/ neck joints plus hide glue..I didn't dovetail mine when making 30 years ago .. they are still solid I just lucky? ..would the small dovetail in the upper block be that helpful in firming up that joint to resist pull of strings over the long haul.?
  2. I am a retired physician; amateur maker and player with 3 violins and one viola I created primarily in 1980s and 90s..could use brighter E string on one and note that Goldbrokat E's have found favor. Were these prominent players using Goldbrokats /Lenzner plain steel or brassed steel or the new 24 karat gold..I thought I heard that some experts were using one that was Tin Plated.(apparently unavailble now).are any less susceptible to whistle ?
  3. Duane.. Thanks so much for your invaluable info.
  4. The articulate analogy to the cat painting her/himself purple in the" good vs bad discussion " made me laugh

    1. Violadamore


      Why thank you.  It did me too, after all the bites and slashes healed.  :lol:

  5. Thanks to all for the tips on the Larsen A string for viola and sound post position--- much appreciated
  6. Could I trouble someone for proper string spacing for 3/4 violin bridge. Thanks.
  7. My 15 inch viola (my build) has Obligato set strings..All OK but A seems weak and a bit fuzzy. Any ideas Re: adding an A from a different company
  8. used to use spirit varnish rub on rub off ..Like Karate I'm concerned if this can be shipped to me through Canadian Mails...I have a product labelled "oil primer" and this raises the question so clearly presented by the experts above... whether it will correctly seal/size the wood..I'll contact the supplier Lemuel in Ontario and see if he can send me spirit varnish through the mails (then I could use it as ground and follow with my usual clear oil varnish with various color extracts Advice would be appreciated..Chanot
  9. Thanks to Tim for advice will try the trick on D.peg turns.. Violin Rus: glad the weight worked..will you be able to cut the new bridge to be may not work as well as the located metal weight..I have tried to create the heavier bridge and left the top thicker up to 2.5 and over 4mm in center and left feet and knees at 5 but it seemed to dull all strings.....wondered about trying a 7 mm post and place it more south for a real shrill e? Apparently the narrower top of post gives better fulcrum.. so who knows about the 7mmm... will try it a question just popped into mind..probably crazy? ..could sound post ever be moved west actuallyoutside of the back of foot..That is, cut a longer post for primary placement in that position that unusual position?
  10. A very shrill e not eased by sd post adjustment on a 19th century French Instrument I'm restoring..tuning of bridge also no help..."heavy bridge" has been recommended....odd.. If I affix a tiny piece of silver on bridge on treble side it does reduce the shrillness... but I don't like to do this as I think it affects the other strings adversely . .Maker since 1980...Where and how would one find a "heavy bridge? I usually choose the best Aubert/Mirecourt... If I leave top of bridge at 2.5 mm instead of 1.3 mm still doesn't reduce the problem.... Also i have a recurring problem in lack of richness of D string in some of my violins..?? thicknessing problems...self taught Advice appreciated
  11. Been away for few years doing jewellry and large sculpture. Missed my violin making and restoring and contact with friends at Maestronet. Came across a Francois Salzard violin made mid 19th century. Has been roughly treated, with edge of front plate excoriated both at middle bouts and upper bouts.. and 2 corners of front plate missing. Sound post fell when strings removed and violin jarred... post showed excellent crafting but at some time in the past or.. maybe the current one..must have been too long, as the inner border of f hole is about 0.8 mm above outer border near middle ..Upper wing is only about .33 mm raised. I wonder how much tone is disturbed by this apparent minimal displacement? I believe I read advice not to insert a slightly shorter post with string tension at partial to "retrain the slightly elevated front plate to gradually settle to unelevated state and eventually accept the proper length of sound post...Likely the post would fall in this case during the treatment if strings removed and would appear too short when placed without string tension .... Likely not enough distortion to remove top...No sound post crack... ...Would some application of moisture to corpus from internal moisturizer help if this procedure was attempted?.. ..Probably should follow advice I just read from of one of the experts and fit post lightly snug with no string tension at the current elevation of front plate and leave well enough alone. I wonder how much tone suffers in a fiddle apparently played for years with this minimal elevation of front plate from too long post? Depends how it sounds after I string it up now and make new bridge (missing) whether I go on to restore the edges of spruce top.Advice is appreciated. Chanot/Dale Palko MD
  12. Modified about 3 years ago a 7/8 rather lack lustre violin I made early in my career to hole in heart viola..can be done with shorter children's instruments as well for the kids who like the bass better than treble...a difficult process to keep the hole in top plate just larger than the sound post so that it doesn't rub against side..what it does mainly is free up vibrations of the top plate between the f holes as the plate is no longer restricted in movement by being pinched from downward force of treble foot and upward force of top of sd..not bad sound in bass range close to viola sound...treble a bit less rich and projecting. One can add a heavier tailpiece to enhance this conversion..Although the internal volume is smaller than traditional viola range,Violin Physicist Professor Beament in his book says the mathematical calculation of optimal size in violas would result in too large for player comfort...If not careful the post tends to move in direction of string tension or laterally and seize up against inner edge of hole...defeating its purpose ..I can't quite figure out the strange metal pin on this fiddle... doesn't seem to link with treble foot..there is a convex semicircle in the treble foot? treble foot. Hole in heart described in STRAD about 10 years ago especially for smaller student fiddles for kids who just aren't likeing the violin tonal range and prefer viola like sounds. One uses a glued dowel about 2 mm diameter and 5mm long set into ankle of treble foot(the foot being first removed at mid ankle..also set into the top of sd. post and glued. Dale P "Chanot"
  13. Michael: its an honor to receive your advice. We corresponded years ago when I purchased a violin with a cleverly forged repair label allegedly by Stradivari( label fooled the people at Strad magazine as it was almost the same as his signature on his will..but it turned out the violin was not old enough) I copied the article by Hutchins some years ago from the is entitled A NOTE ON PRACTICAL BRIDGE TUNING FOR THE VIOLIN MAKER...going to the web today I have found two listings as to its publication..ACOUSTICS FOR THE VIOLIN MAKER VOL II J42 Page 41 and CATGUT ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY LIBRARY issue 42 page 15-18 NOV.1984..they were only references and I couldn't bring the article to the screen. Don't know how to send scanned material to Maestronet but could fax to you.. I'm at I looked at a number of my bridges..20 years worth.. and all have the gentle TRANSVERSE convexity on the fb side with perfectly flat top edge.. but I note that the transverse convexity is greater on some and less then others.Of course this varies with the bridge height somewhat. If you look at a completed and mounted bridge from the side and compare the slope facing fb to a steep ski hill ( note Padah hound) my earlier bridges have no convexity in the vertical axis (ie down the fall line) That always concerned me(but I guess it was correct) because this usually reduced the thickness of the transitional area below heart and between kidneys to less then the recommended 4mm... I carved a bridge yesterday following the guidelines in your book (stay healthy..Antonio lived to about 90- maybe longevity from exposure to the woods and the continued mental challenges)I started with reducing the lower 1/3 to a thickness of 4.6 mm working on both faces 2/3 to 1/3.. then created a straight top of 1.5 mm. The top 1/3 of bridge showed the maximal transverse convexity on fb side and a tiny bit on other side. Here is where I need your help. I didn't follow your final step of placing the bridge on 220 sandpaper over a flat surface and removing the vertical axis transitional convexity where the 4.6 mm thickness meets the tapering from the top.If I did that(as I used to do before getting worried recently about Hutchins' article) I would remove any vertical axis but would reduce the thickness in the transitional area just below the heart and between the kidneys, which I had been told to keep at 4mm.(however not by much.. about 3.75-3.80) One could reduce the tranverse convexity somewhat a bit below top without losing straightness of top but as you say may tend to look sunken..So I think you will likely say its OK to follow your final step and that the slight reduction of thickness at transitional area from final flat sanding is OK.. Thanks to you and Maestronet for your continuing support Dale/Chanot
  14. Hi Jeffrey: Yes I had seen it before and it helps.. but the drawing in Hutchings' paper seemed to show the thickness of the top equal for first few mm down towards the heart then flaring to the remainder of the rest of the face..however Michael Darnton's chapter says the first 5 mm of the bridge on the fb facing surface should not be convex when looking from the side(if I am reading it correctly) only lower on the fb side just above the waist it would show the covexity where there is a little belly( i think you mentioned that in your contribution to the thread) so i'm still not absolutely clear but understand that the lower 1/3 is planed to about 4.6 mm initially and then the top edge reduced to 1.3-1.5 mm even across the top and tapers down with I assume no noticeable ridge or facet where the two angles merge? PS To Michael if he's on the forums these days... your book is going to be an amazing bible for us would we order? is that wrong to ask? Chanot/Dale
  15. Maybe I've been shaping my bridges wrong thru the years? I usually develop a 1.3- 1.5 mm thickness straight across the top by working on the surface facing the finger board. Then when viewing the finished bridge from the side,my thickness on the surface facing the finger board gradually increases in a uniform taper towards the waist- of course resulting in the usual convex appearance on that surface- While the back of bridge is left alone and maintains a right angle with the plane of the ribs.I thought I just saw in an article by the late Ms.Hutchings, a photo of her drawing of a profile of a bridge that appeared to show the top 5 mm facing the finger board to have no taper-- as if the 1.5 mm top thickness would still measure 1.5 mm thick all the way down that first 5 mm or so.This would seem to leave a ridge at that point and doesn't seem right..Any advice would be appreciated Dale/Chanot
  16. chanot

    7/8 size violin

    Dear Gowan ,Mike , Marc and JohnCee: thanks for your kind assistance.Iwas honored to hear from you all. Regards :Chanot(Dale)
  17. Would like to make a 7/8 violin for family member. Have 20 years experience as amateur maker. Wonder if there are any references detailing the key dimensions, such as widths of bouts ; rib height ; nut to front edge of plate ; front of plate to bridge , etc. I tried to search for the topic on Maestronet but was not sucessful. Chanot/Dale
  18. Oded: I have followed your posts on other topics with great interest and with respect. .Perhaps I have not posed my question clearly.(the measurements were likely done with the Hacklinger Gauge) I just want to know from experts like you, if you, in your making, thin the lateral aspects of plates right up to the 4mm plateau? or do you, as some have mentioned in this string, increase the thickness in the peripheral 10 mm or so before the plateau to 3.3 mm, as Strobel recommends(and says that Strad did). On the 5 instruments I have made in over 20 years of making and playing, I maintained my thinner periphery right out to the edge of the plateau as old Heron -Allen recommended, based upon his averaged measurements of plates in Georges Chanot's shop. P.S.The horse is still alive and needs oats, not beatings Chanot/Dale
  19. Doug thanks for the helpful information..It makes sense what you say..I can see that the tendency then for the entire plate to move abnormally because of the more rigid central island might adversely effect tone. Back in the 70's and 80's, at least in Canada ,we were far from schools of violin making and had to rely on books..I did a lot of experimenting but continued to thin right to the edge of the plateau and except for my viola was never happy with tone...One might argue that DaSalo's and Stainer's profiles, where the external surface of the plate lacks the more gradual dip into the channel may have needed a thin periphery as noted above? I found two more STRAD posters after my post and will list them for interest 5.Pietro Guaneri of Mantua 1704.On his FRONT PLATE upper bout, the first 4 rows of measurements alternate on the bass side between thinning by.2 mm to the plateau and thickening by.1-.2 ... In the lower bout the bass side thins by.1-.4mm at the periphery..TOP THIRD OF UPPER BOUT of BACK PLATE does thicken by .1-.7 mm at the periphery.while its lower bout actually does seem to thicken by .2-.3 with only one spot thinning out by .2 6.Carlo G.Testore 1703 ... his FRONT PLATE in upper and lower bouts THINS consistently by .3-.9mm (but working from the diagram the outer measurements seem to have been taken about 5 -8 mm from top of plateau so there would have been room for it to thicken to the 3-3.3 mm in that space. BACK PLATE in lower bouts thins 1-1.8 mm, but again they seemed to have taken the peripheral measurements around 10-12 mm from the plateau so there could have been room in this zone for thickening. The foot on my home made dial gauge thickness measuring instrument is 13 mm in diameter and measures nice and firmly at the two surfaces of plate as close as 4.5 mm from the edge of plateau . You can't beat learning in class room from experts and I certainly like your explanation where the 3-3.3 mm thickness below channel continues in for a zone of 10-15 mm before further graduation.My worry had been that if it was continued as much as 20 mm, which was my interpretation of Strobel drawing, that it would limit the surface area of the plate that takes part in the complex production of vibration and tonal creation. Chanot/Dale
  20. Brad :thank you very much for your detailed explanation it is much appreciated Chanot/Dale
  21. I was hoping to have received more comments from my experienced colleagues and thank the two members who have responded.In answer to D Burns,the belly had been thicknessed in 1981 according to Heron Allen's guidelines...we know that he was not a maker himself but spent time in the shop of renowned maker, Georges Chanot and stated that the measurements depicted were based on his own measurements taken from what he says were "well made violin back and front plates" and were" averages but the proportions were the same". Of course if there were more samples done by a maker whose thicknesses increased well before edge like Strobel apparently recommends, then it would skew the average to favor thicker plates at the periphery ... but his average (we don't know the numbers he measured) show that in those violins at least ,the front plate averages about 3.17 mm in a long ovoid shape running well into upper and lower bouts then tapers to 2.4 mm in what appears to be the remaining margin of about 26 mm before reaching the edge of plateau for ribs and lining.. Of course if the thicknessing gauge utilizes tapered feeler tips as those of the old masters , and pictured in his book , one could ,if measuring at right angles the last few mm of the plate thickness as it curves up to reach the 4mm thick plateau ,come up with a measurement near the 3.3 mm attributed by Strobel/ Sacconi to Strads work.... but this would only be the final 5 mm while Strobel's diagram and photos of his tracing on his plates appears that he has a 3.3 mm thickness of the peripheral over approximately 21 mm of the plate leading up to the plateau. My front plate made in 1981 followed Heron allens recommendation, and was 2.4 mm along the peripheral radius of approximately 28 mm in the upper and lower bouts. the back plate was graduated in a progressive diminishing thickness from 4.5 down to 1.6 mm. Before my first post I hadn't pulled out my photos of various violin plates as published for a number of years in the STRAD. So I have done that now and here is what I found for the limited number I had saved 1.Kochanski del Gesu 1741 his BACK PLATE TAPERED from 3.9--4.6 in the middle bout to 3.6-4.2 at edges before plateau.. its upper bout TAPERED by .2--.4 at the edges....His FRONT PLATE DID INCREASE in thickness by .2--.3 mm at the edge in some of the measurements but remained THE SAME in other measurements and actually thinned by .1-.2 mm in the area below lower corners. There was no 3.3 mm thick area of 20 mm before the plateau was reached. Of course the amount of overall thicknessing is influenced by weight and density of wood. 2.Stainer, who we know had a lateral profile differing from Strad and del Gesu with a higher rise and a sharper drop longitudinally , tapers his front plate thickness from the central 2.6-2.8 by .3--.5mm right to the plateau . His back plate tapered even more acutely from 2.2-2.4 at middle third of radius right down to 1.1--1.8 mm right up to the plateau. Neither front nor back plate had a thickening up to 3.3 mm in the final 20 mm. 3.Strad Milanollo.. upper bout of this FRONT PLATE did INCREASE by .3 -.4 mm just before the plateau when measured about 8 mm from the peak of plateau. However the lower 1/3 of the lower bout OF FRONT PLATE showed A DECREASE of .3-.6 mm while the upper 2/3 OF THE LOWER BOUT increased by about .4mm from 1.9-2.1 to 2.3-2.5. (BUT THIS INCREASED THICKNESS APPEARS TO HAVE PEAKED AT ABOUT 7MM FROM THE EDGE OF PLATEAU not the APPARENT 20 mm or so that seems to be recommended by Strobel. 4.Da Salo Viola of 1580... we know that this instruments had a logitudinal profile tapering more like Stainer violins (I made a copy of the Da Salo from the STRAD diagram and it was pronounced "plays easily with rich bass tones "by THE violist of a leading European string quartet. Da Salo's FRONT PLATES thin out in the periphery from 4-3.1mm centrally to 1.9-2.3mm measured at about 15 mm from plateau .In BACK PLATE drops from 2.7- 4.5 to 1.1-1.8 I KNOW THIS IS A BIT LIKE COMPARING APPLES AND ORANGES, AS THESE MAKERS ALL HAD THEIR OWN STYLE , ( I would have liked to see more posters of Strad's violins with thicknesses, but thats all I saved YET NONE OF THE ABOVE SHOW AN INCREASE OF THICKNESS CONSISTENTLY TO 3.3 MM EXTENDING 20 MM FROM PLATEAU. STRAD DOES SHOW A MINIMAL INCREASE BUT IT SEEMS TO OCCUR ONLY JUST IN THE LAST 7-10 MM BEFORE THE PLATEAU (The changes I just made to the thicknessing of both plates in my 1981 violin, which was initially thicknessed based on the Heron Allen average was to REGRADUATE the Full inner aspects of upper and lower bouts in the pattern depicted by Strobel to give a 2.4 -2.6 mm thickness across the whole plate.Because the periphery was already thinner based on the earlier Heron allen graduations,the result will be a hybrid. I will play it soon after restringing and waiting for my Hill tailpiece etc.) I still question the concept of an extended width of 3.3 mm in what appears to be the peripheral 20 mm radius of the plates and wonder if the 3.3 mm really is just the measurement of the few mm of the convex slope leading up to the peakof plateau? Chanot/Dale
  22. Can I ask a question.Do you skiiv both sides of the leather and then overlap those ends at the seam? I've had trouble getting a nice raised and symetrical convex end of the leather pad..I've built it up it with masking tape and tried to shape that to the proper appearance. It seemed to me I skiived out the ends to allow them to snug up with a nice convexity. The seams of the long axis I didn't skiiv and just butted the edges against each other.. Didn't look that great and tended to retract from each other..I've just tried to learn by looking at grips but I don't think I'm doing it correctly.any advice from my expert colleagues would be appreciated Chanot/Dale
  23. I just removed the belly from a violin I made in 1981.Tone was never that great. I had followed the diagrams in the Heron Allen book when I built it. It appeared from his diagrams that the lateral thicknessing of the front plate(eg 2.37 mm) was extended right up to the edge of the approximately 8 mm margin that supports the ribs and the liners which of course further extend as the overhanging edge thickness of 4mm to4.5 mm. I used the Strobel book for some help in recent years of building but just noticed today ..unless i'm reading it wrong ..that he carries his thicknesses up just short of reaching the 8mm margin. I can't tell from his photos but the diagram seems to show a thickness of 3.3 mm which he says is just inside the channel.This seems to suggest that the actual plate thickness of --for example 2.5 mm-- does not extend right up to the 8 mm flat and 4 mm thick landing ,but flares to 3.3 mm for some substantial width as he says "along the channel just inside the purfling". then it would apparently thicken up to the 4mm thickness of the landing and the overhanging edges. Advice would be appreciated Chanot/Dale
  24. Just as I am interested in the tools and the techniques used to build the pyramids and the temple at Angor Wat ,I am also interested in the tools Strad used and how he used them . For example I would like to know if he split the ebony or did he saw it then plane it. What kind of lathe did he use to turn his pegs? Who supplied his strings? Yes I also am interested in the construction techniques for the cathedrals of the middle ages.Maybe I am the only guy interested in watching a violin made with the old tools ?If that is the case, so be it ?
  25. I am an amateur luthier with a total output of 5 instruments and am a player with playing skills about equivalent to a golfer's 15 handicap .. I remember reading about an eastern canadian luthier finding an old maple tree that he decided to cut down to provide the wood for bellies. I think a marvelous documentary, at least for us afficianados ,would be to see a top contempory luthier working with tools that Strad would have used,calipers, planes, scraper, drills, molds (perhaps some are still in museums? would they ever be lent out? not likely. When I make a violin I purchase the ebony finger board needing only minimal shaping as well as maple and spruce already dried and cut, either quarter sawn or slab. Ribs of maple need only be thinned and tapered. Pegs are ready to be fitted. I assume Strad received his lumber from suppliers in the Balkans for spruce and ? for maple . I also assume he just received a large chunk of African ebony from which he would have to fashion ;saddle; nut , end pin ;,pegs ;, tail piece and of course the finger boards. He would have had to cut selected maple at right angles to grain to fashion a bridge... and all this without power tools. We can get purfling all ready to go. He would have had to create that as well. There are a wide range of theories as to the nature of his sealers and varnishes. Hopefully someone supplied him the hide glue. Did he make his own varnish or as was mentioned in an article, did he just purchase some from Luigi the boat builder down the street(not his real name) Of course he had to stop working when the sun went down unless he trusted his candles. I'm sure some of our member historians may be helpful here and know how his wood arrived. Did he dry it,I believe so. Who made his catgut(sheep gut) strings? Were there primitive metal windings at that time. I'm sure these are all answered in some books but I'm just suggesting how amazingly difficult the process must have been in the 18th centutry with only hand tools. If someone took up the challenge it would make a fantastic documentary. We don't know if strad could play? I would assume he must have had some basic playing skills. Are there any non playing luthiers in our group? If we sent the luthier out into the mountains and after he selected or perhaps cut the wood? and allowed for 5 years of drying and then video documented every aspect of the making as would have been carried out by Strad, we would have to wait for some time to put a complete package together. Did Strad make his Baroque bows as well? Likely such a project is impossible but perhaps in some recession free year some museum or perhaps Maestronet itself may sponsor such a project. Just something to think about on this Holiday weekend Chanot/Dale