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About barnesviolins

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  • Birthday 04/20/1971

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    Violin Repair, Making..... Yeah I'm a nerd that way. I like tools and am trying NOT to have a problem with collecting them. I'm a mentor for teenage boys with Boys to Men Texas. You never know the impact that helping 1 person can have on the world.

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  1. I have bought Addis gouges off of Ebay and found them to work very well; when reground and shaped the way I want them. I use the flattest gouges - #3. Maybe 1/2, 3/8 and 1/4 inch for general carving then an 1/8" #3 and #8 for the last turn and the comma. I had some Japanese gouges custom made, and they are very nice. but I still prefer my Addis gouges. They just work. Taylor are nice too. Old Sheffield in general seems to be good steel. You have to search and watch for them to get what you want, but you should be able to buy them for $35 (ish) each. Good luck! Dorian
  2. Hi Jezzupe I have a digital meter in the light box that tracks the temperature and moisture readings. My EMC is between 7-8%. This is checked with a moisture meter. I can only tell you the RH that the instrument is in at finished point because my moisture meter is the cheaper kind with the two points and I don't want to stick the fiddle with it. (Is this what you meant by "I assume you are taking moisture content readings of your instrument prior to putting it in the lightbox"?) Thanks for your reply. Davide. I appreciate your feedback of dealing with it like a sap pocket. That's a good idea.
  3. Hi Greg Thanks for your reply! The crack does NOT run to the edge. I also could not find it on the inside even after vigorously massaging glue into the crack. We are pretty humid here in Houston, so getting too dry is a rare event. I don't keep track of the RH as part of my record keeping. I do have a sensor in the light box that keeps track of what is going on in there. If anything, I think it stays a little more humid in there than out in the workshop. I like your ideas. That is the kind of thing I am wondering about. However, I have been using the same ground system, method of application and light box for at least 5 years and have also varnished 20 or so chinese violins and not had a problem with them. I've been torn between it being the lightbox and my rough gouging of the plates. However, I have been doing that the same way forever and only recently had a problem. And maybe these two instruments have cracks for 2 different reasons......In other words, I can't see anything new that I'm doing to cause this to happen. The wood on this instrument is rather old and one of a kind and wood I have never used before.......that is a variable... Thanks again! Dorian
  4. Thanks for the feedback David. I appreciate you taking the time. Michael, I have a 4 inch inline cooling fan that draws the air out, runs it in 4 inch pipe around the room, in front of a portable air conditioner unit and back into the box. So I keep air moving and keep the inside temperature down.
  5. The other thing I wonder about is this. I put the instruments in the box and then run it for 24 hours a day, pretty much from the time I start grounding them to about a week or so after the last coat of varnish, when I am ready to set them up. Is it detrimental to run it constantly without giving the wood a chance to rest from the UV? Is it better to cycle the light giving it time with no UV?
  6. So Don, What would you do with the fiddle? Repair it and sell it? Make a new top for it? Trash it?
  7. Relative humidity was between 45% and 55%. Temp ranged over the 3 days from 68-80 degrees. RH of the shop is usually 40-50%. so very similiar. The spruce came from a Tarisio auction and was labeled 1939 I think. So pretty old.
  8. I don't think so. But I'm not sure about this piece. I bought it off of Tarisio and it was described as early 20th century. It was "furry" and seems to have a lot of texture. Is that a characteristic of Red Spruce? I opened it and repaired it and reinforced it from the inside. I'm not sure that the crack even went all the way through because when I massaged the hide glue into it, I couldn't get it to show on the inside. I cleated it anyway.
  9. Upper Bass Bout on the top. Not even to the edge.
  10. My most recent violin developed a 2 inch crack in the top. I found it during the application of the first coat of color varnish. This is the second instrument this has happened to. The first crack was noticed during the ground process. The instruments usually spend a week or so in the light box getting some tan before I start grounding. First instrument: I use Joe Robson's balsam ground system. The first half is alcohol based. The second half is turpentine based. sometimes, during the application of the turpentine based products, I feel like i put too much on so I wash it off with a cloth soaked in turpentine. This is when the crack reared its ugly head. Second Violin: I use the exact same process. This time, the crack showed up with the application of the first color coat of varnish. The last step of the balsam ground system is to apply a water thin application of the Balsam Ground Varnish. I then washed this in with turpentine. If there was a crack, it should have shown up then. Light Box Data: I use Solacure bulbs in a converted closet. The ballasts are outside of the closet to keep heat down. I have a SensorPush wireless thermometer/hygrometer in there that connects to a gateway and I can access the data on my phone anytime I want. I also keep a bucket of water in there. The last coat of Balsam Ground Varnish was put on Jan. 31st. The color coat of varnish was put on Feb. 3rd. In that time, the Sensor Push data showed a variance of temperature between 68.6 degrees and 79.8 degrees. Humidity range was 45.5% and 54.6%. No drastic changes. It doesn't seem like these ranges are anything to cause a crack. The first time, I thought the that I caused the crack during the rough gouging of the top. But after this second instrument showed a crack, I'm not so sure. The crack SHOULD have showed up when I wiped the instrument with turpentine. So I'm wondering if it developed within the 3 days between the turpentine step and the color varnish step. I am not doing anything new. I have varnished quite a few Chinese violins as well as my own instruments with these products in this setup. Questions: 1) Is the UV light doing something else to the wood that could affect it outside of Temperature and Humidity? 2) Have you found some crack or damage in one of your instruments and what did you do about it? Thanks for your thoughts and feedback. Dorian
  11. There are 5 Violin Tops still available. I am helping Jesse with this as he currently has his hands full. Let me know. I have the viola tops. I measured 1 and it was S.G. .40. Can't speak for all of them but they all look pretty consistent. Boxed and ready to ship.
  13. I have had good experience with the CBN wheels. A very long fine point knife will still burn easily if you apply to much pressure. But I use it for hollow grinding and then finish on honing stones. For gouges and fingerplanes and my ebony plane blades I use the Work Sharp system Dorian
  14. Is it a high arched fiddle? Does the tailpiece have enough clearance between itself and the top? Dorian
  15. I believe this cannot be overlooked. Given the same projection and saddle height, a neck set with a lower overstand will have a greater break angle over the bridge and thus a greater downward tension on the top. Conversely, a higher overstand will create a lower break angle and less tension. Wouldn't this affect the string response you are talking about? Dorian