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About Jim_B

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  1. I have a large light box with tubes on each inside surface but I also have a fan mounted on the top of the box which draws air in and a filter on the bottom of the box so air can circulate and escape. I also hang a slightly damp cloth inside the box and have a temp and humidity probe installed to monitor the inside temperature and humidity and warn me if it exceeds an amount I say. Have used this for many year and never had a crack. Maybe? J
  2. You are faced with the path that many makers take. Life is out there and sort of in the way. When you are ready, there are sources that you are discovering but make sure they know their stuff first. Davide Sora's video's give a very detailed process that is Italian in method and there are others. But workshops also exist and they are great for people who have tried to tackle this on there own but have made the same novice blunders. For a couple weeks in this summer and that summer you can go and hone those skills. Many novice makers have taken this route, attending workshops for years and come away making excellent instruments. So keep that in mind. But let me say again, do get started. None of the tasks are that difficult. Don't concentrate on the whole, it will distract you too much. Just do step one well, then step two, and three and you will eventually reach the end and you will be prouder than you can imagine. Then start making #2 or try making two at a time. Fun, fun, fun. Best to you, Jim
  3. I just printed the pdf and it came out fine with negligible distortion. You need to make a decision and start working though. You have eight pages of discussion and nothing actually done towards making a violin. I should also add here that in the days of the great masters violin making was learned by apprenticeship. Period. When David says he worked at Weisshaar's that is as good or better than any violin making school out there. I would give my left nut to have studied with him or Morel or Morales or any one of many great makers. Violin Making school is not the only route. I myself did a private apprenticeship through the guidance of a student of Mairo Frosali, a well respected violin maker from Milano who worked in LA. But my main knowledge base comes through working with Michael Darnton. My violins, violas and cellos sell for a pretty penny and not a day of school. So school is not the only route. It is the best route for young people seeking a career. But even at that, you won't be able to open up shop until you take your degree and go work in a great shop. That's where it all comes together.
  4. Do you have a picture of the P mold. The pattern I spoke of that I use for students was actually made from the fabulous copies of the Strad molds included with Mr Deni's book
  5. I gave you some insights on page 4 as an experienced teacher of beginners You asked for patterns. Here's one of the simplest ways to make a pattern quickly: Of course you need a full size photo of the violin you wish to copy. Photocopy that on a good machine with no distortion. Now go to Michael Darnton's webpage (highly regarded professional violin maker) Photo showing simple pattern You will see a very simple pattern made quickly. It shows a pattern made of a full size photo of the subject viola. Take your photo and find the center line (note the holes on the centerline - do not drill the holes yet also note the bit of material continuing beyond the centerline). Once the line is marked you cover the area with 2" scotch brand packing tape with 2 or 3 layers. Assuming this is a Cremonese violin, you then simply take an exacto knife and follow the outer edge of the purfling exactly to the points. On a Cremonese violin that line will lie roughly over the top of the inside edge of the sides (outer edge of mold). You now a have a pattern in minutes. Next take your half pattern and lay it on your plywood (1/2" baltic birch works best) and making sure your drill bit is EXACTLY centered on the center line and drill through the pattern and the plywood (use a punch and a brad point to get right on center). Then insert a metal pin the same diameter of the drill bit (or use another drill bit!) and proceed to drill the bottom hole the same. Insert the bottom pin and you are ready to start tracing. Now flip the work and complete the outline. Then flip the wood and repeat the process on the back side. You now have the pattern drawn perfectly aligned on front and back. Of course, you can only use this pattern a few time before it breaks down but it is good for the first one for sure. You will have to locate the blocks but with the use of the poster or a little research that should be no prob. And when you cut out your mold BE SURE to remove the line when finishing the edges. The mold must be EXACTLY the same size as your template or you will expand your violin and end up with "beginner corners - long!" There. A quick and easy way to obtain a half-pattern. Of course, you could spot glue the photo on a piece of thin aluminum flashing and scribe and break with an exacto or even cut with scissors. That will give you a more permanent pattern. I actually have undistorted copies of the Titian aluminum half pattern that I give to students. I would be happy to mail you one if you PM me where to send. Again, Good luck Jim
  6. Hello, I haven't read this entire post so forgive me if this has been covered. I have overseen the introduction to violin making to many, many beginners who prepare and come to the workshops I run in with Michael Darnton as my teacher. Look him up online for his highly successful background in teaching beginners violin making in the Cremonese tradition. I can tell you however that if you have a Strad poster of the Titian you have what you need to make a pattern and much more. Of course, realistically it takes a separate course in reading the posters to actually get good information but the outline is reliable. Before, everybody jumps on me, remember I've taught many, many students successfully. We are not looking for a VSA winner here but a credible first violin. If the plans mis-represent the outline slightly that just does't bother me but I have made the necessary corrections to the actual Titian poster using the molds available through Francois Denis work. So we can even correct that. But for me it is enough for the student to get busy working with what you have and you have a poster I presume. Go find a good, new copy machine that doesn't distort and make some copies. Correct the dimensions if you wish but I would leave it be and just dig in, make a template, follow with a mold, blocks, sides and so on. Some of the references given on MN that present step by step can be good sources. As an experienced teacher I can warn you that there are many ways to complete most of the tasks. Just start working and continue working til you have a violin. When you are done with that one, start another and start seeking out professional help along the way. Michaels workshop is great, Oberlin workshops are also a great experience but require some experience I believe, I might be wrong. I like to say that you need to make at least 20 violins until you start grasping what effects what. In the meantime, you will never get to 20 until you get to one. Good luck to you Jim
  7. We are both sad and happy to announce the departure of Michael Darnton from the SCVMW workshop staff after this, our 15th year together. I know that all who have participated over the years as well as those who have participated with Michael here on Maestronet will want to wish Michael a hearty thanks for his most excellent contributions. It has been a great run for all with much still to be shared on various media that is graced by Michael's presence. FYI, after this years workshop we will continue with plans to offer sessions dedicated to beginning makers in a hope to get them up to speed to attend the other fine workshops available around the country. The bowmaking sessions will continue as usual. Information on Michael's last years sessions is attached. Thanks Michael. Your the best! JimMichael Darnton.pdf
  8. Michael Darnton will be back teaching violin making in the Italian tradition. Lynn Armour Hannings, acclaimed bow making instructor will join us this coming year for making in the French tradition, repair and restoration. For info, follow the link in the home post. J. Brown
  9. Jim_B

    7/8 violin plans

    Oh, I have the book and it has 13 removable tables with all the dimensions listed and a scaling grid which allows you to copy the model of a Stradivari model violin in any size. Never used it, got it at an estate sale but it looks useful for your purposes. J-
  10. Jim_B

    7/8 violin plans

    You might try this resource for Italian sources. It has measurements for all sizes including 7/8 in all dimensions: https://www.cremonatools.com/quaderno-n-13-il-violino-ed-i-suoi-formati-italian-text.html The translation in the site description is: " This book presents the results of research by the "Group of lute studies" on the dimensions of the so-called "reduced or study violins" with the definition, in objective terms, of the formats of the violins." JB
  11. You might have a look at this by Michael Darnton: http://www.darntonviolins.com/violinmagazine/book/setup.pdf
  12. You ask how to tell a real one. There are lots of clues which reveal it's origin and date immediately. A quick glance for a real grafted neck (not one with lines scribed to look like a graft). Because instruments of the Cremonese Golden Period had shorter necks, neck grafts were done on most of the great old instruments of the golden period in the mid 1800's. So if the neck from nut to front edge of top measures around 130mm and there is no neck graft, it is modern. The violin pictured has no neck graft. Look for peghole bushings as well. Violins of golden period age will probably have had the holes bushed. Construction features include the back of the pegbox towards the lower end were not done as yours with the center flaring in both directions at the bottom. Cremonese violins, the fluting for the most part comes to a sharp end at that juncture. Not to say they all did but this is definitely German manufactured. Edgework is not typical of Cremonese violins as well. Tho I always look at the label dead last and determine if it jives with what the actual instrument has told me, this is an easy one. That is not a period label. The violin itself has already told me it is not Cremonese from the 1700's. Also look for evidence of previous labels. Often you can see the shape of the gluing of a previous label. Also, labels might be badly aligned and printed on modern paper. I think I remember an audacious article in Strad magazine years back on how to replicate a label! A study of papers, linens, parchments and inks of the period can be very telling. In short, labels are the last thing most of us look at to authenticate a violin. So these are just a few things in which we can eliminate a violin in seconds. Of course "made in Germany" at the bottom should inform even the most uninformed (even though we get our share of those in the shop from hopeful amateurs who have used Dr. Google to find a label online). Good luck and just keep studying. It helps if, by chance you have the opportunity to inspect the genuine article. For most, that will probably never happen. Nevertheless, there is much that can be learned from asking these questions. JB
  13. I believe George makes his own cutter for this task.
  14. I purchased a Sherline 4400 for the SCVMW bow makers workshop with George Rubino. Because the Sherline factory is relatively close by I was able to go inspect the machine. Mind you we are not building Sherman tanks here, we are looking at violin bow buttons, bushings, some tool making. I found the 17" bed more than adequate for our purposes. For a "hobbyist" tool, it was extremely "tight" and has worked fabulously. We bought a few accessories as well like the four jaw chuck to go with the provided 3 jaw, and x,y table. I seems extremely durable and has served us well so far. If you need more versatile tooling capabilities then go for the more industrial brands. But for our purposes it is a fine tool. JB