Berl Mendenhall

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About Berl Mendenhall

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    Male
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    McConnelsville,Ohio USA

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  1. Ebony veneer

    I can't imagine using 1.5 mm thick veneer. Any player that practices daily will go through that in a short time ( I mean like a year). Then they will likely have a pretty expensive 're-dress. Why not do the player a favor and make the finger board from solid ebony.
  2. Power tools for carvin violin back

    I agree David. I tried 3.1a few times and it is just too thin. If you look at the c-scan photos of Strad's edges, his purfling was inlet shallow compared to Amati. I think he was aware of the need to leave some meat on the edges.
  3. Power tools for carvin violin back

    I had a well respected restorer tell me once my edges were to think at 3.5, that they shouldn't exceed 3.1 or 3.2. At 3.1 there isn't much room for purfling, purfling channel, and wood thickness under the purfling, to support the edge. Not saying this can't be done, but not much room for error. It will test your ability as a craftsman.
  4. Experimental Violin at The Violin Shop in Nashville

    Thank you Evan. Thank you everyone.
  5. violin knife steel PM-X

    I use a course oil stone with mineral oil to put a wire edge on my CPM 3V knives then follow with a 8000 water stone. John told me how to test for sharpness with thread and weighs. Also the CPM 3V are not quite as thick and heavy as other blades. I like that.
  6. violin knife steel PM-X

    I own two of John's CPM 3V (I'm pretty sure this is the correct steel) it`s been a few years. I love these knives, I've got several other knives. They don't compare to John's.
  7. Experimental Violin at The Violin Shop in Nashville

    Carl, I learned a long time ago there is nothing new in the violin world. There is no such thing as a silver bullet. The best advice I ever got was "just make violins". Each one you make teaches you something. People who are unwilling to share I'm pretty leary of.
  8. Experimental Violin at The Violin Shop in Nashville

    Yes Rue they do break occasionally. The small tuners are not very wide where the string goes. It can cut right through the loop.
  9. Experimental Violin at The Violin Shop in Nashville

    Thanks so much. The fiddle was a success. I attend conventions and violin auctions with my friends Bruce Babbitt and Rod Mohr. We always take several things to show in our hotel room. Bruce takes old things, Rod takes several of his new bows, and I take three or four of my fiddles. We have lots of dealers come through. Some buy things and some just hang out. It's the best thing about these conventions. We talk fiddles the whole time, sometimes people play music till the hotel shuts us down. I knew the fiddle was good but you don't really know how good until hear it's played against other good sounding fiddles. I was very proud of this fiddle.
  10. Experimental Violin at The Violin Shop in Nashville

    The experimental part is just about everything. I'm a big fan of the Hill book on Strad, they mention in the book that they thought Strad and DG were trying to get Maggini's big sound. That lead to some research on his work. I noticed his central section was bigger (longer C bouts) Strad's are about 90mm from purfling miter to purfling miter. DG's are about 95mm. and Maggini's are even bigger than DG's. I'v always felt the central section (just above the upper corners to just below the lower corners) was huge in sound development. I also elongated the F holes. I lengthened the body to just over 14 1/8 inches not quite to 14 1/4 inches. Any longer and it would be difficult to sell. The other thing I did that I wish I hadn't was I lowered the ribs one eighth of and inch. My reasoning for this was not right. I feel it would have had a even better sound if I'd have left them at the normal. Also I graduated the top heavy with the back normal Strad like thickness. I started at 3.5mm all over the top, once finished and strung up I thought it sounded pretty good but, I wanted to thin it to 3mm with a bit smaller BB. That was the trick, it improved the sound ( it was louder, darker, and more focused ). It just improved it. I have made over sixty violins so this wasn't my first try at this kind of thing, I learned a lot with this effort. I plan to make more of this type violin.
  11. I sold this violin to Fred Carpenter of The Violin Shop, in Nashville. He has three photos of it on his web site. Please check out the photos and tell me what you think. This violin is my own design, mostly inspired by Maggnie. Sound wise the violin turned amazing, I couldn't have been happier with it. I'm not trying to promote a sale, it's his violin now. I'm sure Fred is capable of that. I just wanted to show it off. I haven't done much violin wise for a few months as I've been battling a health problem. I even winterised my shop and turned off the heat, first time sense I built it. My shop is my little corner of heaven here on earth, there is no place I'd rather be. Hope to get back to it soon.
  12. Swedish scroll gouge set

    I don't own any Swedish gouges and at that price I won't be getting any. That's nearly $1300.00 American currency, plus shipping. If they are just for scroll carving, why so many? You wont use but a precious few to carve a scroll. That's nearly $92.00 a gouge and you don't need ten of them. Professional builders who make all three or four type string instruments may use several of these, but I wonder about that. You can get great old cast steel English gouges for a fraction of that cost, and re-handle them. There is nothing to re-handling a gouge. Also ask yourself what the re-sale value would be, you would be lucky to get $40.00 a gouge out of them. I'm not trying to be a hard ass here, I just think because they are in a set they shouldn't be that expensive.
  13. !8th century working methods

    People of 17th and 18th century were a custom to hand work because that's all they had. Everything was made in SMALL craft shops. Apprinteshhip lasted for years, probably 12 to14 or more hours per day. Life was hard. Those poor young men sometimes would eat, sleep, and live in the shop. They were good at their jobs because that's all they did. They had no life other than the shop. Can you imagine workers in tanning shops, or butcher shops, or even bakeries. These were hard jobs, it's no wonder people didn't live long lives. Strad was lucky, he prospered and lived a long life. Not to mention he made some of the best fiddles ever created. When we compare 18th century craftsmen I think the norm was somewhere between Amati and DG. Strad probably falls in there a lot closer to Nicholas Amati than DG. This topic has been a big surprise to me, never thought I'd get any ways near this response, thank you everyone Oh yea, I'll post a few pictures of this quilting frame and the progress, just for fun. A quick explanation as to why I'm making this thing. We have several ladies in our area who quilt, but nearly all use machines. Joanie does it by hand, one stitch at a time. God bless her. My kind of woman.
  14. Someone contacted me earlier and wanted either the magazine or a copy of the article. I've lost your contact information. Please private message me here and I'll see to it you get either photos of the article or I'll copy it and send it to you. Sorry I can't send magazine, it's part of my collection.
  15. !8th century working methods

    I believe Roger stated he thinks the distortion in the ribs/bouts outline came from nailing the neck to the rib garland, then lining up the neck and ribs to the back when gluing. Not always exactly the same as the mold, sometimes twisted one way or another. I may be wrong on this, so correct me if I am. This reminds me of a joke, "I thought I wrong once, but I was mistaken".