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About Francis

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  1. Hello, Is anybody familiar with this type of old peg? The shaft is stamped "ROSE" I need to know how to adjust them, and also how to get them out of the pegbox! There is a part that rotates, between the collar and the brass section, where the peg is touching the pegbox. on the two bass pegs this part is still rotating (but very hard to turn) but it's stuck to the pegbox. On the two treble pegs this ring seems to be stuck, thus disabling the "mechanical" aspect of the pegs, and they were used like regular pegs, although they badly need to be adjusted. Should I just treat them like regular
  2. Thank you for your reply! This is the first time I hear about the hair dryer method. Is your varnish oil, or alcohol?
  3. Would you mind sharing your technique for the craquelé?
  4. Hello Joel, I bend the ribs dry, and the internal moisture of the wood is often enough. If I'm bending for too long, at some point they'll stop cooperating, and I mist them slightly with a spray bottle. My technique is the same with plain or decorated ribs. My ribs bending iron is the cheap one, the "ibex bending iron". It's in terrible shape, temperature control is a trial-and-error thing, but it works so I'm still using it... For small instruments and purfling, I use the chinese one, with the gray metal box and digital control, that I got from ebay. I modified it to bend purfling: I
  5. Hello Roger, While today, poplar and willow are definitely cheaper to buy, is there any evidence that it was the same back then? Is there any good documentation on the wood trade? Here are some things to consider: The makers had access to some outstanding maple, but did not use it exclusively. Is it because of cost, scarcity, or because it was not as desirable (for plenty of reasons) as it is today? And why did they use poplar and willow? It is again because of cost and availability issues, or because they sought a different tone color? Were the old italian makers really "on a budget"
  6. Melvin: I know of a large Goffriller with a plugged hole. Venetian, with a maple back. I haven't seen enough to know whether it's indeed more rare than the Cremonese/poplar tendency you mentionned...
  7. Thanks for the comments! I'm from Montreal. I only use hide glue, although I buy pre-made purfling and I,m guessing it's made with synthetic glue. One thing I forgot to mention: I,m not exactly sure if the 17th century english makers actually inlaid the ribs before bending like I do, but next time I handle one of these instruments I now exactly what to look for to get the answer. The purfling channel does weaken the ribs, and they don't bend smoothly; especially in the c-bouts, the ribs will bend much more easily on the purfling lines, and so the purfling pattern tends to "telegraph" itsel
  8. I,m not sure if I can post a link to some pictures on my facebook profile, but I'll try: If you want to see some pictures of the rib inlaying process, and some other viol-specific techniques, look at the following photo albums: and:
  9. I'm a full-time viol maker, and I inlay ribs all the time. It has to be done before they are bent, otherwise it's almost impossible to perform, especially in the c-bouts. I prepare the ribs to final thickness, about 1,75 mm, and then I inlay the purfling about 0,5 mm deep, so that I don't weaken the ribs too much. Then I scrape flush. It's not that hard to bend. The lower and upper bout are convex and there is a risk that the purfling pops out, but the curves are very shallow and I use a bending strap to keep the purfling seated. The c-bouts have some tight curves, but they are concave an
  10. I'd love to get the book on Venitian instruments if it's still available.
  11. Nevermind... when you try to order it, then it says it's sold out... For a moment I thought Eric Blot just decided to reprint, but I guess we'll have to wait, or make photocopies!
  12. Has anyone seen this? Is that page outdated, or did the publisher order a reprint after this thread has been started?
  13. This is definitely possible! For years I have used a Veritas low angle block plane, with a blade ground at about 50 degrees, to get a very high cutting angle and avoid tearout on even the most figured maple. Be prepared to work hard, though, because higher cutting angles mean it takes much more force to push the plane and cut the wood. Good luck!
  14. So, I guess that nobody knows?
  15. Upon reading Roger Hargrave's thread about making a double bass, I became curious about the basses from the Amati family, and I eventually came across this website: Does anyone have any information about this instrument? It doesn't seem to be listed on Cozio, I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else, and a a Google search about it won't turn up anything except that blog entry... Thanks! Francis Beaulieu Viol maker