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Michael Darnton

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About Michael Darnton

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    I cut for a living.

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    http://darntonhersh.com
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    Chicago
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    Check out my photos: http://flickr.com/photos/mdarnton

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  1. Up to even the 1940s or 50s those shots would certainly have been made on very large film or plate in the general range of 8x10 inches, depending on local standards. Roll film would have been an insult to a customer. If they were intended for post cards that size of plate would have been used, but not for daily commercial work. In the 40s LIFE magazine was firing photographers who wouldn't use 4x5. When I started as a photographer there were still many publications that would not accept 35mm.
  2. I'll take the question as serious. My first experience bringing something to an expert was in 1971 to Moennig's. As soon as I walked in the door the person behind the counter saw my bow case and cert in hand and said "Don't say a thing", taking the bow and looking at it cold. At B&F I learned to never say "Look at this Xxxx" to anyone--just hand it over--and the protocol of looking at the back first to suggest a maker, then going to the top to see if the name still fit, and finally the head, and learned the evil of labels so well that now I often won't even remember to look at one tha
  3. I don't grind mine too thin, I don't think. Like you, I work hard and fast. My favorite gouge is an old Addis, about 1" x #3, and that's 2.5mm thick, so that's what I ground all of mine down to. For me, it's mostly a matter of balance. Someone showed me a Flexigouge once, and it seemed uncomfortably whippy. I don't like that type with the short steel in the long wood. They're nice to use, but hard to hollow grind accurately, the way I do it. Other grinding systems might do better.
  4. Well, find another evil empire then, since that certainly was not the point.
  5. I would never make the assumption that something I did was perfect without checking. Also, I go to the effort of getting the plates square to the surface.
  6. In my shop we use a sheet of plate glass three feet long and about 5/8" thick for cellos. If there's a slight sag, setting up the two stations (one in each direction) on the same line but in opposite direction goes a long way to cancel the effect of the sag. If you put it permanently, you can even support it underneath to straighten it out, but I've never found that necessary. If I'm reading Mr Bress' comments correctly, he's skipping the most important step of the process: setting the shims up so that the distance from the purfling to the surface is exactly the same on either side of the
  7. Christiania is the old name for Oslo. I have a 1770s Swedish violin with similar inside construction. Without that, one of my clues to early English violins is oversize f-hole eyes, which this violin has. Some other points also look British to me, but I'd accept Sweden if that's what the label says.
  8. $120 Wen bench belt sander from Amazon, a bucket of cold water, and a towel. Buy the gouges you want, then take an hour or so and grind them on the back until they're down to the thickness you want. Advantages: you can grind them thinner than you can buy something. You can make them the same thickness across the width, which the maker may or may not have done. You get to have the best gouges, not just the ones that are sold thin.
  9. Just clarify for me, please. Do you actually believe that when an archery bow is strung up it should remain straight? Because that's what you are saying.
  10. Didn't I say that it is all based on what his opinion is? He's entitled to his opinion just as both of us are.
  11. If you believe that there was no real reason for the modern bar to evolve, and think that you might start making 4.5mm wide bars or baroque bars because "why not; there's no difference", then leave it. If you think that perhaps modern bars took over and no one does that any more because the modern bar works better for more people over the last 100 years or so than the old one did, and the people who replaced them weren't idiots, and you want to give your violin a better chance, replace it.
  12. Yes it is. Good from the start rather than wrong from the start. My summer students over the years haven't had a problem with that.... people need to know what to do so that they can at least *try* to do it. That's what teaching does. If you don't do that for them, showing them what they need to do and providing steps to get them there, they are just wasting their first violin.
  13. 1/ Understand that Strad corners are drawn from sections of circles, right out to the end. 2/ Look at the Messiah and others, as David Burgess suggested, and try to break down what you see there. Look especially at the angle of the flat end relative to the curve coming from the c-bout, the length of that flat section at the end (usually 7-7.5mm, often larger on the bottom corner than the top). And the amount of hook on the c-bout side of that curve (how much does it close after the curve top or bottom?) Knowing that the angle at the end of the corner is usually about 30 degrees to the cen
  14. There are quite a few examples that I can think of where sloppy verbal descriptions have caused makers to do something that isn't seen in the original instruments. It's only relatively recently that many photos of original instruments are easily available so that people can see things that previously only read about. I think if someone had only read that the purfling in the corners "diverges" from the center of the corner, the logical conclusion might be that they diverge from each other, leading to this.
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