Jack Devereux

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Everything posted by Jack Devereux

  1. Thanks for all the input! Yeah, I think it's a matter of geometry. I'll sharpen them to the point where they shave easily, but then the seem to dig into the wood and chatter. Does anybody use anything like this? The picture is from Ryan Hayes's article on the Triangle Strings website- https://trianglestrings.com/carving-a-violin-bridge/ (if reposting this image isn't kosher I apologize and will take it down). I've gotten a version of this to work pretty well but have a hard time consistently getting that shape right and sharpening it effectively. Plus it just looks cool...
  2. I've been working on improving my bridges lately, which has led me to thinking and experimenting with various knife shapes and geometry. I haven't found anything I really like, or a repeatable, relatively simple way of sharpening. I feel pretty comfortable sharpening other tools, and know what something that's working the way it should feels like. However, even when they're cutting, I'm fighting these knives. Does anybody have any thoughts or a method you're fond of? I really like the look of some of the knives pictured in the Triangle Strings bridge cutting article, but can't seem to replicate any of those grinds. Thanks!
  3. How would these have originally been set up? Nailed neck and wedged fingerboard? Additional strings?
  4. What are you guys using the airbrush for? Applying new varnish? Retouching?
  5. Joe, excellent advice as always. I'm realizing I just need to practice and play around with the stuff to be able to control it better.
  6. Very cool Don! So how does that work? I assume there's a compressor lightly blowing filtered air into the top of the box?
  7. Don, that's a good point. Was it you who had some kind of little rig that sat on your bench and maybe pushed clean air to varnish under? Kind of a miniature lab hood kind of deal. Someone on here put a picture of that up a while back and it was kind of ingenious.
  8. I've been trying to improve my varnishing, and find that one of the biggest trouble areas is keeping small particulate matter from getting into the coats and making those little snits that are so frustrating. I try to keep things pretty clean and wipe the bench and surrounding areas down with a damp rag before varnishing, but I still get some contamination. My drying cabinet is pretty basic and not completely sealed off from the room, so maybe stuff is getting on the fiddle while it's in the cabinet? What do you do to keep dust/small hairs/bugs/Russian intelligence officers/what have you out of your varnish? How do you remove bumps from varnish? The ancients certainly didn't have hermetically sealed rooms for varnishing and they managed pretty smooth finishes.
  9. The ones that International Violin sells are pretty good. I have bought a few for varnish experiments and the ones I didn't maim horribly I regraduated and put new bars in and gave to broke player friends. Saw one recently that I did about a year ago and it's holding up fine. Certainly not a super high end instrument, but great to practice varnishing, and the woman who's playing it is a very good, professional bluegrass fiddler who seems pretty happy with the thing.
  10. Bruce did use that Bruno Stefanini fiddle for like 20 years as his main instrument, as well as a Jon Cooper del Gesu copy. He got a fiddle from a guy on Shetland Island in Scotland maybe two years ago and has been playing that every time I've seen him since. Don't remember the maker's name, but I've played it a few times and it's a nice sounding and well made instrument. He sold the Cooper but still has the Stefanini, which is what you hear on most of his records. I would agree the model doesn't make much difference. I've played old time music on a bunch of old Italians that are worth more than the house I live in, and it still sounds like old time music! Just find something you like the look of.
  11. Jerry, thanks for weighing in, that's basically what I was wondering. I remember seeing you give a talk about this a few years ago, where you mentioned that you had a special stash of specific soundpost stock. Was just curious what the criteria were for that wood.
  12. Re-reading the Triangle Strings article about making a soundpost, which starts with splitting a blank out and working it round. Does anybody have any thoughts on selecting good spruce to start with? Anything in particular to look for? I have an orphan half of a top that looks like Simeon Chambers's stuff in a pile of wood I recently bought from a friend. It's super tight grained and very light, not sure of the density, would this be a good place to start?
  13. Does anybody have a good outline for the Betts, or know which of Stradivari's forms it was built on? I just got my hands on some really nice photos of the instrument, but don't have a full sized outline. I could just blow it up on a copier, but was hoping to at least get a little more information about the outline before I began. Thanks!
  14. Similar to Benoît Rolland's (the bow maker who won the McArthur grant a few years back) Galliane frog design- http://www.galliane.com/ http://www.benoitrolland.com/innovation.php
  15. Where are you located?
  16. Liz is fantastic. I was very lucky to spend a lot of time playing with her as a kid and you'll have a hard time finding a nicer person. I get a kick out of how many great violin makers play traditional fiddle music- Chris Germain, Joe Thrift and Jon Cooper are all accomplished old time players, I understand Sam Zygmuntowicz is a good Irish fiddler, there are others I'm not thinking of now.
  17. http://www.caramillo.co.uk/ourshop/cat_795967-Bending-Irons.html I have one of these and like it a lot. Also kind of a hassle to get in touch with the guy, but I got it eventually and he does ship to the US.
  18. Thanks Joe, that makes a lot of sense. How does the edge of the worn away varnish interact with the greyer ground underneath- do they correspond exactly along the edge where the varnish is gone or kind of overlap within a range? Trying to figure out how to lay on and then remove color- with hard chipped edges or like it had gradually been worn away and has a soft transition into the lighter areas. Does the ground behave differently under those different circumstances, or is it basically bare wood is bare wood, no matter how it got uncovered? You're back in the shop tomorrow? I need to restock on a few things. Happy New Year everybody.
  19. Joe, do you think this could be mitigated by applying colored varnish and then removing it? Or just loading up on ground color in the areas where varnish would be worn away?
  20. Hey guys, thanks for the responses. I've done a fair number of fiddles with the shade-and-add-texture method. The guy I studied with (Jonathan Cooper) gets great results using a glaze to apply color just to where it needs to go. I'm just curious about the pros and cons of working backwards from a straight varnish since I have the straight woodworking in front of me right now. I've seen a few fiddles that look fantastic using this method, does anybody have any ideas on that technique specifically? Nathan, I definitely see your point about not wanting to seal the wood so its too pale and won't take color when you're antiquing.
  21. So, I'm just about to start varnishing a fiddle and thinking about antiquing. I started this one on spec and built it "new," but subsequently, a fellow has bought it and decided he wants it antiqued. In the past, I've kind of antiqued as I've gone along --rounded the corners and edge work over and softened the back of the scroll before varnishing, applied color varnish only in the places it wouldn't be worn back, then adding texture with rocks, chains, machine guns, chainsaws, particle colliders, the ususal-- but now that I have this unantiqued woodworking in front of me, I'm wondering about varnishing it straight and then antiquing the whole thing from there. Any thoughts? Would this lead to a more "real" look? In the past I've been frustrated with my antiquing because it looks pretty convincing from 10 feet away, but falls apart pretty quickly upon closer inspection. thanks, Jack
  22. Thanks for the information! I think I may just grit my treeth and buy the Amati book. Unless you think the Primrose Guarneri would be a better first viola model to build? I'm into the viola as small cello rather than large violin idea, and it seems like the Amati stuff really accomplishes that well...
  23. Does anybody know the length of the G. Amati viola in the Galleria Estense (the one that book was recently published about)? Is that book worth buying? Or the Bein and Fushi one about the Primrose Guarneri? I'm mainly just looking for a good, not giant model to build, so if anybody has any ideas.... Thanks!