Michael Jennings

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About Michael Jennings

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday January 27

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Lopez Island, WA
  • Interests
    Repair and Restoration / Building Fretted Instruments / Someday Violin

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  1. Admiration....... and a bit of envy...
  2. Agreed.. spruce, willow, box wood would not have the strength for a tight mechanical dovetail, the traditional wood with guitars is mahogany. A well fit, dry guitar dovetail takes mechanical assistance to separate and holds the tension of string at pitch. Ive heard it referred to as a double blind dovetail which is as you describe [v-shaped from both the vertical and horizontal]. there is also the fact that it is undercut vis a vi the shape of the heal so that the face of the heal exerts pressure on the ribs as the dovetail is pressed home creating a certain amount of clamping pressure on the side faces of the dovetail joint. That said with this traditional joint glue is always added to the final assembly. The joint can still be separated in the future, with the application of steam as I've done hundreds of times when resetting vintage necks. The geometry and stresses on a guitar are different than arch topped instruments and over time the flattop guitar is trying to "fold itself in half".
  3. I will give Jerry his due in that the Very Slight Taper of the heal does indeed result in a "dovetail" joint.... if, during the fitting the rib/block surfaces are "undercut" as carefully as the vertical V and the heal/button surface. Being a guitar builder I suppose I think of the guitar neck joint where the mortise sides are put into tension by the surrounding surface of the heal against the ribs [ no button here], making a secure mechanical joint with or without glue [although glue is the final component of both]. So some semantics.... some just plain degree.
  4. Although quite different in the tapered and locked sides of the joint. Same as classic cabinet joinery.... Perhaps a matter of Semantics, but most folks and histories I'm familiar with use "dovetail" to refer to the physically locked joint. I your "read" rejoinder is to your previous link? "interlocked" seems the key.
  5. Have to side with Jacob on this one.... look at the difference between the common violin "mortise" and the "tapered dovetail" joint on "traditional" steel string guitars [a'la Martin/Gibson]... The later is indeed a physically "locked" joint that will hold string tension on its own [without glue]....although, of course we do eventually glue them after checking/testing the dry physical joint.
  6. I'm happy with Jargar medium E. Goldbrokat is a close second.
  7. When I visit the forum I tend to prioritize my reading based on the identity of the "latest post" author. I have a list of "most respected", and one of "jeeze, I'd sure like to have a drink with him/her". Addie was at the top of both lists.
  8. Those of us still "working" on grasping the "basics", certainly appreciate the time wasting by some of you.
  9. Re: Guitars, at least the steel string variety. The cost of Martins from the 30's or Gibsons from the earlier 40's as well as the tone produced by folks like Tony Rice [30's Martin] or Russ Barrenburg [40's Gibson] would suggest that "wearing out" is not the case. Classical Guitars "may" be different, but I suspect not.
  10. Some Bobeck cases have a small plastic capsule/vial, with "adjustable" holes [like a salt shaker] in the top, clipped into the inside of the pegbox area of the body of the case. Supposed to be used for humidification [fill it with water, let it evaporated]. I've never trusted it not to accidentally produce a puddle. The long tube clipped into the lid is indeed intended for string storage..... Jackson is correct that trying to get previously coiled synthetics into it is like trying to thread a needle after too may scotches.
  11. As long as we all stay well clear of loose window sashes........ just a suggestion.
  12. What you describe is exactly how a steel string guitar Bridge/Bridge plate works... For the most part the bridge plate on the inside of the belly is preferably Maple.... although rosewood and other hardwoods have been used.
  13. Rue, I "think" probably, practicality??? Even with the gut strings of the time, the classical guitar string tie would have been pretty fussy on such a small tie block? I don't know the difference in overall tension between period gut and todays violin strings, but suspect that it may have been high enough that, with the very small footprint / glue surface of the Chanot string block [ compared to the relative footprint of a classical guitar bridge foot print/glue surface] might have been prone to unexpected detachment. The Pinned bridge is pretty stable and couples the string very well to the belly. Then there is the issue of direction of pull/tension which is quite different between guitar and violin. I pulled all of this directly out of my a** after only a half a cup of coffee this morning so take with however many grains of NaCl are appropriate.
  14. Take a look at the bridge pins on a steel string acoustic guitar...tapered pins in tapered holes.
  15. THAT...calls for a very steady hand...