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About DoorMouse

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  1. I glued the top of that last uke on slightly askew and it’s just enough to draw my focus every time I look at it. Here’s what the bracing looks like. It’s based on what I was seeing from baroque guitar builds online. There seems to be a lot of variation in bracing patterns at the time. Some instruments just have simple ladder bracing like the back. I just got the binding and purfling installed. Ebony is by far the toughest wood I’ve tried to bend. It cracks so easily I wasn’t able to use the backstrap on the iron. I eventually had success with gentle finger pressure and lots of patience. Next time I’ll be thinning it a bit more.
  2. Cool knives. They look like they could be artifacts. I'm enjoying he corduroy effect on the top. The dark varnish reminds me of the Kochanski del Gesu. Are you using pigments?
  3. Thanks for sharing. I had the opportunity to visit the musical instrument museum in Paris this past month and they have an overwhelming number of lutes and early guitars including the Vuillaume Strad guitar and several molds. Other standouts in the collection were Django Reinhardt’s guitar and the Allard Del Gesu. It’s definitely worth a visit. Here’s a progress shot of the Strad inspired small guitar I’ve been working on.
  4. The Messiah bass bar has been preserved. That might make a good starting point.
  5. Hey ken, I'd love to see the mini Strad guitar you built. What's your source for the forms and patterns? Are they in the Pollens book? I'd like to learn more about the weird inbetween sized instruments that didn't make the evolutionary cut. I'm actually just getting started on a baritone uke/ strad guitar hybrid. Just the four strings but longer scale length (60cm) and built in the style of a baroque instrument. One of the things I don't really like about the uke I just finished is how the neck meets the body at the 12th fret. I like to play a little higher sometimes so I decided to go with a longer neck but keeping the body around the same size. I play mostly early jazz and oldtime so I'm more concerned about making something that's fun to play than authentic.. for now at least.
  6. Taig Lathes are nice for the price and you can configure to your needs. There's an ebay seller in NJ who offers a base model with a variable speed motor. The Unimat is a classic and solidly built but underpowered depending on what you need it to do. I don't own either but I've been looking into one myself and those stood out.
  7. I just finished up my Baritone Uke/Machete. There were definitely some bumps along the way but overall it was a fun process to stumble through. It took about two weeks of work whereas a violin takes me at least two months. I realized that the body outline I settled on is coincidentally, almost the same shape and size as a Strad violin form. The instrument is resonant and projects much more than the 1950's plywood baritone I've been playing. The finish is casein sealer, stain, and french polish.
  8. Have you measured the specific gravity? I would assume old growth to be more dense maybe?
  9. I think of Carlo Bergonzi as a bold stylist of his time. It seems plainly obvious that he was making conscious choices to break with tradition while retaining the traditional methods and overall form. It's similar to what DG was up to but taken in a different direction and executed with more precision. The clean, straight lines of the scroll, ovular ff eyes, and narrow waist all add a sleekness that I imagine looked very modern for the time. You can almost see the infant strands of Italian Futurism These details might be lost to the average eye which is why I think Roger H refers to Carlo as a maker's maker. You need to have some knowledge of the process as well as context to appreciate what he was doing.
  10. I thought I’d share my first foray into ukulele building. This is a baritone that I designed that’s inspired by the ukulele’s parent instrument, the Portugese machete. I approached the project using the methods that I use to make violins and without much research. For the most part it’s working out. The only special tool I’ve needed so far is a flush cutter for the fret installation. I’ll post a photo once it’s all polished up.
  11. I just came across this video explaining the use of the ticking stick and the shape of the stick reminded me of the decorative notch cutout on Strad’s square. I don’t see why it couldn’t have been used in the same manner. I’m not sure what use it would be in the violin making process, perhaps copying a mold? Just a thought..