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About Javaca

  • Birthday 07/06/1986

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  1. Not yet. But in the magazine article I mention your find of the scratch marks of the Vuillaume rose on the cello corner template (with an attribution footnote of course) :-D. The masonite is the real secret of Stradivari. ;-)
  2. The unit I used was the Braccio Da Fabbrica, as given by Pollens. It works great and can be found in all places on the guitars. The length of the headstock for example (161 mm = 4 BDF = 4 x 40.25mm) but also in the string length en side height. The holes in the paris forms, the soundhole in the small guitar (1 BDF), the width of the inlay channel, thickness of the plates). The guitars are extremely light, (the large guitar weighs only 500 grams) and have no barring on the very thin back. This makes the back act as a resonator, and gives a sort of reverb effect (can be stopped by holding the instrument to your body). It gives two different sounds in one instrument. There are also no linings in the guitar, the back is only secured to the sides by paper. The top hangs to 1.65 mm of animal glue (the little blocks are only used to position the top, not to hold it in place). The guitars are extremely resonant.
  3. Over the last couple of years I have extensively studied Stradivari's guitars, guitar forms and templates and guitar making methods, to come to a more close reconstruction. The large guitar was made after Cremona template MS. 750. The small guitar was made after the little form in Paris (E.901.6). The cases were based on the "Giustiniani" example. These were the first guitars ever made after the Stradivari forms and templates, instead simply making a shortened version of the "Hill" or copy a guitar with later alterations (Rawlings). An article about this investigation, along with a plan for the little guitar, was published in the summer edition of American Lutherie. A shortened excerpt of this article can be found here: https://thedutchluthier.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/antonio-stradivari-guitar-maker/
  4. I use thinned boiled linseed oil (25-50% oil, the rest naphta or white spirit) both to preventing rust and preserving patina on tools. Put it on and leave it to dry for a day. Then polish the metal to remove excess oil and leave it to dry for another day. Another polish and it is fine to go.
  5. Knives, little chisels, a purfling channel cleaner, purfling cutters, plane blades. They can be wonderful. I gave my friends a box to throw in their discarded blades. Once in a while I get them. This gives a very steady supply of steel...
  6. Javaca

    Il Canino

    One of my classmates made a mistake with the neck angle of his Voboam copy (made with an inner form, not in the " spanish manner") and instead of damaging the top we took te back of, adjusted the neck angle on flat solera by pushing the guitar down, and replaced the side wings of the back to accomodate the sides that widened. Worked like a charm. The method used by Lundberg you describe is indeed widely used for lutes. It can work very well.
  7. Javaca

    Il Canino

    Drawings available are made by Anton Wiegers (Gemeentemuseum The Hague), Stephen Barber (1641, Ashmolean), Pierre Abondance (Cite de la Musique) and Stephen Murphy (Cite de la Musique). The rope method was pointed out to me by the article and discussing it with Mr De Ridder at CordeFactum in Belgium. There is a photo of an open Voboam with the twine in "The lute in Europe 2" by Andreas Schlegel. The Dias and Chambure both have "fluted" ribs. It is very hard, if not impossible to make this without the use of an inner form. There are also plugged holes in the sides of the Dias guitar. See http://www.vihuelademano.com/vgcrossroads.htm The fingerboard flush with the top doesn't matter in this, it can be made with every method. Both instruments are described in "Aux origines de la guitare: la vihuela de mano"
  8. Javaca

    Il Canino

    There is indeed an overlapse in the methods used. The "Chambure" vihuela and "Dias" guitar are very good examples. Clearly made on an inner mould they also have a "slipper" foot. Last summer edition of American Lutherie featured a wonderful article by James Westbrook about this subject. "Construction Methods of Early Spanish Guitarreros by James Westbrook So the “Spanish method” is to build a guitar face-down and put the back on last, right? Well, maybe not. Some older Spanish guitars appear to have had the tops put on last, based on clues like glue drips and the fitting of back braces. Also, tiny filled holes indicate that they may have been nailed into molds during construction." I deduced the working methods based on the violin making methods (like in Roger's articles) and the surviving instruments and forms. Especially the linings and tentellones led me to draw these conclusions. For Voboam the article by the Sinier De Ridder workshop, existing instruments and drawings, and consulting wit other makers were the basis for my conclusion.
  9. Javaca

    Il Canino

    I like The Beatles but not all their songs. I read the bible and the quoran, but that doesn't mean I agree with everything. I make guitars and lutes, but that doesn't mean violins don't have my attention. I like Bach, but that doesn't keep me from listening to Mozart. Reading, using and admiring a book doesn't mean that I agree with, or believe everything that is stated in it. I have wred the book and it is one of (if not) the best and most complete works on the subject and would recommend it (along with Roger's articles) to everyone. But this doesn't prevent me to think for myself and -based on the evidence- draw my own conclusions.
  10. Javaca

    Il Canino

    I found the photo a couple of years ago. You can find it in the Google photo search under "Voboam inside". Robert Lundberg's book is in my opinion one of the best books ever written on lutherie. Along with Pollens' "Stradivari" it almost permanently resides in my backpack. Stradivari's method of making guitars is very close to lute building. But I find it very hard to attach a glue soaked rope into a closed guitar, even when there was no rose in the soundhole. Just as hard as it would be to glue paper linings to the back of a closed Stradivari guitar... This led me to deduce the described methods.
  11. Javaca

    Il Canino

    You mean this one? A few years ago the Sinier de Ridder workshop published this paper on the Voboam guitars. http://www.sinier-de-ridder.com/pdf/sinier%20de%20ridder%20-%20voboam%20inside%20perspectives.pdf There are also two very good articles by Joël Dugot about the Voboam family. One of them contains a list with measurements of all known Voboam guitars.
  12. Javaca

    Il Canino

    It doesn't make sense untill you start making a guitar with this method... To me the inner form does make a lot of sense. Strad did use them more than once, the Sabionari, Giustiniani and Hill were most likely constructed on the same form. The blocks are attached to the form, and sides glued to the blocks. The two round holes can be used to clamp the sides using dowels and rope. An advantage of using the inner form is that you can put the inlay on the lower block while the sides are still attached to the form, try that with an outside form. After the neck was put on the back was glued to the sides. Originally there were no linings used in these guitars. After the form was taken out paper reïnforcements were glued to the back. The little glue blocks on the front were used to align the soundboard and corpus during the closing of box. Why would you otherwise place four glue blocks directly against the upper and lower block? It makes no sense to increase glue surface on these places. The others were placed on quite regular intervals around the perimeter. They help to hold the shape of the front. I made guitars with all the different methods (inner form, outside form, in the air). And noticed that the method used does make sense in all instances. The Voboams were probably made in a more archaïc manner, much like the way Torres' models are made today. They used a "spanish slipper" to hold the sides to the neck. The soundboard was probably placed on a solera, after which the neck was attached. The sides then were placed in the two grooves of the slipper and glued to the lower block. The sides were glued to the soundboard. A couple of gluing blocks were placed at the sides and a piece of rope, drowned in glue was put around the perimeter inside the guitar. To close the box linings were installed and the quite heavy back (up to 4 mm) was glued to them. This back served as some kind of backbone for the guitar's structure. Other than by Stradivari's guitars were the back is very thin (1,6 mm) and serves as a resonator. When looking at the dimensions of the surviving Voboam guitars we see that they all differ dramaticly in size. Also no two sides are the same, the guitars are very asymmetric. Both instruments are made with a completely different concept in mind. One thing that always amazes me is that most contemporary makers built Stradivar's guitars in the archaïc way and Voboams with an inner form... The Jaquemart-Andrée vihuela was probably a master-piece for someone who entered the guild of violeros. There is a list of rules from the sixteenth century where is stated that the apprentice must be able to make a "vihuela de piecas". The soundboard an back are VERY thick. A second vihuela that recentelijk surfaced (the "Chambure" in the Cité de la Musique) has a more useable string length of 646 mm.
  13. Pu laquer can be touched up with Cyanoacrylate glue. The use of these lacquers is very common on cheap electric guitars.
  14. Javaca

    Il Canino

    I will certainly give it a try. I have made computer drawings of the guitar forms and the Hill/Sabionari/Giustiniani model. To make a for I scratch the outline of one side into a piece of Masonite and cut it out. This is used as a router template, attached by two screws on the centreline. To cut the other half the template is simply turned over. This is a quick way to make a symmetric form. The recessies for the blocks are cut later by hand, the little blocks left over can serve as templates to form the blocks. I only use the electric router to make the template, on the instrument itself I only use handtools. (Beside an electric lathe for the pegs.)
  15. Javaca

    Il Canino

    I like the idea, but am not entirely convinced that this was the method used for all the guitar forms. For these guitars I "cracked" the outlines of the forms and patterns to re-engineer the underlying design features. I found mainly compass arches, not parabolic forms, as would be the case with this method.I keep the possibility open that the paper patterns were made by tracing existing instruments or sides attached to the inner form. In some of the wooden forms the of the compass are still visible. This idea is mainly given in by Roger's suggestion that the inner form dictated the outline of the violin, instead of the other way around. Also Stradivari's pragmatic way of working with the forms (tracing and overlaying to create a new model) leads me to think this way. At school we constantly 'stole' each others patterns. Somebody making a beautiful Panormo? A piece of acrylic, a tracing scribe and five minutes in which the classmate is out of the room... And I have a wonderful Panormo pattern two... Please raise your hand if you haven't done this in your carreer. Earlier Kevin Kelly sent me this YouTube clip of his method to draw the Rawlings guitar.
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