Philip Perret

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Everything posted by Philip Perret

  1. I regularly do this when setting necks on old instruments (or adding a wedge), but take the measurement at the top block measuring up from the back plate. It's helpful when the edge thicknesses isn't the same on both sides of the neck and/or rib heights are different, which is often the case. Measuring the tilt at the bridge position is, for me, also important. Jerry's "poirette stick" is handy, but I feel has to be used in conjunction with other checks. I agree with what's been said about bow clearance and, as importantly, the players ability to get over the shoulder with comfort. I hope you didn't have a problem.
  2. To each their own. Very briefly, what you're calling "poiriette stick" can be useful, but only as one tool in the box. I can't go on further now as I have a "New York" projection/pitch/neck raise to finish up for this afternoon.
  3. I understand what both of you are saying. I have used the "stick" placed across the lower block area, but find it is useful on only certain instruments. And, the amount of tilt (poiriette) needs to vary from instrument to instrument. A wide uncut Montagnana would probably receive different treatment than a narrow Strad model cello. In my opinion 1mm would not be sufficient for many cellos. Not only for the bow clearance at the c bout, but for the comfort of the player getting over the shoulder in higher positions. On old instruments, so many things can have changed over time that depending on any one method isn't the best idea.
  4. See topic "Bellosio Decapitation". Happens not too infrequently, and as Jerry said; "necks are not always set as well as they could be." I've personally never seen a broken button that could be directly traced to raising the neck angle this way.
  5. That's interesting, do you think it works in of itself? How does the edge thickness end up when you've put scoop into the board, and do you cant the bottom up a bit from the end of the neck?
  6. Are you positive the crack continues to the post area? Can you post a soundpost area picture? Is it studded or patched?
  7. I wouldn't disagree, a plaster cast is indispensable in many cases. But certainly not all.
  8. Perhaps that's an idea! Some people are of the opinion that Gennaro Gagliano put a post in that raised the f-hole flap and then scrapped it down... What do you think about correcting a sunken bass f-hole wing by clamping it into a corrected position and then fitting a bass bar? This is something that one comes across all the time in repair/restoration work. If you take the clamp off the the f wing before gluing the fitted bar, you will find considerable "spring" in the bar…which after gluing tends to keep the f-hole wing in it's raised position. From my observations this can be long term. What do you think might account for this?
  9. I've heard of some makers soaking neck blocks to prior to and as they carve the scroll.
  10. I have a couple of modern instruments (by well known living makers) which come in and are sunken on the bass side. One in particular that I have in mind was made by a vocal critic of "springing" bass bars. These are instruments in the 5+-year old range and I'd be very surprised if the makers made them that way. I've check the top graduations and they have all been in the normal range, so I can only assume that the bass side of the top is somehow not being adequately supported by the bar. Whether or not this is because of lack of spring or just a light bar I can't say, but visually the bars look fairly normal. The sinking is not drastic, but when the bass f hole wing has sunk 1-1 1/2 mm on a newish instrument I tend to wonder about the future of the top.
  11. I'll second that. There is even a published photo somewhere of Heifetz hovering over Koodlach as he removed the top of his del Gesu. Rene M. spoke a number of times about the relationship between the two.
  12. Thanks, this is fascinating. I found the reference in the Pollens book from the Carbonelli inventory but it only references a repair to the Othi violin in 1723. Is it indeed a complete new top that was made? The Stradivari letter from 1708 also speaks of some repairs to a violin, but it's not apparent what that instrument is. Can someone give more information on Martino Othi? Thanks!
  13. That's very interesting. Are the tops on Stradivari instruments (say from another period) or were they on backs/ribs from other makers? Thanks.
  14. As David said, there are probably a number of "stage door" hustlers and those who give away their instruments, but I believe quite a few "name" performers also commission and/or purchase new instruments. There are makers who also continue to do repairs and adjustments and have plenty of opportunity to show their work casually when a performer comes in for maintenance of their primary instrument. Marty K's idea of going to a master class is good as long as there's not a line of other makers waiting to do the same thing, but it would probably always be a good idea to shoot them or their management an email rather than showing up unannounced...although I remember as a violin making student going to a concert in Chicago where Menuhin played and then waiting in line with other students (and Carl Becker Jr) to meet him and perhaps see his instrument. When Carl Becker introduced himself Menuhin actually stood up from where he'd been seated signing autographs, shook his hand in delight, and asked Carl if he had any instruments that might interest him.
  15. Interesting report. But I would have been interested to see what the depth of patina on an "authenticated" piece would have been in comparison. If this was the first use of that high powered scan on (supposedly) antique bronze piece, shouldn't they have a scan from an unquestionable piece for comparison?
  16. The "Leduc"? I'd say more so like the "Ole Bull".
  17. Yes, the first time I saw it was in school. At that time it was owned by a musician who also had a "copy" of the instrument with the same marking on the back that he often used when he performed with his group "The Royal Strings". Since those years I've seen it countless times and to me at least, it appears that the scribe mark is original.
  18. 1701? "Circle". I've heard only speculation that it was to contain some decoration.
  19. For those interested this is a rather lengthy article which touches on the poaching aspect of the demise of many large herbivores, but also points out many of the other problems associated with their possible extinction such as loss of habitat; http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/4/e1400103 I think that this paragraph from the article in particular sums up the thinking of many; "Addressing poaching Solving the current crisis associated with poaching for meat and body parts is an essential step, although one that is extremely challenging. Trade bans alone can sometimes succeed but can also fail because they limit supply, causing prices to rise, thereby driving more poaching for the black market (27). Multifaceted bold new policies are urgently needed that (i) increase the effectiveness of law enforcement both through antipoaching and strengthened penal systems related to poaching, (ii) incentivize local communities to conserve wildlife (for example, increasing tourism income), (iii) reduce demand for illegally sourced wildlife products through market mechanisms of controlled trade of products or farming animals (17,81), and (iv) aid a cultural shift away from luxury wildlife products in industrializing countries such as China and Vietnam. Social marketing and environmental education programs can also be highly effective in reducing demand for wildlife. For example, shark fin sales plummeted after social media pleas by basketball celebrity Yao Ming. Likewise, other prominent Chinese celebrities have also started speaking out to reduce demand for ivory and rhinoceros horn in Southeast Asia." On a recent trip to China I was stunned to see whole tusks being carved in a state sponsored crafts store and whole tortoise shells proudly displayed on the wall of a bow making factory. As long as cultures sanction the wholesale use of these materials and habitats shrink I don't think making the trade of antique and pre-ban ivory illegal will be anything more than a very minor symbolic statement which has the potential to do more harm than any real good.
  20. No ifs, ands or buts is in my opinion much too simplistic. What would you like to see done with every antique carving, frog, button, original tip or any other artifact made from any pre-ban or pre-endangered material (ivory, tortoise shell, other shells, skins, leathers, wood etc)? Have the owners donate them to museums? Destroy them? If so, than it's a real loss of many cultural and historical artifacts.
  21. Can you please post or send me photos of the "cello/vln combo"? Thanks!
  22. I think this sounds pretty interesting both for fingerboards, as David brought up, and your idea for bow repairs. Hope to hear more about it.
  23. Yep, this is definitely a useful method along with the way described by Antoine (post 16) and Jeff (post 22) of "pushing" the top further up on the ribs in order to raise the neck projection. (or lower it by doing the reverse) Personally I don't like to introduce soap to any gluing surfaces but rely on a very smooth and almost burnished surface on the opening tool instead of a lubricant. And I like to use plain maple and typically plane it with a long bevel for a couple of reasons. First, as the neck is pulled back it creates a very, very slight v shape between the heel and the top plate and secondly, for me it greatly speeds up the process of getting the correct pitch by allowing me to plane off from the bottom of the shim in order to increase the thickness and increase the projection. (As the slightly tapered shim descends it's thickness increases and as a result the pitch goes up)