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Mark Norfleet

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  1. I was happily ignoring this thread and will do my best to resume doing so... I've not read it all, but to respond to one of the OPs questions, I would put a modern style/size bar in it as I think that will give you the greatest chance of having it satisfy the owner or anyone who might play it that has any degree if skill or training. Presuming you're inclined to invest the time... For what it's worth I've made more than a handful of "baroque style" modern instruments, "modernized a few previously "baroque" violins and also played/heard a number of Stainers with bass bars that were near the original size and shape, a few with "modern" bars being used as "baroque" and heard one of the relatively unaltered Stainers mentioned above quite a bit and have played and adjusted that same instrument some. As a bit of an aside to an earlier comment, I don't trust recordings to always accurately represent how an instrument sounds in person. They can however certainly be entertaining.
  2. Let us not forget the effects of work hardening and annealing…, not to mention the helix angle and other processing considerations for gut strings.
  3. I wouldn’t be pleased either. I would however grab the violin first, even if it was yours.
  4. Rather ungainly! I’m 4 feet from mine at the moment with a phone, but it’s disassembled…. I’ll find a decent image and post it.
  5. Certainly C-C is defendable and unambiguous. Taking the measurements to asses what C-C is on an instrument is however highly impractical. Holding a scale on the outside of an instrument and trying to sight the location of the center of the soundpost isn’t a terribly accurate method, especially considering the variety of instruments someone in the business works with. I own many more measuring tools than any violin maker I know, and probably more than most machinists, yet I don’t have a good way to reach inside an instrument to measure the diameter of a soundpost, let alone transfer the location of said center to the outside in order to find its relationship to the center of the bridge. The traditional self made gauges people in the trade have, or a carefully used piece of card stock with a slit in it and a scale, are pretty effective and provide all the information we need. it’s not at all a bad idea.
  6. Simply put, I think you should have taken more time with this and spent more time with your local expert. The quality of the finished work is far more important to me than the speed at which something is accomplished. You clearly know a lot about machining and how to get things done, but from my perspective you don’t know what you don’t know. Spending time with someone who does know what you don’t, and can guide you through this work in greater detail, is probably the best way for you to improve the quality of your work, if that is your interest.
  7. Over rosining a bow is a rather common response to an instrument that doesn't respond well. Though you've clearly had many different strings on it and had the opportunity to observe if this would work or not, try cleaning the strings and see what happens. If it's immediately better and then gets worse, there is likely too much rosin on your bow. That said, trying to provide information here and following suggestions from the list participants, including myself, to find the root of the problem and fix it are just stabs in the dark. You might get lucky and hit on the solution, but I think your instinct to find a person who is good, experienced and will be dedicated to finding the solution(s) to your problem is the right way to go. Good Luck with finding that person!
  8. Some list participants might require more than a small lid...
  9. Perhaps if we use it enough..., but how much will it confuse those who speak German?
  10. I would remove the neck before doing the crack repair if I was certain I would be doing a graft. I wouldn't however be thinning out the peg box wall until I explored cleaning and gluing the cracks. Once you start thinning things like that out, it complicates glueing. Thinning the peg box wall might well allow the the two sides of the crack to brought together more readily, though I would do what I could to avoid that. What I would be VERY unlikely to do would be gluing the crack at the same time the graft was glued. In theory it might seem like a good idea to the inexperienced, but it would be much better, in my opinion, to have the crack sorted out before fitting and gluing the graft. Thinned out peg box walls move around enough even with sound peg boxes and keeping gluing operations as simple as possible is best, presuming one is using traditional hot hide glue...
  11. One of my good friends is a pilot for a local helicopter med-flight operation and regularly flies over my house. I've often thought it would be fun to ask him to just briefly land in my yard once all the leaves have fallen. The deckel might be great for roughing things out, but I think in practice you would find the fit is not as good as the theoretical precision of the machine. Cutter/wood interaction is not as predictable as when cutting metal or other more homogeneous and rigid materials. Variations in the amount wood removed due to attack angle of the cutter relative to grain direction alone will (I'm pretty sure) produce a less precise fit than an experienced and diligent restorer could achieve by hand scraping/fitting using chalk (powder) to fit the surfaces. I'd be happy to be proven wrong though!
  12. Oh good! it still looks like a cut slot to me with less than perfect edges, but I can see that it is not.
  13. It won't any longer now that he has Deckelized it. These pantographs are wonderful machines and capable of great things, but I would never use mine for such a repair. As Jacob mentioned, you could very likely have gotten it to go back together with some patience and further consultation here. I don't think I have ever removed and replaced wood to repair a peg box crack in over 40 years of doing this work. Though the Deckel is capable of very accurate work I'm pretty sure, if it was indeed necessary to remove wood, one could get a far better result by cleaning up the shape of the crack by hand and fitting a tapered, rather than straight sided piece of wood into the resulting (also tapered) slot.
  14. Except for the first few years I've been doing this work I have always used a gauge on top of the strings to set the height of the middle two after finalizing that of the top and bottom strings, as directed by Mr. Burgess. This will take into account the possible variation in gauge as mentioned by deans above. I don't leave the groove any deeper for thicker strings though. Very occasionally if a person is using a plain gut string that feels like it will deflect under bow pressure more readily than the adjacent strings, I'll leave that one very slightly higher and make sure the player is comfortable with it. Rarely a player will ask about relative string clearances, but on instruments I regularly maintain I usually see or feel it before they do and correct it. Some can tell, others don't notice as it usually happens slowly and they simply get used to dealing with it. I suppose doing it this way adds a step, but I've been doing it for a fairly long time and feel like it's the right thing to do. I only use this method for instruments with 4-5 stings. With more than that, it's a different story.
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