uncle duke

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  1. uncle duke

    Violin Making Schools

    Be a U.S. Navy pilot, shoot for the stars and if I just reach the moon then call it good enough- that's if I could go back and do it all again.
  2. uncle duke

    The importance of varnish

    After reading adjectives that describe the word harsh via wiki I've now come to the conclusion that I, myself, am now a violin maker and a pretty good one at that. My new ground experiment will consist of crushed glass and Duco cement just to raise the Q of my wood, if for anything else.
  3. uncle duke

    The importance of varnish

    Mr. Hill can correct me but I believe this method of letting the PGST air out or bubble is more or less from the 1800's method presented by Ch. Reade, adopted by Chanot and put into Heron-Allens book. It's supposedly the only way adulterated alcohol with gamboge and or dragon's blood would be allowed into the essence without failure. I don't believe Reade tried very many things he wrote personally but long story short, if I would of just bought some gamboge and dragons blood, like the EHA book said to do, I may of just come away with an acceptable orangey/red color for a finish. But no, I had to try my way first - couldn't justify the prices of the gums for possible experimental failures..
  4. uncle duke

    Violin Making Schools

    I was just being a wiseguy - I haven't bought nor read the book.
  5. uncle duke

    The importance of varnish

    The idea is to allow the spirits of turpentine to actually lose it's scent over time. Some say the bubbler speeds up the process of getting rid of the scent. The way I used is to just let the spirits of turpentine set in a tall quart sized jar for a year or so covered with a piece of screen , no lid, outdoors of coarse. About 50 mm depths worth of turps. in a jar for use with 32-33 gr. of resin. Maybe slightly less than 50mm deep. The spirits of turpentine is really, really highly flammable. Over heat, I use tin cans with the Sun overhead for better visability, really good for watching resins fuse. At the end of May until the first of September around these parts where I'm at for cooking. The atmosphere is different. When you start hearing paint cans, lacquer containers etc. making their stretching out popping noises in late spring it's time to cook. Put away the cooking stuff when you hear the same noises in the fall of the year, whenever that may be. When there's a fire I use a square piece of 1/4" plywood to cut air flow to the can. This fire that happens because of low resting fumes ignited by coals from underneath is also an excellent way to burn down colored alcohol into aged spirits of turpentine for some added color. Not much but some color added. So Davide calls my oil an essence now eh? Well, I just have to sit and think about that one for a while.
  6. uncle duke

    Pen usage

    Are there some here that use a fountain pen for their own labels? I found one laying about but haven't ventured to see how about getting it to work. Surely none use the quill do they?.
  7. uncle duke

    Oil varnish sweating

    Ken, Ken, Ken. What are we to do? If I weren't familiar with being a painter I wouldn't have a comment for you, so here's the grain of salt comment for this subject of finishing. First, as per handling a freshly, varnished fiddle, I wouldn't even touch it until the six week mark using store bought canned or even touch it at the eight to nine week mark using my own concoctions. The thumb print test works for me. A through read thru of Heron-Allen varnish and varnish making chapters for a period of a few years may enlighten you some. One doesn't have to do what he writes, just sort of figure out where and what he's alluding too. Notice I mention to read for a few years, not weeks. This subject takes awhile to learn on your own. Studying Fred and K.G., Johnston etc. won't hurt either. Patience and understanding is a must. Too much time has already gone by to be not getting this stuff right though I'll add my work is far from perfect assuming I understand what the word perfect should mean. I mention Heron-Allen. What else do you have to lose? You've tried almost everything else Sir.
  8. uncle duke

    Tailpiece Grain Direction?

    I want to say I used a straight edge and sharp, thin blade to make the slot - I can't really remember and I made at least six of them. Maybe I did use a saw? Tuner slots will come out fine if you just happen to have an old D string Dominant lying around for sizing. I don't see a better way to copy hole and slot location than to use a Whittner fine tuner tailpiece or similar for measurements. The tailgut area outer edges of your tailpiece will need special attention to gain acceptable clearance over the tailgut saddle. Make sure the coved area underneath has enough room for the threaded tailgut ends to hide and lie properly. It's good when that happens right the first time for both.
  9. uncle duke

    Any good Russian Luthiers?

    Other than what was told to us in grammar school the only other thing that comes to mind is the control of land that was covered by the last glacial maximum here in the United States. If one knows anything about load gold or placer for that matter, one will see that Missouri is the only southern state where one can get lucky - sort of unfair but - good enough for now.
  10. The thing about improvising is that what you may think sounds really terrible to yourself is really genius sounding to others - you just have to believe them when they tell you so but do keep the ace up your sleeve just in case they're b.s.ing you..
  11. To be frank, when you first showed up here at MN I was just thinking this guy is just wanting to get better at playing his fiddle, more than likely middle aged or older, no agenda using such fiddle other than hobby work and also he reads music fairly well. Now I see we have someone in their early twenties, wants to be a teacher and his probably smarter than the rest his age. This is where we'll be careful from now on. If you haven't reached the 26 -27 years of age mark then I've some good news for you - you're mind is still developing. Some or most of the following will be difficult viewing at first but over time could become second nature. What you can use for double stop practicing exercises is to first gain possession of all 24 caprices Pagannini. All throughout there are countless doublestop exercises. The difficult thing about those are they really don't pertain to any other composers work when they incorporated Pagannini influenced doublestops into their own work. I have the Carl Fischer version of the 24 caprices. The 24th caprice, var. 6 has some cool sounding doublestops. Fischer also mentions for similar passages in doublestops is to use his Violin School, part II and book lll of the systematic scale studies. This stuff isn't really difficult reading after a while. It's just difficult to stay focused and dedicated at the same time. imo. A few sheets loaded with scales I know can help with intonation issues. The more you hear the tones, the more they become recognizable - though tougher to realize pitch/tone wise while still one is still young of age.
  12. uncle duke

    The importance of varnish

    Perhaps sounding a bit plain in her hands but n a stronger players hands that may just be a powerful instrument. Bayon's violin here is a good complimentary one, not the best but good enough. Complimentary is all that's needed here. If Christian were to thin his future back plates based on the Cooreman build he will simply lose the D.G. sound he was searching for. What else can one do? Make a thinner back, lose the D.G aura and have an instrument that over powers the old Cremonese? A difficult decision sometimes I'd think.
  13. uncle duke

    Valuing Handmade Instruments for Divorce

    Sometimes or most times towards the end the eye to eyeness just isn't there - Long story short, I'm indebted to my x ol' lady for allowing me the new freedom that was awaiting.
  14. uncle duke

    Filtering Boiled Linseed Oil

    What works for me with dirty, gritty oil is to use a piece of window screen first to catch the big pieces of dirt and after reheating to hotness again I use a mesh material that has half the size of window screen holes for a second run through. This white colored mesh material I speak of can be found on the outdoor christmas angels, snowmen, deer etc. that are placed out in the front yard during the holiday seasons. Make sure the oil is hot, use gloves and one time each should be enough. I don't filter until the entire cook has all ingredients together and up to temperature for an efficient pour though filters. I have to filter out the lime residue and dirt from melted lead for the most part - I don't use sandarac.
  15. uncle duke

    Oil varnish sweating

    The finish on the back plate here wants and needs spirits of turpentine to look right - to bumpy and rough. About the belly plate - over the years I've mixed a lot of b.s. together to make an oil violin varnish. I've never had the issue with sweating as it's called here. Other than Don's suggestion of changing the thinner I'd firstly find ways to make what you want to use for a fnish without water being introduced into the mix anwhere. I personally boil away any potential water from any solution that I think has water present. Secondly I'd check the tube color msds to see what could possibly be causing a problem. Make sure any brushes are clean and dry.