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About bkwood

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  1. bkwood

    Odd jangle noise

    I once had a rattle I couldn't identify and it turned out to be the little sleeve that comes on the E string, which I don't use but had left on.
  2. That's interesting as I have set up guitars and mandolins and fiddles for many years and never had a "pinching" problem because, in my opinion as I've said, the problem doesn't really exist with a V groove. I'm surprised how adament people are about this. A pinching problem is far more likely to come from an improper fitting of the kind you advocate. However, you and the rest are certainly correct to do as you say, because done well it works. I am curious if anyone has historical information on this, since gauged files are a relatively recent invention. I would imagine the old way was to cut first with a knife and perhaps finish with a string covered with abrasive of some kind?
  3. I agree with you about Davide Sora. But to what do refer that's "used car salesman crap"?
  4. Disagree strongly. V groove allows free movement of the string, the opposite of pinching which can happen by trying to capture it perfectly. No problem if doing it that way works, which it often will. But it is an unnecessary waste of time that provides a poorer overall result. I know many of you disagree with this so I'll just leave it there. Have at it.
  5. We'll have to disagree on this. To clarify why I favor a V groove, it's because it it an open shape giving 2 solid points of contact with the string, without capturing it lateraly. If one tries to have a U shaped groove it has to be perfect for each gauge of string. Any variation and it is either too wide leaving only one point of contact that can allow sideways movement of the string, or too tight and it pinches. Change guage of strings and it's different again. A string will never pinch in a V groove and break.
  6. Another argument (if one is needed) for V shaped grooves. That shape won't pinch.
  7. I'm surprised your string broke. It may have been defective. When I put on new strings I loosen the fine tuners all the way, then bring the string all the way up to pitch using the peg. Even a little sharp, because it will settle around the peg and maybe stretch a little. I only use fine tuners after the string has settled in. For what it's worth, I use Prim strings for fiddle tunes and can't comment on brands used for classical music other than to say I don't think it would matter.
  8. This is a good and useful group. Happy New Year all!
  9. Thanks all. Going for the one haired brush and varnish. The pits are very small but I have had this before - they form on the points of the purfling, and I expect subsequent layers of varnish to fill them, but it doesn't happen. Doubtless there is a void in those spots I should be more aware of before before beginning to varnish.
  10. Sometimes when rubbing out a varnish finish there will be a small hole or pit at the purfling corners, or where the purfling channel was slightly wide. Leave it, or is there a handy fix?
  11. If you're careful you can just use a sharp brad point bit for the hole. That's what I do with a hand power drill. Very low pressure and slow speed with backing so you won't blow out coming through. After that I cut the rest of the f hole with a knife. Never could get the hang of roughing out with a jewler's saw first.
  12. What might apply to mandolins might not apply equally to violins. Because the thicknesses of the plates and ribs are less to begin with there is less to remove. Just how much wood should one leave to allow for tweaking on a violin?
  13. I've also heard it said (regarding mandolins) that it is good to tune the body somewhere between diatonic notes in order to prevent certain notes from dominating. I'm not going to change anything in my viola at this point–it's ready to varnish. I don't take it too seriously, but it's interesting to think about. Did you find your open C had more presence, and how did you know if it did? Would you expect higher C notes to also have more power? Congratulations on the certificate.
  14. As I am nearing completion of a smallish viola I mentioned to a luthier friend, who doesn't build violins but does build mandolins, that it made a satisfying musical sound when I pat the top. He asked if I had tuned it with the ff holes. I hardly even pay attention to tuning the plates as I carve them. I don't know how much one would have to open up ff holes to change the pitch of the completed instrument box. Am I missing something or is this an important thing to do? For what it's worth it thumps a low A.