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About HoGo

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  1. You can only put wedge on the side with oversized hole, I guess, so you have to think about orientation of the pillars before attaching them? Am I right? I only used pillars once for gluing separated top joint togetehr with zipper of temporary cleats for alignment (overlapping the joint and glued on left/right side alternately). I remember I made tiny rings out of thick wire (form of C) for clamping and wooden wedges. Worked great.
  2. I see way too much generalization in this thread. What is "cheap trade instrument" and what is "professional grade instrument"? Without defining clearly these two terms everyone can have their own different opinion and be correct.... My opinon would be that some of the "common stuff" instruments can be vastly improved while some barely. I've seen instruments that were constructed properly and with good looking wood and decent arching scheme and not too abused after century of their life that some minimal work could make them into really good instruments and with fake label of older lesser known luthier name they could make many professionals happy for their career without even doubts about their prvenance. There are some instruments that were made to lowest standards (cheapest dutzendarbeit) that are near impossible to imrove too much. Often the right question is if it would be worth doing. Sometimes that would be more work than making decent violin. I have done this just to one violin (old schonbach) and it now plays really nice, though it was roughly damaged and worn before I got it. I've done work on many mandolins though. I once reworked (inside and outside) a Gibson mandolin (that should have been a pro-instrument from get go but it wasn't) when the neck joint failed and owner was more than happy and commented the instrument is now few levels higher than before. I once worked on old Ibanez and even though I reworked the bars that were 1" tall, the outside arching was so odd and the body blocks and neck so heavy that improvement was rather small... Regarding the wood, I've cut/split maple and spruce logs and my current work is all from wood I harvested. The latest spruce I got was destined into firewood pile. It was large log with some rot in the center, over 85cm diameter (almost 3') and I counted over 250 rings, it had perfect straight split and no knots in the outside 25-30 cm (1') and it cost me full 20Euros (it was 2 meters long - 6'). I got several one piece tops and some quarter split wedges I split into two "consecutive" mandolin/viola sized wedges (could leave them as full cello/ guitar sets). No wood grows to become firewood or tonewood, it's the forrester/cutter who decides what he makes out of it.
  3. I've been using "spar" varnish for my mandolins and pure shellac for french polishing over that. I've used Hidersine oil varnish, Tru-oil on some of the first instruments as well. One of my first mandolins was made for a player who has that "alien blood" sweat. He corrodes new strings within few tunes - the plain steel goes completely black. The shellac on the mandolin I made took probably four-five months to become gummy, sticky, dirty mess on all areas exposed to bare hand touch. I cleaned it and the oil varnish below was perfectly fine. Another mandolin made at the same time for another player with all same finish schedule is still fine with the shellac on top. The varnish was either the Hidersine or perhaps my first use of synthetic oil varnish / likely CLOU alkyd-urethane varnish.
  4. Triangle strings have article... https://trianglestrings.com/applying-removing-rib-protector/
  5. I've always thought... Strasbourg = raw abies alba resin Venetian = raw larix decidua resin canada = raw abies balsamea resin Of course some companies do mix/add other resins just to increase their margin or lower price. I think all the fir (abies) resins will work very similarly. You can try to tap a fir yourself (if it grows near you). True larch resin behaves slightly differently (won't crystalize/dry) as fast as fir resins nad can be very red colored. But once cooked into varnish the differences won't be as noticeable, I believe.
  6. Ellipses are often approximated by four circles which is more than "close enough" for violin making. Having two circles meeting smoothly can always be viewed as a part of ellipse... Spirals can be also constructed "close enough" using parts of circles... ANY curve can be approximated by small parts of circles (or even straight lines) to any level of accuracy. Thats what CNC machines actually do regardless of whatever type of curve your CAD drawing contains.
  7. Colophony can come from wide variety of trees from pines or often spruce and many suppliers do not know exact species at all. What is called colophony is typicaly what remains from raw resin after distillation of turpentine and other volatiles. So, you can use it raw but count with the fact that it contains the volatile parts that will likely cook out of the varnish (you should compensate in oil/resin ratio for this - but you cannot know exact oil/resin ratio in final product) or you can cook it first to remove the volatile parts (and filter it while hot) and make your own colophony.
  8. Hot melt adhesive of course!
  9. What about washing any dirt or old contaminants with simple distilled (deionized) water? Relatively safe for finishes and after some cleaning the HHG will likely wet the joint better as well.
  10. I used lead acetate/oxide in my varnish cooking experiments. I remember I put brick filings into vinegar for few hours and let them dry this formed while layer of acetate/ oxide on surface. I mulled them so most of the whitish layer fell off and repeated till all the lead changed into the white powder (took a week or so, one cycle a day). This cooked into oil makes great drying varnish and even straight linseed oil dries very well with this. The excess lead white will precipitate on bottom over time. You can get lots of lead at shooting ranges. (or biathlon training centres).
  11. Just a side question... How do you think this artificial texture was done? My first impression was a wire brush taken in short movements to not fully cured varnish.
  12. The air in freezer can be at 100% easily. It's RELATIVE humidity that counts for wood that we measure and at freezing temperatures the water holding capacity of air is very low and a small amount of water still can make it up to 100%RH in air. Comercially gamma rays are used to kill pests. It is often used for imported fruits or vegetables, maybe there is some facility near you...
  13. I think the violin in OP pics could be beech (fagus) wood rather than plane. It shows strong medullaries but not as bold as a plane tree (platanus). Plane often shows the "ribbon" figure (stripes along axis) while beech is typically rather plain. That said, both are ocasionally used by violin makers. There is a famous GDG violin with beech back (Terminator).
  14. HoGo

    neck removal saw

    Triangle strings have nice blog on neck reset.... They used saw for taht one. Worth reading. https://indd.adobe.com/view/5260d3f4-789f-4d0c-958d-a51f5f089c67
  15. I'm by no means violin expert but my first impression after seeing fronnt was modern Chinese. Certainly doesn't look like old instrument.The experts will be here soon to correct me if I'm wrong.