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  1. I cooked my own copal/linseed oil varnish some 20 years ago and while I never used it on instrument the test pieces were various fixtures and cradles around my workshop and the few that are still around show no ill effects like cracking and quite good wear resistance. Actually they look too good for all the knocking they experienced over years. BTW, what kind of copal is in your varnish? I believe my was "congo copal".
  2. HoGo

    Smashed Cello

    Sell it on ebay as beginning violin restorer "project". There is chance someone will buy it for more than the salvageable parts are worth alone.
  3. Three layer white-black-ivory binding on my F-5 mandolins is also miters at the corners with no gap at all or it would be ugly, so we have to spend the time to fit each piece in full length. No scarf or other joints allowed here. After few instruments it is no more hard to do, just takes really sharp chisels and scrapers and steady hand.
  4. HoGo

    Sore finger

    Get a gramil like this one. I made this to cut binding channels on my F- mandolins (standard,not violin style purfling). Just go around in few passes and it cuts cleanly and easily with this shape of blade. You can use two blades at once but t will be harder to cut and you will need to pick out the wood before going deeper. Cutting with ordinary knives or exacto's holding them near tip for greater control will certainly ruin your fingers after some time.
  5. Yes this is common humidity/impact crack. Since the cello is not particularly valuable gluing it back without opening is OK, IMO. Luthier should have thin long-reach clamp that could reach at least to the end of the crack to glue in a stud to prevent further opening and keep it in plane and only then slighty open top seam around the cracked area to glue the crack with strong hide glue. Guitar makers do it all the time on guitars, though the guitar hole is somewhat bigger.
  6. The cut surface is generally going to end on the underside of plate so once you true up the surfaces you may end up just with tiny pitch pockets that get carved out. when I got pitch pocket I would wash the resin out with acetone or alcohol and feel the botom with a stiff guitar string to see how deep it goes. The trace ingrain will be visible a bit deeper than the actual hollow space. Just plan where your top will be and you can get rid of it.
  7. Bedrich Smetana = cyech composer. The quartet is from Czech Republic. Smetana means cream (sour or whipped) also in czech and sloval languages. :-)
  8. Ha, I thought it was serial number. :-)
  9. I wonder about the date in OP violin ... 1807 N: 308 The pdf about Klozes shows similar label from J. Kloz senior with 1817 No: 243
  10. There are folks who genuinely believe they have luck in their life (good job etc..) because they wear a silver cross they got from their grandma as a kid... but in reality it's their personality responsible for the success. Folks do believe in many things. If a maker believes he is making good violins because he's doing woodoo around his woodstash, it's OK, but it may not work for others and if he decided to stop it, he may even find out that it had no real ifluence and his fiddles are just as good as before....
  11. I posted some of my efforts of drawing Kreisler in this thread: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/344527-my-kreisler-project/page/2/
  12. I think starting with precise shape is advantegous, CNC pre-machined arch will give you the same starting position of arch shape (inflection points and general curvatures) from which you can deviate. And of course save your knuckles.
  13. Arching templates can be good thing for beginners but they too need to train their senses (IMO mostly eyes and fingers on better instruments) to learn first to carve nice smooth and consistent arching everytime. Most instruments made by beginners have rough arching with uneven curves and sometimes downright lumpy surface even if some places did fit templates. Only practice of carving and correct evaluating helps. Once maker is good enough to carve consistent arches (and whole instruments) he can develop his own "theory" what works and his results will show if he is on the right track or just wasting time. Agonizing over such theories before making at least 5 decently carved instruments is wasting of time IMO.
  14. There are different varieties of black poplar. Common variet is really large and fast growing tree with thick trunk with long sections without branches - I can count at least 10 of them right now out of my window that are big enough for double bass wood (120cm+ diameter) they are growing near rivers. This wood is commonly used for veneer production - nice knot free large cylindrical logs are cheap and ideal for "peeled" veneers. The variety that is often planted along roads typically has lots of small branches holding tight against the main stem. They would not produce much useful wood for luthier.
  15. I guess it's 21st century digital endoscope and what we see is the pic of pixelized display of the endoscope.
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