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About HoGo

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  1. HoGo

    Larch turpentine - what to do?

    That is Venetian turpentine. You can heat it to melt it and/or add some turpentine (heated?) to render it fluid again. Venetian turp. I have has nice deep red color,
  2. HoGo

    Unusual "tiger" pattern

    The violin in the OP looks like faux wood paint on old frniture. these patterns were created using viscous oil paints applied in few layers and they were "grained" with various tools like "combs" or rollers with engraved patterns etc while the top layer was still wet. Some of the strokes do cross and that doesn't happen in real maple. This one is real, probably slab cut from curved log or near a large branch.
  3. HoGo

    (Re) Refinishing a Violin Top

    Agree, that top got probably sanded (lots of wood taken away atthe edges etc.) and dyed/stained which soaked into the soft spruce and made it blotchy. To remove that you would have to remove significant amount of wood so I would just leave it as is or make a new top if the rest of the instrument is worth the effort.
  4. HoGo

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    I think problem here is with mixing the exact sciences with evaluation of musical instruments and luthier efforts. In math you can do proof and say something is true or false. All within the strict rules of math in the "perfect" univers of math theorems etc. Statistics is something that wants to bridge the gap between exact math and the rest of the world but it will never PROVE anything. The typical required statistical language doesn't use the same wording as proofs. They just suggest thet something is more probable/plausible than something else and always leave room for error. And even to be able to formulate kind of vague answer like this, you need to fullfill required parameters of the statisticals tests used.
  5. HoGo

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Perhaps Stradivari was slightly deaf and thus neede to make his instruments more penetrating/ stronger just to hear them himself. :-) I know few musicians who cannot settle on one instrument for more than few months or a year before they move on to another in search of "great tone". Often they come with instrument very similar to one they rejected few years ago and now find it perfect (at least until they find something more perfect). I assume they just cannot plain judge the tone and just blindly stray around. Being able to judge the tone objectively and unbiased is THE first premise to become good luthier, IMO, and one HAS to play the instrument himself to be able to judge all aspects of sound. He doesn't have to be able to play super fast Paganini pieces, but if he can play good notes in wide dynamic ranges he will get most of the information needed.
  6. HoGo

    Borax a as a wood stabilizer?

    Borax has been used many times by luthiers. It will keep the bugs or mold from the wood as well. But I would fear to soak thoroughly with any of these salts as they are hygroscopic and that may cause problems eventually. Salts usually have threshold RH above which they start sucking water from air (like 75% for table salt or 33% for magnesium chloride...) I don't know how much that may affect wod joints or dimensional stability but in this case I would go for as low concentration as possible. I have no idea about stability... Perhaps they think it will work as a "buffer" at humidity changes?
  7. HoGo

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Norway spruce is just general english name for european spruce - picea excelsa and that creates confusion with origin of the wood. I would add that there is also picea omorica, another extremely rare spruce species growing in only one part of europe - in serbia namely, and just few trees remaining.... One can imagine that the wood cutters who brought maple from Balkan could take a log or two of this spruce...
  8. I find interesting that authors claim that vast majority of STrads are no good soloist instruments because of old age and repairs etc. without any proof, not even list of significant group of instruments and their repairs or damages and their "soloist potential" (if that's quantifiable) to at least support the claim... I bet thet majority of the best sounding Strads underwent heavy surgeries as well so it would be impossible to tell why some suck and some not. We could just as well suppose that Strad had just 20% succes rate to start with. And after that they select few best ones and do statistics about the whole group... Even if we don't look at the methods used there is nothing to find out starting with such premises. (disclaimer, I'm math teacher and taught statistics at university as well)
  9. HoGo

    Cloth linings on cello ribs

    I think if there is something to learn I like to analyze things. Understanding how the cloth lining work helps creating new and prehaps better ways. Of course on "tradiitonal" instruments one will expect the simple cloth reinforcement in the "correct style" but modern maker may try something better (think of the addiitonal SP patches on new instruments and similar tested by modern makers)... Similar cloth backing has been used in archery and everyone knows it adds strength against breakage but modern methods led evolution to the modern compound bow that is tailored to perfect performance and old traditional bows just cannot compare. (but it is still cool to shoot tradiitonal long bow). SLightly related to the topic..., I came across use of thin fiberglass backing on simle wooden bows I made for my boys. It's the nonwoven (no-stick) thin tape used on joints of drywood panels. They are 0.1mm thick tape of thin fibers held together with tiny amount of some kind of binder, the 10 meter roll weighs almost nothing. I tested it's performance and glued it onto heavily curly piece of maple rib (slightly tapered but approx. 1.6mm thick, curl going right through) with superglue and tried to bend it - to my wonder I was able to bend the piece dry and cold to diameter smaller than 5cm before it broke. I could glue it on with HHG, but would have to wait till it dries and late rI found the binder can be removed by fire - just light it and iti will burn instantly leaving just clean glass behind (though now very fragile without the binder). Could be good candidate for reinforcement for more adventurous makers... I intend to use it to help bending some highly "uncooperative" rib stock in the future.
  10. HoGo

    Weird faux flames

    I've heard of use of thick cord wrapped around and stain applied over that or "real" fake flaming done oved candle flame at angle. But this one looks like the strips may be achieved by bunch of parallel linen cords held in a frame soaked with stain and "stamped" over the plate, or used as screen and stain applied by rag over the cords.
  11. HoGo

    Cloth linings on cello ribs

    But is the movement proportional to the force or to the actual shortening of the fibers? I would tend towards the later. Think of bulldozer pushing air balloon. The force of bulldozer is huge but it will move the ballon just as far as a kid would with much smaller force. Of course there is some "resistance" of the wood to deformation where force may get into account, but I can't believe it will change things too much.
  12. HoGo

    Repair of flawed fingerboard

    BTW, I've used hin CA glue mixed with printer toner (powder) for surface of maple fingerboards on children cellos or violins. Works great and leaves solid black surface that holds well for years (compared to the soft black paint they often use in China). It's messy to apply and requires some skill to smooth it out but works.
  13. HoGo

    Repair of flawed fingerboard

    Pretect your EYES first. I've used liters of CA in my life and probably became too self-confident till I got a tiny drop into eye... hurts like crazy and I call myself lucky that I managed to hold my eye open for few seconds and not glue it closed...
  14. HoGo

    Repair of flawed fingerboard

    Depends on what cracks... I've used it on tight cracks on cheaper guitars. You just put a drop to end of the crack and it will wick in instantly, after few minutes the glue is dry and you can scrape any glue on surface flush and polish back. If blends with most guitar lacquers pretty well and holds solidly. On expensive guitars HHG and clar lacquer fill is preferred. CA will not dissolve typical oil varnishes but will dissolve spirit varnish, if you just let it sit till it hardens it will more or less just sit on top and you can scrape it away with minimal damage to underlaying varnish, but all depends on exact type of varnish. If you have large crack that you want to fill I would not use CA (only as last resort) as teh glue itself is brittle and may not hold. I've used in several "lost cases" like guitar neck heel broken fourth time and glued with wide variety of homebrew glues. Basic cleaning of the gap from dirt and dry glues, masking tight around the crack drilling for large furniture screw through fingerboard (later hidden under surface) squirt of CA till it flows on the other end and tighten the screw.... after some scraping of the glue line level with finish you could see the glue line (damaged from all the previous repairs) but the guitar has held ever since... I did similar repair onmy first mandolin I made and seam opened between lower block and back. I didn't want to open the seam more so I just applied some CA without even cleaning the gap and clamped, I carefully cleaned residue from french polish and polished a bit over it. Now, 20 years later the mandolin still holds well. On fingerboards and such, where cracks are not structural you can use it to fill but the thin glue will not fill large cracks easily adn thick gel is typically more flexible so I woulduse filler of some sort like ebony dust - that works wonders on chipped guitar fingerboards.
  15. HoGo

    Repair of flawed fingerboard

    CA (superglue) has the advantage of soaking right into the tight spaces while epoxy is really hard to get inside. CA also has great wetting capability and will hold well even without clamping or thorough surface preparation. I've been using CA and epoxies for years in mandolin and guitar building and repair and if the wood in OP is ebony or other dark exotic wood CA would be my first choice. If the board is stained maple, or something similar, I would consider other glues as the thin CA will soak into the wood and prevent even staining of the board.