Andreas Preuss

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  1. Maybe a German by the name of Carl Vogel? (Just kidding)
  2. I am not building cellos so I can't answer this question. On violins sizing the end grain seems to be sufficient.
  3. If you were in a military training unit the instructor would yell at you: Keep your s**** together! Violin restoration is combat. If you run away by some cracking noises....
  4. Remove a bass bar? Even if the violin would be put in pieces as much that I had only one strip of top wood with bass bar sitting on it, I'd remove it putting it on a soft surface on my bench and plane it down with a thumb plane. But wait! Why do this before glueing the violin together? Only if the arch of the adjacent pieces would not fit at all I would remove it. Rule number one in restoration: make the most urgent step first then go to the next most urgent step. Hope I saved you one hour of drive.
  5. Jim, the guitar seems to be a completely different animal. Heavy necks seem not to support plucked sound. So guitar makers invented all sort of laminations to form a lighter composite material to solve the problem. In violin making we don't need this. The only consideration seems to prevent warping which might result in that the pitch lowers. (Much more for cellos than violins anyway) Just from experience I noticed that necks are more stable if both the maple neck and the fingerboard have a light hollow scoop and are therefore glued with some tension together. But I have no real explanation why this should be structurally more stable because this pinch of tension shouldn't change too much. Or, maybe moisture changes which are the cause for all warping, can't act on a tensioned neck as much as on a a neck without internal tension. Just a guess. For cellos it is more crucial because the root of the neck can warp causing the fingerboard to drop towards the top. I think @David Burgess is glueing a feather lengthwise into the neck root to prevent this.
  6. When I was learning restoration in France (at the inexperienced age of 26) I had the strong idea in my head that restoration equals making plaster casts. I learned from my master at that time that plaster casts in most cases, including the case you describe, are absolutely not necessary if you work simply with the trained skill of your hands. If an arching was correct before the accident it doesn't need the replication of a cast to become correct again after restoration. But in the end it is all your responsibility no matter what you do. My French restoration master put it always in one simple sentence what we need to learn: 'Feeling, feeling, feeling!'
  7. None of the arching patterns is 'reliable'. The solution is not to take them as they are. I have doubts as well that the old makers tried to 'control' the arching in the same we are doing today. Perfect control makes only sense if the structure won't change even over a time span of 300 years. We are not working with metal. As a matter of fact many aspects in violin making got the aspect of metal work. Most of the measuring devices a modern luthier is using were invented to work with metal. Calipers measuring to 1/10 mm are from the beginning the wrong tool. Measuring lengths and widths in millimeters is producing only confusing nonsense numbers.
  8. Roger Hargrave wrote some interesting comments on those measurements in the Guarneri book. It is caused by warping in certain areas. Technically, you can of course put the arching patterns together and copy all deformations. It is the question of this makes sense. I personally have massive doubts that this makes better instruments. At an extreme level makers are using a plaster cast of an original (with all the deformations caused in a time span of 200-300 years) and chalk fit a new top and back into it. While the result can be of course visually quite stunning, it doesn't reveal any deeper insight into how the original archings were designed and carved from a log of wood.
  9. British violin tradesmen long ago were very inventive to avoid taxes. Because the import tax on entire violins (in particular high end fiddles) was very high they got them. shipped disassembled in parts. And if the hear-say rumor is right, sometimes after the assembly of one instrument it turned out with the help of mr Lott to become two. But I heard as well that the overproduction of Chinese Tomatoes goes to Italian Factories for canned Tomatoes (of course owned by Chinese businessmen) to be canned and sold as Italian Tomatoes. Whether true or not, it seems in business any trick is allowed to save cost factors or mislabel things to make money.
  10. Lots of recipes on YouTube : https://m.youtube.com/results?search_query=Make+violin+varnish
  11. I think it is rather the question if the block platform as hypothesised by Sacconi has the importance Sacconi claims. I was doing this on my own violins for pure convenience with the thought: 'If a restorer doesn't like it he/she might feel free to scrape it away.' Likewise I think that Strad started like this and just eventually forgot to smooth out the line. Nothing of great importance.
  12. No polish works well if the violin is not properly cleaned. Cleaning a varnish is not as easy as it sounds.
  13. Early Northern German? Interesting. But with the work of which makers would you then compare this violin? Certainly not Joachim Thielke and from the top of my head I remember only a maker working in Luebeck (Meissner) in Sorry I can't follow the idea that we look at a cut down viola, because the tiny scoop on the top (visible on the corner picture) is already too much for a cut down plate. If you form the elevation (which is in theory possible) it is just the hell of work and you need to add new wood from underneath which I cant see either. The widely place f-holes are simply made by someone who doesn't know how to set them properly. Its just like a naive painting where things look like how the creator imagined them and not how they are in reality.
  14. Why do you think this is a composite? I would rather compare it to violins made by 'farmer fiddle makers'' like Marcucci, though it doesn't have anything to do wiith it. To have a clearer view I actually downloaded the picture and put it upright to have a closer look. I really don't know. Most of those 'archaic' looking professionally made instruments are really old and I can't see the age That's why I think some amateur was at work and at least back and belly belong together.