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About donbarzino

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  1. I think the attraction of so called antique finishes is really about complexity. Straight varnish presents a much smaller number of colors than anything found in nature and this can become boring to the eye. Perhaps it doesn't really matter how the complex patinas found on older instruments were achieved but rather how many subtly complex color variations they present to keep our eyes interested. It just so happens that the wear imposed by use and time is currently the premier means of achieving the most interesting complexities.
  2. Back in the 1970's I was a maker of brazed steel racing bicycle frames. More than one customer confided in me that they just could not bear the pain of putting the first few nicks and scratches in their pristine painted finish and asked me to somehow artfully distress it for them in advance to soften and disguise those inevitable first stark ugly blemishes caused by daily use.
  3. I agree that most antiqued varnish is poorly done and doesn't look very convincing but to antique is the logical next step when the initial attempt at straight varnishing goes awry.
  4. We should start a directory that lists these false 'violinmakers'. Felix Ponziani of Cleveland, Ohio and William 'Jack' Fry of Madison, Wisconsin are two that I have run across.
  5. As long as the pegs hold well that's a very minor problem that is probably not worth messing around with until it gets worse. You could try some peg dope compound or soap and chalk to take up that extra space and push the pegs back out a little.
  6. The large thick flat areas you have left for the upper and lower blocks could be interfering with the usual mode 5 vibrations.
  7. It is almost impossible to copy del Gesu's style from the confines of a tidy shop and a well organized life. I suggest you copy Del Gesu's life style of excessive drinking, drugging and late night carousing and enter your messy disorganized shop only when you desperately need to crank out a fiddle for money.
  8. Glued in reinforcement has been used for only a few decades in guitars. Metal truss rods have been around a bit longer but they are usually free floating in their channel not laminated. I believe all woods share more similarities than any wood does with graphite fiber and even then there are some long term problems with the long term shrinkage differential between maple necks and ebony fingerboards.
  9. I don't think that laminating in any material with very different long term shrinkage properties and short term temperature and moisture expansion coefficients from wood will enhance the long term stability of the violin.
  10. If overtones are defined as sound vibrational energy emitted at frequencies greater than the fundamental frequency of the note being discussed then most of the sound of the violin is composed of overtones. So I would say overtones are all important to the sound of the violin. The lower notes on the g string are known to have almost no energy at the fundamental frequency and are hence literally nothing but overtones.
  11. I would recommend clamping a 2x4 to each side of the plate across the widest part of the lower bouts and then pushing wedges between the bass bar and the 2x4 until the arch is popped up enough.
  12. Beeswax is the most common additive but I suppose any wax or oil could be used to adjust the frictional properties.
  13. Most bow rosin is based on colophony but with various additives to adjust its properties.
  14. I have built a few double basses with sycamore backs and ribs. American sycamore is resonant enough but it has noticeably lower resonant frequencies than European maple and tends to favor the lower harmonics and produce a darker tone color. All those hard flecks make it quite difficult to produce a smooth surface. It bends easily and is very crack resistant with its interlocked grain.
  15. It was pressed flat when it was glued together all those years. It sprung when it was taken apart. I don't see the problem with forcing it back to flat especially on a lesser instrument. IMO you are more likely to do damage messing around with moisture than by just clamping it.