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Everything posted by donbarzino

  1. David Burgess recently mentioned that he listens to the sound of his sharpening to help him get the right angle of tool on stone and I realized I intuitively do the same thing. I listen to the sound of all my tools working the wood to help me find and maintain the best angle, position or speed of whatever I am doing. This is only possible in a quiet shop and I have come to cherish silence and have moved twice to escape noise pollution some of which is unwanted musical sound. I wonder about those who work with recorded music playing in their shop and how they compensate for the loss of an important sensory input. I am also interested in hearing others thoughts about listening to such subtle sounds in a noisy world.
  2. Congratulations on your beautiful new workspace and bench. I'm sure the light and feel of it will make a positive difference in your work and attitude. That little scrub plane looks like a real gem. I made a similar but larger and cruder version for bass work and I stopped using gouges also. Where did you find that thick blade ?
  3. I just heard from an old friend who is much more deeply connected in the violin business than I that many well known makers are secretly using CNC routed plates these days. They are upper echelon enough to have had the instrument they copy in their shop whereupon they hire an outside specialist to digitally scan the arching and machine blanks for them a few mms thicker. But the area where CNC has seen the fastest adoption is in making patches to match the inside of plates, again the scanning and machining is all done by outside contractors but this application is common enough that shops are looking into getting their own machines and specialists.
  4. I just ran across this advertisement for Makers Mark bourbon. Their slogan is "character isn't made by machine".
  5. If one considers the violin to be a finalized and perfected design which we can only aspire to replicate with varying degrees of success, then using machines and computers to expedite some of the craft work seems reasonable. If one considers the classic Italian violin to be merely the latest and greatest attempt at solving certain needs involving creative expression via musical sound production, then putting ones full powers of observation and intelligence behind every stroke of every tool offers more possibilities of creative evolution of the final product.
  6. I think one could build a violin from a kit of premade parts, but one would make a violin when starting from the raw wood. Our modern society so insulates the consumer from the dirty and difficult aspects of the production of most common goods that all appreciation of craft work is waning.
  7. Congratulations ! I like it ! What a clever innovative design. Craftsmen like yourself, ceaselessly experimenting, have evolved the violin to it present form. I look forward to seeing your violin.
  8. I believe joints between different species of wood are generally thought to be stronger than joints between the same species.
  9. I made a bass neck of American sycamore that looks much like yours. It was a pain to get it smooth and it tends to wear irregularly with the hard flecks standing proud. My sample was slightly less dense than maple but weaker and with an interlocked grain that resists splitting.
  10. The string angle influences power and responsiveness. The bridge height determines the size and mass of the upper part of the bridge which influences the resonance of the bridge and the voice it imparts to the violin.
  11. I would approach this task by successive approximations. Cut one rib to your best guesstimate thickness and as you smooth the saw marks out to your finished thickness it out it will become apparent if you have cut it too thick or thin. Adjust your next cut accordingly. The same holds true for the length and in both cases it is better to have a tad too much material than not enough. Good luck !
  12. While we are discussing center joint techniques I would like to sharea method I have come up with. It seems to me that most open center seams are caused by some parts of the joint touching first and holding other parts of the joint apart. What a shame if those most tightly fit parts of the joined wedges are carved away leaving the less tightly pressed parts of the joint as your final center joint. My method to eliminate this is to carve away the face of the freshly planed center joint on one of the plate halves to a shape approximating the lines of the finished violin arch before gluing, thus concentrating the clamping force upon the area that will remain and be used in the finished and arched plate.
  13. I have long felt that adjustable bridges do steal/waste some string energy and decrease the sound output but many players are so enamored of the ability to adjust string heights that they put up with it and often end up using pickups and amplification to compensate. 7mm is in the ballgame for a well arched bass.
  14. A mellow sound could theoretically be loud but the energy required to drive those low frequencies to that intensity is outside the range of bowed strings so in effect mellow sounds are generally also soft in stringed instruments.
  15. I would continue searching for a better violin. None of these seem to have inspired you. The search can be a great learning experience.
  16. If the warpage is manifested as cupping where one side of the piece becomes convex and the other concave, I would suggest you carve your back out of it with the concave warpage side as the inside of your back so any additional future warpage will tend to increase your back arch and not collapse it.
  17. If you acquired your billets in the green that mold is probably dead having lived and died off of the last of the moisture before it evaporated out of the wood. If you acquired your billets in a dry state you must be storing them in a too damp situation . It does tend to be warmer and dryer up near the ceiling and less contact with other objects makes for better air circulation. The mold is probably superficial and not damaging for your use but it is a warning and it is good you spotted it.
  18. Front mounted reamer sheaths are the latest fashion.
  19. From Wikipedia: Hearing loss due to noise has been described as primarily a condition of modern society.[35] In preindustrial times, humans had far less exposure to loud sounds. Studies of primitive peoples indicate that much of what has been attributed to age-related hearing loss may be long term cumulative damage from all sources, especially noise. People living in preindustrial societies have considerably less hearing loss than similar populations living in modern society. Among primitive people who have migrated into modern society, hearing loss is proportional to the number of years spent in modern society.[36][37][38] And I might add that you David, have no doubt seriously damaged your hearing by exposure to the noise of your various hot rod cars and boats which you have posted photos of on Maestronet over the years. I am no better off, having a similarly chequered automotive past as well as bursting each eardrum more than once from exposure to pyrotechnical explosions.
  20. One asset that Strad and company had more of than modern makers is hearing ability. Berfore the industrial revolution it was a much quieter world. Most of us today have damaged our hearing by exposure to modern noise pollutants from rock music to jet planes. If the early makers listened to the subtleties of the sounds produced by their tools and instruments as they worked on them and used this to inform their practice of arching and graduation, I can imagine they developed quite a body of specific knowledge over a working lifetime.
  21. I would recommend a small linen patch as the least disruptive addition. I have seen linen strips reinforcing the nearby area just below the f holes on many instruments.
  22. I could understand wanting to induce a little tension when reinforcing a crack on a relatively thick plate but what is the point of inducing tension to large separate areas of undamaged thin ribs ?
  23. Since most cloth can be torn along the grain or weave relatively easily, unless the cloth has a special ripstop weave, I believe it is essential for strength to glue the reinforcements in with the grain or weave of the cloth at a 45 degree angle to the wood grain. From what I can see neither of the examples pictured above seem to have been done in this way. I believe this was illustrated in the Sacconi book drawings of cello rib reinforcement. I have also found that the hot water of hide glue can cause some shrinking of the cloth which can add enough tension upon drying to warp the ribs so I always run the my linen through at least one hot water wash cycle in the washing machine to pre shrink it.
  24. To make a decent violin out of wood that dense you will have to make the top plate correspondingly thinner than usual. Its hard to say much about the arching without knowing more about the stiffnesses of the wood along and across the grain. What species of spruce is this?