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Everything posted by Pylorius

  1. Old Violin ID with Bow, Snakewood?

    That's good to know, some more details: the bow is 72.3cm long without the adjuster, which seems rather long, and the bow is a bit heavy, would this indicate anything in particular? It plays like a baroque bow, on resonance, but has a very powerful upbow...soft attack but very atriculate... I picked up a second hand full spectrum lamp, so I tried a couple more photos with more accurate lighting, my camera is digital, but the zoom lens is analogue, so if the lighting is right it can be pretty accurate..interestingly, I tried that Vuillaume rosin expecting it to be dried up, but it grabs and articlates way better than my Liebenzeller, the outer part is crstallized but still clear and smooth amber within. Do you happen to know anything about the Vuillaume workshop rosin? Who made it, I wonder...also it improved the tone and playability of my other bows,WOW!, I'll be sad when it runs out...
  2. I recently purchased this violin, which I suppose may be some 19th century French workshop violin, & a bow with a stick that has some figure t appearing possibly as snakewood, no stamps or markings.The violin has square cleats on the back seam, and ebony pins, one at the neck block in the top, and another in the endblock area. LOB: 35.6cm, neck 130mm, stop 195mm. The top arch seems quite flat,purfling has very narrow blacks, and the scroll is fluted to the end. The neck block is rounded and not square shouldered, the label has no maker or country, but does seem to have 19th c. meshed/screened paper label. The case had a box of Vuillaume rosin with a pitch pipe, the case is a little different shape than the usual GSB ones, with brass latches and handle. The varnish seems antiqued a bit and I had troubles getting decent lighting,... Anyone have any ideas?
  3. Old Violin ID with Bow, Snakewood?

    Thanks for the info, I wouldn't have thought to look for a detail like that, is it the less smoothly curved chamfer as less neat or some other detail, I am very curious to know these kinds of things, any idea as to the time period?
  4. Old Violin ID with Bow, Snakewood?

    I know it's not any proof, but it certainly doesn't exclude, it seems at least the case, the violin, and the bow have been together for quite sometime, and were donated to a second hand thrift where I purchased it, it's not an ebayer fluffing up his goods to look old, also the vuilluame rosin with dates of mid 19th c. is circumstantial, I definitely don't see a case like this from past 1900, but cases can sit around like parts and be switched any time, I suppose it's possible that long, long ago, in a galaxy far far away.... some person thought"oh I think i'll make this violin without a fingerboard look older by putting it in this case with this snakewood bow, let it sit around my house for decades and then donate it to a thrift to fool someone? Occums razor says no to that scenario compared to other evidence... The snakewood bow by the way, has a majical quality compared to the other bows I have, its a very articulat but warm attack, seems to like gut strings best, it has an interesting swell that kind of builds up on itself and is quite expressive, now I see some of the power of the bow, suddenly I have a whole new level . I used the old plug as a guide to recreate the historical hair amount, the cavity is very tiny, so it wasn't designed to hold much hair compared to more modern bows, only used thread and rosin & no glue( I used some of the Vuillaume workshop rosin for kicks and luck!), I don't even glue the spreader wedge... so frogs or other animals were not harmed in this operation... One of my personal tricks you Duetschlanders may appreciate, I tame the hairs with a comb dampened with Gerolsteiner Mineral water, works exceptionally well...
  5. Old Violin ID with Bow, Snakewood?

    It is hard for me to get an indoor photo with the right light, the figure kind of moves from different angles and straight on it doesn't show up with my indoor lighting, I have included another outdoor photo from earlier, the frog has two brass pins holding the metal piece with the eyelet. I will try to get some better lighting... there is some dark varnish in places that obsures the figuring, but it can be seen in the lighter areas.. as far as the age of the violin, the label is of the type of paper used up until the late 1800's, so that supports an earlier date, since this was purchased second hand, and not from an ebay seller or such, there seems little chance that a label was added recently, and since it's a cheaper violin, who would have ever likely made that effort to make it appear older. I know labels can be added by anyone, but if it was after 1891 it would also have a country of origin( according to the Mckinley Tarif act, so that also indicates at least a pre 1891 date...
  6. Old Violin ID with Bow, Snakewood?

    The case it is with looks to be of an 1800's style, and seems similar to this one:
  7. Old Violin ID with Bow, Snakewood?

    Thanks Jacob, I do check off most of the boxes for Mittenwald upon closer scrutiny, I thought the dark varnish was obscuring the bottom rib seam, but it is indeed one piece, and I take that the little notch under the saddle is this" Mittenwald notch" , and also four equal lateral corner blocks. Some features this has that I did not see mentioned are the 5 back seam cleats which seam original to the construction, I see no signs of the top, belly or neck having been removed. Also, do the "pinched" lower wings on the FF's indicate anything in the quality or time period?The Jalovec book just says "from1812 Matthias Neuner, and later Neuner & Hornsteiner..." Would that place the violin at the middle 1800's ? Assuming the violin was imported, there is no country of origin on the label, which would make it prior to about 1890, and after 1812...but it does at least appear to be the type of paper that could have been used in the mid 19th c. The bow is dead straight, so I think I'll give it a whirl, I am still curious what type of wood the stick is made of, any clues? Also , any good way to keep that endblock crack from turning into a soundpost crack?
  8. D.I.Why?

    I have tried the karneol for viola and violin , they are very neutral, which is ok as a reference string I suppose, but I haven't found the violin I would use them on as a regular set... I am accustomed to using a Goldbrokat E with most sets I have tried... What is that you like about the Amber set?
  9. D.I.Why?

    I have been a member of this forum for a couple of years and benefited greatly from the experience and info, but I am disappointed in the lack support for the DIY approach. Having worked as a musician for many years, out of desire and necessity, I have learned how to repair the instruments as I learned how to play them, which includes guitar, banjo , mandolin, ukulele, drums, and recently, violin & viola. In other words, I have an intimate understanding of the needs of musicians generally, and have been enriched by the experience. I usually don't do to much cosmetically, which 100% of my customers have been pleased with so far, my motto is "Truth in Tone", which is really the ultimate proof of success. I have also been an appreciator/collector of vintage instruments, it pains me to see so many facsimile instruments in the hands of young hopeful musicians, and the disinfo provided by "music stores", which continually tell customers that the instrument is not worth fixing, even with a family treasure with which some wish to experience a connection with their past. For example, Harmony guitars are kind of the guitar version of Dutzenarbeit , they used old growth wood, with features like huge one piece mahogany backs that don't exist elsewhere, I have repaired countless number of them over the years, and have absolutely zero interest in a Chinese polyurethane coated instrument of today. I consider what I do to be a type of Bespoke instrument repair, which directs resources to the ultimate goal of providing a tonefull & playable instrument, making use of old growth wood , and can be ANY level of fanciness, very efficient as a use of resource for the customer. For example, I recently purchased a 1/2 size violin to set-up as a viola for a friend of mine who is an experienced music instructor, it was an amateur make, labelled "Made by Grampa Hendrickson for Leslie " purchased second hand, it needed some seam repair and setup. It ended up outdoing any instrument in her class, and she immediately advanced, very rewarding. In a modern world where apprenticeship as a luthier is nonexistent in most music stores, many are working as "professionals" after attending what is basically nothing more that an extended workshop. This is where the real instrument hacking occurs(and where a little info can be a very dangerous thing), mostly getting by on cosmetic results, like putting a shiny new looking finish to make it look like something it isn't, just like the VSO's of the past, made to look something it's not by coating with an impressive spirit varnish. I am not here to dis the classic violin maker world, I am totally in support of the traditional apprenticeship method, but the fact of the matter is that huge majority of violin repairers are not apprenticed luthiers in the classic way, but simply working with flimsy certificates which denote little actual making experience, and then go on to advise people what to do with their very limited bag of tricks. To me, any Chinese or other industrial facsimile instrument making is both wasteful and unsustainable, and not worthy of any support. What is worthy, in my opinion, is support of what could be the modern version of apprenticeship in an online world, just because it's "brick and mortar" doesn't mean better by any stretch, mostly it seems to be the primary method of inflicting horrible instruments upon the world, online sales are really just the modern version of ordering from Sears and Roebuck, so nothing new, they had pictures and the same misleading info as a modern online store might have . In a city of a half million, I can't even buy a cheap Goldbrokat e string anywhere local, and must go online, must every student use Red label buzzsaw strings? I admit that a certain level of elitism is needed to maintain a high level of the art, but what of the rest of society? For example France made an attempt in the 19th century to provide for the common man, and the world is now rewarded by the existence of many fine sounding French workshop instruments, proving the worth of their efforts(and a living for many dealers out there currently). My desire is to see this forum more in support of DIY interests, which can educate and benefit the customer in today's world, while developing an appreciation for the fine art of violin making. Truth in Tone, Intention in Expression, it's a choice we can all make.
  10. D.I.Why?

    That's actually the old nut which is now too tall, I've since shaped and slotted it, and the extra string projection with a new taller bridge gave a lot more ring and niceness on the E string, I' m very happy with the result...I will have to rethink my poor impression of Dominants though, because the old ones that were on have a really nice grab and response on this violin...
  11. D.I.Why?

    well, it's at least less "botched" than previously, and look, I didn't even need any nails!
  12. D.I.Why?

    I have reset many Harmonys and always fit walnut shims to prevent that, I've seen plenty of them years later and they are still playing well, but setup is kind of my forte with instruments so this may not be for everyone. Misunderstanding of the floating Tork-lok truss system is responsible for a lot of Harmony torture...
  13. D.I.Why?

    Thanks for the links, I used the fingerboard removal technique and it worked quite well, even with the black epoxy I found, no damage to the neck or fingerboard. Removing the former luthiers epoxy was the hardest part, but the overstand was a bit tall and the board a bit thick, so I was able to get a decenter neck projection.
  14. D.I.Why?

    Harmonys have poplar necks, & soft basswood blocks, so they usually will need a neck reset, pretty much all of the flat tops have thick ladder bracing,(old spruce, great for bassbars) With Harmonys it's best not to be a "guitar improver", it is what it is...
  15. D.I.Why?

    I actually did run into epoxy when removing the old fingerboard from the Juzek I am currently working on, using the Triangle strings technique, and it worked well, but since I didn't have the proper tools to accomplish the neck reset, I planed the fingerboard to get a better angle, since the overstand was a bit on the tall side anyway, and the fingerboard was i bit thick. Now I have a neck projection of This was done by a luthier serving a large school system, , so I am glad I was able to somewhat correct the mistake, but it was 10 times the work to remove the epoxy, even everything worked out equitably. DIY is more about necessity and it's relationship to thinking outside the box to accomplish something desired. In this case I think I made the right choice, and I don't think I risked much fixing an old beat up Juzek school instrument that had been tortured previously.
  16. D.I.Why?

    Well, I suppose I had better get a little neck reset practice, it will be interesting to see what change in sound or tone will occur. I have researched the standard parameters, but have already run into some exceptions, for instance, one really flat radiused board had the best response at 2.9mm - 5mm, any taller and I lost that great pianissimo ring with barely any bow, and the taller G string would get nasal, it is wonderful to play 3 note chords. The neck projection is 27mm and neck length and stop are standard, I didn't measure the neck tilt, but I did tilt it a bit, because I have run into that and like the way it plays, is it standard to have a bit of tilt? What is your preferred method of neck removal?
  17. D.I.Why?

    Well, I,m glad I am not the only one.
  18. D.I.Why?

    Yes, sorry I meant projection.
  19. D.I.Why?

    Well, while on the subject, I have a Juzek violin that has a low neck angle, but is the loudest violin I have had, and sounds good and warm with excellent response, the overstand is only 24mm, would you reset the neck angle or leave it?
  20. D.I.Why?

    I am not trying to argue or prove anything, just opening a dialog, the only "proof" I need is the satisfaction of the player, that's why my motto is "Truth in Tone", which is ultimately the only proof of any violin, regardless of pedigree...
  21. D.I.Why?

    I don't have photos of the repairs, some of the instruments have been posted here in violin id threads, one that Jacob opined was a French trade instrument, it had very stiff plates, so I set it up as a student viola, and turned out very well, with a very cello toned C string
  22. D.I.Why?

    I assume an apprentice makes mistakes before they get it right, there are no violinmakers here that will work on these violins, so I am creating zero extra work for anyone but myself, it's up to the individual how well they can learn...
  23. D.I.Why?

    DIY can include any kind of approach, just as luthiers have all levels of skill. There really are no "standards" to speak of, professionals good and bad do what they want. Many use chemical laden ingredients, I would rather wait till I have the proper ingredients and do it the old fashioned way, I never use anything but hand tools, how many here are using CNC and such , just to save time? Besides, I am not doing it myself really, without all the help here I wouldn't have attempted what I have. I wouldn't even use a UV booth either, how many here use just full spectrum sunlight? I know that might not be practical in the end, but I will at least try it first before resorting to modern conveniences.
  24. D.I.Why?

    DIY can cover a wide range of skills, I am talking about someone striving to do things right and trying to get the best info available, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, DIY is exactly the term I would use. I am not a dad with a glue gun, I use hot hide glue and methods learned right here, the reason I even started was because of the lack preservation of instruments. It is music stores that have done titebond glueing, for cheap violins just like they do with guitars , and this is the "luthier" that serves most of the professionals here, I once took a half size flatback Czech bass in, and he ruined a huge section of varnish, barely new how to handle using hide glue. As far as musicians cutting bridges etc.. it all depends on your attention to detail. I have worked on all levels of instruments, Ramirez classicals, Martins of all makes, there just isn't an interest in preservation here. The last violin I worked on was not only Dutzenarbeit but had been apart, no bassbar, and tacked back together and coated with varnish(even the bridge), an ultra wallhanger, but I was able to get it to sound pretty nice, and it was a great chance to practice carving a bassbar, making cornerblocks & linings, and all using old growth wood ( and neater work than whoever made this violin). Does every maker here use old growth wood for ALL their repairs? I think not . I haven't learned how to make varnish yet, so I just didn't touch things up, but I doubt you will find anyone more preservationist minded than myself. An old Martin guitar would not be "done right" if it was refinished, because in the guitar world it degrades the collectable value, is touch up varnish reversable? is that "preservationist"? Lots of people like instruments that have there battle scars showing, my friends violin now gets played out at his old family cabin for shindigs, so what I actually preserved were a close friends family traditions, and that is what is most important to me...