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Kae's Achievements


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  1. Op.6 Fluting the wings- This is the 6th violin I'm working on. With the help from the experiences on my earlier instruments, I'm getting better handling the gouges as well as sharpening them. I started to be able to shave the wood in a more controlled manner. There's a video with which I'd like to share the joy of violin making with friends on MN. -Kae
  2. Op.6 cutting ff-holes- Op.6 is my first attempt of del Gesu model. Some video record on cutting the ff's.
  3. My fault! Calcium stearate is just one example of calcium soap. It's a calcium soap made from steric acid. I'm not a chemist, but I would guess soap made from other fatty acid behave similarly.
  4. Just found out from Wikipedia that calcium soap is insoluble in water. Unlike K+ or Na+ soaps, Ca++ soap is not soluble in water. I guess it's because that calcium ion has two positive charges and bounds with two acids at a time. The two acids distribute evenly on both sides of calcium. And this makes the whole molecule non-polar therefore not soluble in water. However, this leads to another question: if we pour some potash solution ( as some recipes suggest ), we get water soluble potassium soap which make our varnish humidity sensitive!?
  5. Thank you for your compliment! I'm quite happy with my #2, too. It's reasonably good as an op. 2. in terms of sound.
  6. Recent I started to work on repairing some old student instrument. It more fun then I had expected, and changed the way I look at a violin making somehow.... Wood work part is ok for me. The next challenge is retouching.... First time edge doubling job and End pin bushing Flattened ... ...with a new head block. End pin bushing I made the cone myself with plane maple. Drill guide hole. Rimming and done! First daring repairing job of mine. Not bad for the first try!
  7. Leaving for Music China in Shanghai. Hope to pick up some good wood and parts. Andrea Pahlar is going to be my first choice. But last time when I was there, he had sold most of the wood one day before the opening. Sigh...
  8. Nathan, Yesterday, I tried burning some Dragon Blood alcohol solutions according the method described in you earlier post. I waited 2 hours for the fire to go off. It seemed that the fire went off because of lacking of oxygen. Therefore, I lit it up several times until I gave up. The remaining stuff was thicker liquid. Is that what I was supposed to get? Should I keep on burning it in a shorter jar? One thing need to mention is that the DB had only been soaked in alcohol for one day, but its a lot of DB comparing to the amount of alcohol. Kae
  9. Giovanni, Do you extract the color of alkanet root by soking them in alcohol, or by some other tricker method? Kae
  10. Wouldn't the water ruin the alcohol varnish?
  11. Thank you for responding to my post! I just did some quick search here on MN, and found one of Nathan's early post about extracting color from Dragon Blood. Putting the link here for people who might be interested.
  12. Currently, I'm working on re-varnishing my #1 violin. The varnish that I use this time is spirit varnish, containing shellac and all kinds of resin dissolved in denatured alcohol. For the yellow color, I mixed gamboge tincture into the clear varnish and have a good result. For the red? I still don't have any idea yet. (I'm trying not to use artificial dyes.) What I've got in hand are dragon blood, dried madder roots, ready-made madder lake and cochineal lake. ( but I don't have any experience with any of these. ) From the books and pest threads on MN, I learned that dragon blood loses its color very quickly so I don't think I'm going to use it... I naively mixed the lace to my spirit varnish, but the lake precipitates rather quickly. If I apply the mixture right after I give it a shake, the color still doesn't look homogeneous enough... May be lakes don't go well with spirit varnish, or I used them in the wrong way. And now I'm thinking about cooking the madder roots in alcohol. Is that worth trying? Could some body here on MN give me your precious advices? Thanks a lot! -Kae
  13. Is there a rule of thumb for viola also?
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