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Owen Morse-Brown

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  1. Thanks for your input David. I am very aware that lime wood doesn't feature historically. But as previously mentioned, there is a huge variety. I have a piece of maple for a one piece violin back which is 0.56gcm3. it has a pretty nice ring to it when tapped. I cut an identical size piece of the lime wood that I have which is 0.52gcm3 and it has an equally good ring to it although about one semitone lower. I also tried making a brush from it as you said and although it does seem fibrous, it breaks apart when hammered and would not make a useable brush at all. Could it be that some lime like what I have could be suitable?
  2. But isn't willow like this as well? Willow is really wooly.
  3. Not yet, they're rather thick boards at the moment but that's definitely my next step.
  4. It does doesn't it. No I haven't heard of it in use before and my experience of original instruments is limited. I know that makers of medieval instruments consider it to be a good choice but I suppose that's because the bodies are carved from the solid and you don't want to be doing that out of maple! I have made medieval vielles from it and they sound great - no soundpost though. Viols were made of other woods including cherry, walnut and other fruit woods.
  5. I've measured the density of the lime wood which comes out at 0.51 gcm3. It has growth rings at an average of 3.8mm apart although as it is known for, it is very homogeneous. By comparison a piece of willow I have is 0.36gcm3, and maple that I have ranges between 0.57 and 0.75 gcm3. So the lime is about in the middle between willow and maple. Anyone know roughly where poplar comes out at? It feels like it might be worth a try.
  6. Very interesting! I'll measure the density and post when I've done so.
  7. Basswood is much lighter and softer than European lime and definitely wouldn't be suitable. I'm well aware of the variety mentioned by HoGo so I would only choose wood with higher density. The splitting issue is an interesting thought though.
  8. I wonder if anyone has ever tried using lime wood (European) for building cellos. Obviously willow and poplar are familiar and it seems to me that lime would be somewhere between these and maple in terms of density and workability. I have some large boards that have reasonably close grain, very clean and quarter sawn. It has many characteristics of maple including strong rays and some light flame. It is beautiful to carve. I'd love to hear of anyone experience.
  9. Looking at some of the latest thickness maps of CT scans in strad posters, there are some instances of a slight increase in belly thickness below the f holes as well as to either side. Does anyone have experience of looking inside instruments with this in mind to assertain if it was originally intended or if it is a result of the belly being thinned at a later date? If the belly had been thinned it would definitely be easier to scrape in areas away from the f holes rather than right up to them so this effect could easily be the result. On some, it would also appear that the bass bar area was also thicker and this would even further support the idea that the belly had been thinned without removing the bass bar. Perhaps the original makers did that anyway. Interested to hear any thoughts on this.
  10. I agree, I recently made a stainer based instrument, the original top arching is not as flat as many others are, and the thicknessing is very different. Around 4.5mm in the centre reducing towards the edges - much more like a back would normally be. From my limited experience, the sound is very good and Stainer instruments used to be more highly prized than Strads!
  11. I'm interested to know of anyone's experience in nailing baroque necks. Are the holes pre drilled in both block and neck?
  12. If the flatter area of the front was caused purely by deformation over time, you would see quite a big curve in the plane of the ribs but all the pictures David Beard posted show flat ribs. To get that much rise in the upper and lower bouts, the top and bottom blocks would have to rise in relation to the corners. Surely the rib garland once glued to the plates creates a rigid enough structure to resist that.
  13. But nobody talks about inside profiles. What if they're more important than the outside? I think we're so obsessed with profiles when we don't even know if the old masters carved inside or outside first. The inside shape looks so much simpler than the outside without the recurve and scoop and if you carved that first, then the scoop would be a result instead.
  14. Urban Luther makes a very interesting point, of course they were copying, but the thing that intreages me most is the method to achieve the result. Thank you David Beard for your very detailed and thought provoking reply. I've made a lot of bent front viols and what I really love about it is that the method produces the arching all by itself. You can refine it after it's all glued together but essentially the 5 strips combined with the shape of the outline, produce the arch. I'm interested in the idea of the inside being carved first and that the shapes are catenery curves (see Torbjörn Theselius' strad article) but he still gives no detail about the long arch.
  15. I'd be very interested to know peoples thoughts on how old makers used to produce the long arch profiles. There has to be a method rather than just copying because they had nothing to copy. The high point of backs is often below centre and I presume this has somthing to do with the upper bouts being narrower than the lower and so the arch height corresponds. Using templates seems ridiculous because of age related movement in the wood and I can't bring myself to correct it by guesswork.
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