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About ScotPiper

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    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Interests
    Violin making and varnish alchemy! Great Highland bagpipes, Scottish fiddle and dance music, backpacking, hiking in the desert, airplanes and aerodynamics, cooking really tasty spicy food, good beer ... that sort of thing.

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  1. If the reverse is true - that all instruments with a wolf are good-sounding - then I’m KILLING IT.
  2. Hi, Regina. I found these threads. Might be helpful. (Hint: use Google to search for topics on Maestronet, not the embedded search tool.)
  3. The problem might be that you're using geese? I dunno. Just a thought. </shrug?>
  4. I use tintul/tetul fittings quite a bit, but from a different source. They are light, look nice (imho) and the wood works very well (very rarely any tear-out turning pegs). I can’t say too much to the tonal impact b/c I use them on new instruments. (But my instruments sound amazing. So it must be the fittings! :-) I buy from Dov, who have a wide selection of fitting styles and chinrests. I use tetul finger boards from Dov, and those can be trickier because of the interlocking grain. But it’s hard wood and wears well. It’s not an endangered or unsustainably-cultivated spec
  5. Good question. If my understanding is correct, the organics will be the resins, dyes, and oils used in the varnish. But it won’t be pigment metals, such as aluminum oxides. Those metallic materials are inorganic, and won't be disclosed by a study of the organic materials. If anyone thinks that’s not correct please correct me - I still have much to learn about all this.
  6. Greetings, all. I wonder if anyone has come across this paper? I'm considering purchasing it, but it's not inexpensive at USD40. If any of you have this paper, I wonder if you can tell me how well the authors address the matter of added materials, such as repair and touch-up varnishes. Thanks, all. Bob Identification of organic materials in historical stringed instruments by off-line analytical pyrolysis solid-phase microextraction with on-fiber silylation and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
  7. Then watch them again. Davide's videos contain loads of information, and the more times you watch the more information you'll find.
  8. This is a massive topic, which has been discussed some on this board already. In my area (Salt Lake City) I know that makers have been hit hard by the drop in business, including myself, but repairers are doing at least OK. I've taken a second job in my "previous career field." I'm fortunate I can do that; the paycheck is dearly appreciated, but I sure do miss my bench time. I've had some time to do things I've long neglected, which is helpful in the long-run. I'd like to point out that Philip Kass is scheduled to discuss this topic at the virtual VSA convention, on Sunday the 15th
  9. Amati Auctions make the Amati Box, which is a brilliant solution. I inquired some time ago about purchasing boxes, and the price of the box was very agreeable (ordered in multiples of 10, I think). The cost of shipping the boxes to me (western USA) was incredibly high and made it not worthwhile. I quite like Davide's solution.
  10. I keep rotating my phone side-to-side to make the reflections “walk” back and forth over the arches. It doesn’t work. Thank you, Don. Those clips are very helpful!
  11. Hiya, Dominik. I colored the varnish using pigments (usually) or dyes (less frequently). I make my own pigments using madder and walnut, and other stuff I used Siam seedlac and WW-grade colophony, which is quite colorless. I experimented with cooked colophony, and if it wasn’t over-cooked it was soluble in ethanol. Cooking didn’t add much color to the final varnish, and it still required pigment.
  12. Hiya, Julian. I noticed the date of your post as January 15. But only after I’d written my reply did I recognize that 2019 is gone.... oh, well. Here’s a belated reply; maybe it’s useful anyway? I have a fair bit of experience using alcohol-spirit varnishes with a high ratio of colophony/rosin. When applying the second coat, the first coat feels “tacky” and grabs at the brush partway through a long stroke. I think it’s a combination of two things: the first coat is easily soluble in the second coat, and the colophony is drying too quickly on the brush. What I’ve done
  13. Thanks again for all your ideas. The history on the Del Gesu instruments is especially fascinating. I have C# wolfs on a couple instruments, and I wonder if the rib height might be part of the reason. Rib thickness is 1mm, plate thicknesses are pretty normal, and possibly even a wee thick. The ribs are 31.0mm (neck) to 31.5mm (bottom); perhaps they’re borderline too-tall. I always cut the blocks too tall initially because I’m afraid something will “go wrong” later and I’ll need that extra height to flatten the garland. But nothing has ever “gone wrong” and so I never
  14. I’ll second the notion that sandarac seems to add depth, sparkle, clarity, luminosity ... things like that. I dissolve it in alcohol, mixed with various other resins. Peter, my experience mirrors what you describe.