Tostra

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  1. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    Thanks for your help, btw. It's been educational
  2. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    Oh don't worry, he does. Probably even more than I do, actually, so I'm sure he'll keep me from doing anything stupid to it ;-)
  3. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    Alright, if you say so I'll take it to my luthier. I will anyway, because I'm curious to hear his opinion on it :-)
  4. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    I know, I know... But at least I'm aware of it and don't work on too nice instruments for that reason ;-)
  5. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    I thought the same thing. I haven't actually had the opportunity to buy a viola before, and this one is definitely nicer than most violins I have available. The style of neck, is that the heel, the neck shape, the scroll..? Let me also just add, I may be an amateur, but that doesn't mean I don't do things properly. I'll admit I was a bit messy to begin with and that I still have plenty to learn, but I try to keep my standards high. This one I wouldn't say is beyond what I would be able to restore well myself. It sounds like something I should really take to my luthier to have someone experienced look at it in person. I'm fairly certain it's nothing amazing, but as you say, it is nice. Deans, that's quite interesting, haven't noticed it before. I don't have any with original necks, unfortunately, but I'll definitely look at the heel next time I see one ;-)
  6. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    Yes, that's why I included a photo of it. Someone might recognise it as being common somewhere... I had a violin with a similar heel too, but not quite this dramatic. An additional detail, by the way: The back isn't exactly one piece. The wood obviously wasn't quite wide enough, so at the lower bout a piece of the same wood has beeen joined on to make the back wide enough. It's not very obvious, but you can see it in the treble side just separating the corner off from the rest. Again, I don't know if this was common from certain makers, but I've done it myself on a cello,. The frustration of suddenly missing a cm on the nice piece you found for the build...
  7. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    I doubt it, but the reason why I ask here is that I can't tell, of course. Why exactly do you get that association from a one piece back? That's not something I've heard before. And the heel too, actually? I think it's kind of odd that it has a recurve, but I would expect that kind of work done by many makers, many instruments at a time, to be more "standard"?
  8. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    Thanks deans, that's actually not a bad idea. I was thinking of a more modern setup, but it might just sound great with gut strings. Not my usual style, but worth considering for an instrument like this for sure. I don't think it's worth much either. It's a great sounding instrument, but probably within what I'm comfortable working on But as an amateur, I think it's important that I think before I start working and send anything too nice for me to a professional. Better be too careful than not, you know. It's not entirely good to go, it's got a few open seams here and there, a serious cleaning and some cracks that I want to clean up, but it's in pretty good condition otherwise
  9. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    Measured with a 300mm ruler, so not 100% accurate
  10. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    Yes, I agree. I don't have that much exerience with Saxon instruments though, so I really can't place it. By the way, I noticed that the turns of the scroll is continued with half a turn drawn or painted on the eye. The inside is pretty neat, but with quite a few big scratches on the back, although I'm not sure if those are from the maker or not. The ribs seem to have been planed with a toothed plane and not cleaned up much after that. LOB is 392mm, neck stop 143mm, body stop 212mm
  11. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    Oh... Yeah, they're around 4.5MB. I couldn't find the limit for upload size anywhere to resize after. But 2MB, I'll remember that
  12. Tostra

    ID of old viola

    Thank you! I tried to upload, but I guess they were too big
  13. Yesterday I got this old viola, and even though I know there are a million ID threads in here and people may be a bit tired of them, I really hope that someone can help me with some sort of age and origin determination, because I haven't seen something similar. If anything, it reminds me of a late 1800's Mittenwald violin I have? Rather than uploading a ton of pictures in this post, here is a WeTransfer link where they will be available for a week. If it's better to upload to the thread, I'll do that. https://we.tl/t-6uRFySZcbK The necks is not set into the top, and it seems that the edges were rounded after the neck was set, as they transition into a square profile under the neck. The back has positioning pins, but quite far into the plate. The purfling is painted on, it seems, and it has four corner blocks. I'm sorry that the label pictures are so out of focus, but it has the following text in a somewhat modern looking font: George Friedrich Rothy, fer. v. p. Jacob Stainer, in Apfam ænipuurum Ao. 17*9. The label uses æ, but an older looking version than I'm used to, so it might be something else. It also looks like it has the remainders of a stamp and/or old label in the center, but it's almost gone. Can anyone tell me what this is? I cleaned off the worst gunt and set it up with the old bridge it came with temporarily, but if it's not a valuable instrument, I would really like to do a proper setup on it, as I think it has potential to be a nice sounding instrument. Best regards, Tobias
  14. I have been in the workshop today making templates, and on my way home I visited another luthier to buy a piece for my bass bar. I happen to know that he works mostly from numbers, so I asked him, and he said about 4mm in the bouts of both plates and then 5,5 at the sound post (top) and the center of the back about 6-7mm. Those measurements sound very standard to me, and is probably what I expected to see on the back of my poster. Interesting theory about the thin-backed cellos. I'm not sure if this is actually a thin back, because then it is thicker in the center, just distributing the wood differently? I wonder if having a havier "membrane" suspended on a thinner back would be a choice to alter playability..? Nathan, great advice. Unfortately, I cannot follow it all. I agree with the make a plan, build the plan. That's usually how I build, and also how I'm building this one. The plan was 1) Do a lot of research on models, tonal qualities and so on, and decide what type of model I want. 2) Choose a specific cello and buy a Strad poster and 3) Build a copy of that cello, changing only the scroll and the neck shape to make it a bit personal and make switching between my cellos more comfortable. I chose the 1865 Vuillaume because I have a great cello already, and I felt like this one would both suit my playing style and add something tonally to my life which my own cello doesn't have. That way, even if I can't make anything as good as what I have, I would probably still pick both cellos up from time to time and it wouldn't just sit sadly in a corner. Before I started the cello, I built a violin as proof of concept. A very rough one, sure, but I got an idea of what I was good at and what I needed to be careful with. And prior to that I have done restaurations on a hobby level for a few years. At this stage, I have tried to copy the cello body exactly. I haven't been able to quite reach the specs, because yes, it really has that thick ribs in some places, and as I mentioned, some other pieces were just slightly too small. I have fixed most things like joining a little piece on one bout of the spruce etc.., so it's fine for me. I still feel like I'm in a proof of concept phase, however this time I do actually want to end up with a really nice instrument. The reason why I think it's kind of okay to not match the measurements exactly is... Well, I have one more set of wood, which is actually much nicer. So while that is just drying a few more years, I'm practicing. So yeah, getting to know the model is something I like too :-) The cello I'm making is this one: https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/property/?ID=50814 I wouldn't say it's extremely flat, and if I understand the type of arching you're describing, I don't like those either. So far I have made the ribs (2mm thick) and the scroll, I have cut the plates, inlayed purfling and have roughly removed some bulk excess and am now ready to make the arching based on the templates printed on the back of the poster, which I have made acrylic shapes of today. So I'm not about to change the model. I'm continuing with my plan of building this particular cello as my first one, trying to get a really nice instrument out of it that I would choose to play at concerts, although I know that's very. very ambitious. The reason why I asked about these graduations is not that I want to apply one graduation to another cello. I know it sounded like that, but at the moment I'm leaning towards doing pretty much the thicknesses described, as I feel that is the graduations fit for the cello that have resulted in the sound I liked. That said, I think it would be silly to copy imperfections, mistakes, damages, regraduations or similar that would make my new cello prone to warping or weakening over time, as I obviously want it to stick around. That was a long message. I hope I replied to everything and hopefully cleared some things up that I had "worded" confusingly...
  15. Thanks for your replies :-) First of all, I definitely want to do the archings that fit the cello. They don't seem distorted to me, and also I really like the tone of the original instrument and even before I found it, I was planning on something to the flatter side. You would do the back proportionally to the top, you say... I was thinking the same thing, it sounds weird to me that the bouts of the back is thinner than the bouts of the top. But then again, the center is quite thick, so maybe it's about the same mass in the two cellos, just distributed differently. When you say in proportion, do you mean same thickness? I know that they go through a lot of repairs and changes which probably heavily alters the tone. I believe to some extent that if the instrument sounds good now, it doesn't matter so much how it started out, and you might as well copy the thicknesses that you see. So when I ask if it has been regraduated, it's not so much that I want to precisely copy the original idea of the original maker, but rather that I don't think a new instrument that needs settling in, wood that is probably going to change a bit over the years etc. could handle those very thinned out areas as well as an already seasoned one. So if something seems very thin to you, I might just want to go slightly thicker, for instance. Nick, you say heavily recurved archings... I must admit that I don't know if you're talking about distortions over time or recurve/fluting in the channel area?