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About LethbridgeViolins

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  1. Flood Damaged/Moldy Instruments

    Dealt with a mouldy 1929 Dötsch Violin about 11 months ago-- I took the back off, dusted all unvarnished surfaces with borax powder, allowed it to sit for a couple days, then brushed it off, wiped it down with a cloth dampened with a 10:1 water/bleach solution, allowed it to air-dry then re-dried it in my UV box to kill off any remnant spores. 11-months mould-free with no measurable warping.
  2. Taylor Lethbridge's Bench

    Here's another I've just about finished up: it's intended to be an amalgam of Del Gesu's 1744 'Ole Bull' and his 1743 'Il Cannone'. Oil varnish, bone nut, one-piece lower rib, and my first attempt at handmade Pear/Poplar purfling--the spruce is from the Fiemme valley in Italy, and the maple is from the Carpathian mountains in Romania.
  3. This sickens me

    As much as I am adamantly, morally opposed to senseless slaughter of any animal (especially one as vulnerable as elephants), I don't see what's to be gained from destroying antiques in this manner--eliminating or destroying ivory trinkets isn't going to magically revive the elephant that was killed in its manufacture. Canada hasn't yet taken the "destroy all ivory" route--the import and export of ivory is banned, and any ivory taken after July 3rd, 1975 can't be sold or possessed, so when I use ivory to tip my bows, it needs to be reclaimed from pre-1975 sources (I usually use tops from old piano keys), they can't be shipped outside of Canada, and need to be accompanied with appropriate CITES paperwork for both the pernambuco AND the ivory--as SHOULD any instrument containing Ebony, Wenge, Rosewood, Mahogany, Cocobolo or Lignum Vitae--in order to prove that it was sourced responsibly and sustainably.
  4. Taylor Lethbridge's Bench

    Yeah, it came out a bit opaque/hazy on this one--it was my first time using Dragon's blood as a colourant, and I went a smidge overboard. The maple's not deliberately stained--I used a steel wool/urea wash to help the figure pop in the spruce--but in this case the maple had absorbed so much incense smoke and grime over the years that it already had a bit of a burnt-in look before even adding the ground or varnish. Thanks for the kind words!
  5. Top Plate Thickness Concern

    My first violin had a whole thumb-sized section (near the bottom of the bass-side C-bout) that was .6mm thinner than the rest of my top--it sounded less-than-ideal, but it wasn't a structural concern. The first one seldom goes flawlessly.
  6. Peg reamers- Spiral or Straight Fluted?

    I started out last year with only a spiral reamer--a cheap Chinese one, at that. It did a serviceable job, but tended to leave the holes rather coarse--I've since invested in a quality straight reamer, and while it takes a little more work, the smooth pegholes are worth the effort.
  7. Taylor Lethbridge's Bench

    Hey folks, figured I'd open up with a quick introduction. I'm Taylor Lethbridge, a 25-year-old trade-school-dropout-turned-luthier/archetier. Below I've attached a few pictures of my second violin build (from last year), and a little assortment of my bows. I'm really excited to have found this forum after a year or so of being surrounded by less-inclusive groups for my lack of formal training. The violin features a 1-piece back, ribs, and scroll/neck reclaimed from a 120-year-old maple church pew, and the top is 30-year-old spruce, with macassar ebony fittings/nut/saddle/fingerboard. The blocks are black willow, and the soundpost and bassbar are both cut from the belly stock. The groundcoat is a lovely golden colour--derived from my own theory on Stradivari's ground-- and the cocoa-red varnish is subjected to my own patent-pending process prior to application. The rib form is based on Guarneri's il Cannone, though the top and back plate arching is more Guadagnini-esque. The pegs were store-bought, but the tailpiece is my own doing and features an ivory tailpiece fret salvaged from an old piano key. The pictures are less-than-flattering (phone camera), but relatively true-to-colour. The bows are all pernambuco with ebony frogs (I scored a decent stock of CITES-approved pernambuco last year), and are based on baroque, late-classical/transition, and Tourte bows, respectively.