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About LethbridgeViolins

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 08/25/1991

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  • Location
    : Cambridge, ON, Canada
  • Interests
    Lutherie, special-effect-makeup, food, art.

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  1. LethbridgeViolins

    Mixed lot of maple 4/4 violin backs

    Paring down the violin portion of my business to focus on electric guitars. (Tragic, I know.) So, I've got 2 backs of loose-flamed Canadian rock maple--cut from the same log, wedged in September of 2002, and 2 wedges of tight-flamed Balkan maple--cut from the same tree, wedged in July of 2004. Hoping for ~ $55CAD/$45USD per back plus actual shipping, but I'm always open to offers for pairs or the lot. Better pics incoming soon, but I'll answer any questions you've got in the meantime!
  2. LethbridgeViolins

    Stolen from Hogwarts?

    I think you've got it! Waiting on my cousin to get a photocopy to me, but there was a Professor Maurice Ménard who retired from McGill University at age 60 in 1880, which lines up perfectly with this Maurice Ménard (Maynard) Jr's father. (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Menard-620). Rouville's between Sherbrooke and Montréal, which lines up with the George B Reitz & Co theory, and if the scribbles under that are indeed "May ?? 1879", that would line up with this case being a retirement gift for M. Ménard Sr., possibly passed on to the son who took it to Massachusetts.
  3. LethbridgeViolins

    Stolen from Hogwarts?

    Half of my mom's family still lives between Sherbrooke and Montréal, so I'll pester some cousins to check the archives for Bishop's University (founded 1843, Sherbrooke) and McGill University (founded 1821, Montréal) to see if they can find records for a Prof. M Ménard OR J Jénard. (Though they look like 'M's to me.)
  4. LethbridgeViolins

    Stolen from Hogwarts?

    Just ran over my glasses this afternoon, but could that say "Geo B Reitz & Co"? There was a cabinetmaker "George Ballantyne Reitz and company" operating out of Sherbrooke, Quebec from circa 1840 to 1891 that's not TOO far on my side of the border from Maine. Might not be the maker, and might not be any help identifying the owner, but it's all I could find that may be pertinent and could fit the timeline.
  5. LethbridgeViolins

    Relative worth of Einstein's fiddle

    That's what came to mind for me, too. I think I have an old plastic Christmas ornament with exactly this same silhouette.
  6. LethbridgeViolins

    Mystery Wood?

    My gut instinct was Sweet Gum/Alligatorwood too-- possibly riftsawn.
  7. LethbridgeViolins

    Scroll identification--a little odd.

    Found a box of old lutherie odds and ends at a local antiques shop, and bought it almost-exclusively for the reamer and form it contained. There was an old Czech factory neck in there, and this slightly-unusual scroll, especially the eye. What do you guys think, folk fiddle, lousy attempt at customization, or something else entirely?
  8. LethbridgeViolins

    Bull Tree Wood Bows?

    The Macacauba (Platymiscium trinitatis) tree was sometimes marketed as "Bullwood" for cabinetmakers at the end of the 19th century. I don't know if it would be viable as a bow wood--never having worked with it--but its source is geographically compatible with brazilwood/pernambuco.
  9. LethbridgeViolins

    To Seal Or Not To Seal?

    Funny you should say that--On my current Vieuxtemps Guarnerius build, I've sized/sealed the insides of the plates with albumin and used the separated yolks to make a pound cake. I've mostly used either nothing or a hide glue size til now, and I'm only attempting it with albumin to see if there are any detectable differences to my inexperienced eyes and ears.
  10. LethbridgeViolins

    Curious about this grain pattern in spruce violin top

    Quite possibly a noob question: I've found that I sometimes get visible medullary rays such as these in Norway spruce when doing the final "rub-down" with horsehair. Does it make sense that would happen, or am I using too much brute force with the horsehair/too coarse of hair?
  11. LethbridgeViolins

    Questions on aging pattern

    Looks a little like it's wearing a cheap bustier.
  12. LethbridgeViolins

    Just for fun - violin ID

    I can't help much in terms of the mystery bump (aside from the slim possibility that it's just a very abrupt/lazy graduation) or the violin's age/origins, but Miami-Dade county's public records list a "Carl Friederich Lotze" living at 799 N.E. 70th St, Miama FL 33138 in 1951, so your wife wasn't far off (The cursive 'z' gets everyone.)
  13. LethbridgeViolins

    Liquid hide glue

    My first violin was built using liquid hide glue. (The big bottles were on sale, and I have no formal training to warn against it.) It dried relatively fast and pretty hard, so I assumed all was well. Got it strung up and hung to settle, and within a matter of 18 hours the neck popped off and the top started to lift. It could have been a bad batch--or the southern-Ontario humidity, but I decided not to risk it and now only use liquid hide glue to affix my labels, and use the pearls or flakes to do all my actual assembly
  14. LethbridgeViolins

    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.
  15. LethbridgeViolins

    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.