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About Woodman

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    : S.E. Pennsylvania

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  1. Thank you, Felefar! The four pigments are in the small photographic plates box. The first two envelopes I cannot read but versions of the 3rd and 4th come up in web searches. The blocky chunks posted last Monday, on the 28th ... shellac maybe? Inside this olfer Kent cigarette package I think I found tolu balsam ans what looks like more saffron, but I cannot read the label.
  2. With Byrdbop I strongly agree. You've got a classic early 1900s tavern fiddle there. This violin stuck around for a long time. It's a survivor. Heck, someone even took the time to trim the pegs flush. Wither through love of music and tradition or maybe someone knew how to get a special tone out of it. Or maybe get a night of drinks out of it? A good wipe-down with naphtha (but be not tempted to set it aflame). Off with the dirt, repair a crack or two, maybe a new piece here and there, glue it up taut, make a perfect bridge, and string it up. I'd leave varnish out of the restoration. Looks heavy enough, with that thick fingerboard. Too bad it is not a 4/4. Here are a couple rescues I did last year.
  3. With small jars freshly cleaned of their labels, I'm finally delving back into the box of pigments. This little box, like a deck of cards, has long intrigued me. As if it were a pocket-kit of tints which might solve all a luthier's problems. (The holzbeizen may be the grail I seek). As I label my jars, any help will be greatly appreciated. Finally unwrapped and decanted, this is what we have:
  4. Wow, great eye. I thought the f-holes on my reproduction were looking suspiciously like a watch pocket!
  5. Using them, that was the idea. Toss them ... just when I was beginning to get a feel for them. The current projects 1] pegs bridge touchup and 2] a little more than gluing a separated top.
  6. The buds were loosely wrapped in these two pieces of paper, one of which looks like a detailed sketch with very small writings upon it. A fair quantity. The stigma is the light part? I believe a mortar and pestle is in order. I'll try to press the sketch flat and post it after a bit. These yellow chips are resin for making varnish?
  7. Yeeeoooowww! I'll be careful not to ingest it! I figured since lots of these packages look over 100 years old - easily - and the labels indicate "chemists shops", that some are probably items which wouldn't pass OSHA muster these days. Respirator is ON most of the time when opening up the more dusty, crinkled packages. Thank you! What would sandalwood wood shavings be used for? I had an idea, between wakefulness and slumber, on the flower buds. Separate the light from the dark, and use the lighter parts. It is a perfect shade. Speaking of turmeric, taking the jesting of a few jokers literally in my formative years, I once used pumpkin spice as a tint in a patching compound. Learned my lesson, and went on to make effective ebony, spruce, and maple fillers for occasional use.
  8. A couple of projects are on the table. One wants LOTS of attention and the other just a few spots. So I finally am going to separate and label an old box of pigments gifted to me a few years ago. The stuff that looks like ground up spruce - I think it is something else. Fragrant, and I burnt a little and it did not smell like wood. Familiar? The dark flower buds grind into a black/grey/brown but I do not have them at powder yet - Can anyone identify the bud? This yellow - one of several - has a name written on the bag but I cannot read it. Ideas? I'm looking to get closer to a brown. Haven't gotten there yet. Too red or too sludge-like so far. Many many more packets to go in the big box. Thank you very much for your guidance.
  9. Thanks, Brad. Thanks, Baroquecello. I cut the end block with a dovetail joint. I can see how a straight mortise joint would have been far easier for fitting and adjustment. I was even trying to change the direction of the neck at one point with a compound angle in the dovetail but gave up on that, choosing another method. Are some violin necks joined with dovetail joints or are most/ all mortise/tenon joints? So now I know why it was so difficult. My first neck reset, and I used a dovetail joint instead of a straight mortise/tenon. Endblock note: So reinforcing a button with a T-shaped piece of maple (reaching into the back) does not necessarily diminish the tone of the instrument ...?
  10. Yes, better late than never! I get it now, but did not want a major switch of direction mid-river on this past project. I did reinforce the button though, after getting the angle wrong, extending a 1mm thick piece of maple into a flat depression sawn/chiseled into the back then sanded flush. Originally I changed the angle of the neck and had to add to its heel. While I considered adding maple - or spruce - under the block, one builder told me of changing the tone of a top by gluing a sound post crack patch directly to the top. I wondered if adding mass to the bottom, under the block, would be detrimental. Does an end block work as a big sound post, in its own way? I'm still trying to figure out the mortise design. If I had been cutting a slot with 90˚ walls, I could have used the old spruce. But I thought the neck was supposed to lock in on its own. The new spruce is not nice old, brown, aged, fine-grained as I would have liked. But the joint would have held tight as can be without glue. NOTE: I finally found a sketch ... my neck joint is a "dovetail" joint, which you'all knew, I'm sure. :-) But now I know what to call it.
  11. The peg holes I reamed to 1:30 taper. Sorry for the inaccurate topic line, but I guess you figured out what I was saying. The new pegs grip wonderfully. I'll let them seat for another month before trimming the ends further. A little more touchup to do as well. Thanks again for your guidance. I did not exactly follow directions (next time I will), but ended up the same place. My mortised end block, I had cut the slot wider as it got deeper to match the neck heel; the neck heel locks in like a keystone. And I did not want to undo this joint. But I reinforced the button, did this and that, and used the original bridge with a little modification. Ended up 11mm lower, at 29mm. Sunday a retired music teacher played this violin at a 4 hour gig and was thrilled as it opened up. He said it was a perfect setup, as good as his Sderci (I got lucky). Aside from 6-month old -discarded- Kaplan Vivo strings. The top seam is not perfect but I'm getting better. And mixing old old pigments and tints is getting easier, less guessing on the color (I've a big box of the old stuff from chemists shops). The quick wipe of varnish is becoming more practiced. Another violin just arrived (not pictured) with the neck loose. The edges of the mortise are cut at 90˚ angles and fit the neck's 90˚ heel. Are necks set horizontally into a mortise slot, like Ken posted? Or are some mortise joints cut so that the neck has to slide in from above? The way the Kloz neck was set, it will not pull out unless it rips the endblock off the back or shatters the endblock. I included images of the old endblock perched on the fiddle before I took the violin back apart to reset the neck angle 2˚ less. Hard to understand how the old build worked with such a shallow mortise. Are the ribs considered a substantial part of a mortise joint? Of course, everything may have fallen apart shortly after the repairs of 1886.
  12. Carving a mortise has always been a mystery to me; probably why I've never done a guitar neck reset. The mental block is gluing in an end block, reassembling the top or back, and then cutting the mortise wrong. I did run the numbers through an angle program; it looks like I wanted to use two less degrees with my existing overstand. I'm looking forward to making this job right; I'd start right now (probably work until midnight) but a friend wants to play it with the high bridge. I'll start on Sunday night. Are shims ever used inside of mortise joints to correct chiseling errors?
  13. Thanks, Duane. Indeed, I left one important part of the equation to chance (at least!). Plus my data was learned wrong. I had plenty of time to examine projected height at the bridge but instead was looking at the fingerboard height off the top. I got some feedback from a guy at a high-end shop as well. I'm going to replace the pegs and let a buddy play it over the weekend - he is interested in what the tone will be with such a high bridge. Measure-once, cut-twice, it seems to be to far. A great lesson. This violin sounds wonderful, is gorgeous and SO light. I'll definitely make the corrections. And possibly keep it. I'll cipher over the angle I used for another week - I *think* I went with 9˚ - Then I'll take it back apart. I had planned on removing the top to work but I see the benefit of removing the back instead.. Thanks again, everyone, for your feedback and encouragement.
  14. Thank you for straightening this out! The end of the fingerboard to the top is 24mm. But the bridge height is 40mm. I was using as a guide for the neck angle - don't laugh - an image of the correct angle. On the plus side, admittedly the worst of the violin players in the world, I find this violin easier to scrape along upon than others. it's a little wider and thicker than I normally see. As my first neck reset, I'm not going to sweat it. Two more worthy victims are en route from a shop closing in Maine. Both over 100 years old, one may be American. For now, I'll repeg the violin at 1:30 taper and replace the A-cheek if it slips. Maybe I'll take it all apart over the winter, maybe not. Because of the way I put the violin back together, it would be easier to remove the neck and block as one, and make a new block. If I do, I may separate the top center seam and redo that as well. I appreciate all of your observations, notes, and advice. Here are the Before and After pictures:
  15. One other question, and I hope someone sees it here ... The strings are on but I had to use the tallest bridge I had. At the most, it was lowered only a few millimeter. The new bridge is fully 10mm higher than the old bridge. Increasing overstand aside, was I supposed to compensate (add) for the height of a French belly? The belly of the top is 7mm-8mm higher above the ribs than another violin I have handy, an early 1900s German fiddle. Do French pattern violins typically have a lower fingerboard, not the 27mm edge to top as one tries to achieve on a German violin? Or do French violins typically have really high strings? If I had done nothing especial to the neck, straight reassembly, the fingerboard would barely have been 2.5mm above the top.