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Everything posted by Woodman

  1. Absolutely, Robb. Any and all comments about Glier's violins, as well as any comments about anyone else doing the same thing at about the same time. Import numbers and original pricing would be interesting. "it seems to me unlikely that it is a linear-sequential system." Unlikely, but how many trade instruments could the shop move in the 1890s? The Depression 0f 1873 was over, and immigration was picking up.
  2. Greetings, all. I'm looking for some general info on a Robert C. Glier violin. Sorry, I've only images of the scroll an the label, but it appears to be a hard-played violin, perhaps a trade offering? Whatever snippets of info you can offer will be appreciated. Besides the manufacturer's name and city, the only info on the label is: No: 1793 and the date 1893 Besides a few valuations, this is all I have thus far: Robert C. Glier I - Violin maker - (1855 – 1924) Markneukirchen maker who emigrated to the USA 1885. Worked for Wurlitzer before establishing his own shop in Cincinnati.
  3. Well, the joke was supposed to be rolling the peg another 180˚. I've had apprentices turn something over and cut/drill/whatever, when I told them to "Wait, its upside down, turn it over" :-)
  4. The dollar pegs didn't help matters. The wood compresses and throws the string hole clear into the sidewall in no time. Speaking of non-professionals, there is a top and bottom of the peg, right? For drilling purposes?
  5. Thank you! My issue was the drill speed. Still not perfectly square, but I will make something to overcome that. I asked a similar question before and saw the drill jig. I may try a bevel on my work table first, recessed for the peg head. The 4mm is helpful. I tried being more aware of what is going to happen to both the string and what will happen to the peg over time. I'm getting a nice winding this time. Used old strings to test and set up my nut and bridge. Amazing tone, considering the top was in three pieces a few months ago. Just finished, will string it up one more time tomorrow before unwrapping the new Pirastro Wondertone Golds. Came up with a new way to protect the pegbox while buffing up the nut. Index card folded over the pegbox, punch in a hole at the G & E, and stick its peg partway in. Perfect. One of these days, maybe a bench sander will replace my laborious method. Also a new small sanding block. 1/16" cork glued on one side.
  6. Does slow drill bit speed result in a messy hole, especially coming out the other side, or would that more likely be drill bit quality? I've noticed my Skil power screwdriver is likely the problem, and read I want 3,000 RPMs for hardwood.
  7. So conceivably my 95¢ pegs began shrinking as soon as the lacquer was shaved off. I've noticed a far tighter grain in the latest $2 pegs. The issue has vexed me, causing embarrassment when a friend's daughter's violin had a string issue a few months after I repegged it. Guess I was looking for the magical rule of thumb on hole placement, to account for peg movement towards the taper. Not enough room for that, though, unless the string is permitted to wind upon itself, which I was told one never ever does on violins. I'll work at compressing the holes better. And leaving a couple of mm. The current project has the pegs in tight, and I rework them periodically. No lube here (only wool lube) but plenty of chalk. My power screwdriver is 220 RPM, which might be good for working the hole. It is not great for drilling the peg; I have to go up to 1500-3000 rpm for a cleaner hole (or is it my drill bit?) Love the jig for drilling a square hole. Maybe I can plane an angle along one edge of my work board to make the hole more square. I'll begin deburring my holes. Great touch which will be noticed. I've heard of gluing a top in sections on larger instruments (cellos) but so far I've done them in one application. Time to slow it down and work in sections. I may even open up six inches around the lower bout of the current project. No time like the present, right? Good to know the top shrinks. I've had backs off a few times and do not care for cutting a button free! Guess I was picturing a guitar rib mold type set-up. I'll work in sections from here on out when necessary. The varnish is working out. I put the pigment in the mortar first, then got it well-suspended (dissolved) in Bektol. It is brushing on without leaving granular bumps. So maybe last week's batch was faulty (no pestle). I'll begin making my pigments more fine and dissolving them in a little alcohol, then test-brush onto paper before adding to varnish. I looked at $50 brushes today. And decided to stick with my $16 brush. I've found that with a little more of an aggressive stroke, it is leaving zero brush marks. Next time, a wooden handle. Its grey plastic handle does not like denatured alcohol.
  8. Over the past few years I've been acquiring and rebuilding older violins for hobby and request. 1880 - 1930 is the general age of my subjects. Here I present three topics with six questions rattling still around .... and greatly appreciate your insight. Some of my ancient pigment is not dissolving in my varnish. It presents granular upon the varnished surface. Today I made a fresh batch and first tried to dissolve pigment in Bektol, which was then added to varnish. The new batch worked better and the color is getting where I want it but some of my pigments may be of issue. 1] Are pigments dissolved or suspended? 2] Was the issue likely my pigment or my procedure? Sometimes string holes I drill in pegs end up in the wrong place after the peg seats itself. A peg in a newly-dressed hole can seem plenty tight. I'll work it around, chalked, for a few days / weeks before drilling the holes, but within a couple of months the string is not where I want it. Any idea, besides experience, what I am missing? Maybe use one set of pegs to condition newly-dressed peg holes, and then fit new pegs? Do you ever have to compress the ribs on the violin before gluing the top down. Recently a corkscrewed body wanted creative application from the sides. And last week I pushed in a lower bout as I was setting a spool clamp. Is this common? Does one sometimes remove the ribs to a form, and glue the top afresh, then reset the back?
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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:
  12. Wow, great eye. I thought the f-holes on my reproduction were looking suspiciously like a watch pocket!
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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 ...?
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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?
  21. 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.
  22. 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:
  23. 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.
  24. A dozen attempts seems like a lot? Au contraire, Butcher. The first was the first one I've ever done in my life and the spruce was as hard as nails with a twisted grain running the wrong way. Not even a proper work bench to brace my efforts. I'm surprised I did not end up in Emergency with a ¼" chisel through my palm. It got a little easier as I went on, but not much easier. By the 9th try, with the softer, straight-grain spruce, it was cutting like butter. Yes, I swapped pegs do see which holes were true and which were out of round. The E is damaged, probably someone using the wrong peg. I "fixed" the peg with scratch cloth, for now. I see no reason to bush at this time. I'll simply ream the existing holes to 1:30 taper and be done with it. I'm making a player for someone who plays every day. If they want a restoration later, they can still bush, drill, and ream to move the peg holes a tad. The scroll repair was evidently done in the 1886 restoration. The key piece is mortised to fit into a slot on the scroll like a keystone (I wanted to ask if that was standard). Under the piece of wood was a layer of paper of some sort. Parchment spacer? I experimented with making a new replacement out of maple but decided there will be sufficient "grab" to that A-peg as-is, so made a small repair to the scroll then re-glued the century-old patch back in place. It can always be done later but to sacrifice a fine later of dirt just to make the patch prettier? Non, mon Boucher ... The button was uneven from a previous repair. Although it looks loose and uneven, it is in fact flat and stable, on the same plane as the block. The shimming was to both increase overstand and to change the neck angle. Gluing the block to the neck, making it sit exactly as I wanted, and gluing one unified item to the back, seemed the easiest way for me to retain control in placement and alignment. It could have been a millimeter further out but alignment is perfect, pointing right back to the end pin. I did not glue the block into the ribs and back first in case the violin neck ended up with the wrong alignment, angle, or height. The neck heel had previously been sawn, the tenon cuts suffered over the years and were no longer true, and as a novice, I felt a conventional approach would have yielded an unplayable violin. Yes, the neck and fingerboard were both scraped clean of old glue. An astringent-smelling glue over a hundred years old ... I glued the fingerboard, removed it an hour later, scraped it clean again, and slept on it. This morning, glued it again, and it is much better. The ribs did take a little attentions here and there to make the top sit without flexing the top unduly. A few high spots, especially at one of the corner blocks, was addressed. I held up gluing the top by three extra days to allow repeated test fits and perimeter examinations. And even after all that, along with the cumulation of all the mistakes I've made over the past few years gluing tops onto violins, I still decided, upon removing the clamp, that I could not be satisfied with top placement (scooting it forward releases unintended consequences). So three hours into the glue process I reluctantly peeled a perfectly good adhesion joint apart and then spend over an hour removing the old glue residue. My round-about method addressed each difficulty in a manner to give me time to fully understand the nature of the obstacle. (I also had to trim the top's neck mortise 1.5mm and scoot it forward). Lots going on. This job had a number of firsts: Neck reset, mortised end block, address overstand and neck pitch issues. The fingerboard is gluing, the saddle is carved, the nut will be reused (with luck). Then stand the sound post, tone tap, and string her up with the existing pegs (which are usable). I try to leave nothing to chance and expect tone to be spectacular. Wish I had better strings - 6-month old D'Addario Kaplan Vivo at the moment. I'll have the violin reviewed by a teacher - so used to her 17th century $300,000 fiddle - and then played by a woman who runs an orchestral department. The second is quick with valuations as she buys so frequently.
  25. Thanks, all! Brad, there was a previous repair to the button. Back in '86 I surmise someone chewed through the neck heel and button. They made repairs to the button, and it is in fact whole. They tried shimming the button, possibly to change the yaw. Meyer, look at the E-peg. Looks "stubbby", doesn't it? That one hole is wonked out but the other three are smack on the 1:20 pitch taper. Several pegs were checked with my calipers as well. A 1:20 peg increases 1mm in diameter along 20mm of length ... PLUS I have one precious 1:20 peg left when I made several for a restoration job, to use as a comparison, and it acquitted itself in fine fashion. Nick, good eye. It is not only separated, it is not even glued. I had the wrong spruce at first and carved EIGHT blocks, slowly moving further from failure. Better spruce subsequently arrived, I carved three semi-failures, then the next morning, nailed it on the first try. The block is sitting there as I decide my glue procedure. The problem always came back to the neck sitting 'wrong'. I trued the base, glued a 2.5mm maple sheet to the base, then carved the base to a taper, narrowing towards the button. Lower the scroll and raise the overstand. Glued the new end block to the neck and matched its base to the flatness of the modified neck base. The ribs were loosened so I could swing the neck left/right, glued the neck/block assembly to the back, careful to align because everything was out of line. Next day or two, the ribs are reattached to the back and glued to the end block. I now have 6mm overstand and 24mm off the end of the fingerboard. If I had done nothing the fingerboard would nearly have been scraping the top of the violin. Because the neck block base angles inward, part of the button was sacrificed. I held the job up a good week, trying to make a mortised end block which would do everything I wanted, but the extra neck angle needed threw a spanner into my plans every time. Adding the compound mortise joint to retain 100% button might have worked but would have placed part of the unfinished neck heel outside of the ribs ... As Roseanne Roseannadanna would have said , . . . As my first carving experience, I found the new spruce to be soft but not very distinguished. Green? It lacked a crispness. Maybe end blocks should be carved from aged spruce blocks?
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