Deo Lawson

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  1. MDF, huh? Don't talk too loud about it, or IKEA might catch wind of it and enter the instrument business I wonder how that stuff stands up to varnish. My intuition tells me it would just die upon exposure to any sort of liquid.
  2. I have a nasty combination of sweaty hands and acidic sweat. I have tried varnished gut several times and found that its useful playing life is actually *less* than plain gut because the varnish always wears unevenly. I did not like it at all. As for the varnish, I think it may actually be shellac... the varnished gut I got from Gamut really doesn't like alcohol anyway.
  3. The best fine tuner is no fine tuner. Gear pegs for life
  4. That's so cool! I want to play one. My gut reaction was sorta that it was another "improved bass bar" and an overcomplication, but I'd be happy to be surprised.
  5. I've never played an archtop, so I don't know, but I expect the sound to be a little more warm and full than flattops. I hear they also project better—no idea if that's true. There are some things I find questionable about typical archtop design... namely what look like very thick bridges, bracings, and tailpieces. When I build mine I will apply the mentality of a violin maker (the least extra weight as possible) and see what my results will be. Brighter sound? Anyways, as with everything, this is more of a novelty project for me. I need an acoustic since I gave mine away to a siblin
  6. I've got my sights set on building an archtop guitar, in the style of traditional bowed instruments (as far as varnish, wood choice, and emphasis on unamplified sound). I've been looking around online but information on archtop building is not as easy to find as for violins. Obviously there isn't a standard, either. Are the plates carved the same as a violin, with the thickness increasing gradually towards the center? Does the back still need to be thicker, given the lack of a soundpost to couple it to the top? Does anyone know what the average thickness of either plate is, or where I can
  7. I reckon the sound was smaller and more gentle. I think it makes sense that the focus of that time would have been on the quality of tone and not LOUD LOUD LOUD as it seems to be now. Music tended to happen in small salons and courts where volume was not a concern. That said, they would have sounded more alike than they did different. I mean, we still use Strads with the body mostly unmodified because his design is still compatible with our modern tonal ideals. Neck length, angle, string length, string material, tailpiece, bridge shape, bass bar... these are really just little knicknacks
  8. We need someone to make an atonal tailpiece now so we can compare. Perhaps then soloists could switch to an atonal tailpiece for contemporary music, and back to a tonal tailpiece for classical music!
  9. I just use an old leather belt. I imagine this was also the traditional choice. The heat transfer from the wood to the belt will be slower than to steel. Does that make a difference? I have no idea, but the belt seems to work for me (guess it has to do with how I was raised ).
  10. I guess we know he's not a fan of the equal-tension gut sound!
  11. Not too experienced, but I find a 1000 stone followed by stropping to be perfectly adequate. I think the properties of the tool itself are more important. Is it soft enough that sharpening doesn't take all day, but hard enough to retain an edge? Is the angle of the grind appropriate for the intended use? Et cetera.
  12. An ugly one? Not likely to find oil varnish on a factory instrument, but it doesn't really look like a traditional shellac finish to me either. The gloss just looks so cheap. Some modern stuff I guess. Shame, because the one piece back and the red colour are rather nice.
  13. If your friend goes through with the repair effort, please, for the love of God, tell him to use water-soluble glue. You know, in case someone has to take it apart again later...
  14. You can try laying on a "stain" using a very opaque colorant (ie clay). It will fill the flames and mute them a little, although possibly a little unevenly. Using an opaque varnish also would work. Otherwise you can try a matte finish... if you dare.
  15. Hey, do those work for applying the varnish, too? If you stuck a brush on there and the job could be done from mulling to finish in 5 minutes flat.