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Deo Lawson

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Everything posted by Deo Lawson

  1. Also considering adding "bee stings" to these corners...
  2. Back is almost done, inside and out! Some fine details and the corners left to smooth out, but maybe I'll leave it for the end. Arching is about 17-18 mm at the highest point. Thickness is ~3mm at most edges, coming up to 5mm and change. I was inspired by some viola makers who leave a lot of wood in the back for a stronger sound, but the weight is concerning -- 162 grams or so. To my understanding this is still a bit heavy, but I'm not sure if I should thin it out. Also yes, I used guitar herringbone purfling It's just for the sake of doing something a bit different.
  3. Time to hop to the corner store for some duct tape and superglue
  4. Honestly I don't know if I've ever looked at the makers forum, but if you think it belongs there you can move it. charliemaine Since I don't intend to sell this instrument the strange back wood doesn't bother me. Honestly I kind of like it, and if it sounds good it'll be a funny statement. I am mainly a player and student, not a maker.
  5. Hello everyone, So I'm embarking on yet another instrument making journey and I thought I'd do something a little different. The biggest thing holding back my work to date is definitely a lack of patience—or maybe an overeagerness to get my instruments ready to play. I thnk over the past couple years I've learned enough (a lot of it from this awesome forum) to make something really nice, if only I take my time. So I thought maybe I'll post photos of my progress on here to keep myself honest. Nothing motivates hard work like the feeling of being watched at all times! Anyway, my work may not be as scrumptious as that of the masters on here, but if you feel so inclined then you're welcome to leave comments, good and bad. Here's the back after a Sunday's carving: (warning: squeamish viewers should look away now) Your eyes do not deceive you... that is indeed a 7 piece back! I figure I've made so many ugly things out of beautiful wood, I'll make a beautiful instrument out of ugly wood for a change. If you're curious, this is a 15" 5 string loosely based on John Cooper's model and some violas by other modern makers.
  6. Thank you all! I will try cooking down. I am not interested in mastic because.. it is rather expensive and I would rather chew it As for the avoidance of oil on wood, I do it because I once visited a maker who applied oil varnish directly to his instruments with no sealer-just a very thick (undiluted) initial coat. His instruments sounded like they were stuffed with socks. What makes this experience more interesting is that his wife was also a maker, and she used almost identical techniques, but she sealed her instruments. Hers were quite nice violins. I think I would like something that can dry on its own as opposed to oil, which will be polymerizing inside the wood for years. What I'm looking for is stiffness as well as optical qualities.
  7. Hi all, In preparation for my next 5 string I'm settling on a new varnishing procedure. I've found that shellac and vernice bianca don't play nice with my amber varnish—the finish lacks that refractive sparkle when combined with either of those. I'm curious about ordinary rosin as a sealer. I've tried some dissolved in alcohol and found that it works well visually with my varnish. My concern is that it never really feels dry. Even after some time in a dehydrator my test strips are sticky and I worry that the rosin dries soft after it's been dissolved (crystal structure?). Do I need to wait longer, or should I cook down my rosin? Is it better when dissolved in turpentine? I'm not making a colophony varnish as I don't want any oil on the bare wood.
  8. I usually cut before and then push it in. Wet hair when I tie it off at the tip, but mostly dry by the time I get the wedge in. Do you fit the wedge while wet?
  9. Hey all, I've gotten pretty good at rehairing over the years. I don't have too much practise as I only work on my own bow, but it's come a long way for sure. That said, my weakest point is definitely the spread wedge. No matter how carefully I shape it, the hair always bunches up towards the middle after a bit of playing in. Not much, but enough to annoy me. What's the secret? Is there a secret? Glue? I don't like gluing my bows but I know some luthiers add glue to the bottom of the wedge. I tried a tiny amount of white glue the last time and didn't find it to be very helpful. I feel like there's some aspect of the wedge geometry that is critical to preventing this. Any pointers appreciated!
  10. Yum, maple fittings! I use an oil first, then burnish, and add a bit of shellac. To keep the sheen under control I rub the shellac down with the wool too, if it came out too glossy.
  11. I happen to have a table planer and have used it successfully to join plates. The edge usually needs to be cleaned up a bit... because I'm simple I use fine sandpaper wrapped tightly to a hard block. Buying one for this specific purpose seems a bit over the top.
  12. Some schmuck with a violin that's taken on prints will stumble on this thread, try that and be left with a white violin. Anyway, ditto on the lavender oil.
  13. The one time when poly is acceptable on a violin?
  14. Personally I found it very easy to manage the bridge curvature. The hardest part is learning that going all the way up with the right hand does not land me on the G string...
  15. Generally it's 2.2-2.4 in the cheeks. In the very edges it's thinner, and thicker towards the seam. At the very centre it goes up to 3.7 or 3.8 I think. I have made yet another bridge, looking at the one that was posted... With a much lower beam and more distance between the cutouts I've got the tone from piercing to just nasal. Still pretty mid-y but I'm optimistic that the bridge can still bring more sound out of this instrument. Maybe I'll post some photos later.
  16. The top is actually a little on the thin side, save for the very center. I'd like to explore the bridge and sp before tearing it up for any big changes
  17. Bit of a late reply but: It doesn't take water at all. I can't remember if it can be flamed... I don't think I tried that. You can burn the ends like normal though. It was so stretchy that flaming wasn't really needed.
  18. Hey everyone, To accomodate the extra string the bridge is a bit taller than a standard violin... actually I hope the neck drops some because I feel I overdid it a little. The body is also little bit wider overall. Anyway, I've already made a couple bridges but the results have not been satisfactory. I've been getting a very dry bass response with piercing midtones (1-2kHz). The E string especially gives the impression of an icepick in your eardrum. Surprisingly the C string sounds the best right now. Does anyone have experience with balancing 5 string tone?
  19. Generally polishing spirit varnishes has not been satisfactory to me. I think the way to go is to take down the bumps and dots with fine abrasive and then French polish.
  20. Drill the hole and cut the slot with a piercing saw, then clean up with a file. This just happens to be what I had on hand.
  21. I have used it. It was not hard to get a nice ribbon and works pretty much like normal hair. It was, however, exceedingly difficult to enjoy playing on it. It felt like trying to run on ice.
  22. Advertised for restoration? I'd advertise it for a community bbq.
  23. Ok, cool, I'll leave it alone. It's not that bad. I can dent it with my fingernail, and then the dent will vanish after a while. My guitar doesn't seem to mind but it does make me cautious about where I set the thing down
  24. I am more novice than you, but I used the vernice blanca recipe for a ground coat and I quite like it. It dries fairly hard and doesn't mix with the varnish, but everything sticks to it nicely.
  25. To the contrary, I have a feeling jt could be done. That said, this technology has been developed specifically with the human voice in mind. It would definitely have to be tweaked. And who would spend the time?
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