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Al Cramer

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Everything posted by Al Cramer

  1. Bridge must not slant. North side (side facing pegbox) should be perpendicular to body of instrument. Also that bridge looks absurdly thick. Maybe neck angle problems? May I suggest: for each of the 4 strings, measure distance between center of string and end of peg board. Then compare those measures to the standard numbers as posted on many internet sites. Best of luck!
  2. USSR in 1973 wasn't about making good violins. If that instrument has a pleasing sound, you should treasure it (but please fix the bridge and nut).
  3. I just wanted to thank everybody who responded to my question re sharpening (geigenbuaer, it was very kind of you to provide those links). Isn't it interesting how everybody has different ideas and practices?
  4. Hi Geigenbauer -- I'd like to learn more about the machine you're using. Could you provide a link? Thanks! Al
  5. Re this question of gouges: would anyone care to comment in their philosophy re sharpening? I come from a flute/pipes making background, where everything is lathe-oriented: you get used to stopping every 2-3 minutes and resharpen on a bench grinder, and rarely use whetstones. (Also you do things like use the edge of the bench grinding stone to turn normal gouges into incannel gouges). But I think the scroll carving world is very different!
  6. I just wanted to remind everybody that music is a healing thing. People are stressed out & anxious right now. If you can share your music with others, it can really help. Remember the celllist in Sarajevo? Of course you need to be smart, and not create situations where people cluster together to hear you. That balcony singing the Italians are doing looks pretty good.
  7. GeorgeH, I totally agree. If I owned a multi-thousand dollar instrument, I'd be terrified of tinkering with it. I'd be terrified to even play it! (Have played some instruments like that belonged to other people. They were quite nice, though in a few cases I thought the set-up seemed a bit dodgy).
  8. This idea that players should be able to carve bridges and set soundposts is interesting. I always thought it curious that people who play double reed instruments are expected to learn how to make their own reeds, but people who play violins aren't expected to fit their own bridges. (My own experience has been: it took me a long time to learn how to carve an ok bridge. It took me twice as long to learn how to reed my Scottish small-pipes, and I was never able to make an Uilllean pipe reed that played a full 2 octaves).
  9. Some news re Lombardy -- We live in New England, but my wife grew up in Milano and all her family's over there. Her sister reports that there are no shortages in the supermarkets, but the bookstores have sold out all copies of Manzoni's I promessi sposi . That's this big heavy 19th novel everybody used to have to read in high school, set in the plague years that killed off the Brescian school. Marisa says everybody is re-reading it.
  10. Delabo posted: That's kind of what I was wondering about in my post. Up until 20 years ago, if you wanted a fiddle, you'd go to whatever pawnshops/music stores/violin shops/maker's workshops you knew about and buy something (or trade your Fender tube amp for somebody else's violin, which is how I got into strings). Nowadays, if you don't have much money, you have to work thru the net. If you have some experience with violins you can maybe find something that looks promising and it can be a win, though it's always a gamble. But for setup -- especially soundposts -- I don't see how
  11. I'm bewildered by the complaint that the soundpost was down. I thought that a good setup used minimal soundpost pressure for un-slacked strings? So if you loosened the strings for shipment, the post would fall and the recipient would have to go to a luthier to reset the post (or buy some tools and do it herself?).
  12. I would like to apologize to everybody for complaining about morgana. It never crossed my mind that someone would choose to mimic trigram based stochastic sentence productions in posting here! Sorry again -- I've no right to complain about anybody. Having said that -- I really enjoyed the interchange between Senseis Swan, Noon, and Burgess re the crushing of wood fibers. It kinda relates back to my questions about the wood used to make soundposts.
  13. Could our moderator please do something about morgana? I love Maestronet because I've learned so much from it. I enjoy the quirkiness of the people who post here. It really bothers me to see these stupid bot postings.
  14. Many thanks for all the ideas! Would anyone care to say something about soundpost woods? (I've read wildly conflicting statements about this is previous threads)
  15. The Maggini looks an awful lot like the one I bought from Reverb for 325$ and spent lots of time setting up, replacing pegs, and reworking/shimming the fingerboard. I really love the result -- rich dark tone, a great fiddle for what I play (mostly Celtic and jazz). It really rocks in 5th position -- e on the d string makes the top e ring like a bell. I was surprised that Conor Russel wrote they're disliked in Ireland: here in New England the session and French players like them. Re fix-up: have you considered starting slow? You could just ignore the crack in the Maggini for now and work
  16. That looks like a really nice fiddle for 275$ ! Wonder how it sounds... I know absolutely nothing compared to the people who regularly post here, but did want to mention: you might want to consider replacing the pegs with "Perfection Planetary Pegs" (or the Wittner version thereof). You can do the work yourself: set of pegs is 75$, plus you might need a peg-reamer (around 30$, cost + shipping from Chinese suppliers on ebay). If you did that, you could get rid of all 4 of the fine tuners, plus relieve all the stress on the pegbox (I really love that beautiful repair). If this interest
  17. If I might ask a more general question about notchless f holes (which I have never seen before): am I right in thinking the notches play no role in the response of the instrument, and are just there to cue us players into where to position the bridge? Thanks!
  18. Could someone please comment on the wood? I'm really intrigued by the back, because the upper region looks flamed but the lower looks almost quilted. Also the wide grain of the table is very cool. People say this is Markneukirchen/Schönbach ca. 1900: I didn't realize that those makers used such interesting wood!
  19. Violadamore, thanks for for your explanation of fluted f-holes. I did some googling and think I now understand what you wrote. I read through a great 2010 thread in Maestronet where people like Don Noon were trying to figure out how much the fluting affects the sound. (Results were inconclusive). But at least I understand Martin Swan's observation Fluting means more hands-on-work, so factory instruments wouldn't have it but individually made axes might; so if you took a factory job and carved some fluting prior to revarnishing, people would think it more valuable. Have I got this ri
  20. Could someone please explain what "fluted ffs" (or "fluted fs") are? Am guessing it refers to the f-holes, but don't understand what "fluted" means. Thanks and sorry to ask a dumb question.
  21. Many thanks to everbody! Johnmasters saved me 32$. Maybe I'll risk 25$ on Harbor Freight's 6in long reach digital caliper. Since it's for the automotive crowd, it should be adequately sturdy (?) https://www.harborfreight.com/6-in-long-reach-digital-caliper-63714.html
  22. Rockler sells an interesting digital caliper for 32$. It's meant for people who are turning bowls on lathes, but I wondered if it could be used in violin making? The picture looks to me as if the distance between the end points and the base would be long enough to get to the center of a violin plate, but maybe I'm wrong about that. Here's the link. https://www.rockler.com/igaging-8-digital-outside-caliper
  23. Dave Slight -- many thanks for the clarification! I didn't understand your first post, but now I get it. I can definitely see how the tail piece slamming down (especially the fine tuner of the E) can cause serious damage.
  24. Thanks for your replies! I am really envious of people who have so much experience working with these amazing instruments. I am only beginning to understand how they work. You think you've learned something about bridges and soundpost placement, and then find you've done a setup that's impossible to play. Then you start to noodle with with nut heights and fingerboard scoop and struggle to relate that to what you know about bridges and soundposts, and realize that you basically know nothing...somethig very holistic is going on with setup! I am very grateful for Pegbox and the willin
  25. I'm a player who has become somewhat obsessed with carving bridges and noodling around with bridge & soundpost placement. Given my limited but evolving knowledge, I'm really bugged by warped bridges, because they make it hard for me to visualize the force vectors. But I'm curious: you always read that if a bridge is too warped, it can snap and damage the instrument. Is this really true? Has anyone actually seen that happen? Thanks!
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