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  1. As a former environmental controls engineer for a museum, you aim for two things: A reasonable level around whatever has been "normal" over the life of the artifact. Tight control over the range of fluctuation and rate of fluctuation around "normal". Rate of fluctuation is extremely important.
  2. I don't like like fir for blocks, the growth rings can be too hard to work with easily. Home Depot poplar works very nicely, although cutting mortices for linings is a little more work with the harder wood.
  3. Mike, when I first started I went through the same reasoning process as you. (Whatever you do, don't confess on this forum that you are an engineer and want to apply engineering principles to violin construction.) Where I wound up is this: Ask as many questions as you can about technique. Better technique produces better instruments. Follow standard measurement ranges, including all of the micro details. It helps to have a professional instrument in front of you. You will make mistakes and learn which measurements matter most. Make a dozen or so instruments, taking measurements and qualitative notes, and play each of them for a couple of months each. Every piece of wood acts differently. Learn how you want it to act, and how to make it act appropriately (see above, which measurements matter most). Watch Davide Sora's videos!
  4. From other threads I have gathered that many makers cut the f holes before completing the graduations. This naturally leads to a little more thickness around the holes just as you suggest. I cut my f holes after graduation... but I am an amateur so what do I know?
  5. Thanks Don. I will move on and let you know how it turns out!
  6. To all responders... this entire discussion and encouragement has been very helpful. (...except for the unkind suggestion that I throw my work in the fire) Without your enthusiastic support i would not have persevered at getting this plate to such a better place!
  7. Don, you were right about the frequencies. I spent more time figuring out how to get use the phone app effectively. Weight is currently 70g. M1 116 M2 248 M5 419 (I think... the amplitude is low so I need to play around with the integration settings to get a clearer read.) 2.1mm in upper lung, 2.3 near edge. 2.2 in lower lung, 2.4 near edge 2.3 in center, 2.5 at post, walls 2.9.
  8. ADDITIONAL DATA: Standard template for Strad Mediceo. F holes are not cut yet. Using a phone spectrometer app... M1 95hz M2 130hz M5 275hz
  9. UPDATE: I have continued to work away at the plate. Current weight is 73g and I feel afraid to go any further. Advice is appreciated. Upper lung is 2.2mm in the center and 2.4mm closer (about 1+ cm) to the edge. Lower lung is 2.4mm on G side, 2.3mm on E side, and 2.5mm closer to the edge. Center is 2.4mm, 2.7mm under sound post, and 2.9mm at edge.
  10. I can regulate the speed of my car by "feel", by watching neighboring traffic, by speedometer, or through my GPS. I need at least one of these measurement systems. Each of these measurement systems has circumstances where it's accuracy falters. So you necessarily get somewhat inconsistent information from the systems. An experienced driver takes in all the measurements and makes an informed judgement. An inexperienced driver slavishly focuses on a single measurement system. Plate tuning is like watching neighboring traffic. Definitely helpful for regulating speed, but don't expect to accurately hit a target speed based on that input alone. But don't ignore it either.
  11. Andreas, where does your average thickness wind up? Do any areas drop below 2mm?
  12. Thank you for the advice, Don. It is wood that I ordered from International Violin, but they made a substitution due to stocking issues, so I am not sure exactly what I have. Thinning the C bout edges to 3mm and bringing the center 2.5mm to got me down 77g. I can probably shave another gram by going after a few thicker spots. I will follow with additional posts on my progress.
  13. So I am working on a plate that is coming in at 79g before f holes or bass bar. Given the measurements below, where would you thin? Upper lung is 2.2mm and 2.4mm near the edge (about 1cm in from edge) Bottom lung is 2.5mm, a little thinner on the E side. Center is 2.7mm, 3mm at post, 3.5mm near edge.
  14. I lnow that experienced makers dont really weigh their plates, but I am a newish amateur and appreciate redundant guardrails (provided they are meaningful). I have read that top plates are typically <70g and bottom plates <120g. Is this with the platforms running in a straight line all the way across, or with the platforms contoured around the end blocks? There is so much weight in the platforms that it seems difficult to achieve these weights without going very thin. Thank you in advance for your kind comments.
  15. I use squirrel hair brushes, but have never heard of sable. Seems like the fur would be similar. Any thoughts?
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