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About Shunyata

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  1. Directly under the bridge, where the maximum load is and the resulting strain most efficiently transmits vibration to the top and bottom lungs of the plate. I like the tone production from that arrangement.
  2. I just received these chisels from Southwest Strings. Very nice shapes for violin making! But there is a very small (maybe 3/16 inch) inside bevel gouge. What is this used for? That chisel was also very poorly ground. Not looking forward to straightening that out!
  3. Personally, i really dislike Peter Infeld. They are very mushy to play on. Evah Gold are the same price, play better and last longer. I get 200 hours out of them.
  4. I have a Rikon floor stand drill press. Quality engineering and does everything I need. The built in LED project lighting is a nice perquisite!
  5. I have only done this a cuople times and i am not a professional. I have found that A cake icing spatula is perfect for the job. Very thin, rounded edges, and good stiffness. Go to a high end kitchen supply store so that you can evaluate the metal quality firsthand. Some of them lack the stiffness you want.
  6. I don't use frequency analyzer tools, just my ear. A clean tap tone is a pure tone without too much "texture" to the sound.
  7. My most responsive instruments have consistently had clean tap tones, although with considerable variation in pitch.
  8. We are firmly in philosophical musings territory now. So let's focus on what we actually know. We know what reasonable graduations look like, but also know that they are not determinant and tweaking is needed. We know twisting and bending flexibility is important but we don't have a good way to measure this. We aim for a stretchy feeling that we learn by experience. We further tweak and try not to distort the graduations too much. Tapping the plate tells us a lot about the mechanical condition of the plate - overall density stiffness in key areas especially. Working with tap tones allows us to recreate these mechanical conditions, but we don't clearly know how they matter. Observation suggest that they do matter, but they are not determinant by themselves. Tap pitches have no direct meaning to the finished product. Gluing the plate changes all the vibration modes and pitches. They are only useful as diagnostic tests for the other good work that has already gone into the plate, and provide information where more tweaking might be helpful.
  9. Yes, M2 and M5. Thank ypu for correcting that! I dont believe the modes tell us anything about the assembled instrument behavior. But they tell us a lot about the structure, flexibility and density of the plate. I think of them as a set of indications, not a prescription. In the original post I stipulated that all else is in normal ranges and I would not hunt off the ranch simply to modify tap tones. My question was whether I should expect a higher frequency to damp more quickly. I suspected "yes" due to the material, if nothing else. But i wanted to make sure i wasnt looking at an indication of abnormality.
  10. WARNING: This thread covers material that some violin makers may find disturbing or objectionable. With that disclosure (which won't deter passionate beratement of my question), on we go. I have a just a few instruments and I avidly keep track of what i do and don't do each time. I try to relate this to the quality of sound I produce. I have noticed that when my thicknesses are reasonable, the plates have a "stretchy" flexibility, my tap tones are in the pitch neighborhood that other makers suggest, and the tap tones ring well (sustain) i wind up with a responsive behavior and powerful sound. (I am a violinist and critical of my work.) The latter - ringing tap tones - seems especially important when the other items are all in good order. My question is this. My mode 5 tone is around an octave higher than mode 1, and has far less ring. Is this a natural result of the higher pitch, or should I be dithering with my thickness in the c bouts to increase flexibility and support the ring in the mode 5 pattern.
  11. I wish I could take violin making lessons!
  12. Thank you for these comments. My taper length is probably about 1.5cm. From the comments it seems that I need to thin the taper a bit more than I have, but balance this with avoiding too abrupt of a change on thickness. I pay attention to both Mode 1 and Mode 5. Mode 5 isn't too affected by thickness near the top and bottom of the plates, but Mode 1 is very affected. I have only made a few violins, but I have observed that the better sounding instruments have clearer tap tones with sustain, and there is good harmonic relationships between them. So I am trying to learn to control them.
  13. Where the bottom block glues to the top plate, you form a scalloped "ledge" that tapers down to the under-3mm thickness in the bottom portion of the plate. How thick is the plate typically in this tapering region? Seems like I can't take too much off without dropping my Mode 1 pitch. Also, my graduation has a fairly high sculpted arch, which easily leads to the 5mm-6mm thickness if i leave it that thick. Thank you for your kind assistance!
  14. Yes, the splits seem insurmountably problematic. Would send it back.
  15. But I never heard of anything nearly so large as 2.5mm height difference between adjacent blocks!