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About Shunyata

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  1. Thank you for the comments. My violins have a very fine texture to the varnish surface associated grain of the flames. I always assumed this was considered bad form. But i am hearing from you all that is simply the marker of "hand made". I am happy with that answer. I know the theory about slaked plaster, but I always find it lessens the flames so I avoid it.
  2. I find that tightly flamed maple results in a slightly pitted surface, even when you use sharp instruments. After finishing this results in a fine texture to the finish. How do people handle this issue? Or am I doing something wrong? Fillers, like plaster, are one approach but I hate the deadening of the flames that comes with it.
  3. Shunyata


    I use a scrap of rib wood with graduated markings on it as a feeler guage to exactly measure soundpost location: the north-south and east-west gaps between the sound post and the f hole notch. This way you can know where the post is and how much you are moving it. You can measure another violin to get a good starting point.
  4. Shunyata


    This is an awesome job for your first go!!! Be proud. Harsh tone may be the result of too much thickness in the plates. I didn't get this worked out until I started weighing plates to better learn what I was aiming for. Pushing the sound post a little east, close to the outside edge of the bridge foot will give a bit more body to the G and D strings, especially if the top is a little thick. Similarly you might want to go a mm south of the top is thicker. The bridge looks too tall in the photo. This can result in unpleasant ringiness in the sound. The G string should be about 5.5mm above the fingerboard end, and the E string about 3.5mm. (I have also seen 6mm and 4mm suggested, but the lower heights work fine if there is a little scoop in the fingerboard, and I prefer the lower action.)
  5. Ha! I think I agree with Mr. Saunders... have the original in front of you while you work.
  6. ...and here you can see the 1727 Mediceo stamps on the templates I purchased!
  7. I am self taught, so maybe my advice is no good. But... I place a pencil Mark at one end of the rib to show where it will fit in the block. Then i bend trying to get close to the final shape. Be careful to keep the bends at right angles to the rib so you don't wind up with a DNA spiral shape that doesn't sit flat. The working from the pencil Mark I use a little heat to carefully adjust the curvature to exactly fit the mold, working on just a few cm at a time. Be very careful not to overwork the piece. The pencil Mark gives you a reference point for placing the rib in the mold to check shape. I absolutely agree about going close to 1mm thickness, no more than 1.2mm. And agree that soaking the wood leads to flame splits. Let the wood dry out if the wood starts bending at the flames (stop immediately!) rather than bending in smooth continuous curve.
  8. The templates have a manufacturer sticker that says Strad Mediceo.
  9. Dictum Herdim. See below, although I ordered through a violin supplier, not Amazon.
  10. This is fantastic, thank you! Based upon what you are showing, I think I need to try and fix the throat a bit, although there is a limit to what I can do at this point. Also, patterns are dated 1727, not 1747. My mistake.
  11. I would also note that unless the photos were taken specifically for the purpose of reproduction, at pure right angles, the dimensions will easily be distorted by several mm. An oblique photo angle would create L-R asymmetry and a center that appeared disproportionately wide, which seems to be what you are describing!
  12. Thank you for your kind assistance. Knife worked well. Managed to add an extra 30 minutes of turn in. So perhaps I am in Western France now? :-) Thank you for the advice about the throat. I bought some Stradivarius Mediceo 1747 metal templates for the arching and neck - and the neck template has no throat as you have noted. I have wondered whether this was an artifact of the metal cutting process rather than "actual" to the 1747 instrument. On the other hand, the arching templates sound very nice and much better than flatter the arching I was using before.
  13. I am completely self taught without good professional examples to work from. So I have a question about the outer f luting on the scroll... How far under the scroll (where is joins the pegbox) does the fluting usually extend? Below is a scroll that I have roughed out (cherry, for a fiddle). The images show how far I can go with gouges but without buggering up the pegbox. Is this acceptable? If not, how do I do it?
  14. Does that make them true? I did say "at the risk of post hoc rationalization". We are all very good at making up reasons for aspects of violin making we do not understand - which seems to be quite a bit.