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About Shunyata

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  1. Welcome to the club. I did that on my 3rd violin. We all have!
  2. Someone has a nice Bosch miter saw! I would never use my miter saw (Bosch ) to cut small pieces this way. It is just asking to bind the blade or throw splinters across the room. I use a bandsaw to cut up a dozen set of blocks and throw them in a box. Bandsaw is much safer for this kind of work. But using a fence is a bad idea. Just use a block stop clamped to the front of your table to set the cut, and a miter to hold the piece square as you feed it through the blade. This way the piece is always free and there is nothing to bind the blade. Safe.
  3. Shunyata

    Old strings

    For metal core strings the play-in effect you describe is due to "strain hardening". At the metal stretches it gradually undergoes structural changes that alter its strength and behavior. I imagine that managing this process is the secret sauce of the string makers. I have no idea what happens with synthetic core strings.
  4. Try shaving with the other hand. Just as disconcerting! Anything that requires fine motor movement will have the same effect.
  5. Agree to start with something more straightfoward like the Kreissler. My first violin was white pine and maple from home depot, finished with Deft. And it sounds like it too. BUT KEEP THAT FIRST VIOLIN!!! It is a pleasant reminder of how far you have come and your spouse will think it looks amazing no matter what is wrong with it. (And the next two won't be much better as you work to get you technique down.) Finally give some thought to whether you have or will acquire a drill press or bandsaw. The techniques you use (will develop) with power tools are a bit different from the traditional, purely by hand approach. This forum is heavily dominated by traditional practitioners. I myself am happy to use power tools to do the grunt work, but never the fine work. Interestingly, as I have become more experienced, I find myself using power tools less and less. With good technique it is amazing what you can achieve by hand. My father, a lifelong fine cabinetmaker, is stunned at what I achieve by hand (much of which I learned from Davide Sara's videos and helpful guidance from Michael Darnton).
  6. In the wood, not on!!! Amen! Best method is to apply and fully wipe off excess with cloth. When dried, skiff sand with 400 grit or finer to improve adhesion. Depending upon what you are using for a ground, you can wind up with an easily chipped finish if you allow buildup.
  7. I'm not going to work that hard, then deliberately make it imperfect at the last step... period. And good finishing is just as much work as good carving, show it proudly. If someone wants to deliberately ding up their violin after I give it to them that is their business. But they wont get another one from me! (I generally give them for free to talented young players without the financial means for a nice instrument.)
  8. ...and this is what Mr. Noon tried to tell me all along, but I wouldn't take his word for it.
  9. I started with certain faith that plate frequencies had to tell you something useful and waived aside every suggestion the the contrary. I have renounced that faith. I just built two violins with wildly differently pitched plates. Both sound very good with no difference in tone that I would attribute to plate tuning. In fact the one that is most "wrong" from a tuning standpoint sounds best. What DOES consistently make a difference is plate weight and careful, barrel shaped arching. The better sounding violin has these two characteristics more right. Plate tuning may have some meaning after you get everything else right, but I am a long way from that!
  10. I have noticed myself that the A string is the least tuning-stable. So the A string gets a lot more tuning and stress. But i have never broken any string, except when I sometimes have a brain freeze and crank the E peg, thinking i am holding the A peg. :-)
  11. I am not a glue expert, but my father who is a period, fine furniture maker has spent a lot of time looking into glue joints. His advice has always been: 1. Clamp tightly to maximize contact. Voids weaken the joint. 2. If there is no squeeze-out when clamping, you run the risk of a dry joint. If you need to go lighter on the glue for aesthetic reasons, size the joint surface first. (How you size depends upon the glue being used.) 3. Always size end grain surfaces. I am no expert, but I can't see any way a neck joint could fail if it was glued properly. That is a very robust joint architecture.
  12. Thank you Davide. You are very helpful as always! I will probably stick close to my current approach. I like about a 3mm overhang, so thicker plates look better.
  13. I see a variety of thicknesses noted for plate edges, and sometimes different for belly and back. My purchased violins have a range of thicknesses. What thicknesses do people use; what is good practice; are there reasons to deviate? What is your opinion of my builds (tend to be on the thicker side): 4mm in lobes. 4.5mm at points. 4.25mm in C bouts Same for belly and back.
  14. I use two 30W LED UV floodlights - designed for party/dance floor use. No idea what the spectrum is, but they work great. Varnish is hard to the touch after 3 hours, and definitely ready for next coat after 24 hours. Got the pair on Amazon for $60 and put them in an old kitchen cabinet lined with foil. With vertical venting, the cabinet stays under 85 F temperature.