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Everything posted by Shunyata

  1. I have been a lifelong musician, without a trace of perfect pitch. I started playing violin as an adult about 5 years ago and have slowly developed partial perfect pitch, an ability to recognize certain notes. My feeling was clearly one of "learning". While trying to learn to play on pitch, I found that certain notes have a "texture" to them and I can use these to anchor my playing in difficult keys with few string resonances. The texture has nothing to do with the violin. I can hum these particular notes into a tuner and hit them closely. I had no idea of this prior to playing violin.
  2. Of course Kenny Baker, one of the all time greats, played on a Guaneri. So go figure...
  3. Sounds like you are working with a bluegrass fiddler. There is a characteristic sound that is prized in this milieu, that is not consistent with a classical instrument. Leaving the plates a little thicker at the edges with a slower change in thickness as you move toward the plate center will do the trick. This will give the instrument a bit more of a "high mountain" nasal tone and damps the responsiveness a bit. Also moving the sound post a little further away from the bridge can achieve a "lite" version of the same effect - but it is hard to control the balance among the strings this way. I learned this partly from my great grandfather and grandfather's fiddles, and partly by mistake on my first couple of violin builds.
  4. Marquise is a whole different class than GX. Spiccato, martelle and other bowings are effortless on Marquise, in line with a wood bow that costs 3x to 4x more.
  5. I would proportions in this are artistic, not Luthier specificstions.
  6. Amati, Guaneri, and Stradivari managed to make divine instruments without peizo sensors, and probably without a rigorous understanding of of mode patterns. I try to do the same - perhaps because I am a happy Luddite. I find that careful plate thicknessing and careful bass bar contouring consistently yields a rich tone and good responsiveness in all positions. I don't bother with tuning. Your time is better spent understanding sound post adjustment.
  7. Sounds like a cabinet rasp. Look at woodcraft.com
  8. I abandoned vices a long time ago. Built and English style work bench with bench dogs, crochet and plane stop. Never worked faster or easier!
  9. The responsiveness of the bows to martelle and spicatto strokes is completely DIFFERENT! Much more sophisticated bows...
  10. Thank you all for your comments. The wood seems to be of the dry and crispy variety, and it smells very nice. I cut 3in thick slabs through the center of the tree trunk, which was about 20in diameter. So I can go with single piece backs, or book matched two piece. The grain is very straight and not too interesting, so I was thinking of doing two piece backs, cut at an angle to the grain to get a chevron grain pattern. Does this seem a reasonable approach? It is wasteful, but the wood only cost a bit of fuel for my chainsaw.
  11. I am looking to make a fiddle out of my parents cherry tree - words is dried and ready to go. Any advice for thicknessing the back plate? I have only done maple before.
  12. Thank you for all the encouraging comments. I tack glued the plates onto the garland (still in the mold) on my most recent project today. Made it a breeze to trim the plates precisely and to cut the purfling groove. Great call! Thank you all!
  13. On my most recent violin I used an A tuning fork to identify the vibration node spot in my free top and bottom plates (where the tuning fork deadens), scraped to move the nodes where the sound lost will be located, and marked the spot for installation of the post. The difference in the responsiveness of this instrument was stunning, all the way up into the high position on the E string. Dose anyone else do this? Or was this just luck?
  14. New to violin making but familiar with fine cabinetry. The term "spirit varnish" is new to me, but from my reading it seems to be the same thing that I know as "shellac". Can anyone confirm? What "cut" do violin makers typically use for their shellac? What are some good choices for soluble pigments for a first try? Does anyone use insoluble pigments?
  15. I Use alipharltic resin glues for plate joining. Doesn't affect varnish and cert strong.
  16. Thank you all for your comments. I tried a purfling router (dremel attachment) and hated the result compared to doing it by hand. So I will stick with hand cutting. I think the advice to try it both ways, on and off, is good. I am just very afraid of ruining my hard work!
  17. I am a rank beginner wrapping up my second violin. I see books that say you.should purfle before the plates are attached to the ribs, and some say after. I notice some irregularities in my own work (shaping/positioning of the channel) that might be corrected by purfling after gluing. But I can't imagine how I would physically do the purfling after. What do others do, and how?
  18. Michael, if you are not using arching templates, then what do you Do? The waist arch in my templates seem ridiculously high. But short of ditching everything, I don't see what to do.
  19. I am working on my second violin - so I am a rank beginner. The arching templates I am using are purchased Dictum Herdim steel templates that were labeled "Stradavari". I notice that these templates are much more arched than any of the instruments I play. Are my eyes deceiving me, or is there a design feature I should be considering here?
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