Greg Sigworth

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About Greg Sigworth

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  1. On a lighter note. That means not so serious for those who may not understand the idiom. My favorite sport coat which my wife says I am wearing to death is my favorite because one day I looked inside the collar and found the tag saying "Made in Russia"! I have no idea how it found its way into my house. But I love the idea that it was made in Russia. Thank you Russia for my favorite sport coat. I will try not to wear it out. Also, I am thankful that some of the greatest music for violins comes from Russia. I am a bit behind on my current events, being 72. I remember three young men, Peter, Nicoli and Alex from Eastern Europe eating in my home and telling me of what they experienced as young men. I do not have first hand information of the conditions today in Russia. I sense that they are a great people with great potential and history. We here in America are all or immigrant roots, except for the original nations as the Canadians say. If you are not an American, we come from you. Thank you for sharing your lives and love of violin making to me. I have been infected with this craft and can not put it down.
  2. Interesting topic. We are fortunate that in the West we can follow our dreams and make violins if we want. I am not a professional but I have incredible access to information and wisdom from those who have mastered the skill, but in Russia? Russia is still communist and allows free enterprise as long as it furthers the Russian game plan. On another note. From the violins coming from China it seems that much of their wood, especially the maple, is coming from Russia. There could very well be a great quantity of violin wood in Russia which is being accessed by the Chinese.
  3. Very interesting topic. If I may ask another question dealing with pegs. On occasion the violin supply houses will sell pegs, usually french or swiss style very cheap; around $1.75 each. I have brought them and they look OK. My question is: does the cost and quality of the pegs make a difference in shaving the pegs and having a peg with a very good, tight shaft that will work smoothly in the peg box when assembled. Is it worth paying extra money for the pegs so they work better, smother and last longer. This will help me when I make more violins to know if I should buy better pegs. Thank you.
  4. Nice work. A couple years ago a repair shop south from here told me of the opportunity he had. A school system had a school bus load of Basses to fix that he worked on. The gluing of the top back on the bass with hot hide glue is not going to be easy. You have about 1 1/2 minutes before the glue jells and the joint will not be good. I have never glued something this big. Unless someone with experience tells you how to do it, I would clamp the whole top on dry with correct positioning of ribs and top edge. Doing this dry will allow you to make adjustments. Then unclamp about 6" at a time and work your way around. You can use small wedges to separate to get the glue in. Use a artists pallet knife to apply the glue. You might want to glue the ends and corners first and then the bouts between next. A hair dryer can be used to heat the sections before you glue them which will increase the work time a little. Also the hair dryer can be used to heat the joint just after it is clamped which will help it to come together if there was separation. This will be interesting. I always get quite nervous when I glue. Use hot hide glue; other glues will disappoint and cause problems down the road.
  5. Are not overtones the harmonics that are produced from a fundamental note? We talk about the pure sound of a Strad but most of us have never had the first hand experience. It seems that the harsh metalic and sometimes "loud" sound is produced in the 2,000-3,500 Hz range where the human ear is very good at hearing sound. Also, it appears that some of the harmonics for each note are not pleasing to the ear and produce a disonant sound with the rest of the harmonics. It is like playing a cord with a bad note included. The overall energy output from the violin is not that great, and yet it can be heard above the entire orchestra. Why? Because the energy produced by the harmonics in the upper range is stronger and can be heard above the entire orchestra. The human ear fills in the fundemental note if needed as is seen by the G string note which actually has a weak level when compared to the second harmonic. I have wondered if it would be better to understand why cheap violins sound so bad and then eliminate the cause of the bad sound. All of this is part of the process of understanding what makes a good violin.
  6. This might be the beginning of a long career in instrument work. When you get the instrument ready to assemble, while the thing is still open, it might be a good time to put some kind of a light sealer on the inside. Possibly vernice bianca , a coating of propolis, or something similar. It isn't every day you get to work on the inside of one of these. Just a thought.
  7. It looks like the plywood delaminated and with the bass bar comeing loose. Is the top sunk in because the bass bar support was removed when the plywood delaminated? How bad is the sinking? If the bass bar is clamped in place does the shape of the top return to original acceptable shape? Possibly do a dry run and clamp the bass bar in place. Inspect the shape of the top with bass bar clamped. If this looks promising possibly then glue the bass bar in place with hot hide glue with same clamping on bass bar. Reassemple the bass. While apart re-glue any other loose top laminate layers and anything else loose on the inside.
  8. I am not greatly experienced on refinishing instruments. There are a couple or shops in the area and they have refinished instruments which the finish has been removed. Something that should not be done unless a very good reason. They often apply first a layer of Liquin (artist sealer) with a rag or even fingers. Then (after a possible second coat of Liquin) a glaze layer of artist oil paint is applied to give color. Then a final coat of possible french polish with shellac. The end result is very nice. This is simple and is very forgiving. The glaze coat is thinly applied and if not liked can be wiped off with a clean rag and use another color. Make sure everything dries before the next step. Also, the Liquin apears to penetrate the wood enough to bring out the flame and grain of the wood. I would ask others to comment on this approach. I have never personally used this, but if I was refinishing a cello which had the varnish removed I would use it. I remember seeing a cello in the shop to which Liquin had been used as a ground and was waiting for the glaze coat; it had a nice look to it.
  9. I found a path in the woods which had tons of horse tail plants. I cut quite a lot and use is some. Split the plant and open the pieces and put them side by side on a surface with some tack or stickiness to it. Furniture round pads have such a surface. The violin makers of the 1700's did not have sand paper. It was not yet invented. They may have used horse tail rush. Kind of like very small bamboo with a rough surface. Once you see the plant this will make sense. Some times the grain direction changes on the top violin plate and the scraper has to move in another direction. This happens a lot in the cove areas of the upper and lower part of the plates. When you run into a problem change directions, sometimes 180 degrees. Sometimes come at it at an angle.
  10. Triangle Strings at has a good discussion (Carving A Violin Bridge) on finding the center of the violin top for the purpose of putting on a new bridge to an existing violin. This process could be used to find the center of the violin in question and then extend it to the lower end of the violin to see where the center should be for the end pin. On a new violin this should hopefully coincide with the top plate seam down the middle and to the rib joining where the end pin is.
  11. How do you know the end pin is off center? Where the two lower bout ribs come together may not be the correct center of the violin. Check to see if the F holes, fingerboard and bridge are centered properly and then extend this center to the end of the violin to see if the end pin is centered where it now is. You may have already done all this. The ribs joint could have been off center from the beginning.
  12. Here is a picture of the saffron SOLUTION IN Water and solution applied to two pieces of wood; one is a scrap of spruce and the other is a 0.6mm piece of craft plywood. I am wondering about using this as a ground wash to give the wood a base yellow color. I have it is the window sill to test for light fastness. Comments welcome.
  13. My wife bought some saffron at the store the other day and I am always trying new substances to produce a stain/dye for violin wood. A very small amount in water produces a very nice yellow color which when put on a sample of spruce did not make a blotchy pattern and was a nice yellow, similar to Indian yellow. I am testing it for light fastness and so far it seems to not fade too much from exposure to direct sun light. Anyone have experience with this? I will try to put a picture here if I can. I was unable to show photo. I could use some help with that. The saffron on water is a yellow/orange color and on spruce is a nice yellow.
  14. Thanks for the picture and information: I wasn't sure if this was your first violin that you have made. Having a good player say that they like the violin sound makes it all worth it. I am now on number six and seven and can't wait to see how they sound. What kind of wood did you use for the fingerboard and neck/scroll?
  15. I am not sure of the meaning of the original post. Is the violin exceptionally good sounding on the B4 note played on the A string, or is this note a problem note such as a wolf note might be? How does the rest of the instrument sound? I thought the meaning was that this note was very good sounding and stood out, possibly then being the same pitch as a major body mode of vibration such as the B1-(minus) body mode.And also, is the same pitch B note played on the D string different, or does it still have the same quality. The pitch of B4 is around 494hz and the violin responds to this frequency. Mr. herrjunk I meant no disrespect with my post above and thank you for the information. Anything I know about a violin is because someone was willing to tell me and share information. How does the violin sound on the other strings, and how does this note sound on the D string played in a higher position? If I understood your post correctly it would make sense that the rest of the instrument would also have a good sound.