Mad picker

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About Mad picker

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  1. I think it depends a bit. A fiddler could theoretically play the notes, but it seems classical music is more than the right notes (proper bow hold, proper violin, right attire, good musical interpretation, etc.). It all comes down to the purpose of playing. Classical music is meant to be played as a group, where there can't be any individualism (aside from maybe the soloist). Each member has to work precisely with everyone else, otherwise it sounds like a train wreck. Whereas trad/folk music is about improv, solos, and standing out in your proper time. They're both just different mentalities.
  2. Haven't done it in a long time, and not very good at it, but I like a good hammer and anvil
  3. Here's my lil bench (for when I'm not using the saw table)
  4. I tend to do both at the same time. If there a glue joint drying, I'll work on the other half. But I'm just an amature maker, so
  5. If you can't find mountain mahogany, Osage orange could work (it's not as hard, but readily available).
  6. That is very true
  7. I never claimed the overall weight of the instrument increased when string tension is added. Nor did I claim to have answers. I was merely trying to contribute to the discussion by asking some honest questions I had. As to what I think, I'm willing to guess that evenly distributing the pressure from the strings in the most efficient method possible will not make for a good musical instrument. Musical instruments (as a gross oversimplification) sound better the closer they come to collapsing. True, a violin arch may not be the most efficient or strongest method to support the string load. Same can be said about guitar x bracing or the thin head of a banjo. But, these designs are used because these are the best compromises found (thus far) between structural integrity and sound produced. If the only goal is to bear the string load the best way possible, then just put some strings on a steel block. I'm willing to bet it's not going to sound good, if at all, but it will not creep, deform, or move in any way when the strings are brought up to tension. Tl;dr- all good instruments are fragile. Building only for strength kills the sound, while building only for sound can cause the thing to collapse. Good makers can find that perfect median between great tone, and structural integrity. You asked for my thoughts, so that is what I think. If any maker whose made a good few completed instruments knows more, please refute anything wrong. I wanna learn more. There's much benefit to good, open discussion.
  8. BRB someone's knocking at my door
  9. Dang that's thin! Was it a really stiff piece of wood too? I'd probably never feel comfortable going that low.
  10. I was also wondering how this translated to bigger instruments like cellos and basses. Would a thin top be better or worse for the lower frequencies?
  11. I was wondering, on Strad violins (when they came fresh out of the shop), what fingerboard wood was used? I know ebony is traditional now, but doesn't ebony only grow in Africa? Would Italy have had a lumber trade at that point, or would all the wood be harvested locally? And if ebony wasn't used originally, how did it come to be traditional? Thanks! Edit:(The thread on original Strad necks is what really made me wonder).
  12. I haven't built a lot, but thought I'd offer what I've found. I have gotten a few cello tops from Alaska tonewood. They do Sitka spruce, and have rather good tight grain (from the 2 I've seen). They're really friendly and willing to help (and gave me an amazing deal on a a cello top that had accidentally got cut a bit wrong, but was still usable). For the back and sides, I've just gone to the hardware store (I've still got a lot to learn and can't really afford good wood all the time). They have maple, mahogany, oak, birch, and poplar (and rather decent boards if you are willing to paw through their pile. I found a deeply flamed maple board with Birdseye in it at the back of the pile). Anyway, that's what I've found for what it's worth
  13. I want to do it right (tight joint, no screws or bolts and all that jazz), but this will be my 3rd cello for family/close acquaintances (self taught and a lot of learning to do). I don't expect this to end up being some 300 year old museum piece. I'm just trying to put my mind at ease after one of my instruments (bass guitar) started imploding. Sorry for rambling!