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Derek Callaway

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  1. Will Rogers once said that good judgement comes from experience, and experience is usually the result of bad judgement. This may be a chance for me to pick up some experience. Here are photos as requested. They include the template I took from makingtheviolin.com (the svg file was directly used to cut out the template with a laser cutter) sitting over both halves of the garland. I did NOT start with a particular violin, e.g. Strad poster outline and work backward to get the garland shape. I see some deviations in the corners there. Other photos include measurement from upper corner to lower corner across the c bout. I hope this is the measurement that was requested. Finally, the outline of the garland, with an outline of the estimated plate using a washer to give a 2.6 mm spacing. Thanks to you all for your input.
  2. This is all very helpful. Thank you. My garland outline came from makingtheviolin.com, whose measurements are based on the Strad "Messiah." I see now that the curves on the blocks (see attached) are tighter than Davide's, and that makes the longer point understandable. I'll shorten the corners a little bit. I'm comfortable with the prospect of carefully feathering the end of the C bout if need be. Thanks again.
  3. How long should the corners of the garland be? I have the ribs and the linings glued in, and before bringing those down to the final heights I looked at the corners, and all of a sudden they looked a little long to me. To be clear, I’m talking about the distance between the red lines in the attached photo of my garland. I have not yet planed/sanded the ribs and linings to final height. I’ve tried to find written guidelines for what this should be like, but all I’ve been able to find are photographed examples. Based on the photos I’ve found (the attached ones without red or blue lines are PeST’s Opus 2 from this site and a screenshot from Davide Sora’s videos) it looks like the distance is about the same as the width of the lining. Maybe a tiny bit less? Does this sound right?
  4. Amazing. Nice job. Where did you get your f hole cutter?
  5. The top of my bench is 42 inches high, which is about four inches below my elbow. That’d be a disaster if I were making furniture, but I’m happy with it for the smaller-scale, fussy work like lutherie.
  6. HoGo—Adrian Minarovic—is one of the best parts of my (recent and very humble) start in making. He posts often at Mandolincafe.com, and his contributions are always helpful, down to earth, and polite. He had good advice when I wrote to him about my own mandolin making. What’s more, he drew F5 mandolin plans that are regarded as the gold standard in mandolin making. I love hand tools, and I am constantly baffled by the amazing work he produces with tools I wouldn’t bother to pick up at a yard sale. I think of him a little like I do Davide Sora: we’ll never meet, but he’s a teacher and an inspiration.
  7. It looks lovely. How is it functionally? Mr. Yacey, you say these work well; can you elaborate? How’s the steel? Is it comfortable in use?
  8. Veritas carver’s knife at Lee Valley
  9. Thanks. Although I’m far from an expert, I’ve made archtop mandolins whose sides/ribs are 1.5 mm in thickness. I also have lots of the current rib stock; 10+ pieces from the back and 10 from the neck. That’s not even counting the additional wood I haven’t resawed. If I can’t get a garland out of what I have then that’ll be a pretty clear sign that I should take up a different hobby.
  10. I am a hobby luthier making my first violin. I have a question about choice of wood for sides. I have a big leaf back and a big leaf neck, and I have cut and prepared sides from each. The wood from the neck has nice straight grain but relatively little figure and very prominent medullary rays. The sides cut from the back have irregular grain not at all parallel to the sides but more noticeable figure. The ribs are all finished with a card scraper. Any suggestions for which to choose? I prefer the straighter grained wood but would love others’ thoughts. In the photos below, the wider rib is from the back, and the rib in the lower part of the photo is from the neck. Thank you.
  11. Is there an ideal or customary way to lay out the pieces one uses for the ribs? Though not new to instrument making, I am starting my first violin, and I have prepared five 38 cm pieces of flamed maple, all from the same piece of wood. I have enough extra from that piece of wood that I could make plenty more pieces for sides if I needed to. I understand that it’s important to lay out the ribs so that the direction of the figure agrees around the garland, but as long as that is kept in mind, are there other considerations? It feels like the C bouts should mirror one another, and the two sides of the upper bouts should mirror one another. Same for the lower bouts. Is this typical, or should I be thinking about it differently? Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere. Thank you.
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