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Sam Howell

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  1. Hard to see inside. Don't think I can get a photo. Cleat grain is oriented parallel to the grain of the top plate, not across as I've always seen and always do myself. Ever seen this before? I see a certain logic to it--one generally wants to orient patch grain to the plate grain--but I've never seen this done with cleats. True. I can get about $2000 for it, I expect, with New York reset, a new bridge, and pegs. The work looks pretty neat--not amateurish, but weird. I just don't want to send something out that comes back for bad cleats.
  2. I've got an old "Stainer" dutzendarbeit violin with substantial belly cracking. It's all been nicely repaired--well-leveled joints with well-trimmed, evenly-spaced cleats. But the cleats are spaced at around 5mm and they're same-grained. The violin has been in regular (armature) use for 20 years with no issues. The customer wants me to do some minor setup and repair and consign it. If this came through your shop, would you consider it necessary to redo the cleats, or leave it as-is? Are the cleats likely to fail because they're not cross-grained in the usual way?
  3. Unfortunately, I'm measuring to the outer edge of the bar. On this fiddle, the ankles will be nearly beyond the bar! Probably true. It does seem to be a not-too-uncommon situation, though, and I'm hoping to learn what the best practice is for these narrowly-placed bars. Thanks for all of the feedback, guys.
  4. Is this something you've done much? I've done it a few times (and I do it on cellos all the time) but I'm pretty new to this and I haven't done any A-B testing on it. The cut is pretty different (in absolute terms) from 4/4-3/4 bridge. Do you compensate with more or less carving on eyes, wings, etc?
  5. Ok! That makes sense. Like, using a 1/2-sized bridge (35mm MENC) on a 4/4 violin is obviously not practical. And even if you could make one, wouldn't it "rock" too much if the feet were placed so closely together? (I'm imagining a theoretical bridge that simply tapered from a standard width at the top of the arch to a narrow stance.) So, for a 32mm edge-to-centerline bar placement the solution is: I've got lousy bar placement and there are no good solutions, but putting the post at 21mm from the CL is better than trying to center it. Do you guys get a lot of these? I seem to get several each year.
  6. So, I understand from Trianglestrings that soundpost placement (on cellos, at least) should be symmetrical with the bar, i.e., placed at the same distance to the centerline. This determines the bridge width which will vary considerably (in cellos) because of the wide variance in bar placement. I hope I am understanding this correctly @PASEWICZ So what about violins? I am working on a post/bridge for an old dutzendarbeit with the bar placed at 16mm from the CL. If I place the post symmetrically to the bar, a standard 42mm blank will overhang 5mm on each side. This seems problematic. So what do you guys do for post placement on instruments with narrowly-placed bars?
  7. I suspected that. I notice the unevenness of the corners. Is that indicative of "built-on-back" construction characteristic of mass import violins? Is there anything else that I can learn to look for?
  8. It says exactly that. Last 2 digits penciled-in. Sorry about the pics, guys. I don't know what the issue is. I guess the mods will get around to me at some point.
  9. This one has a Chanot label. Beautiful! Any chance it's real?
  10. Nice-looking violins from a customer. This one has a Valenzano label along with a couple of restoration stickers. The purfling is kinda crude, but it does have a legit neckgraft. Any chance this is real? This one just has the obligatory Strad label. Very rough work on the inside. Doesn't look like a Markie, though (to me). thanks, -SAM
  11. Anybody know about this one? Typical Markie stuff, or a particular maker?
  12. Here I was thinking it was just unfamiliar nomenclature! I'm pretty new to this; a lot of the nomenclature is new to me.
  13. Wait a minute. I'm talking about the chamfer along the edge of the FB, not the romberg flat on the face. It definitely feels nice on the student cellos I've done so far, but it's not clear to me that these instruments aren't simply fat-necked and benefitting from the stock removal. Does @PASEWICZ have insight on the terminology?
  14. Sam Howell


    Hi Guys, Do we prefer to cut an alaise into cello and bass necks, or is that strictly a violin thing?
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