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About Jluthier

  • Birthday 12/06/1953

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  • Gender
  • Location
    San Antonio
  • Interests
    Violin making, tone, varnish

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  1. Hey John: I have learned some things about equisetum by ruining it and in one case using it to my satisfaction. First, how I ruined it: One batch I saved in my garage until the Valentine's Day freeze in San Antonio Texas; which pretty much turned it into dust. My Lesson one: don't freeze it. After letting another batch dry out and turn brittle, I decided to rehydrate it by placing it in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel. After a week the entire bag was full of some sort of white fungus so I trashed it. My lesson two: rehydrate as described above, not my way. Now for a success: my first batch I flattened and glued to rubber backing (a car mat my dog had chewed up) as seen in the pic. This survived the freeze, doesn't seem to be bothered by being dried out, and I love what it does to the surface of wood; gently smooths and burnishes at the same time. I also use fine sandpaper on occasion but the equisetum is different. On the spruce top I get some texture by using the equisetum grain parallel to the grain lines. I don't know about the effect of plant age on the characteristics for our use. I a going to Michigan and will look for some late fall/early winter specimens.
  2. Absolutely; any variable can affect the outcome, which is why my results are limited. My 35 year old container recommends 1:1, so I used that for the test.
  3. Hello again, Matt: I decided your good suggestions for my scroll could be done by taking a bit more wood away, so I did that. At the same time, I was unhappy with my chamfer and modified that as well. I took only a few cell walls off of my F holes so far and will give them another look just before the UV box. Thanks again.
  4. Thanks, Jezzupe! Ken: I will, and I do :-) Andreas, thanks again. Matthew: good tips. I still have time to (carefully) fix the F holes, and I will pay better attention to the throat next time.
  5. Great advice, Andreas! This makes me wish I lived in Tokyo and could work with you. In lieu of that, I will get out pencil and paper and start sketching here in San Antonio.
  6. Thank you, and yes, I played it in the white already.
  7. Thanks to all of you for you numerous posts over the years. As an autodidact, I try to consult all of them along the way. Attached is a single pic of my violin. More pics and my own assessment of the problems are under Jay Higgs' bench. This one is headed for the tanning booth, but I will use your suggestions to better my next one. Regards, Jay Higgs
  8. I just submitted a new set of pics. They came across in random order. I did some tweaking in addition to finishing the button. Thanks in advance for your suggestions for my next violin. This one is bound for the tanning booth now.
  9. For me, the smaller the hand grip on a tool, the more it hurts my hands. So, even though cutting a purfling groove is very find work, I like a knife with small sharp blade but a larger handle. I use the method described by Nathan above.
  10. Thanks, Ken, I will checkout Addie's post. This violin is from a left over mold I made years ago, probably from a drawing in Wake's book. I will take your tip and work on the pegbox cheeks a bit.
  11. Greetings all: One of the experts in the Pegbox forum suggested that I as a newbie should post pics of my work as I go along. This is my first violin after a hiatus of 25 years; I had made 7 violins long ago, most of them fractional size instruments as my children were growing up. So, I am learning again, now with the benefit of MN, of which I try to research old threads at every step. This posting is a little late in my work on a violin, as you will see. I am about at the point of carving the button. I will incorporate any suggestions you have, either on this violin or on my next one if it is too late for this one. The pics are from my cell phone, cropped and degraded so as to not use too much memory. For my own assessment: 1) I don't like the general outline; the c bouts are too rounded and the upper to lower ration feels off. So, I will be creating a new mold for the next one. Do you have suggestions for a mold pattern? 2. The front purfling is bad, especially at the points. I did better on the back, using Roger Hargrave's method of gluing them in. There are still tiny irregularities in the black lines; not sure how to avoid that; the purfling I used was commercial, wood, not fiber. I really tried to keep the walls smooth and perpendicular when cutting the channel. I wonder of I should glue-size the channel before final fitting. Any suggestions? 3. My alignment pin holes are a bit too large. I look forward to criticisms from the expert eyes of MN...thanks in advance! --Jay Higgs
  12. I'm sold, Don. I will do that on my next back. Thanks, --J
  13. Baroquecello: I read what I could, and you are correct that the online information does not go into any detail. It is intriguing that the plate dimensions of the Cremonese are somewhat irregular and unpredictable. I am confused about how the magnets are placed on the intact instrument; you need two to adhere, so is there one on the top and one on the bottom? I will probably never get to the Netherlands to witness the process. --J
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