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David Stiles

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Everything posted by David Stiles

  1. I recently bought some 'thermally modified' tonewood from a European supplier. I found the ribs a little difficult to bend. As it's only my third violin, I'm not entirely sure if it is the torrification that made it seem brittle or whether it's just the natural properties of the particular timber. Does anyone else experience this?
  2. Davide, thank you for sharing your recipe. Much appreciated. Can I assume the pumice is for pore filling? In that case, other substances such as colloidal silica could also be suitable.
  3. David, do you add turpentine to mastic? Ratio?
  4. I think it looks very cool. Better not show my wife, she will want me to make one! What is the timber?
  5. I have been thinking about Don's comment regarding strong CBR helping a weaker D string fundamental. The violin in question has CBR at 393; don't really know how to assess the 'strength' of it. I'm not really sure how CBR works however my 'C' bout width is on the high side at 112mm. This dimension gave me a nice aesthetic to my eye. Do we think narrowing my mould a little for the next build would be beneficial in this regard?
  6. Hi Davide, 'slovenly', great choice of words! I imagine that large sheets of self adhesive sandpaper would have been hard to come by in the time of Del Gesu also. I do like the radius dish method, it is repeatable and gives perfect contact on the gluing surface. I think I will continue with it. There is an excellent guitar making book by Gore & Gilet in Australia. It gives full instructions for making radius dishes starting with a traditional device known as a shipwright's compass to draw the radius. Curved guide rails are then made which rotate around a centre pivot such that router is drawn back and forward over the rails as they are slowly rotated. Having said this, I bought mine ready made by CNC router.
  7. Davide, your videos are wonderful. thanks. I contemplated some Del Gesu tapering data before making my last violin. I decided to sand the top of the garland in a 10m spherical radius dish which I use for guitar tops. This allowed me to achieve; lower block 30.5mm, lower corners 31mm, upper corners 30.5mm and upper block 29mm. These are nearly identical to the Kreisler numbers. Bass bar was shaped with the top held in the radius dish. The Violin looks really nice, particularly now it has settled with a small curve in the back.
  8. Here is an interesting research paper comparing different thermal modification processes. It is guitar based, using Sitka Spruce. There is not a lot of information regarding the tested processes; only temperature/time. Free download here: (PDF) Comparison of different techniques of thermal modification, regarding the improvement of acoustical properties of resonant soundboard material Scientific Report by order of Pacific Rim Tonewoods Inc (researchgate.net)
  9. Hi Don, thanks for the detailed explanation. Great to understand a bit more about bowed instruments. This is the opposite to what I am used to with guitars. With plucked instruments one does not want a body resonance to coincide with a scale note. It sucks the energy out of the note.
  10. Hi Uncle Duke, thanks for your suggestions. I implemented most of those and the D has improved and overall seems more balanced. It seems to need a bit more playing now.
  11. Thanks for reply. I think the issue is with the response to bowing. Sound to my ear is good but player feels that D string is unresponsive.
  12. I am hoping for some setup advice. This, my second violin has been finished for about three months now. My wife has played it regularly and used it for a recent series of orchestra rehearsals and concert. She is quite happy with it but feels that the D string is not as strong as the others & does not resonate as freely. I understand that it is not uncommon for the D to be the weakest. I would welcome any suggestions on what may improve this. David
  13. Hi, Just an update, I have finished my second violin. I ended up drawing my own outline; Del Gesu Inspired. I'm very happy with the sound so far but it's only been strung-up for a day. I am not happy with my varnishing though; need to work on that. Here are some pictures:
  14. Thanks everyone for your comments. I'll take them onboard. Fingerboard extension & string height are pretty much standard: 27mm, 5.5mm/3.5mm. I'll tweak the sound post some more. I remember reading somewhere that a slightly longer sound post is often required after settling in.
  15. Hi George, I have Pirastro Tonica's on it at the moment. We usually prefer Dominants but they were out of stock. I thought we would assess it and decide what's best after settling in.
  16. Hi Everyone, hoping for some advice on my setup. My violin plays really well with a very good tone. It is loud, bright with nice complex tone but a little bit harsh perhaps. D & G strings are a tiny bit weaker than the E & A. It is difficult to play softly. Sound post is fitted about 3mm behind the bridge and about 0.5mm inside the treble foot. It is a fairly loose fit, easily knocked over when strings are loose. Any suggestions for an improvement? Thanks David
  17. Thanks, I don't think I really want to do a copy of a particular instrument as such. Just the general vibe. I am considering starting with the Kreisler forma by Addie here: Stradivari Forma By Addie - Peter Grankulla - Soloist Violins (thestradsound.com) I think I would redraw it to be symmetric and use basic dimensions from Lord Wilton to inform the process. I suppose some asymmetry would creep into the build anyway. Does that sound like a reasonable plan?
  18. Here are some pics although I am not altogether happy with varnishing job. It gave me more grief than anything else. As far as sound, it is way better than anything I expected and my wife, Carol who is the violinist is keen to play it in orchestra next year. Compared to our old Strad copy by 'Anton Wolf' that belonged to my grandfather and father it is louder and possibly a little brighter. I can't hear it but carol feels the D & G strings are not quite up to speed. Its only been strung up for 3 weeks. I put on Pirastro Tonica's while setting it up. Will be looking at alternative strings when it's settled in. Hopefully our lockdown will not be long enough to build another one but I am looking for a good drawing of a Guarneri. Thanks Again
  19. David Stiles


    Hi Everyone, I am from the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Australia and just finished making my first violin. I am very happy with the result as is my wife who is the violinist in the family. I followed the method from makingtheviolin.com with some input from The Art of Violin Making. Makingtheviolin.com is excellent and it's amazing that it is a free resource. I have to say, I gleaned a lot of information from this forum that made the process so much easier. I do really want to thank everyone for the wealth of generous advice & wisdom that is available here. David
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