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spruce or pine

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  1. Again, Thank You Maestros! This has been very gratifying! This morning I decided to go with, "No harm, no foul," and left the "uni-bar" intact and closed the box. I figured I've fit a few bass bars already, but I've never heard an old violin with an intact carved-in-place skinny little bar. I'll learn more this way! Tomorrow I'll reset the neck. I'll post pictures when it's strung up, and let you know if it sounds or ! Cheers! Craig
  2. Thank you, Maestros! You're the best! Top plate is 2.5mm-3mm in the upper and lower, and thick down the middle at about 4.5-5mm. The "uni-bar" is a whopping 9 mm tall at its summit. Neck overstand is 8.5, and the neck is quite thin. Correcting the overstand and the angle of the neck joint should make it playable. There's no significant top deformity. I'm leaning toward leaving the "uni-bar" alone. "Don't fix what ain't broke." The center joint repair came together really well. This should be a pretty violin when reassembled.
  3. Dear Maestros, My number one question: should I remove and replace the "integrated bass bar" on an old, very useable violin? Here's the situation. I have made 15 violins, but done zero repairs. A man approached me to see if I could revive an old violin he bought for $66 on the internet. It is a beautiful instrument, in remarkably good shape, but the peg holes were huge and no longer aligned, and the back seam had opened at some time in the past and had been filled with a long splice of wood and some kind of filler. The seam was intact, and had been covered with a new coat of "finish" so I thought I would leave that alone... I agreed to do the pegs holes and "whatever else was necessary to get it playable," with the caveat that I might end up killing it with my inexperience. He agreed to give me cart blanche and $200 plus materials if I finished the job. "Not bad," I thought! So... I bushed the peg holes and touched up the peghead. Then realized the neck was set 4 mm too low, and the stop length was half a centimeter too short. I thought I might cant the fingerboard, but while attempting to remove it the neck popped out of the joint, all in one piece. So now I'm going to reset the neck at the proper angle, and have dressed and reglued the fingerboard. It was going to be such a nice violin when finished that last night I got thinking... "It would be a shame to do all this work and still have that ugly seam in the back..." This morning I took a deep breath and removed the back (can't learn how without trying!) and spent the day figuring out how to reglue the cleaned up seam (see photos) with what I had available. Now I'm looking at the top plate, and the bass bar that was carved out of it (see photos). It is short and skinny and appears to have split partly off when it was originally made and glued back in place. It also runs perfectly straight with the grain of the top. So, back to my number one question: the sound box is open -- should I remove the original integrated bass bar and put in a proper one, or leave it be. Is it likely to significantly improve the sound/projection? Replacing it is well within my skill-set, I just don't want to damage the authenticity of an antique if it doesn't make it better. The owner bought it because he needed a full size instrument for his kid who is getting bigger. He also likes the idea of rejuvenating an antique instrument so it can be played for another 100 years. Your thoughts, Maestros? Craig Danner Crispin/Hammer Violins
  4. Awesome answers, everyone! I am not sure how long these boards have been seasoned, and I've only had them a few weeks. It makes sense they may need a little more time. I'll date them and put them back up on the rack, at least until they stop smelling so nice... I've been reading The Pegbox for the last 8 months, and feel like I've gotten to know you all from years of posts. Here's my intro... My name is Craig Danner, and I live in Hood River, Oregon. I studied violin making in Maryland with Willis Gault in 1984, then changed gears when I figured out how hard it would be to earn a living as a luthier. I've been a Physician Assistant for 35 years now, but the pandemic convinced me to close my solo practice and go back to violin making. I'm "apprenticing" myself virtually with the amazing Davide Sora videos and a commitment to making 26 alphabetically named violins (first was "the Abomination" and I'm just finishing "Jakarta"). I wake up every morning anxious to get to the workshop. I hope to make this another career and spend the next 35 years making violins. Cheers! Craig
  5. Hi! I'm a relatively new violin maker, working on number 12. I am planing the top center joint, and the shavings have a reasonably strong pine scent. Can spruce smell of pine, or did my supplier send me an odd-ball? I've received 8 other wood sets from this company, a reputable independent tonewood supplier in the NW. It is sold as Sitka Spruce, but this top does seem a little different, a bit wider grain, and a small sap-pocket defect, but straight and has a fine ring. It is white/yellowish, as compared to the prior tops that were a bit browner than the European Spruce I've received from International Violin in the past. I will attach a photo... (sorry it's not scratch'n sniff)
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