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Dr. Mark

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About Dr. Mark

  • Birthday 02/15/1951

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  • Location
    Trenton NJ
  • Interests
    Violins making and culture. Physical science. Cycling. Dogs - I like dogs.

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  1. In retrospect this request is amusing. If you were some unknown in the violin world asking about buying or selling a violin you'd probably be told to go to Martin Swan, or another well-known and knowledgeable dealer. Further, you'd be better coming here to Maestronet where you're more likely to get that advice, than to Authornet or something like that where they know nothing about violins or the trade. Rare exceptions aside, do you think denizens of Maestronet know squat about publishing? Don't you think you should talk to an agent or publisher about risk and other concerns you may have? Or raise the question in a venue where the responders would have the pertinent knowledge to give you a meaningful and comprehensive answer? I don't mean to sound overly cranky - I recall a vivid dream I had a couple of years ago: A nurse knocked at my door, and when I answered it she asked if the Curmudgeon was at home. I said 'No'. She looked me up and down and replied 'You'll do'.
  2. If you mentioned that and I overlooked it, then I apologize. Yes, I see - my bad. A suggestion - if people aren't giving you the answer you're looking for (as seems to be the case) you may be wasting your time and should go elsewhere.
  3. Mr. Bayon published a photo with his violin copy held up to the Strad poster of the original. The color and shading appeared nearly identical, so under proper lighting you evidently can do worse than match one of these posters.
  4. Lol if you include those with the best of intentions as 'friends', then I'll ask two questions: 1. Can you afford to lose the money? There are ways to publish that don't put all your eggs in the elephant nest. My daughter in London has a lot of experience in the publishing industry, particularly in children's literature if you wrote any of that. She might be worth talking with. 2. Do you care that much about the reputation you're afraid of losing? I can see caring if the reputation you're talking about is something that matters to you - and we can have multiple reputations, i.e. as a writer, as violin maker, short-order cook, etc.... Isn't the first one entitled 'VIolinmakers: Who Would Have Thought?'?
  5. The nut is different material as well - good observation Mr. Saunders. We may want to re-calibrate to ensure that the same instrument is being discussed.
  6. I apologize - I was being opportunistic and wasn't clear that the question was for Mr. Dorsey. It related to a discussion in another thread where it was noted that slab backs vis-à-vis quater-sawn (may) have a greater tendency to crack.
  7. Curious if that one was a slab back or not...?
  8. Here are some additional notes I found following up on MikeC's link. I'd just skip #2 unless you think difficulty somehow makes things more original (see 3): 1. "The finish the Russian used on their wood parts from the Mosin to the AK74 was a tinted shellac. There is no hard and fast rule about the color though. Since shellac is a natural product and varied from region to region and even time of the year it is produced, the colors vary widely." 2. "It isn't rocket science...here are a couple of my formulas.... For you Chemical Engineer types out there...... The Varnish formula is as follows: Russian Gun Stock Varnish Percent Spar Varnish 98.920 Bayer Macrlolex Yellow 6G 0.800 Finos Red 693 0.125 Finos Blue 1402 0.155 Heat to 150-180F for 2 hours. Shake or shear contents for 10 minutes. Filter when cooled to room temp through 100 micron bag." 3. "On the SKS, MinWax Red Oak is a near perfect match. Stain the wood and use semigloss polyurethane. Nothing is original but the original, so don't kill yourself trying to get there. In other words, if you are refinishing, it will not be original. This is about the easiest way to get the color right."
  9. Frankly it looks like thinned paint on unprimed wood with a cheap clear varnish overlay, maybe shellac once but whatever does the job and dries fastest. Pretty much in tune with plywood stock material. Maybe it looks classier in real life, but the purpose of these things is to have competitive performance and durability specs, not need much maintenance, and be as cheap to manufacture as they can make them. You could try some WATCO but I don't know why Kalishnikov would bother with a natural resin finish or something as classy as Danish oil on something like this. Maybe wood products and labor are/were so cheap in Russia that natural resins are/were cost competitive - or the only thing available. In the first and third pictures those grips look like plastic. It wouldn't surprise me a bit.
  10. A quick follow-up: I was looking at my latest in-progress VSO. Lo and behold the one-piece back was bark-side in and I remember orienting it that way for appearance, both in accidental accord with the suggestions above. Interesting that what I thought I had been doing - because it seemed to be reasonable and I hadn't been paying close attention when I was doing it - wasn't really what I had been doing.
  11. As an aside - this use of literary reference for practical expression should be noted. As another aside, anyone notice (and appreciate) that Mr. Burgess told us that he uses a Schmidt bridge knife to finish purfling corners? Didn't even have to ask. Sawzall-gouged plates but precise and refined purfling corners - maybe that's how you do it!!!!
  12. I'd say Mr. Burgess' achievements speak for themselves and his methods, whatever they are, are certainly successful and consequently pretty much beyond criticism (not to be confused with evaluation and discussion). A good guy to learn from whatever level we're at if you're able to winkle something out of him. The personal satisfaction of tonal and artistic success (financial aside) speaks for itself regardless. Don't you agree?
  13. ', but' is the most vicious verbal weapon in the English language and I hate to think how many fine remarks it has utterly eviscerated. Like driving a spike through the belly of a del Gesu. Like Accardo's bow breaking during a recital of a caprice. Like... like... ... *sigh*. If we're not having fun we're wasting our time.
  14. That looks like a Japanese violin with early Japanese varnish. Since I have no expertise I don't expect to be correct, but I would be gratified if there's a 'made in Nippon' label inside. I have the corpus of an old Japanese fiddle, unshaded but I get the same feel from the varnish texture and appearance, especially the back.
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