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Gary M

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    By the shores of Gitche Gumee's little brother Huron
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    Astronomy, Astrophysics, Information Theory, Computer Science and violins. Member of i3 Detroit Makerspace, Suncoast Makers Sarasota Fl, and most senior volunteer at the Suncoast Science Center Sarasota Fl. Musically; Bachs from J.S. to P.D.Q., French Impressionists, Dvorak, Stravinsky, Bartók, Copeland, Glass, Torke, Higgdon, Celtic fiddle music, Jazz, Jobim, & Motown. Currently playing a 1902 Ladislas Kaplan.

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  1. Giving rise to the famous Schrödinger's violin paradox in which the violin is playable and not playable at the same time. On a more realistic note how many of us have been handed an oldish violin case and wondered, sometimes aloud, is this "the one" or is it just another of "the usual." How many decent instruments have been consigned to the scrap heap just because it doesn't look like what we want it to.
  2. I started again at 67. Thankfully I have a friend who has a violin shop and he got me a very slightly used Howard Core Economy Series for what I would have spent on rent. I bought a much nicer instrument a couple of year in and it made a big difference in my playing and my sense of accomplishment. If you don't have such a source I suggest you rent but also stay with the research and play anything anybody will let you try.
  3. Thanks George & Jeffery. That is fascinating! Assuming they still have it, they chose not to display it.
  4. Gosh Jeffery, I was hoping either you or Burgess or Wilson or somebody local who knows something was looking after these instruments on behalf of the museum.
  5. While Mr. Ford Sr. was certainly anti-Semitic and the quality of the automobiles made by the company he founded is a matter of personal opinion. This is a forum about violins and other stringed instruments. No comments about the fact that there is a glass case with 8 violins worth tens of millions of dollars/euros/pounds sitting in a museum in Dearborn Michigan? Should somebody be playing them? (Actually, the Strads go out on loan to the Sphinx Organization on a regular basis.) What about the quality and history of these particular violins? I was amazed that looking at them again, after many years, and with now a tiny bit more knowledge about building them how these instruments looked. Asymmetrical F holes. Plain backs. Uneven purfling. Wow, these are the great masters? Bet they sound good though.
  6. I've been thinking about my next project, and I think that I want to do something along the lines of Bergonzi. I like the "sweeter" sounding instruments. My teacher seems rather taken by them too, so he's already given it some thought as well. I've been collecting patterns, Strad posters and tone wood but it would be nice to get a look at one to help my visualization process. Luckily for me the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan is nearby, and I know that they have one on display. They also have a nice collection of other classic violins as Mr. Ford fancied himself a "fiddler." So, what does a 1920s Industrialist, who fancies himself a fiddler, do but buy himself some violins. They include a 1740 Carlo Bergonzi, a 1780 Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, a 1735 Nicola Gagliano, a 1744 Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu "The Doyen,", a 1647 Nicolo Amati and two golden era Strads, the 1703 "Rougemont", and the 1709 "Siberian." Oh, and let's not forget a Francois Xavier Tourte bow. Today I took a ride over there and here are some pictures of the exhibit. Got to say, I was impressed.
  7. For what it is worth, The "Pros" who taught me do moisten the soundpost ends but not the bridge feet.
  8. Well, today was a gorgeous fall day here in Southeast Michigan and rather than spend it walking in the woods or doing a last bit of fishing before the winter weather comes upon us, I spent the day spelunking in the basement of the long-closed Meyers and Halverson Violin Shop in Nashville, Michigan. The majority of the shop contents including all of the instruments, bows and almost all of the tonewood were sold at auction long ago by Skinner’s in Boston. However down in the basement workshop and in the office some of the original contents still remain. The heir to the shop’s name is Tom (it was his uncle's shop) and he was quite content to let me rummage around what was left of the tonewood, tools and supplies. I was there for about 3 1/2 hours and picked I out some books, tools, and even some odd maple and spruce that got left behind from the auction. Tom also gave me a fascinating lesson in turning hard maple boards into violin bridges. Before they closed M & H were the main supplier of bridges to Wm. Lewis Co. in Chicago. They had quite a setup and produced thousands of bridges per year of all sizes and types. The production line consisted of various saws, drills and routers along with the many fixtures that went into producing the bridges. When we settled up the prices were very fair, and Tom asked me to let others in the area know that he has more to sell but he is not inclined to ship a bunch of small items around the world. Nashville, Michigan is just south of Lansing so folks in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana are within easy driving distance. There are still a few large pieces of beautiful old flamed maple left suitable for backs and necks and some other odd stuff like ebony (lots) and even a big piece of Koa. One of the pieces of maple I bought still has the original German customs form from the 1920's. There are also various tools and supplies. The only exception to that no ship rule might be the raw stock of hard maple for the bridges. He has a LOT of it and I’m sure if somebody wanted it and/or the production fixtures those would be for sale as well. Mind you they haven’t made bridges there since the late 60s so that stuff is mighty hard by now. There is also quite an inventory of finished bridges. If you know somebody that might be interested message me and I can get you Tom's contact info. Definitely a day well spent.
  9. This might be "sacrilegious" but I like, and play, my Howard Core 600 CF bow more than the Alfred Knoll Pernambuco that I paid a lot more for. The Knoll is a very nice bow so this is saying something. It's all about what plays right and sounds right for each individual.
  10. Yea... I figured that out pretty quickly. Thanks for the reference to the book details. That would be a real help understanding this master's work. I'll see about getting a copy sooner rather than later.
  11. My "Making" teacher, as distinct from my "Playing" teacher, is very fond of the Bergonzi violins and describes the sound as "very sweet." He is a cellist too so maybe that makes some sense. Says the unique qualities of the sound are largely in the arching of the top plate described in and earlier post as: I also just received both of the Bergonzi Strad posters and have started the process of transcribing them to actual plans. I made up a test version of a mold based on one of the examples in the "Strad and Other Models" database just to see what it would look like compared to the Strad molds.  There is a Bergonzi at The Henry Ford Museum here in Michigan that I have been planning to go see as part of that process. This is a good reminder for me to get off my rear and get down there. Wonder if they will let me try it out? Yea right. 
  12. I don't know if this is a "joke" or not. There is a working link to a payment page so you can presumably purchase it. If I didn't believe it would get me on a bunch of dicey mailing lists, I might buy a tube just to see. I put it here just for people's enjoyment. It sure made my day.
  13. This popped up in my Facebook feed and I pretty much fell on the floor laughing. Enjoy the little video in the ad. Particularly where it shows how this product "works" and the miraculous results. WoodFix™ Music Instrument Crack Filler - Savoury Eve (savouryeves.com)
  14. You can make your own carbide "grease" to impregnate leather (or other porous synthetics) for sharpening, honing and stropping cutting tools with easily purchased powered carbide and well, just plain grease, either petroleum or synthetic. The substrate can be molded/cut to match gouge and knife shapes to meet your particular needs. I do 300, 600 and 1000 to keep things tuned up. Get some good stuff not the kind used for rock tumbling (too inconsistent) and fair warning it can get a bit messy to set it all up. CBN wheels make short work of the big stuff. They are a game changer. All that said I have a very flat old oil stone, inherited from my Dad, that I swear by for big chisel and plane blades. Maybe that is just nostalgia.
  15. I like the LED strip approach. You can either purchase a premade one like the Luthier Lights, which look pretty good and a quick way to do it. Or buy a little LED strip that you can cut to length. You can get them at Lowes of Home Depot nowadays. Or If you want a "spotlight" & camera combination. These little guys are all over the net, Amazon, Bangood... Just make sure you get one that fits down the f-hole. The on line pictures of the product can be confusing. Mine is 5.5mm diameter and it works very well. For a cello one of the bigger 7mm inspection lights would work and the camera has much better resolution. I have used both the strip and spotlight and they both have their place.
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