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  1. I've heard all sorts of stories about where Stradivari got his tonewood. Some say that he travelled to Val di Fiemme to select trees to fell for the spruce, other stories say that he travelled to Venice to source his maple. Are there any reliable information sources that cast more light on this aspect of Stradivari's work? Thank you in advance!
  2. Hello. I’ve recently decided to start upgrading my violin and was informed by a luthier that one of the first things they’d recommend changing out to easily get one fine tuner on and improve the sound of the violin is the tailpiece. The tailpiece has 4 finetuners, appears to be made of ebony, and uses a metal strip instead of an actual tailgut. They offered a Wittner tailpiece, but after reviewing differences from the Wittner tailpiece and wooden tailpieces online, I preferred the sound of the wooden ones. Which then brought me to my next question, what wood is best for violin tailpieces? I can’t find many videos showing the differences between the most common tailpiece woods (Pernambuco, Ebony, Rosewood, and Boxwood) but heard that Boxwood and Pernambuco sound the best. Which wood in your guys’ experience has the best sound? I know that string after length, tailgut length, weight, and quality of the wood can affect the results. But it seems that Pernambuco might be the hardest to get wrong with the best reward in sound. IMG_2714.mov
  3. Does anyone have favorite reliable tone wood suppliers or no-go suppliers? Maybe: 1.Kind of Wood 2. Reliability 3. Location 4. Shipping speed 5. Stuff I forgot.... I'm Kind of working on a project of sorts. Don't worry I'm not going to put any of you out of business :-) If there is already a good thread on this or a reference thread maybe this can be an update. I looked, but I am not the best.
  4. Just found alink to a open access book chapter from Springer on wood and moisture, for the "nerds" among you: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-81315-4_7
  5. I recently found an article on Researchgate where they have measured the sorption curves of old and new wood. It is done by a Chinese team and on wood we probably do not use in violins. However, the conclusion is rather surprisieng for me: That the older wood sample seem to be later at delivering back the humidity to the air in the drying cycle and thus are more humid than the fresh sample. I have not read the article in full, just the abstract and looked fast through it. It may be interesting for our Viking ship museum team as well. The data I have seen this far has supported similar behaviour between new and old wood, so this is new to me. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/368680022_Influence_of_Natural_Aging_on_the_Moisture_Sorption_Behaviour_of_Wooden_Structural_Components/fulltext/63f4d66e0d98a97717a87bb2/Influence-of-Natural-Aging-on-the-Moisture-Sorption-Behaviour-of-Wooden-Structural-Components.pdf?origin=publicationDetail&_sg[0]=d0K021DajAfiQVW9aY2NcwZ7SjuRXbtk_4p_WzhhUV2RRNY7KNFzFBNs2PJE0RrHVCIwGDyWfXD5P2LxmH7Pfg.30HgerWuCYw6IFd_mnHBJHFgQKEKNzbTpyBnKjw-mYc6dZ1rdgDA0-d82P6HZTjKaLjT3jfj_q9EyMUPdhDinA&_sg[1]=WMqaVU1xuhG6bC29EITsa5JedByXo7G5CfHT1oyn8HWPjsWAW_XVHZBbz9r54UP9Iye60uVbMNA6FwXBZiug7_FGgUH2E7G4plvJf8k3QcX2.30HgerWuCYw6IFd_mnHBJHFgQKEKNzbTpyBnKjw-mYc6dZ1rdgDA0-d82P6HZTjKaLjT3jfj_q9EyMUPdhDinA&_sg[2]=uerbRgh0Sqi4g2DoNkvTGOVbaB-0K_LVC1bJpimyJMqYM5WJLeIP95UnN-THgBCiiWh0F7rbSz1fgoI.rcLa9sQiv4Wv0gNkSHsx2v3wFigttRUN5MG7Z2s9wpAdJGkzonKoZqctSMjutHmQqO6BUa3jHTzQ4L4K36thAA&_iepl[activityId]=1649107866119966720&_iepl[activityTimestamp]=1687619157&_iepl[activityType]=service_add_recommendation_publication&_iepl[contexts][0]=homeFeed&_iepl[recommendationActualVariant]=synrg_8516_specter>similar_publications_by_very_recent_publication_interaction_v1&_iepl[recommendationDomain]=&_iepl[recommendationScore]=7.7371382713318&_iepl[recommendationTargetActivityCombination]=&_iepl[recommendationType]=&_iepl[feedVisitIdentifier]=&_iepl[positionInFeed]=0&_iepl[singleItemViewId]=z12QG2gdhSv84hIgKGTT8Ux6&_iepl[viewId]=CNBjtOkug0RwEMiPOJmUomsx&_iepl[homeFeedVariantCode]=clst&_iepl[__typename]=HomeFeedTrackingPayload&_iepl[interactionType]=publicationDownload&_iepl[targetEntityId]=PB%3A368680022&_rtd=eyJjb250ZW50SW50ZW50IjoibWFpbkl0ZW0ifQ%3D%3D
  6. The question title is really the whole question.
  7. Broadly, I am hoping that the answer is at least good wood for the purpose. More specifically, I am also hoping that the answer is pernambuco. I have to ask though. No matter how many sample images of violin bow wood I look at (fiddlecollector's sets in the Bow Wood Identification thread probably should do it, but...), I can't get comfortable with that identification. The link points to some photos. If they are not clear enough to make a determination I can try to reshoot in some better light. https://photos.app.goo.gl/YvqgTNnj381VJbGf6 Also, I presume the winding is nickel with a few contrasting lines of silk thread? Please enlighten me! Thanks. Ben
  8. Hi all! I did an experiment yesterday by putting a pH indicating dye on a strip of maple. I let that dry, and then applied 5% sodium nitrite solution to it, and placed it in the light box. To my surprise, only after a few minutes of light exposure the dye changed from orange to a cool red, indicating the presence of a base. I had always thought that nitrite reaction produces nitric acid, so, I’m very confused as to why this test indicates as alkaline. Anyone have a possible explanation? Also, I’m wondering if this is a good approach to create a pH neutral treatment? I’m not a chemist, but I imagine one could find the proper salts to add, to make sure the dye does not change color through the process.
  9. I am considering buying a violin back from Stefan Poliacik of Slovakia. The piece is what he calls crazy maple . I believe it’s burl maple. It looks beautiful. But can a person make a good violin from burl maple? Is it too hard? Have you ever tried this wood.? Thank you. Peter white
  10. The following may be useful to students of history and those identifying lesser known instruments by maker or region of manufacture (This is written for a wide audience of varying age-level and experience) The violin world is highly Eurocentric; sometimes unreasonably so. This view can interfere with achieving the goals of makers, players, collectors and scholars. Over the last 45 years I have seen, heard, and handled many well made, very old string instruments in major North American museums. Most of those violins, violas, and cellos were made by unknown amateurs and forgotten professionals in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec; New England, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, Tennessee and the Virginias. Some were made for playing folk music. Some were made to play Bach. Some played both. The quality of colonial workmanship by colonial-born craftspeople must never be discounted. The aforementioned colonial regions had sophisticated industries and music cultures in place long before Stradivari saw his first tree. Provenance plays a huge role in identifying any object. Some subject instruments have a long history of being located in Europe or the UK. However the home address of the actual instrument is irrelevant to identification - people and things move both ways across oceans for all sorts of reasons. Furthermore, knowing the specific wood species used in construction is no guarantee of an instrument's origin. Lumber exportation aside, we have had Acer platanaoides and Picea abies growing wild in North America for centuries - we call them Norway Maple and Norway Spruce. Plus, the growing conditions of trees (terroir) in the Appalachian Mountains, and the Canadian Shield is very close to that of the Alps, the Dolomites, and the Carpathian Mountains (as per topographical and weather maps). I can only comment on the history of North American lutherie because I live Canada and have travelled throughout the eastern USA. However, it is most likely that my observations also apply to regions in the Southern Latitudes. To conclude, many European violin scholars, makers and players hold to a Eurocentric view of the instrument, whether looking at the past, the present, or the future. They would be wise to broaden their geographical horizons. Sincerely, Randy O'Malley , proud offspring of immigrant Irish and Ukrainian peasants Lakeview, Ontario, CANADA
  11. I wanted to start this topic with the hopes that it would become a useful resource for those who are looking to go in a particular direction with wood and ground coloration and are unsure of a place to start. Of particular interest to me is producing a wood color that leans on tan with grey hints. Not much yellow, and very little green. But, it would be nice to see everything that’s out there. If you have examples of any process you’d like to share, even if you didn’t like the result, it would be wonderful to have here in one place.
  12. I am interested in what happens to wood over time when an instrument is exposed in a UV box. How much time does it take for the wood darkening to change to 'bleaching'? I realise that there are many variables that can affect the answer to this question, but even rough estimates and some commentary on the conditions, wood type etc. would be helpful.
  13. So over the years that I've owned my place, I've had this notion that I would eventually use the trunk of the cherry tree in front to make the back and sides of a violin. This year the tree became so large that it needed to be removed from the small yard in front of our building. I requested that they leave me the trunk, which they have done. It is a heavy son of a gun. I need someone to come cut it into slabs and I have a few questions. Is there a particular kind of saw person that does this? Is it something a handyman can do? What thickness should the slabs be? How do they remove the bark? Thanks for any info.
  14. In looking at a site about chess pieces offered for sale, I learned that a new African wood, Wenge, is sometimes used as a substitute for Ebony. Since Ebony is not endangered - as long as one uses the ligher-colored wood, and not just the wood that is black - I suppose there's no need to resort to a substitute. If you want the traditional color, wood can easily be stained. In doing a web search, though, I saw that Wenge is being used for guitar fretboards, but no one has tried it for a violin fingerboard as far as I could find. Taking a closer look at my search results, apparently using Wenge gives a guitar a darker tone quality.
  15. As theoretical person who plays and thinks about violins, the question of what wood is led to this peculiar formulation. It appears to me that damping is a very important part of the wood properties. And included porosity in wood is only discussed implicitly as density. Thinking of wood as a foam has helped me when thinking about violin graduations. So: Wood is a lignin foam with cellulose fiber reinfocement, and hemicellulose filler. And the fact that it is a foam containing a lot of air is important to understanding how it works in violins. The nothing is as important as the something!
  16. I’ve been bouncing ideas through my head about the color of aged/oxidized wood and started doing some investigation into wood byproducts when I came across Sodium Lignosulfonate. It’s a byproduct of removing lignin from wood in the paper pulping industry. It is a water soluble powder which can range in color from browns to reds to golds that also has properties as a dye dispersant. Something tells me it could be very good for adding some color to white wood. Any opinions? Thanks!
  17. maria85

    Peg Wood ID

    Hi! I don’t know much about violin work, but from reading on the internet it seems like among the fittings the pegs are the biggest deal to replace. I need a new chintest and tailpiece so it seemed like it would make sense to get the same wood as the pegs. (This is my secondary violin so I’m not concerned about the nuances in the sound that might be caused by the wood type). However, I don’t recognize the wood my pegs are made of. Can anyone identify this, or let me know if there is a reason I should just go with a standard wood instead?
  18. Hello, i'm from Argentina, I have an old violin bow whit an exotic wood stick and ivory frog, and need some opinions of them to ID his origin and maybe his maker , I apreciate all the contributions, cheers!!!
  19. A local luthier is closing down, and has offered me an instrument with a very decent discount. It is a brand new cello built by the Hungarian master builder Péteri Károly in 2014. The instrument sounds really nice, but it has this "artifact" on the top: https://i.imgur.com/OgdMddD.jpg On the instrument, it is located here: https://i.imgur.com/Qj94RsY.jpg?1 Does anyone have an opinion on wether or not this is, or can become, a problem? Thank you in advance for your opinion in this matter!
  20. I was organizing my stockpile of exotic lumber today, and fueled by thoughts from this topic, https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/338205-carbon-fibre-sound-posts/,it occurred to me: Have bridges and soundposts been made of different materials besides maple and spruce? Has anyone ever experimented with a bridge made of Pernambuco? Or a soundpost made of that same wood? How about ebony? Is there a measurable reason why maple and spruce are used for those parts, and if so, can it perhaps be improved/enhanced?
  21. I have a large pile of old wood , antique forms and violin making materials , violin and viola patterns from the estate of a violin maker from Crimea . i have attached photos of the contents of the boxes laid out on my studio floor. I know very little about these objects , except that they are quite old and quite beautiful. Can anyone enlighten me ? thank you .
  22. I took some classes in bow rehairing and repair as well as violin repair and construction but never continued with it. I've decided to sell off all of the materials and tools as they were costly to purchase and are not doing anyone any good just stored in a box(and I need to recoup at least some of the cost!). If you contact me I can provide you with a list of items for sale or if you are looking for anything in particular just ask. I also have 2 DVD;s, still in wrapping unused- When Trees Sing- Peter Paul Prior; Disc one and fifteen. I'm not sure if this is the best way to go about this or not but if you are planning to take some classes at UNH Violin Craftsmanship Institute,, etc. this will be a good deal for you. Clarification; I'll send you my original receipts so you can see what I bought and paid. Let me know if you are interested in the instrument repair/making items or the bow rehairing/repair ones as the lists are different. My bow classes were at UNH @ Lynn Hannings so if you are doing that, I've got what you need. The instrument classes were at UNH @ Horst Kloss plus at MCLA @ Hans Nebel if that helps any. I also have a set of unused plans for the "Titian" violin in a mailing tube.
  23. Hello to everyone this is De Paoli from Canada I would like to add more photos of tone wood and accessories that we have if there is an interest please let me know as we are moving from our present location over the next month and would like all this wonderful collection to go to luthier's hands! the next few posts will be of pics but if you request something specific i can post many more! thanks again for the interest!
  24. Hello everyone I have some lovely pieces of Cello tonewood they are two piece - some already joined and a couple still in half I have cello ribs a few scrolls bridge finger boards cello mold/frame if anyone's interested please let me know!n thanks!
  25. Just thought I'd share some pics of my shipment from Simeon Chambers. I chose various grades of wood, staying pretty much away from the "master grade" wood, since I'm still learning, but I think this is definitely the best wood I've ever had the opportunity to play with. I got a couple of one-piece backs with sides (these will be for violins #3 and #4)... A selection of tops, ranging from "Character" grade to "High" grade... And two one-piece viola tops and a one-piece violin top, another 2-piece top, enough sound post wood to last several lifetimes (so if anyone is ever in desperate need, don't hesitate to ask!), and 8 bookmatched ukulele tops. So I now have in my total inventory (by rough calculation) 9 violin tops (2 sitka, the rest Englemann), 3 violin backs (2 1-pc), 5 neck blanks, 2 one-pc viola tops... enough to keep me busy for a VERY long time!
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