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Would stradaveri have used a belt sander ?


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Ok have fun with this.

I was curious on what everyone might think on this :

If Stradiveri had access to modern tools (like a belt sander.) would he have used it in constructing his violins.

Think a bit about this then answer :)


[This message has been edited by Taxus (edited 02-15-2002).]

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Stradivari worked for nobles and the church, that is, for the very rich and cultured.

Today rich people are more interested in sports cars, eletronics, bad music, bad paintings, bad architecture, etc, so most probably Stradivari would be working in another field today.

I touched this question in of of my old posts, wich name was "What if Del Gesu lived today?". I tryed in vain to "ressurect" this post.

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Sure, he would use a belt sander as soon as he got off his cell phone.

Heck, he probably would use a chain saw too for that matter.

I've seen some of his tools in the Strad museum in Cremona, and they are quite sophisticated in their own right. Many of them have changed little to this day. He would more likely than not recognize their modern counterparts.

I have the impression that he would be a highly skilled master luthier regardless of when and where he lived. He would also probably insist on using the best tools he could get.

In short my opinion is yes.


Don Crandall

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You must have a heck of a time winding the strings smile.gif.

I think he would have tried one. He may have developed a rough blank shape. Where has the basic debths were marked and the MOST complicated begining cuts were made.

The rest could have been freeform.

I guess the real question was... Was he an artist or a buisnessman.

If he was an artist I am sure he would have done everything by hand with the best tools for the job.

If he was buisnessman (with an quality in mind). He would have used the fastest,cheapest method of labor saving devices that did the job without sacrificing tonal quality. this would mean he at least would have tried some sort of duplication device.


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There are tools that substitute for human strength but do not affect artistic expression. A chain saw, and band saw are examples.

There are tools that corrupt the art in favor of speed.

A pantograph copier for final arching is an example of this.

I'm working on a machine that you throw maple logs into one chute , and spruce logs into another. keep the glue indicator above empty , and finished violins come out the other end.

[This message has been edited by fiddlefaddle (edited 02-20-2002).]

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  • 8 months later...

Interesting question, but does it really matter one way or the other what Strad would or wouldn't have used? I use a 6" X 48" belt sander and a 1" X 40" belt sander ALL the time... and don't even get me started about my trusty chain saw, or my Dremel roto tool for the purfling groove...

Then again I also use my 22" (hand) joining plane and my .5" micro plane, my bandsaw, my power planer and ("Oh my God!") sandpaper. I also use electric lights and drive around (to the tonewood store, for example) in my car...

The issue has never been the materials, or the tools, but what you can accomplish with them.

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I am having real good results using a RobbJack #SR-2-047 (2 flute miniture end mill "047" is the diameter of the cutter - they're online and under $13.00 per bit) miniture end mill chucked into in a Dremel Multipro variable speed (model 395) mounted in the aluminum "Purfling Channel Routing Jig" (#4407 in Stewart McDonalds catalog or # T-2430 in the International Violin Co catalog)

I've always wondered about that Ryobi detail carver... exactly what do you use it for? Is it as useful as , say, a good set of scrapers or a thumbplane?

Need a photo of the routing set up?

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HK, right now I don't have a link to post because I don't have a site to post on with this new MSN DSL. However, if you'd like, I'll email directly to you. I've spoken with MD about this in the past, in fact over on MIMF we went round about this one time. It's probably in the archives over there - with a photo of his setup, IIRC...

Some people claim they prefer using a knife, others prefer using a router. Michael has his own design router that he uses if I'm not mistaken, that works much like the one I mention but uses a Foredom handpiece. Sorry if I'm thinking of someone else - I don't think so though.

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Nice to hear from you again Michael!!!!!

I`m a traditionalist but your cutter looks very useful.

I`ve used routers before but they occasionally have a habit of wandering which is a risk i wouldn`t like taking.Do you ever have a problem with this.

I have made acoustic guitars and found a router with a trimmer useful for cut the binding flush on the edges.

Being English i`m not certain what a foredom handpiece is????

Is it what we call over here some sort of flexible drive shaft?

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