The latest completed 5 string


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I strung the latest 5 string up yesterday and hopefully David Blackmon will be able to come by today and give it a serious test drive before I send it off to it's new owner who is currently performing in Sweden.

I love the sound of this wood but it is so hard to carve!!

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Thanks Dean. I used Joe Robson's Mastic/Rosin varnish on this violin and wow this stuff is beautiful! The clarity and ease of application is great!

I think maple makes wonderful violins, I guess that goes without saying?? But there are other choices in todays market that make wonderful sounding instruments. Out of the last 10 5 strings I have made 8 were maple and 2 have been Bubinga. It just gives the player who wants a broader tonal palette something to work with.

The Bubinga has major drawbacks...it's heavier and difficult to carve but it is not so heavy that the twenty or so experienced players who have played these 2 fiddles did not mind. Also I have learned more about maple violins by making these. I have a Sapele on the form and it will be my next guitar wood fiddle.

Wade Lowe made a 4 string violin from Brazilian Rosewood several years ago and some folks from the ASO played it and loved the violin...but they said that they would get run out of town on a rail if the brought it to Symphony Hall!

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Be careful with Sapele. I made the mistake of using some of my fine hand tools with Sapele and ended up with scratched plane soles from the minerals in the wood. I have made a lot of furniture with Sapele but I think I'm going to stick to Walnut/maple/Cherry now.

I can't wait to see your next work of art-

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Cherry is defiantly a wood I want to try. John Silakowski said the best violin he ever made was from cherry!

I the Sapele is cut and the ribs are ready to bend so I think I will try it once. My experience ma be like yours and it may be the last!!

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