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Should a 'Warning' be given to everyone who takes up violin making?

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I 'm currently using a strad poster of thr "Kreisler" an the arching is distinctly asymetric with the sound post side higher than the base side.I thought of a number of things when i saw this; 1 careless workmanship 2 some sort of tuning after completion3 age and contortion.

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I don't recall the stereotypical "Eureka" from anyone building an instrument based upon reverse graduation, so I take this to be a voice in the dark. Additionally, the fact that it contradicts research provided by other examiners of these same instruments.

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He seems to confuse "arching" with "graduation," first, apparently is talking about bellies rather than backs, second, and ignores the fact that many competent people have indeed measured thicknesses of these instruments. Perhaps he resides in a parallel universe somewhere.

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Buacey wrote: "...Additionally, the fact that it contradicts research provided by other examiners of these same instruments. "

Interesting comment because I have not seen anything as comprehensive as Dr Loen's work.

I would be interested to see the references to graduations maps that have different measurements to Dr Loen's.

-------------------------

I have been told there is a CD-rom with CT scan images. If the images are of sufficient quality they will provide complementary evidence on graduations and archings.

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Pretty much every graduation map I have seen of a back or belly indicates thinning towards the edges. Unless I misunderstand Loens claims, he indicates that these graduation maps are incorrect, and that the plates are thicker around the edges. Why possible reason would multiple different people publish misleading information about these plates they measured? If you think that the edges should be thicker, by all means build an instrument in this manner and let us know your results. Perhaps Loen is correct and the rest of the researchers by conspiracy are trying to prevent us from building quality instruments.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
byacey
Pretty much every

graduation map I have seen of a back or belly indicates thinning

towards the edges. Unless I misunderstand Loens claims, he

indicates that these graduation maps are incorrect, and that the

plates are thicker around the edges. Why possible reason would

multiple different people publish misleading information about

these plates they measured? If you think that the edges should be

thicker, by all means build an instrument in this manner and let us

know your results. Perhaps Loen is correct and the rest of the

researchers by conspiracy are trying to prevent us from building

quality instruments.

................................................................................

.........................................

????....Oh really?!

What are your sources for the above assertion?

How many Good old Cremonese instruments have you personally

measured?

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quote:


Originally posted by:
fidleir
30 yrs to learn the

skill of violin making ! you must be joking!Buy a book (courtnal

& johnson perhaps) forget about all that snobbish rubbish about

how the old masters did it .Get a bench pillar drill and

appropriate mill ends bits etc to to form your perfling ledge and

channel and fluting if you want.Use one of those mini chain saws

attached it to your angle grinder to gouge out the belly and back.

An oscillating sander is handy bot you can easily covert you press

for this purpose and finally a dremel or equivalent forming initial

arching is a snip with a little sanding drum(couple of minutes

work) buy a machined scroll they are far better than most hand

carveed ones Iv'e seen Glue all the relevant parts together.Oh by

the way use a scrool saw for the f holes.Why would anyone use a

file or gouge i have tried liquid hide glue as well and it works

fine, much easier and cheaper than granules.The reason we

perpetuate this myth is so lots of people can ask for this sort of

money

�100 ($200) for a bridge I ask you.

......................................................................

Are you being serious?

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Reality check.

If you have a violin repair work needed to be done and you make a visit

to your local shop. You will face this question: do it yourself or have

them do it for you. (after they gave you an estimate)

People are paying for good work. (repairs or new instruments)

Unless the goal is for fun, I would not consider going into violin making.

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Byacey wrote: "Pretty much every graduation map I have seen of a back or belly indicates thinning towards the edges. "

It is important to reference this statement - what or whose graduation maps?

I am not pushing because I do not wish that you make a fine instrument.

I am asking because 'measurements are measurements', and if they don't agree, then a technical explanation should be sort in the first instance before invoking conspiracy theories or imputing human frailties.

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According to the author of the reverse graduation write up in the link above, Sacconi, a man who had the opportunity to study many great Cremonese violins didn't bother to measure the plate thicknesses? Hard to believe. And Mr. Loen is the first one to come up with the idea of actually measuring them because nobody else bothered to look? That seems like a very bold statement considering that various respected people have documented these violins throughout their existence whenever they were opened for repairs. Did all these people measure the thickness incorrectly?

It seems to me there is more accuracy measuring using an actual caliper on an opened instrument than using a magnet and spring scale where errors may be introduced by misalignment between the magnet and the pole piece attached to the spring scale. Magnetic lines of force work on the inverse square law which will naturally introduce more of a chance for an erroneous reading as the distance from the magnet to pole piece increases. As well, due to the curve of the plates, it's important to use a very small magnet that will sit absolutely flat on the inside of the plate otherwise additional error will be introduced should the magnet rest on it's edges with an airgap at the point of measurement.

I always approach articles such as these with scepticism when the author disregards all the past work that has been done and claiming he only has the correct answer. I am not saying that there isn't merit in his work, and If I sounded sarcastic or disrespectful in my previous posts, there was no intention of such. I encourage anyone who thinks there is merit in following such a course to do so and learn as much as possible along the way. I have built a few violins with plates thicker towards the edges and they wound up as firewood, along with many other experiments. Everyone has to do their own work to discover what works, and draw their own conclusions.

Don't stop asking questions. The person who doesn't seek answers has stopped thinking.

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Byacey

Your points are well taken.

I would say of the makers I know who have had access to great instruments that they cannot help themselves take pictures and make measurements. So I am sure that there are lots of personal workbooks with data and photos.

My reading of Dr Loen's work is that he has undertaken this rather systematically in that he has actually searched for opportunities beyond those that might come to a local workshop ( eg museums etc).

Did you keep notes of the 'unsuccessful' reverse graduated violin. Was it a 'copy' of a particular instrument?

-------------------------------

These 3 CT scans that were posted by Omobono some time ago.

When I first saw them, I was intrigued by what looked like 'reverse graduation', but that could easily be technical artefact.

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I found the CT scans to be very interesting, though without reference to the latitude of the section they are not particularly useful. However, the biggest problem to my mind is that so many Cremonese instruments have been opened and perhaps thinned, or otherwise modified, that there is no way to determine the maker's original dimensions.

For what it's worth (and in a board concerning violins, it is probably totally without value) I have a recent Greek mandolin that is remarkable for the thickness of the belly. One would think that it would be completely valueless as a musical instrument. But in probing it with the occasional finger, I discovered that it is thinned to a remarkable degree at the edges of the soundboard. The whole top hangs supported by a thin ribbon of wood, reminding me of the way a stiff speaker cone is supported at its edge by a flexible section. Actually, it's quite a nice-sounding instrument.

Now, what were we discussing, again?

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I didn't keep any specific notes on the few I made; I didn't consider them noteworthy. Increasing the thickness towards the edges will tend to stiffen the compliance of the top reducing the low frequency efficiency. This would require far more energy to move the plates in the first octave than if the top had a flexible surround allowing relatively free movement. At higher frequency the compliance of the entire top has diminishing effect because the full surface area of the plate is unable to respond to the higher frequencies of the plate due to it's mass. Because of this I believe the violin has to reproduce these vibrations in a different manner; having a localised area of the plate moving at these frequencies surrounded by a compliant region anchored by the mass of the plate beyond this area. Of course, these are my views and may be rejected by people with other ideas or theories. My background is in electronics and electromechanical transducers, and I just apply the physics of these devices to the violin plates. Right or wrong, this is how I make sense of it and apply it to my own instruments.

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Bob A wrote: "I found the CT scans to be very interesting, though without reference to the latitude of the section they are not particularly useful. "

If you look carefully at the scans you can get an idea of the North-South distance by the fact that the tailpiece is sectioned with the 4 strings showing.

With most tailpieces, this would narrow the range within about 5mm.

But then we have to consider variable afterlength and tailgut length - and that's another discussion.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
NewNewbie

quote:


Originally posted by:
yuen
Hi all, I think we all

agree that the violin making is a crowd field. Should they be given

advice ?


Can anyone tell me the name, of any top world class makers alive

today, that is in their 20's   ...  30's


In their 30s? Yes. For starters, I believe John Young & Feng Jiang are still in their 30s.

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I don't think Loen has any particular agenda regarding graduation strategies. His field was geology, and he thought it might be useful and interesting to apply colors, used to represent various values in geology, to violin plate thickness. Most of the measurements are not his own, but contributed by others.

He brought five (?) violins to Oberlin a few years ago, graduated according to different "themes" he had observed, including reverse graduation. If he had any forgone conclusions or prejudices about which of these was superior, it wasn't apparent to me.

P.S.

I am among many who have endorsed the Johnson and Courtnal book, but didn't mean to suggest that it comes close to revealing everything needed to become a successful violin maker.

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Dangerous for me to go by memory, but...Sacconi's suggestions on graduation were not so much lacking measurements as combining them to come up with typical or ideal graduations. I think the lamented Michael Darnton mentioned this.

Dave Gardner

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I used liquid hide glue on my first instrument because I didn't know any better. Subsequently I heard the personal accounts from two friends-- horror stories-- of how liquid hide glue, when exposed to humid conditions, simply returned to its liquid state and let go whatever it had been holding.

One of the two deponents was the late Sam Compton, who told how a bass fingerboard had quite messily come off during a gig. The other I won't name, but he had built five violins, to take to a fiddlers' convention, in hopes of making a sale or two. The convention was in the south somewhere, with the usual humidity.

Not only did he not make a sale, he had the not-to-be-repeated experience of watching while all five instruments quietly and completely came apart. It made a believer of him, and there is no mythology involved.

Joseph Heller (Catch 22) said "Try to learn from the mistakes of others--you cannot hope to live long enough to make them all yourself." Seems like good advice to me....

I am trying to learn from the combined experience of 400 years of craftsmen who made their living at this particular trade. I have no aversion to making use of a modern convenience (electric lights, a bandsaw, spindle-sander, etc.)-- but the gentleman to whom I now look for personal guidance can make a world-class violin in 40 hours, using no power tools at all. I think it is OK to learn his ways.

Chet

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Im new to violin making and repair(ive only put in about a year) and from what ive seen ,people coming to the shop i work at to ask for an apprenticeship are not very respectful of how much time people put into this craft(myself included, but after a week of work i realized this is no overnight success). I learned to act humble, if you dont get down on your knees and praise those who know more than you, you will never learn anything and will not be looked upon fondly by the community. I have also learned that your work reflects you, if your work is crappy your reputation is as a crappy maker, so in my opinion when your making a violin there should be no deadline(within reason) and you should do everything to the best of your abilities. I hope I havent stepped on any toes here by putting in my two cents, thats really the last thing I want to do

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