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Rippling effect


martina hawe

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  • 2 years later...

I unearthed this old thread because Bruce Carlson was not here when it started and perhaps he may have some of those wonderfull photos to show us, as well as give his opinion about this interesting subject.

Hi Manfio,

A quick look on the computer produced these. I tend to think it was relatively green wood because some instruments by the same maker have it and others have very little. It it also more easily seen on strongly flamed backs which seem to move more.

Bruce

post-29446-0-00167800-1300396282_thumb.jpg post-29446-0-77006500-1300396291_thumb.jpg

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ok, I´ll try and see what happens

thanks for all your rippling-help!

cheers

martina

Martina,

While it does not "happen" all the time, I find this effect can come as a result of your varnishing process. It is most successful on maple with a wide but regular flame. Rub out between each coat thoroughly. Don't use anything with a backing like micro-mesh or sandpaper. I suggest 3/0 pumice between coats. Finishing series: 3/0 pumice, 6/0pumice, rottenstone, kaloin. Polish with the grain as much as possible. Here are some pictures of a recent cello that had a nice, but not exaggerated ripple to the maple. No special prep was done to the white wood.

on we go,

Joe

post-6284-0-86343800-1300409459_thumb.jpg

post-6284-0-77234400-1300409472_thumb.jpg

post-6284-0-38729200-1300409481_thumb.jpg

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Joe, I am seeing a very similar result on the violin I am just finishing varnishing, I thought it was due to the polishing between coats...

will upload photos as soon as is finished but the ripple on the maple is the same.

Cheerio

Jose,

Interesting...looking forward to the pictures...I re-sized mine to make it easier.

on we go,

Joe

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Thanks Bruce! So you think that even Stradivari used relatevely green wood as Del Gesù?

The two instruments above are Carlo Bergonzi.

We have to define "relatively green" and, in any case, this is only one of the causes of this effect. Scraping in the right direction on the wood, wood finishing prior to varnishing, fast varnish drying methods (light boxes, direct sun etc.). I feel that in some instances the wood, especially in a highly flamed back, continues to move long after the instrument is made. Even though the movement is imperceptible, in time, and due to how the instrument was kept (temperature + humidity), can also be a contributing factor.

The only 'del Gesù' wood we know for sure was relatively green are the fronts, thanks to dendrochronology.

Bruce

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Well-- My first instrument--a small viola-- has deep rippling. It is not because of green wood, subsequent moisture changes or anything of the kind. I did it with a scraper, because I thought that ripple looked great. (Perspective has changed since then.)

I definitely overdid it, but I loved it at the time. Washboard roads develop in much the same manner, by the way...repeated wear over an established irregularity tends to accentuate the irregularity.

resizedripple.jpg

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Well-- My first instrument--a small viola-- has deep rippling. It is not because of green wood, subsequent moisture changes or anything of the kind. I did it with a scraper, because I thought that ripple looked great. (Perspective has changed since then.)

I definitely overdid it, but I loved it at the time. Washboard roads develop in nuch the same manner, by the way...repeated wear over an established irregularity tends to accentuate the irregularity.

Hi Chet,

I don't think I excluded doing it your way as well... I do question whether the old makers did it intentionally.

Bruce

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Question:

If you intentionally ripple the outside surface of the maple, do you also intentionally ripple the inside surface?

I've heard of makers intentionally rippling the outside surface, but leaving the inside perfectly smooth and flat. Would any maker be able to confirm that idea?

On old instruments I have seen, the ripple can be on the outside but not always or necessarily on the inside. This is perhaps in part because the ripple effect is more visible against reflected light from a varnished surface. On the other hand it may not be present inside if the thicknesses were "corrected or improved" at some time in the instruments life.

Bruce

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Hi Chet,

I don't think I excluded doing it your way as well... I do question whether the old makers did it intentionally.

Bruce

No, Bruce,

I know you didn't exclude my goofiness, and amateurism, nor would I imply that the old masters did it for the same reason as I...sorry if it sounded that way.

The original poster (I don't think she is still reading this) had asked how to accomplish it. I was only saying I didn't moisten the wood, or anything, I just kept scraping away, with the blade parallel to the flame, transverse to the grain... stroking parallel to the grain, in other words. Since I didn't realize that the ripples were something to be avoided, I cheerfully exaggerated them.

In case I haven't made it clear in the past, Bruce; though we have never met, my respect for you as an expert, and as a person, has only grown deeper every time I read your posts, or see the priceless photos you share. So please: don't take anything I say as contradicting or disrespecting you.

Dementia, maybe, disrespect, never. :)

Chet

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Some years ago I tried a burgess violin that had the most overt rippling that I have seen to date. It was wild!

At a recent VSA meeting David has a viola with spectacular ripple and varnish.

COB - I like your ripple effect.

For many years I have wanted to know how to achieve are more marked ripple, so thanks to all.

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