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Slab-cut maple with pronounced flaming


Ron1

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I'm curious how common it is for a slab-cut maple back to exhibit a strikingly pronounced flame pattern? Is it the 'norm', or fairly rare, or ???

FWIW I'd guess rare or not at all. The usual situation is that the slab figure is less than the quartersawn figure, so how intense does the quartersawn figure need to be for the slab figure to seem 'striking'? I guess it would have to rise to something like 'insane'? :)

Bruce Harvie probably has interesting things to say about this issue.

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Thanks Manfio. What does it sound like?

I avoid buying maple from Simeon (although I buy his spruce) as it's kiln dried, partly because of sound but more so because of the nasty exaggerated grain contrast kiln drying leaves in wood. However from the angles you have taken the pics I can see little evidence of the OTT grain left under the varnish. Do you have a shot straight on to the back? I'd be interested to see how it looks.

Thanks a million.

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It may be kiln dried... I don't know ... I just liked the wood and used it.

I think it sounded good because Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet), after test driving some of my violas asked to play this one on a rehearsal with the Guarneri Quartet and, after that, he sent me this kind email:

"Dear Luis;

It was a real pleasure to see you and Gisella again.

I enjoyed playing on your viola in rehearsal with my

quartet. As expected, it sounded clear and strong

with no problem cutting through the other instruments.

... ....

Warm regards,

Michael"

As far as the visual aspect is concerned, Samuel Zygmuntowicz liked this wood a lot also and asked me where had I got it.

So, I really can't see why not using it. I just left the back a bit thicker than usual.

Here a direct shot of the back:

2852168900_fb6075f1e4_b.jpg

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Manfio, thanks for the information and the picture. Yes, I can see the structure that I am talking about in the direct shot. It's an exaggeration of the grain that makes it look as though the edges have run slightly in water (if you see what I mean), the darker parts are more pronounced and wider than normal.

But I must say it's a beautiful instrument and the varnish is gorgeous. It's only because I am looking for that effect that I notice it I think. It's so obvious in the plain wood, but I don't think anyone who hasn't seen the plain wood would notice it after varnishing with your varnish. Unfortunately my personal combination of commercial varnishes and grounds don't mute the effect as much as yours! As I mentioned in another thread, I detest making varnish but maybe this is a lesson :-)

Michael, thanks very much for the link. I'm looking forward to nosing around the web site. I suspect a lot of cash is going to be winging its way out of my account in the near future ;-)

Thanks again guys.

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Manfio, thanks for the information and the picture. Yes, I can see the structure that I am talking about in the direct shot. It's an exaggeration of the grain that makes it look as though the edges have run slightly in water (if you see what I mean), the darker parts are more pronounced and wider than normal.

But I must say it's a beautiful instrument and the varnish is gorgeous. It's only because I am looking for that effect that I notice it I think. It's so obvious in the plain wood, but I don't think anyone who hasn't seen the plain wood would notice it after varnishing with your varnish. Unfortunately my personal combination of commercial varnishes and grounds don't mute the effect as much as yours! As I mentioned in another thread, I detest making varnish but maybe this is a lesson :-)

Michael, thanks very much for the link. I'm looking forward to nosing around the web site. I suspect a lot of cash is going to be winging its way out of my account in the near future ;-)

Thanks again guys.

Are you saying you dont like the strong grain lines?? If so thats a feature of most American maple,especially bigleaf,it isnt caused by kiln drying.

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Rocca used North American maple, the Rocca violin played by Paolo Borciani of the Quartetto Italiano was made with North American maple.

These grain lines can be seen even in some old instruments.... If I remember correctly, Zukerman's viola has some strong lines on the back, so the Primrose Guarneri viola.

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Rocca used North American maple, the Rocca violin played by Paolo Borciani of the Quartetto Italiano was made with North American maple.

These grain lines can be seen even in some old instruments.... If I remember correctly, Zukerman's viola has some strong lines on the back, so the Primrose Guarneri viola.

Manfio im not saying theres anything wrong with it,just dont get the kiln dried bit??

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Ron i would call that almost quarter sawn or slightly off quarter.

It even looks like its been enhanced somehow especially on the edge where it seems to cross the purfling.

fiddlecollector, I'm interested in your observation. How is a determination made whether it is 'slab' or 'quarter' sawn?

I don't think the flame figure has been enhanced- it seems to change significantly with different lighting or angles. Here's (maybe) a better detail of the figuring at the purfling/edge. Sorry, my photos leave much to be desired.

post-5156-1233958917_thumb.jpg

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Ron look at the lines of the actual grain. On Manfio's example they are widely spaced and kind of in a concentric pattern. On yours they are closely spaced and relatively straight. That's the main clue.

In case it's needed, there are diagrams here which will help with visualizing how these grain patterns occur.

http://www.eastmanstrings.com/eastmanstrin...t/tonewoods.htm

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Try to see the endgrain on upper or lower part of the back. If the grain there is in a 90 degrees with back, it's quarter sawn. If the grain runs along the back on the endgrain it's slab cut. If it's a mixture of the two (45 degrees, for instance) it's a mixture of slab and quarter sawn.

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Thanks Andres & Manfio-

Here's another detail showing what I think is slab-cut graining. The center of the log would have been off-center with respect to this back. It is a one-piece 7/8 cello back. What do you think?

Like Andres and Manfio mentioned is the way of telling but on something the size of a one piece cello back you`ll get a mixture of slab and almost quarter depending on the size of the log and which section its cut through.The more directly slab it is the wavier the flame gets and wider apart the grain lines are until they look like the contour lines of a mountain,like in Manfios viola.Heres a violin back which which because its only violin size the whole back is just off quarter.Notice the grain lines are from top to bottom and close together.Like a violin made from a large trunk ,using only the wood like in your first photo.

off quarter back

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