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Strange maple.


Nicolas Temino
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Surfing eBay looking for a violin in the white to get into pieces and start my adventure of understanding violin making I have found a wood I have never seen before. What kind of maple is this? Is it the cut or what?

17a4a77477279c90d317cde95313ba71.jpg

f26a33d01d5eed672a1d7d5f810fe0d2.jpg

I think it is really beautiful.

Hi,

The "bottom bout" is showing too much cleavage! :)

Regarding the wood, it is quilted maple cut on the slab.

Cheers Wolfjk

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Nice one.

I thought that birdseye maple was never cut on the slab for violins. But I see I was wrong (as in many things related to violin making!)

Nicolas, I know about 3/5 of 5/8 of SFA (sorry, about the slang, just think "not very much") about violin making, but what I have learnt over the last 5 years or so is that less is more. Yes, the timber is extraordinary in that instrument, if you like being yelled at. It isn't the wood that should speak (yell) to you. By all means use beautiful timber - if you have the skill to carry it off - but it is not essential and can distract, possibly deliberately, from the other features of the violin. I am particularly mindful of Martina Hawe's work (one of which ended up with the name of "The Peach" was the subject of discussion here The Peach)

Regards,

Tim

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When I decide to make my #1 for sure I won't spend tons of money on delightful timber. That is for sure. Whe I decided to cut my first bridges I bought a bunch of blanks and practiced with my tools until I got satisfied with my skills. It was not until the 20th bridge that I bought a good blank. And from now and then I screw up a blank!

There will be the time to make a beautiful one. For now my goal is to make soemthing that looks like a violin :) :) :)

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The violin does have a lip, and works fine with a chinrest You can see the chinrest clamp down by the tailpin. This violin is by an unknown maker, and has no label. It doesn't have a separate neck block, but rather neck extends into the body and has the ribs set into the side of the neck/block. The back is quilted, and the ribs are birdseye Maple. This is a very pretty instrument, and also sounds good and plays very nicely. I'm sure that I could easily sell it for quite a bit, but I like it enough to keep it in my personal collection.

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So, Is the quilted maple the name of the wood cut on the slab and birdseye maple if you have it quarter sawn?

No. Quilted maple and birdeye maple are both slab sawn. The different names refer to the different figures. I guess part of the confusion is that birdeye maple also has a bit of quilted figure around the 'eyes'. Quilted maple doesn't have the little eyes.

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Surfing eBay looking for a violin in the white to get into pieces and start my adventure of understanding violin making I have found a wood I have never seen before. What kind of maple is this? Is it the cut or what?

17a4a77477279c90d317cde95313ba71.jpg

f26a33d01d5eed672a1d7d5f810fe0d2.jpg

I think it is really beautiful.

Part of the reason this wood looks the way that it does is that it has been very heavily stained. This has the effect of making the figure look very pronounced in photographs. In person this heavy staining just ruins the beauty of figured wood because it keeps the figure from moving as you change the angle that you view the wood at.

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  • 1 month later...
No. Quilted maple and birdeye maple are both slab sawn. The different names refer to the different figures. I guess part of the confusion is that birdeye maple also has a bit of quilted figure around the 'eyes'. Quilted maple doesn't have the little eyes.

Would this be considered a form of quilted maple?

post-23790-1258413833_thumb.jpg

Or just slightly unusual standard figure.

Thanks

Leon

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Part of the reason this wood looks the way that it does is that it has been very heavily stained. This has the effect of making the figure look very pronounced in photographs. In person this heavy staining just ruins the beauty of figured wood because it keeps the figure from moving as you change the angle that you view the wood at.

Great point from Wm. Johnston. This is the type of stain/finish that would be done on furniture by most furniture makers. This approach is considered the standard for this type of wood. I think that this is the problem with crossover of crafts. What is acceptable in one field is not acceptable in another. Honestly, There are a small group of people that wouldn't kill furniture with this staining approach and I wonder if it's due to influence of other professions such as luthiers.

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Great point from Wm. Johnston. This is the type of stain/finish that would be done on furniture by most furniture makers. This approach is considered the standard for this type of wood. I think that this is the problem with crossover of crafts. What is acceptable in one field is not acceptable in another. Honestly, There are a small group of people that wouldn't kill furniture with this staining approach and I wonder if it's due to influence of other professions such as luthiers.

Most furniture makers, and many instrument makers.

Subtle points like this, are often not a point of consideration by the general public, as, staining the figure or the wood itself is quite acceptible to most of them. Thus adding much drama to the wood, without a particular regard for the movement of the flame, which is a nuance of violin making.

Too, this violin is finished much like a standard F5 mandolin, with the sunburst figure stained right into the wood itself...

I have to assume that it all depends on what particular emphasis you are looking for, or, what you're looking to accomplish.

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Most furniture makers, and many instrument makers.

Subtle points like this, are often not a point of consideration by the general public, as, staining the figure or the wood itself is quite acceptible to most of them. Thus adding much drama to the wood, without a particular regard for the movement of the flame, which is a nuance of violin making.

Too, this violin is finished much like a standard F5 mandolin, with the sunburst figure stained right into the wood itself...

I have to assume that it all depends on what particular emphasis you are looking for, or, what you're looking to accomplish.

True. But look at the custom guitar world. My impression is that there is a strong attempt to avoid stains and let the Natural colors shines through. I've seen some incredible craftmanship with regards to wood selection and finish on some guitars. The spruce bearclaw streaks dance like the flames in maple.

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Too, this violin is finished much like a standard F5 mandolin, with the sunburst figure stained right into the wood itself...

I have to assume that it all depends on what particular emphasis you are looking for, or, what you're looking to accomplish.

I haven't spent much time around mandolins but I do intend to start building them some day.

One thing that needs to be kept in mind about bluegrass mandolins is that to a large extent they are copying old instruments rather than working on fresh designs. In a lot of ways the archtop mandolin world is like the violin world. If a maker stains the flame on a mandolin that they built it could just be because they are copying a 100 year old factory mandolin. This is similar to modern violin makers antiquing their work, they're just trying to make something that looks like the 300 year old violins that people really want. The guitar world on the other hand is a totally different thing, and in a lot of ways a lot more exciting. Unfortunately for reasons I don't fully understand I enjoy violinmaking more so that's what I do.

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I haven't spent much time around mandolins but I do intend to start building them some day.

One thing that needs to be kept in mind about bluegrass mandolins is that to a large extent they are copying old instruments rather than working on fresh designs. In a lot of ways the archtop mandolin world is like the violin world. If a maker stains the flame on a mandolin that they built it could just be because they are copying a 100 year old factory mandolin. This is similar to modern violin makers antiquing their work, they're just trying to make something that looks like the 300 year old violins that people really want. The guitar world on the other hand is a totally different thing, and in a lot of ways a lot more exciting. Unfortunately for reasons I don't fully understand I enjoy violinmaking more so that's what I do.

I don't disagree with any of this - with you or Dean.

My point in this is that there is more to woodworking than copying old Italian violin finishes.

Copying them isn't wrong in any way - in particular, for violins - but it isn't the only thing woodworkers or even luthiers can do - it's a nice look, but it is not the only finish available or even desired for everything.

Particularly with regard to furniture, but also instruments. I've got an F5 almost finished, and I will go with the Siminoff type of sunburst - stained directly into the wood. Much like the look of the quilted maple violin that started off this thread. It's an entirely different look, and there is nothing subtle about it. It will be entirely intentional.

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I don't disagree with any of this - with you or Dean.

My point in this is that there is more to woodworking than copying old Italian violin finishes.

Copying them isn't wrong in any way - in particular, for violins - but it isn't the only thing woodworkers or even luthiers can do - it's a nice look, but it is not the only finish available or even desired for everything.

Particularly with regard to furniture, but also instruments. I've got an F5 almost finished, and I will go with the Siminoff type of sunburst - stained directly into the wood. Much like the look of the quilted maple violin that started off this thread. It's an entirely different look, and there is nothing subtle about it. It will be entirely intentional.

Can't agree with you more. I'm making a copy of an old Gibson from the GAL diagrams and that one will be painted black on most of the surface. No finesse with that!

Craig can you send me a pic of your F5 when your done. I might make one in the future.

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