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More corner shape questions

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Sorry to bring this up again, but how do you decide which stile of corner shapes to use when making a Stradivari based violin?

Stradivari's cello template is increasing the corner width on both sides, but his Messiah and Medici violins from 1716 have the increase on the upper and lower bout side of the corners only.

Corner%20samples.jpg

When discussing the reconstruction in a previous lengthy post (mainly because I am a bit slow in getting it) of the 1715 Titian corners, the best looking way was to increase the corners on the c-bout side (type-3 on the picture below) which is the opposite to the Messiah and Medici.

Corners%20with%20circles.jpg

Corners%20without%20circles.jpg

The type-1 picture is in the same stile as the Messiah and Medici and type-2 is as per Stradivari's template. Is it just styling of the day or dose it also depend the way the purfling is placed in the corners? Personally I think the type-2 is visually most pleasing.

Just curious about this. Cheers, Peter

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Hi Peter,

Your confusion stems from faulty analysis. The cello template should have larger circles in the lower corner. The large circle should extend from the straight line coming from the lower(?) bout. Where did you get the current dimension from? The second small circle needs to be a tad larger, 28-29 mm? The analysis of the medici and messiah have the same problems, plus that the inside circles are too large and should really be two circles.

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Your confusion stems from faulty analysis. The cello template should have larger circles in the lower corner. The large circle should extend from the straight line coming from the lower(?) bout. Where did you get the current dimension from? The second small circle needs to be a tad larger, 28-29 mm? The analysis of the medici and messiah have the same problems, plus that the inside circles are too large and should really be two circles.

Torbjörn, the cello template is maybe not the best comparison. But I can see only one radius in the c-bouts going into the corner on the Medici and Messiah and they are a very close match - or do I miss something?

Medici-Detail.jpg

Messiah-Detail.jpg

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The cello template is the only surviving corner template from Stradivari. It is the best reference there is. Stradivari made all his corners in the same style IMO. Not visually, but technically.

I should maybe add that because it's a template, it's made as perfect as possible, while the violins themselves my vary according to circumstance. Therefore I would rather trust the template than the corner made from it.

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Corners fascinate me as little variations can have such a large visual effect. I guess any type I illustrated can be made to work, allowing different looks.

How many of you are using corner templates? Do you use two or four and at which stage of making the plates do you apply them?

Thanks, Peter

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The shape of the corners will depend on the rib cage. One thing is drawing the outline, another - and much more difficult thing - is to reproduce it in wood. I made corner shaping tutorial, here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/2607366/Shaping-...r-Viola-Corners

Eventually the maker can create variations of the corners, as demonstrated in this article about Del Gesù by Roger Hargrave:

http://www.roger-hargrave.de/PDF/Book/Chap...e_Mould_PRN.pdf

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The shape of the corners will depend on the rib cage. One thing is drawing the outline, another - and much more difficult thing

Thank you Manfio. It is indeed one thing to draw corners on paper, but much harder to carve them. But I think it helps to have some visual ideas. Roger Hargrave's article is very interesting and I will certainly use your tutorial this time when marking the corners.

Cheers, Peter

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Hi! You are wellcome. It's interesting how Del Gesù was able to make variations in the corner shape manipulating the corner projection over the rib mitre that, in some cases, as the in the Cannone and others, can reach 5 milimeters!!!

Corners are an acid test for new makers. The eye of the conosseur will go directly to the corners of a given instrument, so it is quite important that they are not too long, too short, too hooked, too opened, and cut in the proper angle.

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I should maybe add that because it's a template, it's made as perfect as possible, while the violins themselves my vary according to circumstance. Therefore I would rather trust the template than the corner made from it.

Ahhh, copying, what an interesting process.

In copying, isn't there a point where specific “technical requirements” (template guidelines, for example) must be abandoned, in favor of achieving the aesthetic requirements of the individual violin under construction?

When finally shaping the corners, in my opinion, your eye must guide you -

…in copying, there seems to be two basic dangers - one is not understanding what the maker was attempting, and so, missing the point entirely, and the other danger is, of getting so wrapped up in slavishly following the example of a specific single maker, that you loose sight of the fact that all of his body of work appears to be created with the specific individual piece as the focus of that specific task, rather than every piece following a specific template or shape without variance.

Both a sloppy copy and a sterile, slavish, mechanical copy, can be weak looking.

Even though I personally tend more towards the “sloppy” end of the spectrum - I can identify the sterile look also.

It’s a pickle I tell ya.

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Yes CT, and the corners of classic Cremonese violins will allways vary a bit from instrument to instrument, it is a result of the inner form building system, in wich the corner blocks will vary a bit in every instrument and these variations will be reflected in the corner shape.

With the outer form (French system), the corners can be shaped in a much more consistent - and boring - way.

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Where can I find the Strad cello template? That is, where is it published?

Mike

Catalogue of the Staradivari museum Cremona. Its a small 130 page paperback with lback and white photos and brief descriptions. Not expensive.

Title -'Il Museo Stradivariano di Cemona

a cura di Andrea Mosconi Carlo Toresani

Electa 1987

IMG.pdf

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Catalogue of the Staradivari museum Cremona. Its a small 130 page paperback with lback and white photos and brief descriptions. Not expensive.

Title -'Il Museo Stradivariano di Cemona

a cura di Andrea Mosconi Carlo Toresani

Electa 1987

Grazi, Melvin.

Mike

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These articles on corners by Michael Darnton are "Classics"!

www.darntonviolins.com/corners

Purfling Corners

See: "It’s All In the Details…" at link below.

http://mdarnton.tumblr.com/

I would say that my guess is that the template is a guide only, and the eye finished everything.

Otherwise there would be thousands of these corner templates around to survive, and we would have more than one remaining.

Even on the same instruments corners vary.

Who was it here that mention 30 degrees for the corners?

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Interesting discussion, thank you all. What fascinates me in violin making is the "freedom" of a couple of millimetres to express individualism!

The cello template is the only surviving corner template from Stradivari. It is the best reference there is. Stradivari made all his corners in the same style IMO. Not visually, but technically.

Torbjörn, maybe he never made a template for violin corners as the smaller size and construction method meant there is no "given" way of finishing corners - just my guess.

In copying, isn't there a point where specific “technical requirements” (template guidelines, for example) must be abandoned, in favor of achieving the aesthetic requirements of the individual violin under construction?

CT, I feel that way too, specially if constructed by an internal mould as Manfio pointed out.

Where can I find the Strad cello template? That is, where is it published?

Mike, you have it already :) Page 249 in the Stradivari book by Stewart Pollens :)

Who was it here that mention 30 degrees for the corners?

Francois Denis in this post. I measured the Messiah corners and they are around 28 degrees (between 26 and 28). On the other hand, the Medici corners are 26/28 degree on the lower corners, but only 21/20 degree on the upper. (see here). So it looks there is no set rule. And to my eye, the Medici corners look more pleasing with the upper corners at a smaller angle.

Cheers, Peter

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Torbjörn, maybe he never made a template for violin corners as the smaller size and construction method meant there is no "given" way of finishing corners - just my guess.

Cheers, Peter

Peter, how much design freedom would you allow your employees when working on your violins? I have a feeling that Stradivari was very controlling, based on the consistency of his instruments.

As I believe that the outline was the true design and not the internal mould, it makes sense that the corners was an integral part of the design and not inspired by the moment.

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So it looks there is no set rule.

Cheers, Peter

Hi Peter

I did not spoke of 30° angle . I just mentionned the general rule of "parallel lines"

and gave a simple illustration of that, using a construction based on the relation 1 to 2 set with a compass.

(the result is effectively a 30° angle in that case) But any other angle can be used and is

equaly easy to construct.

Other point, when you take your measurement be aware of the problems of symetry , check how reliable is your

data, Tried to work on all the corners and calculate the means.

François

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So it looks there is no set rule.

Cheers, Peter

Hi Peter

I did not spoke of 30° angle . I just mentionned the general rule of "parallel lines"

and gave a simple illustration of that, using a construction based on the relation 1 to 2 set with a compass.

(the result is effectively a 30° angle in that case) But any other angle can be used and is

equaly easy to construct.

Other point, when you take your measurement be aware of the problems of symetry , check how reliable is your

data, Tried to work on all the corners and calculate the means.

François

Fitting the rules within the boundary of a wandering symmetry is the issue. There are concepts or rules but they are tempered by the look of the nearly final product.

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Fitting the rules within the boundary of a wandering symmetry is the issue. There are concepts or rules but they are tempered by the look of the nearly final product.

Dean, What a great way to state the essence of violin making in one short paragraph! I guess this is the reason violin making is an art and not a craft.

Cheers, Peter

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Yes, things do wander. I had a nice drawing, made an accurate template and mold... but somewhere along the line the wood decided to go its own way a little bit. And my idea of what looks good wandered, too. I'm in the middle of edgework and corner finishing, and it's a good thing there are no tolerances on the drawing and no quality control inspector, 'cuz it didn't end up exactly like the drawing (maybe it's better?).

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