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What's on your bench?


Craig Tucker

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Well...OK..not on the bench but in the garden. Long pattern Strad copy in the first stages of antiquing

Gardens's cool.

Very nice work, Melving.

"First stages of antiquing"...?

What's next - add some shades of black or very dark brown, then "scratch and ding"?

Do you use a set routine, ever, for antiquing?

I'm very curious to see which direction you go with this.

(sorry about all the Q's)

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Christian -

Handsome work! I admit to having seen only a few Brescians and then focused on other features. I take it the back end of the pegbox is often rounded in Brescian instruments. Was this a stylistic decision or just an artifact of speed? Thanks in advance, Christian.

"Handsome work" indeed.

I agree about the pegbox, nice touch. Are you also tapering the upper inside edges of the box opening slightly at the extreme forward end, in order to obtain the desired string spred on the nut - without having the string(s) rubbing the cheeks?

I find that this is occasionally necessary on some violins.

Christian, this viola is gorgeous - thanks for posting photos.

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Last viola, brescian style:

059zl.jpg

Christian,

This is probably a really dumb question but are the peg bushings intentional? :unsure: I presume they're part of the overall look. Stunning instrument by the way, I love the colour and the choice of wood for the back in particular. Cheers, Brian

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"...I like the top a lot. How did you bring out the grain so nicely?..."

Indeed! Do I understand from an earlier post on this thread that you apply warm water to the wood just before varnishing and then don't re-level the wood again, allowing the varnish to pool in the little trenches?

Best regards,

Ernie

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"...I like the top a lot. How did you bring out the grain so nicely?..."

Indeed! Do I understand from an earlier post on this thread that you apply warm water to the wood just before varnishing and then don't re-level the wood again, allowing the varnish to pool in the little trenches?

Best regards,

Ernie

Correct!

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Christian -

Handsome work! I admit to having seen only a few Brescians and then focused on other features. I take it the back end of the pegbox is often rounded in Brescian instruments. Was this a stylistic decision or just an artifact of speed? Thanks in advance, Christian.

I think it´s smart! more easy to set the D string and the peg-box´walls are very strong.

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Gardens's cool.

Very nice work, Melving.

"First stages of antiquing"...?

What's next - add some shades of black or very dark brown, then "scratch and ding"?

Do you use a set routine, ever, for antiquing?

I'm very curious to see which direction you go with this.

(sorry about all the Q's)

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

Hi Craig

The original which I am copying has not worn in a 'classical' way which makes things a bit tricky because if I get the copying right it could still look 'not right' and if I get it wrong I have no hope.Right now I have applied the big dark color dings as they are located on the original. Next step is to go inch by inch over the copy with reference to pics on my lap top to apply chips, dents wear scratches etc and color them in or border them with dirt as required using a palette of colours and a few mediums and brushes...Older looking marks will get polished over before newer looking ones are added...I should add that before going to all this hassle the client has played the fiddle and found it to be worthwhile....I hope my finishing touches will not ruin it!

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Very nice. What can you tell us about your varnish system?

Stay Tuned.

Mike

Hi Mike

I tend to think in terms of layers that I see on Old Cremonese and what might be the optical interactions between these layers...you will be well qualified here I think.

My varnish system is designed for sound and for ease of application. I think history shows us that del Gesu or whoever varnished his fiddles was using and easy to apply formulae. for acoustic reasons I don't want varnish or sealer in the wood , especially the spruce.

Up until now an reading the Brandmair book I have been using a Marciana varnish. Since reading the New Brandmair Stradivari book a few times I have changed things but not in accordance with the book

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Correct!

Very nice work! Do you treat only the top with warm water or do you use it on maple, too?

I've tried this some time ago, but for me it didn't work. The texture of the top was too extreme and the maple didn't look good also (lost it's clarity). Just shows again that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for others.

Melvin, that violin looks superb. Great colour and ground.

Matthias

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Very nice work! Do you treat only the top with warm water or do you use it on maple, too?

I've tried this some time ago, but for me it didn't work. The texture of the top was too extreme and the maple didn't look good also (lost it's clarity). Just shows again that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for others.

Melvin, that violin looks superb. Great colour and ground.

Matthias

You might try alcohol instead-- it has some water in it, but not as much, and does not cause such an aggressive raising of the grain. For a while my sealer had alcohol in it, and raised the grain very slightly. I happen to like the aggressively raised grain, but I am beginning to see that there is such a thing as "too much". :-)

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Warm water mixed with some glue, makes a good sealer and grain enhancer.

I apply it to the entire instrument, inside and out.

Then I burnish the wood with Tripoli and a cotton rag.

Then I re-seal with two coats of Danish oil (Tung oil with driers) mixed with thick Rosin oil.

I leave the instrument in the U.V. room for a few weeks to make it brown.

That's my ground, over which I apply my varnish, and more U.V. light, before starting the light antiquing process.

:)

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Last week I did ask my teacher to take my violin home and make some recording. the violin was modeled on the Cessole (a small violin but quite surprisingly it was very easy to get used to it). She made a CD and I am trying to upload the file. It's a big file so let's see.

It could be the angle of the picture, but that photo makes the top and bottom of the f-holes appear really "fanned-out". Is it actually like this, or is it an optical effect. If it's intended this way, did this effect plate flexibility at all?

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I don't understand the expression "fanned out". Do you mean they stick out of the arching? If so then it's not really intended but rather a consequence of the f-holes fluting. I could not say how it affects the plate flexibility. In my nearly non existent experience in making violin I can only thickness the top plate until I feel like it's bending correctly when I twist it along the long arch or across the arch. I believe these movement define the 2 most important modes (I don't know which ones). For this violin I was pleased the way it was bending (after the F-holes have been cut and fluted), and the resulting sound is really balanced. Also maybe a consequence of using oil varnish instead or spirit like for the first 3 violins, I can play piano or forte much easier with this one. It was more difficult for me to play piano with the first 3 ones. So all in all I feel like I am improving in sound and aesthetic. Of course the varnishing step are still messy. But I am really trying a different way each time, so ...

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