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What's on your bench?


Craig Tucker

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Meanwhile, this little boy has arrived to have a new sound post and bridge fitted.

Perhaps it's just my indecisive nature, but it seems to me that there are too many different ways a violin can be beautiful, it's often very difficult for me to decide which "look" I want to shoot for on my next violin(s)...

I really like this one too - Is this your work?

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I really like this one too - Is this your work?

I wish it was. It is a very nice violin, custom made in China for my cousin by a I-don't-know-how-to-spell maker. It is supposed to be a Il cannone copy. I would say that it is more a cannone-inspired than a cannone copy. The scroll is not very "cannonish", f-holes are a little high and the outline is so-so. But the varnish work is good, specially the texture and colour. Plays nicely, it is powerful and projects very well. If correctly played I think it will be a very very nice violin.

Those chinese will reach high.

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the front plate for number 5 is ready for the bass bar while I had a first try at glazing the front of number four with sanderswood lake (on top of the weld lake). the result is not as bad in reality as it looks on the picture. But I was a little bit surprised at the look of it.

post-29661-0-22438100-1299542553_thumb.jpg

post-29661-0-82968600-1299542574_thumb.jpg

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Yesterday I strung up the fiddle that I had posted photos of earlier in this thread.

Today, I took a quick video of it, not using the best equipment, nor even a very good player (me). Just to give an idea of the sound, perhaps. I'm a fiddle player, and don't wander much out of 1st position.

Click this link to Flickr.

This is the 4th fiddle I've made, and the first one that after I strung it up, I wasn't immediately unhappy with the sound. It's not perfect by any means. There's a bit of edge on the e-string. On the other hand, the notes sound clear to my ear, and I have hopes it will develop over the next few days.

Dominant G, D, A; Jargar e (forte).

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Hi Ken,

It came through loud and clear in the recording, real life is another thing though. It sounds strong which I like. Are those new strings?

What do you think makes this one different from the others?

I think the first month is the hardest while they settle in. Great sound, loving it and then .. the slow and almost imperceptible betrayal, tonal 'infidelity' , drives me crazy. Good thing the sound can be changed for the better with some adjustments.

I like the looks of the back how the irregular flamed back balanced out by flipping it end to end, right?

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Thanks, Don. Yes, new strings, and still stretching. I'm getting used to Dominants after years of steel strings. Just trying to have an 'apples to apples' comparison at the So. California workshop.

I haven't made any adjustments to this one yet -- cut the soundpost to fit 3mm behind and 1mm in, cut a normal bridge, made the afterlength about 1/6th, and thought everything worked ok, at least for a beginning. On my previous fiddles, I was messing about with all the parts immediately after stringing up, getting the sound to near where I want it.

Yes, flipped the back to get the diagonal flame. Just for the heck of it.

This one has high arching, inspired by Dr. Sloan's Strad, though of course not a copy -- not that I could. 17.5 mm on the top, 16.2 on the back.

I'll play it for a while, then the inevitable tweaking.

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Yesterday I strung up the fiddle that I had posted photos of earlier in this thread.

There's a bit of edge on the e-string. On the other hand, the notes sound clear to my ear, and I have hopes it will develop over the next few days.

It's a beauty Ken.

I wish I could run a bow across those strings - otherwise, I have a difficult time forming a tone judgement on line.

In my opinion, you cannot really trust any final adjustments for the first month at least anyway - until things settle in a bit, so, you are wise not to do anything final for a while to it.

I know there are vastly different opinions about this; but I do not like to finalize anything for a while since the tone almost always seems to mellow out a bit after a while, in particular, when it is played hard daily. And in particular E or A string "problems" can often just vanish...

I will also mention that I have never really been interested in aligning the flame in the same direction before - for whatever reason it just hasn't appealed to me as an option I would prefer to take. This violin has me reconsidering - I love the way that back looks.

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Thank you, Craig.

I agree, it's hard to really judge sound through a recording. Similarly, it's tough to judge appearance from a photo.

On Maestronet, however, we have analysis of varnish through photos and evaluation of spectra through recordings! Which is better than nothing, I think, and more interactive than a book. We can build up our knowledge with that asterisk in place.

And your comment about running a bow across the strings is really the point. The only Strad I've ever played impressed me far more than the handful I've heard being played.

I was hoping to encourage a few other builders to present similar video recordings. Just curious about what's going on out there.

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I'm working slowly on the back of #2, an Ornati model. This has much more figured wood than the first one.

I'm trying a new way of arching; I screwed the plate to a flat board and made a curtate cycloid template for every centimeter.

Fjodor,

Thanks for posting these photos.

I meant to comment about this post before this, but you know how it goes...

That doesn't really look like a typical violin #2 arch. In fact, from what I can see of it, it looks really refined.

That's a lot of work. Do you think you'll do it again that way, or do you think it can be done as accurately with less templates.

Also, just out of curiosity - did you use anything in particular for the long arch profile? I'm sort of curious how you derived the arch heights for the centimeter intervals on the individual cycloid cross templates.

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I developed the arching for an archtop guitar in this way, with only a few arching templates. What I did was determine my max height and the location of the highest point (just before the bridge). I carried that forward level for a while and then used a similar arch to bring it down to the edge. Once I had that, I made arching cycloids for the upper bout, lower bout and waist by looking at the height of my center arch at those places. There is a program called CCycloid that will draw cycloid arches. You tell it the length and height.

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Ken,

Interesting that you did a high arched one.

I just did one too, my Bergonzi copy. Mine is a 17mm top and 18mm back, about a mm less than the original. It has been strung for about a month now, played a little bit and I am pleased so far.

If I can get some sound files for it I'll post it.

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Hi Graig,

Thanks for your comments. It's encouraging that you think it looks nice.

Yes It's a lot of work to measure and cut out all the templates.:)

The reason i used so many was that i read somewhere about someone who tried it and I thought it sounded interesting. Plus the poster for the instrument didn't have any

templates so it was a good candidate to try "cc" templates.

I definitely think I would have made things a bit different with fewer templates, The very lowest ones towards the ends are maybe not so useful though...

Later for the top I think I will use the same method and see where it goes...

The long arch was made the way i was taught when I made my first violin. I'll try to explain.

- the highest point is in the middle of the plate

- checking with a flexible steel ruler resting on the center of the plate. (The ruler is a bit shorter than the plate)

- bending the ruler down in both ends and work away wood to fit the curve of the bent ruler.

- also check with a caliper now and then so the curve is symmetric

- trying to get the smoothest curve possible you can also rock the ruler back and forth to feel for bumps etc.

After the long arch was finished I screwed the plate to the board which had a center line and grid drawn for every centimeter and marked the height measuring points for the templates (and the width of the plate at the same points)

By the way, the arch is pretty high on this one (about 17,5 mm) The ribs got a bit lower than intended so I thought I try making the arches a bit higher.

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After the long arch was finished I screwed the plate to the board which had a center line and grid drawn for every centimeter and marked the height measuring points for the templates (and the width of the plate at the same points)

Very pragmatic - I like it.

Thanks for taking the time to explain this.

I also appreciate your methodology in creating a fair curve for the long arch. I do something very similar, including using the shadow of the straight edge along the curve. It was either D'Angelo or D'Aquisto (archtop guitar makers) that I first saw do this in an old Guild of American Luthiers publication...

(I hope I got those names right!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Robertdo / If I may ...what is the theory behind the uncarved areas around the end blocks ? is it to reinforce the edge ..or an acoustic consideration? thanks for the great thread CT

I am afraid I am only a beginner and I took the habit to do this because that was what I first saw in the J&C book. In fact I was asking myself the same question :)

I believe many people on the forum don't actually leave such a large flat area. So it is likely just one way to do. I would be glad to abandon this method if some professional makers say this has a clear negative impact on the sound.

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