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Thanks for all the contributions so far! Great photo of the Alard, Philipp!

I don't know, I think maybe it was a stylistic issue. I see Strad as a very 'modern' maker. His look always looks somehow fresh. The Amatis were certainly perfect and in the example of the Alard, the high point is where the scribe line is.....So Strad could have also done it that way and probably did in his earlier years. And yes, he did also probably want to get rid of most of the line, so going beyond it would be the way to do it. But speaking in terms of aestetics, it just gives a very different look, so I guess it was on purpose. And I think I also agree with Melvin that it would not have been fluted to the edge and then cut away when rounding the edges. Not enough control....

Hans

Hans,

I like what you say about seeing Strad as a very modern maker. In the late Cremonese classical work of Strad, del Gesu and Bergonzi there seems to me to be a break from the Amati tradition. In most of the classic Cremonese work there is to some degree an underlying grammar but probably we should be open to the idea that these guys did not all work to the same method as each other or even the same method for all their career.

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Whether we presume the scribe line was a guide for fluting or rounding the edge, I find it peculiar that a Master would leave scribe marks on Maple, but not on Spruce. Jim

It's interesting that this scribe line appears in the C bouts. It happens in my own work coincidentally. In my case the explanation is that I do the final rounding of the edge with a file. If the arch

Hi Oded, I'm a big admirer of Roger Hargrave's work but I don't really follow what I have read of his theory for classic edge work. This is for two reasons. Firstly there are certain

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Hans,

I like what you say about seeing Strad as a very modern maker. In the late Cremonese classical work of Strad, del Gesu and Bergonzi there seems to me to be a break from the Amati tradition. In most of the classic Cremonese work there is to some degree an underlying grammar but probably we should be open to the idea that these guys did not all work to the same method as each other or even the same method for all their career.

Well said!

Stay Tuned.

Mike

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Scribe lines are more precise and they don't smudge or smear.

Bruce

At school in Cremona (with Zambelli I believe) we made these little things for this. You can choose to sharpen and polish the screw a little where it touches the wood and voila it is actually great fun to use :lol: How to adjust it should also be fairly self-evident.

post-23901-0-89703200-1302519130_thumb.jpg

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At school in Cremona (with Zambelli I believe) we made these little things for this. You can choose to sharpen and polish the screw a little where it touches the wood and voila it is actually great fun to use :lol: How to adjust it should also be fairly self-evident.

post-23901-0-89703200-1302519130_thumb.jpg

Very simple and clever device. Do you also use it to trace the purfling lines?

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Very simple and clever device. Do you also use it to trace the purfling lines?

In the case of marking, it is always better to create a fine depression line rather than a real scratch or cut. Real scratches and cuts can cause unwanted chipping or rag-tag edges during the woodworking. The cut only works well on the purfling channel where you will have to cut anyway. For example, on the underside of the belly, if you mark out the rib line with a scratch, later when you have to take the belly off again, the scratch line is often the starting point of a wood sliver that detaches from the belly and stays on the rib. The scribed depression doesn't interrupt the wood grain making it more resistant under the above circumstances.

Bruce

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Very simple and clever device. Do you also use it to trace the purfling lines?

No, I use on of those brass-handles with single beveled blades in for that. This one doesn't quite cut, it works best sharpened and then polished back a little on a piece of micromesh or something, and then just makes a tiny but distinct depression...

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At school in Cremona (with Zambelli I believe) we made these little things for this. You can choose to sharpen and polish the screw a little where it touches the wood and voila it is actually great fun to use :lol: How to adjust it should also be fairly self-evident.

post-23901-0-89703200-1302519130_thumb.jpg

Nice. Must try this. I have made up a little (non adjustable) scribe for one job, which I will hopefully photograph and post.

I find pencil marks quite difficult to remove sometimes, that's why scribe lines are better. And it does not matter so much if they stay a bit, robertdo.

Thanks Luis for the Guarneri photos!

Hans

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Mmm, I have spent the last couple of weeks thinking about his topic myself.

The conclusion I get to is that, I get the same results if I go all the way to the edge as if I go to a scribe line to a thicknessed edge.

Where did I find a difference? Well, it is the scribe line in the under side of the plate for me. I can use that line to determine the deepest point of the fluting,

mark it with my "cluntcher" (whatever you call that). If I do that all the way around the fiddle, it is like joining the dots kindda game...

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Mmm, I have spent the last couple of weeks thinking about his topic myself.

:blink: Oh my gosh, don't overdo it! :lol: I tend to agree with those who think it must have been merely a guide for the gouging part of the job, it makes a big difference to have a guide in that operation, you can work quicker. Then during the scraping (if the maker did that) he'd might choose to move the ridge outwards a little, as seen on many Strads. The pictures that Luis posted shows edges left quite directly by the gouge, (as it often happens in corner areas) and therefore they remain.

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Hi Oded,

I'm a big admirer of Roger Hargrave's work but I don't really follow what I have read of his theory for classic edge work. This is for two reasons.

Firstly there are certain classic old Cremonese violins for instance the Lord Wilton del Gesu or the 1695 long Pattern Strad I am currently copying where the edge fluting could certainly not have been done to the edge of the plate because the curves do not add up. The diagram below is a simplified illustration of what occurs.

The second reason is that fluting to the edge of the plate really throws my eye out and makes it harder for me to control the final result but this is a weakness of mine...not the method.

It adds up! You are right about those curves in on the Wilton edges, but you are ignoring the fact that he worked quickly and did not always get out to the outer edge. The key is to look at how the Amati family finished things off and then search for clues about their method in the works of del Gesu. You might also check the Wilton against the earlier Diable which is much cleaner work, almost in line with Strad. The problem with the Amaties is that they cleaned off all markings that could have given us vital clues about their working methods. That is why del Gesu is so valuable, because he followed the Amati method to the letter. He just did not or could not follow their quality to the letter. Another great clue to the Cremonese (Amati) method is to view the Wilton edges from the side. They really dip and swell in an exaggerated caricature of Amati edges. The Wilton is one of the greatest keys to unlocking the Cremonese method.

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Scribe lines are perfectly visible in the viola tenore by Andrea Guarneri in the Shrine to Music Museum in Vermillon:

3354GuarneriViolaBackUpperBassCornerLG.jpg

3354GuarneriViolaBackLowerTrebleCornerLG.jpg

What I find interesting is the extra scribe line running parallel to the corner.

I would assume that this was added at the same time as the edge scribe, and used to delineate the highest point of the corner before it was turned.

NEAT!

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Hi Oded,

I'm a big admirer of Roger Hargrave's work but I don't really follow what I have read of his theory for classic edge work. This is for two reasons.

Firstly there are certain classic old Cremonese violins for instance the Lord Wilton del Gesu or the 1695 long Pattern Strad I am currently copying where the edge fluting could certainly not have been done to the edge of the plate because the curves do not add up. The diagram below is a simplified illustration of what occurs.

The second reason is that fluting to the edge of the plate really throws my eye out and makes it harder for me to control the final result but this is a weakness of mine...not the method.

This is has been a great topic bought up by Hans. (Cheers Hans!)

After trying the “fluting to the edge , then rounding the outside edge over” method with different models for years I personally found it works easiest with a Strad model with a fairly shallow fluting and as Hans mentioned the high point closer to the outside edge. With that style the edge thickness is very predictable and that method works very well for me.

At the moment on my Del Gesu model violins with a deep tight flute, I gouge the fluting towards to the edge leaving about 1mm spare (just by eye, no need to mark anything) , then round the edgework over to put the high point less than 2mm from the edge. It’s a mix between the “fluting to the edge” and “fluting to a line on a final thicknessed edge” methods and keeps the edge thickness under control.

Also on some Stradivari and Guarneri violins the edge thickness in the C’bouts is not really even- I’ve seen and measured where it’s thick (for example 4.2mm) in the middle of the C bout but then it gets thinner towards the corners (around 3.9mm) and as expected becomes thickest at the corners. Fluting to the edge (or 1mm close) and rounding over tends to create this too.

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It adds up! You are right about those curves in on the Wilton edges, but you are ignoring the fact that he worked quickly and did not always get out to the outer edge. The key is to look at how the Amati family finished things off and then search for clues about their method in the works of del Gesu. You might also check the Wilton against the earlier Diable which is much cleaner work, almost in line with Strad. The problem with the Amaties is that they cleaned off all markings that could have given us vital clues about their working methods. That is why del Gesu is so valuable, because he followed the Amati method to the letter. He just did not or could not follow their quality to the letter. Another great clue to the Cremonese (Amati) method is to view the Wilton edges from the side. They really dip and swell in an exaggerated caricature of Amati edges. The Wilton is one of the greatest keys to unlocking the Cremonese method.

Hi Roger,

I agree that the Wilton is a very significant instrument for what it reveals ...subject to interpretation....I am not convinced that all Cremonese makers used the same method ...for instance the varying occurrence of the mysterious ventral pin is something probably very important.

On the 1695 long Pattern Strad I mentioned, the high point of the edge originally sits halfway between the purfling and the edge of the plate. The fluting seems to be done with quite a tight radius gouge compared to the Golden period. From how I see it there is no way this violin was fluted to the edge... On the other hand I could certainly see Le Messie or Lady Blunt having been fluted to the edge.

post-23531-0-85201500-1302635010_thumb.jpg

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Wow, this has really taken off!!!!!

We could now go in several directions.

In my original question I was not so much concerned if the fluting went all the way to the edge and was then turned over. Simply why the high point was outside of the scribe line. But now I realize that the answer lies within knowing the method of working. So I wonder, Roger, if your fluting theory applies to Strad as well (and in particular the Messiah) or mainly to del Gesu? If the fluting first goes all the way to the edge, then the scribe line is applied, then the edge turned over, he would have had to rescrape the scribe line area to hide it again as good as possible. Is there not one unnecessary step involved? However, if the edge thickness was close to final and the sribe line applied, the fluting gouged and scraped, the 'going beyond the line' could be considered as just one step. Can one see any scribe line on del Gesus?

Melvin, could 'Strad, the modern maker' be a new thread? We could collect ideas. Certainly soundwise Strad must have pushed for the edge to create something that had not been there yet. What do you think?

Best, Hans

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Hm. This is great reading with the morning coffee, but it leaves me really puzzled. If the question was, "does this scribe line look like a gouging guide or does it look like a turning-over the edge guide" I would have to say the first. A gouging guide also has a clear purpose, whilst the motivation for a scribe line during the rounding of the edge seems a little unclear to me. Especially since it has often been disregarded in the final stages, as Hans pointed out in the original question? Seems to be an indicator it was mainly useful earlier in the process of the shaping of the edge, not in the final stages?

I have not the knowledge to take a stand in the ongoing gouging-to-the-edge or not debate, but the scribe line should be able to provide some clues. If it was applied after the hollowing of the edge then, then there must be scribe lines visible running above traces of gouging in the edgework somewhere. Has anyone seen that?

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The shoddy cornerwork [filler, etc.] of The 1704 Betts is indicative of 'troubles' Stradivari was having with math/geometry for his plate outline & arching.

'Things' were indeed not adding up until he changed his outline and marking scheme later.

The Messiah's mould pattern [corpus outline, proportions, etc.] are very different from Stradivari's later violins circa mid-1720's, e.g. The 1727 Barrere where he seemed

to finally get things worked out. Or, do these later violins have visible scribe marks too? :huh:

Thanks very much,

Jim

post-6775-0-65914300-1302694556_thumb.jpg

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