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'Nuther linings question


Ron1

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I would like to see comments on the pros & cons of having the linings continuous- that is, going across the corner blocks rather than stopping at the edges of them.

I know it's not done frequently, but to me, it seems as though it would:

1. Be easier and more expedient.

2. Produce a more sound structure.

3. Possibly be less weight, because the corner blocks would be trimmed back to blend into the ribs.

(Deep down, I know I'm probably mistaken, but I need to be 'shown')

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What is the test? I've seen lots of old continuous linings that haven't failed- at least visually.

Haven't failed "visually" or otherwise, I'd be willing to wager.

I've heard various arguments about this point - pro and con - for years, and I haven't heard anyone put forth a convincing argument based on much of anything more than personal prefrence.

In my opinion, there is no tonal or structural penalty for using either method, if it is well constructed.

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What is the test? I've seen lots of old continuous linings that haven't failed- at least visually.

Try simulating living conditions in Europe in the 17th and 18th century - or just turn off your AC and heating if you live in North Carolina (perhaps somewhat similar to Cremona), and then see what happens to differential wood movement after a few years of seasonal cycling.

I have some nicely bowed wood that started as straight staves (after a few years of storage in my garage).

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I would like to see comments on the pros & cons of having the linings continuous- that is, going across the corner blocks rather than stopping at the edges of them.

I know it's not done frequently, but to me, it seems as though it would:

1. Be easier and more expedient.

2. Produce a more sound structure.

3. Possibly be less weight, because the corner blocks would be trimmed back to blend into the ribs.

(Deep down, I know I'm probably mistaken, but I need to be 'shown')

As a player, the corners on many of my instruments come unglued. It probably has to do both with (bad?) technique and the amount of heat produced by stage lights or practicing in a small, hot room. Anyway, corners are a popular issue and your question is intriguing.

1) Ok, easier and expedient is good. No argument here.

2) Let's assume that there would be shrinkage across the grain. Would this cause a problem? would the shrinkage be more uniform? Shrinkage, with the grain, would cause the lining to pull away from the rib. Guitars and basses can have this problem.

Second, these, four triangular structures are the platform for a great deal of activity. Given our current understanding of these materials, a monolithic structure would be a more stable structure than one that is a composite (multiple materials). The thinking being, the more "stable" the four corners, the more control the player has over the instrument. OR that the independence of each corner vs. the pair on each side being strapped together (with the continuius lining), is the key to finer sound quality. If more study is put into the mating of the lining and the corner, perhaps a better solution can be found.

I'm sort of a stickler for the C-bouts area. Again, there is no scientific basis for this, but in Dr Charles Harman's analysis of violas, in paragraph 5 he aludes to the C-bouts. Not to throw in another factor, but perhaps certain (long or wider?) patterns would be more appropriate for continuous linings.

http://harmanviolins.com/harmanviolins/?page_id=12

So with more research, continuous linings (and different materials?) could be a good thing.

3) The idea of trimming overall weight from instruments is a good. But from a structural point of view, more important is the distribution of mass. In my opinion, given a specific amount of material, more mass at the extremeties (corners, blocks, scroll) and the arch that supports the strings is generally a good place to invest that material.

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Hi everyone,thanks for the discussion.

I must say linings can be one of those things often overlooked and under appreciated so I am thrilled to see two linings threads in one day. I have spent more time in past years thinking about guitar linings and how they are often over built even in good hand made instruments. I think maybe violin makers can have the same tendency. I consider their function to be only for glue surface and should be as slim and light and flexible as possible. If you have corner blocks then continuous linings would be superfluous. Also I would think their shape should be such that if you were air or sound waves you would enjoy running over them. Not too big, not too prefect and with a nice flow.

I would also think that mortising the linings into the corner blocks would help to lock the ribs onto the corner blocks, not just for removal from the form but for the long healthy life of the instrument.

Thanks again,

David

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I was also excited to see so much good info in these threads. I have built some Guitars and Ukuleles as well, and there the linings are often kerfed, and sometimes the tiny blocks are not even connected to each other, so I am not sure of the effect of mortising them other than aesthetics, as I have never had a guitar top pop off on me.

Hi everyone,thanks for the discussion.

I must say linings can be one of those things often overlooked and under appreciated so I am thrilled to see two linings threads in one day. I have spent more time in past years thinking about guitar linings and how they are often over built even in good hand made instruments. I think maybe violin makers can have the same tendency. I consider their function to be only for glue surface and should be as slim and light and flexible as possible. If you have corner blocks then continuous linings would be superfluous. Also I would think their shape should be such that if you were air or sound waves you would enjoy running over them. Not too big, not too prefect and with a nice flow.

I would also think that mortising the linings into the corner blocks would help to lock the ribs onto the corner blocks, not just for removal from the form but for the long healthy life of the instrument.

Thanks again,

David

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I'm pretty sure it's taboo to talk about guitars on Maestronet but there is the very occasional overlap. I was only advocating mortising violin linings into the corner blocks. Guitars don't have this need. Interesting about kerfed linings. I will use bass wood in classical guitars and the are treated much like violin linings. Steel string guitars are likely to have kerfed mahogany linings and I wonder if we are just following a practice which began in a factory to allow linings to be installed without heat bending and carving. I would have trouble installing carved basswood linings in a steel string guitar because the general consumer would think I was a crackpot, but it could be a good thing. I think Linings are worth experimenting with and considering as a part of tone production, not just in violins but any instrument that uses them. I know I would be interested in any thoughts and ideas on the subject.

David

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I think he means that since the Cremonese did this, and almost all people seem to like their instruments best, why do someting different unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

-Peter

Thanks for the clarification, Peter. I thought that was maybe what was meant. I suppose the 3 observations I listed regarding continuous linings are not exactly 'compelling', but so far I haven't seen any posts with compelling reasons not to use them either.

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I'm pretty sure it's taboo to talk about guitars on Maestronet but there is the very occasional overlap.

I think Linings are worth experimenting with and considering as a part of tone production, not just in violins but any instrument that uses them. I know I would be interested in any thoughts and ideas on the subject.

David

No, no one here minds guitar talk, really, even though it is a forgone conclusion that guitars rest much lower on the evolutionary ladder, and tests our mega-mind like benevolence nearly to the breaking point ...

Actually I don't believe that the linings are all that critical to tonal production, on the violin, and either set up - full length one piece linings between the end blocks - or three pieces per side - will probably have a small effect on tone, but depending on a myriad of other factors it is as liable to be beneficial as detractive...

To put it bluntly, this seems an interesting, but probably not very productive side road to explore, in my opinion.

It would be sort of like trying to prove the difference between vinyl and cloth interior / automotive performance - theoretically there might be a scientifically measurable effect, but so what?

Unless everything else is taken into account also, simultaneously, this is merely one more variable that must simply be decided apon and incorporated into a single cohesive workable design. That is - either method, or even thick or thin, tall or short. straight or curved bevel, let into the corner blocks or not, various woods, etc., could probably work to either an advantage or a disadvantage - depending on the rest of the violin...

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I don't think you can find a compelling reason not to use them. But maybe it's easier to bend the lining in circles (like described in C&J book) Of course that means you end up with discontinuous ones. Also depending on your method of building, it might be more convenient to use one method or the other. I would also think that if one part of a continuous lining comes unglued it might pull out the all the rest of the lining. this would not happen with three separate one (although this is unlikely to happen)

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The continuous linings were used mainly by modern makers of the Emilia-Romagna Region, as Cesare Candi. These makers also used the French (outside) form, and that departs from the classical Cremonese method.

In general makers are trying to emulate the methods used in Cremona in the classical period, what departs from that will not have an influence in our making (altough it may be of historical interest). So, probably some schools just left the ribs thick so that linings were not used at all, as it seems to be the case with some Brescian makers. Some other schools inserted the ribs in a groove carved in the top and back. These alternative methods will not be used by most of contemporary makers. In the same line, as far as I know, there are no books or researchs about the ground used by Neapolitan makers of the 19th century.

Ok, you can call me a narrow minded guy but this is what I see most of the time.

Linings may have an influence in sound, that was mentioned by Count Cozio di Salabue in his writings in the end of the 18th century. My current wood choice for linings is Brazilian Cedar (known as Spanish cedar by guitar makers, who love it) because it is very very light and ease to bend.

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I would like to see comments on the pros & cons of having the linings continuous- that is, going across the corner blocks rather than stopping at the edges of them....

I have never made a violin, but I have repaired many. It's a little easier to remove a rib for repair if the linings stop at the corner blocks rather than running across them, so I vote for discontinuous linings.

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Another good thing about the discontinuous linigns is that while you are fitting them you can cut their end forming a blunt "edge" and force them a bit against the blocks (the linings's end will penetrate a bit in the block) so that they will almost need no clampling for glueing.

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I would like to see comments on the pros & cons of having the linings continuous- that is, going across the corner blocks rather than stopping at the edges of them.

While the "continuous lining" in violins is often equated to factory production work, that's not entirely accurate. As Manfio mentioned, one example to the contrary is that this method was used by a number of rather well thought of early 20th century Genovese makers employing an external mold. Cesare Candi, Paulo De Barbieri, Giuseppe Lecchi, Lorenzo Bellafontana and a few others installed linings that passed over the corner blocks.

While I prefer the classic installation method for both aesthetic and maintenance reasons (much rather be able to replace a section when damage to the rib/lining assembly occurs), I haven't seen difficulties when continuous linings are well, and carefully, installed.

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http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?app=core&module=attach§ion=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=5993


Another good thing about the discontinuous linigns is that while you are fitting them you can cut their end forming a blunt "edge" and force them a bit against the blocks (the linings's end will penetrate a bit in the block) so that they will almost need no clampling for glueing.

I let the linings into the top and bottom end blocks, both ends of the lining are held captive. Because I pre-bend them against a shaped mould, they almost just drop into place. A light slathering of glue, and I clamp them up tight .post-24795-0-91829000-1315250374_thumb.jpg post-24795-0-73123400-1315251314_thumb.jpg
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While the "continuous lining" in violins is often equated to factory production work, that's not entirely accurate. As Manfio mentioned, one example to the contrary is that this method was used by a number of rather well thought of early 20th century Genovese makers employing an external mold. Cesare Candi, Paulo De Barbieri, Giuseppe Lecchi, Lorenzo Bellafontana and a few others installed linings that passed over the corner blocks.

If you want an example of a very old maker who did the linings like this, I can think of Pancratius Reber. Has anybody noticed any other 18th. C maker doing it like this, because it would be quite a good identification give-away?

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I would like to see comments on the pros & cons of having the linings continuous- that is, going across the corner blocks rather than stopping at the edges of them.

Hi Ron,

Often, but not always, one piece or continuous linings can be associated to an external mould. In part because of clamping ease and in part because it is easier to smooth the entire block to flow with the ribs before having to remove it from the form or half-form. The internal form gets in the way of this operation.

Personally I like non-continuous linings because it is easier to bend them precisely to shape (fewer compound curves). I don’t like forcing linings into place but I want to bend them to fit. Also I like the idea that I am using the same system as that in use on the uncontested greatest violins on the planet (good starting point :) ). From a repair point of view, individual linings are easier to handle if you are only working on one rib. The ribs are more easily disassembled for any restoration operation.

For Jacob, the oldest maker I can think of with continuous linings would be the Antonio Stradivari violin Braga - Chanot - Chardon c.1726 but this evidently didn’t start life as a violin but as a viola d’amore, so it's not really valid. The other is Carlo Galbusera of Milan in 1832 but, then again, he too eliminated the corner blocks in his new “improved” violin!!! He did however win a prize for his invention.

Bruce

Some Italian makers who used continuous linings but by no means is an exhaustive list, mostly 20th century:

Genoa school of Cesare Candi already mentioned by Jeff Holmes.

Marino Capicchioni - Rimini - in his early instruments - later he switched to non-continuous

Nicola Utili - Castel Bolognese

Custode Marcucci - Lugo - Santa Agata sul Santerno

Costantino Celani - Ascoli Piceno

Rodolfo Fredi - Rome

Giorgio Corsini - Rome

Umberto Muschietti - Udine - shaped his corner blocks to look like continuous linings

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