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In some previous posts I have had some debates about whether violin making can be thought over the Internet, I say it can! As with every profession it's of course always best to gather people in a group and learn together, but this is about to change in our modern world. This includes the fine art of violin making as well. The power of Internet forums is the huge amount of information that can be shared globally.


I hope Luthiers with lifetime experience could start giving corrective, critical advice on this new forum, without being attacked. When making Violin #5, I have received very valuable advice by e-mail in form of pictures and practical how to. All the best information is now shared outside this forum via PM or e-mail.

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Thanks Jacoby, and if you see someting you would do different or have opinions don't hesitate to point it out.

Violin #5 is defenetly better made than #4, thanks to critics I have got. I have also learned that Violin makers are very sensitive (me too) so I have fully understanding for that emotions go high in discussions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks good Peter. I've never tried the oldwood system. As I understand it has a primer similar to Koen Paddings. Can you post a photo after the application of the primer?




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Looks good Peter. I've never tried the oldwood system. As I understand it has a primer similar to Koen Paddings. Can you post a photo after the application of the primer?







In previous posts there are some pictures, unfortunatly quite quality:


Golden Ground A + B


Doratura Minerale



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  • 2 weeks later...

This is from, darkening the violin wood thread. It belongs here.

(Too much wannabe science for my taste in that thread)

I'm studying varnishing at the moment and at this point I'm not changing from my formula with Oldwood. I had plans to try something else but why change something that works!? Violin #5 is the first violin I'm happy with the varnishing result.

I got it a little bit too dark but this is good for me:



Comments? also the constructive comments are appreciated :)

Patrick and Roger posted a lot of useful information.

Rogers Making a double bass topic contains a lot of information too.

This link that Patrick posted is very interesting:


I like to follow knowledge that comes from expereince.

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Sound is on by bench. The plan is to learn tree things:


1. To instantly recognize Old Italian (Cremonese, Contemporary?) sound by listening to a wide range of different (good, bad, old, new..) recordings.

2. To understand what the audience, violin makers and solists feel and like (And Maestronetters too, that's allmost impossible)

3. To fine tune violins sound spectrum; bridge, soundpost, tailpiece.


One big question -> Is the taste for violin sound in a changing phase - The more power the better?


I don't have 200 violins in my workshop so this is the best I can do for the moment.

I have played a lot of instruments made by two nearby violin makers and a lot of good old and new folk music fiddles, dating  1904 - 2009.

The closest connection with a Strad is sitting in the first row at a Mendelssohn violin concerto with Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Stradivari 1717, Reiffenberg.

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Although the samples on Strad 3D project's DVD is recorded exactly as our ears want to hear violin sound, it might be possible to draw some conclutions. Authentic old Cremonese sound tend to have less fullness of overtones (or maybe less distortion).


It could be only recording Tech. stuff also and bad playing?


Anyway It think it's possible to listen and recognize old Cremonese sound through all this noise.

(Technically also with Dunnwald's parameters and all these kind of stuff ...)


Here is perfect, beautiful, clean playing and sound, recorded with professional equipment:

(Bruch concerto beginning, Titian Strad)




Here is bad playing, (Great Violin :)), bad recording with a laptop, 1 m from the mic. to get the dB aproximately the same:



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Sound analyzing and bridge/soundpost adjustments done for the moment.


Humidity in air has been 60% - 65% for a couple of weeks. I have not found any deviations from how the MC% influence the modes.


This is with the chinrest, the violin has gain 7 g of weight 447g -> 454g




I am going to start Opus 6 :) (need to buy some more tools)

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The variation in frequency for moisture content in the wood from 9% to 0% is :

• 21 Hz for mode B1+

• 26 Hz for mode B1-

(the top plate has not undergone heat treatment), which is reasonable.

After another winter, this variation will decrease further.

In order to limit it to 9 Hz, you must apply sizing to the inside of the sounding box.

In any event, these frequencies and the delta between these modes are appropriate with this moisture content.

The violin is still at the height of its performance.


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I can't remember when the weather have been so upside down as it has this year. Extremely dry winter and +30 C allready in May.


I did actually heat threat the top a little bit, but not as much as violin #4 top. Violin #4 is more stable this summer. The same thing happened last summer with that violin, frequencies dropped  ~20 Hz the first summer (about 10-15 Hz this summer).


Violin #5  is more responsive after a month now even if the frequencies dropped, that's why I have experimented with soundpost adjustment. The sound post is back at about  the same spot as when I started.


The most stable is Violin #1 from 1997, age is the key factor for stableness?


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I Think I have learned enough now to start experimenting with making sizing and varnish :huh:


Topic about Sizing with Casein & Hydraulic lime

I now understand the diffrence between:

Limestone  CaSO3)
Quick lime CaO
Slaked lime Ca(OH)2
- Powder, dry slaked
- Lime water, wet slaked


I'm not going to use hydraulic lime, which is not the same as lime water (wet slaked lime)


I'm not sure how to make the emulsion yet but I have the recipe;
so I'll just try it out both with Casein powder and Kvarg (bought two Products from the supermarket one Finnish and one Swedish):




(Piimax 100% in the background  is a Finnish product - pure colloidal silica)



Question about why cooking varnish (Colophony, Linseed oil, Turpentine)


Some answers:


=> The Colophony & Linseed oil varnish has to be heated for it to bond properly
=> Turpentine cooked into the bonded resin and oil creates mutual solubility


Different qualities of linseed oil

Salad linseed oil - Finnish traditional cold pressed - Kremer refined (73300) :




Colophony and turpentine will be of finnish quality, I haven't received that yet.

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The secret to stability of the back and top plates is the effect of creep on materials in the white: they must be dehydrated, rehydrated, dehydrated, rehydrated, until the wood can no longer regain a high moisture content and until the frequency of the materials cannot rise above its maximum. If you are too impatient to do it yourself, then you will have to wait for years while Mother Nature does it for you!


You must use artists’ rectified turpentine spirits, i.e., defatted spirits, or else you will have trouble. The spirits must smell of turpentine spirits; if they stink, they are a bad chinese product and the varnish will never dry!


Lime milk can be applied directly on the wood like plaster of Paris, but it will not react with the fromage blanc to form casein glue.


10 g of fat-free fromage blanc to which you add 1 to 2 g of slaked lime. When the lime is added, the mixture should immediately become casein glue. If it does not, you must heat the lime, for it contains too much water. This is easy to do, almost effortlessly. Good luck with it!



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The awful smell was ammonia. It's supposed to smell ammonia when casein and lime becomes glue. I didn't recognize it at first. Old fish sometimes smells like ammonia.


I hastily rubbed on some Brescia brown oil varnish on the pieces, just to see how it works:

(full of dust and no finnish just to see how it works at first hand)




I will continue with more detailed tests, add 5% of linseed oil and also make my own varnish....







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