curious1

Curious1's bench

Recommended Posts

The ground if I remember correctly is a very lean highly cooked colophony/linseed oil varnish on bare wood for the maple and 4% gelatin size for the top. The mid coat is Joe Robson's Dark Pine Resin/Mastic Short Oil Varnish. The color coat could be a bunch of possibilities (I don't usually make my own varnish but combine various commercially available varnishes to get the effect I want). Here I think it was the same Robson's varnish combined with Koen Padding's Walnot Oil Varnish and a little bit of red pigment (probably Kremer Purple Alizarin ground in Oil -it comes in a plastic jar-very deep, intense purple-y red).

The dirt is various earths etc.

I also like to use printers ink for antiqueing. The oil based type. It comes in tins. I thin it out with turpentine or paraffin oil. There is a raw umber that is quite good, dark but not black.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice looking fiddle.   Varnish looks a little streaky in a subtle way or is that my presbyopic eyes? 

 

 

Sam Z is my guess

 

:D

I think you are seeing the scraper marks and how the varnish hugs them but it could be streaky too. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scraper marks like those suggest that you do some external tuning in the white. Do you do that to adjust the body modes?

No, in my case they suggest haste and a cavalier attitude! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scraper marks like those suggest that you do some external tuning in the white. Do you do that to adjust the body modes?

I'm not opposed to external tuning but I personally doubt the Cremonese did it. From my own observations i dont see major reworking of arching in Cremona and minor reworking would not likely change things that much to justify it. To me a Strad arch looks like it was conceived and executed in one swoop and not reworked after graduating to adjust the modes. IMO

That said, just cause the Cremonese didn't doesn't mean we can't. Certainly reshaping the external arch is more sensitive/effective than graduation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not opposed to external tuning but I personally doubt the Cremonese did it. From my own observations i dont see major reworking of arching in Cremona and minor reworking would not likely change things that much to justify it. To me a Strad arch looks like it was conceived and executed in one swoop and not reworked after graduating to adjust the modes. IMO

That said, just cause the Cremonese didn't doesn't mean we can't. Certainly reshaping the external arch is more sensitive/effective than graduation.

I never believed in external tuning although some people have a different opinion. Nevertheless, what about internal tuning to push the body modes around?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never believed in external tuning although some people have a different opinion. Nevertheless, what about internal tuning to push the body modes around?

?

Are you asking me if I think the Cremonese tuned their plates to adjust the body modes?

Yes, I think in a rough way they must have understood a correlation. Their making style (finishing the edge work after the box is closed) is not suited to precision but I doesn't need to be that precise. The plates are fairly forgiving. Large changes in the free plate modes equate to smaller changes in the body modes. It is not linear. IMO Getting it in the ballpark can work fine. Many makers do just fine without any understanding of the free plate or body modes.

I personally think it is important to pay attention to these things for the sake of consistency and I approach it more like a restorer than a maker. Regraduating and rebaring when I feel it is necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

?

Are you asking me if I think the Cremonese tuned their plates to adjust the body modes?

Yes, I think in a rough way they must have understood a correlation. Their making style (finishing the edge work after the box is closed) is not suited to precision but I doesn't need to be that precise. The plates are fairly forgiving. Large changes in the free plate modes equate to smaller changes in the body modes. It is not linear. IMO Getting it in the ballpark can work fine. Many makers do just fine without any understanding of the free plate or body modes.

I personally think it is important to pay attention to these things for the sake of consistency and I approach it more like a restorer than a maker. Regraduating and rebaring when I feel it is necessary.

First of all, thank you for sharing so much with us. Much obliged, indeed.

 

Actually, there could be a way that Strad may have made tone adjustments to a finished violin. That upper bout garland taper just might be the way. Remove the strings and bridge, then pry open the top plate at the lower and middle c-bouts, leaving it attached to the tapered upper bout. This holds the plates, garland, and neck in alignment while the taper springs the top plate open at the lower end. The opening is wide enough to insert a thin gouge or long handled scraper to remove wood in either plate without pulling the violin apart. Then, re-glue the lower end of the top plate and play the fiddle to determine the next internal adjustments. I cannot believe that Strad just blindly closed the box and blessed the fiddle as done without making tone adjustments. That does not fit his craftsmanship style of making corrections and fine adjustments as exemplified in finalizing the plate edge work. Well, that's my wild opinion.   :D

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot believe that Strad just blindly closed the box and blessed the fiddle as done without making tone adjustments.

I CAN believe Strad put things together without adjusting afterwards. The last 4 instruments I made did not need adjustment (as opposed to only 1 out of the first 10). If I can do that, I'm convinced that Strad could do much better.

Also, I believe today we are much more focused on a rather sharply defined tonal goal, which might not have been in place in Strad's time. A little brighter, a little darker... maybe that was more OK back then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sometimes we are so caught up by modern ways of working that we forget the old masters had simpler ways of achieving resluts...

 

The late james d'aquisto use to do the final voicing of his arch tops with the body closed -- knocking and tapping on the front and carving the outside to reach final arching. I believe he kept a 'violin-makers caliper' around for 'show' but never used it.

 

The most convincing research shows that Cremonese put the purfling in and carved the plate recurves with the body closed, i cant see any reason why they wouldn't have employed a similar workflow for final voicing. 

 

As an amateur I expect my voce doesn't cary much weight here but something to think about...

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sometimes we are so caught up by modern ways of working that we forget the old masters had simpler ways of achieving resluts...

 

The late james d'aquisto use to do the final voicing of his arch tops with the body closed -- knocking and tapping on the front and carving the outside to reach final arching. I believe he kept a 'violin-makers caliper' around for 'show' but never used it.

 

The most convincing research shows that Cremonese put the purfling in and carved the plate recurves with the body closed, i cant see any reason why they wouldn't have employed a similar workflow for final voicing. 

 

As an amateur I expect my voce doesn't cary much weight here but something to think about...

 

Chris

Hi Chris,

I think you could very well be right. Not having ever tuned the box from the outside (I have built a more than a few in the "Cremonese" manner though) I couldn't say how much variation/control of the tuning there is in that method. I have seen a few del Gesus that I thought it could maybe be the case because the scraper/tool marks were, in an otherwise well finished, more apparent in areas you might consider tonally/structurally sensitive.

That said in an otherwise properly built violin I don't see the need for such precision (I think guitars are fundamentally different from violins).

I certainly don't think Strad monkeyed around on the inside after the fact. He had Vuillaume to do that for him!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.