Recommended Posts

Sorry, but I absolutely do not believe that. Even at the weight it is, it would be too flexible for marking a cello back.

Anyway I was not actually saying that it was used for the reason I outlined, this was just one of the divergent and lateral thinking things I came up with.

I've held it in my hands and it's not flexible at all. It is strong and quite heavy. It would do the job. It was made to do the job.  :rolleyes:  But it needs a cushion on the flat end.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 303
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

By the way, I read the article back in the day, thank you Roger. I have since gotten additional info from other sources. The tuning idea was invented by Felix Savart in 1819 as far as I know. Tuning violin plates was unheard of before that.

 

I am not sure that is any longer an excepted fact. As I said da Vinci was experimenting with nodal patterns with reference to musical instruments. See, 'Leonardo da Vinci as a Musician', 1982, by Emanuel Winternitz. As for reading that article 'back in the day', I'm surprised, I thought that I was the only one left alive from those days. Some day I would really like to watch you working on your system, start to finish.    

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've held it in my hands and it's not flexible at all. It is strong and quite heavy. It would do the job. It was made to do the job.  :rolleyes:  But it needs a cushion on the flat end.

 

The problem for me is that I made a punch for a cello as well. It does not need to be so much bigger than the violin one, especially if the pin is off-set. It really only needs to be a little deeper. Such a punch is so much easier to make that that iron calliper and so much easier to use. It will effortlessly go through up to 10mm. The thing about the wooden punch system is that unless you set it wrong, you can never go too deep. It will always ire on the safe side. With the iron calliper you have to grip it in your fingers, there is no-way that you can penetrate 10 mm over and over again on a cello back, your fingers and wrist would just give up. Remember that you might need to do this several times before you are down to size and this gadget is meant to be a time saver.  Moreover, when you get tired you will need to use both hands. This will lead to too much pressure being applied and you may end up punching holes that are too deep. And how will you then hold the plate? One other thing that springs to mind is the point. It is some time since I last saw this tool, but as I remember it, the point was sharp. (I may be wrong) If you are using this thing for fixing the depth of your cuts, you need a pointer with a flat end in order to see the depth markings clearly.

Finally, didn't we go through this conversation before on MN. If I remember correctly, someone sent pictures if a late Strad cello with anvil makings on the outside showing that the spike markings must have been made on the inside as Sacconi states. I have never seen these inside thickness marks that Sacconi mentions myself, so if anyone knows where they are to be found, or has photos, can they please let me know.        

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not sure that is any longer an excepted fact. As I said da Vinci was experimenting with nodal patterns with reference to musical instruments. See, 'Leonardo da Vinci as a Musician', 1982, by Emanuel Winternitz. As for reading that article 'back in the day', I'm surprised, I thought that I was the only one left alive from those days. Some day I would really like to watch you working on your system, start to finish.    

Well, maybe it was a few years later... :rolleyes: I began VMS in 1988 and I guess it was then that I read it. I remember there was a lot of talk among me and my friends about those venerable pins. Those were the days.....

 

Thanks for the tip about Leonardo as a musician. I will look it up. From what I recall, Leonardo did study the so called Chladni patterns, on drum skins if I remember correctly. I don't think there is much info exactly what Leonardo did except perhaps make notes and/or drawings of them. It's one thing to study them and another to make musical instruments with them. Savart used them to make trapezoidal instruments. I'd like to hear one of those trapzfiddles... :rolleyes: It's about time that after soon 200 years the world is still struggling to make good violins with them. But I'll read the book and try to keep an open mind...

 

My student in Barcelona took many videos from our teaching sessions. I have wanted her to make a video from them. One day, maybe...

 

The problem for me is that I made a punch for a cello as well. It does not need to be so much bigger than the violin one, especially if the pin is off-set. It really only needs to be a little deeper. Such a punch is so much easier to make that that iron calliper and so much easier to use. It will effortlessly go through up to 10mm. The thing about the wooden punch system is that unless you set it wrong, you can never go too deep. It will always ire on the safe side. With the iron calliper you have to grip it in your fingers, there is no-way that you can penetrate 10 mm over and over again on a cello back, your fingers and wrist would just give up. Remember that you might need to do this several times before you are down to size and this gadget is meant to be a time saver.  Moreover, when you get tired you will need to use both hands. This will lead to too much pressure being applied and you may end up punching holes that are too deep. And how will you then hold the plate? One other thing that springs to mind is the point. It is some time since I last saw this tool, but as I remember it, the point was sharp. (I may be wrong) If you are using this thing for fixing the depth of your cuts, you need a pointer with a flat end in order to see the depth markings clearly.

Finally, didn't we go through this conversation before on MN. If I remember correctly, someone sent pictures if a late Strad cello with anvil makings on the outside showing that the spike markings must have been made on the inside as Sacconi states. I have never seen these inside thickness marks that Sacconi mentions myself, so if anyone knows where they are to be found, or has photos, can they please let me know.        

You must have strong arms, Roger. :) The iron punch is held with two hands while the cello plate is resting on the table. So much easier. You can make dents with too much pressure. I don't know how you use your punch, but 10 mm seems like a lot. I would be careful to use that much force. The iron punch is about as sharp as my table punch (see the photo).

We don't need to go into the inside vs outside-first debate here.

 

post-24030-0-28276900-1395151804_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again Torbjörn, I have just been reading back through my past posts. Sometimes I am really rude to you. I am very sorry for that. This is stupid because you really are an interesting thinker and I really am very interested in the way that you make instruments. You must let me know if and when you are giving a demonstration. Sorry again.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

My bad. Let's call it a ventral pin like Roger and many others have been doing and avoid the word compass which could be misleading.   :lol:

 

Bruce

No, I don't think so, Bruce.  I mean, I don't think you bad. 

 

The hole is the hole, and the pin is the pin.  So was the pin just to fill the hole, or was the hole made FOR the pin which had its own purpose?  I guess this riddle has already occupied almost as much time as the"secret of Strad."

 

Has it been found by anyone what the pins are made of, and if there are different materials used?  Do the pins ever fall out?  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again Torbjörn, I have just been reading back through my past posts. Sometimes I am really rude to you. I am very sorry for that. This is stupid because you really are an interesting thinker and I really am very interested in the way that you make instruments. You must let me know if and when you are giving a demonstration. Sorry again.  

Hi Roger, apology accepted. Thank you for the kind words. I will let you know when I demonstrate the method.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it most likely that the pin was inserted by restorers. It's easier to fill a small hole with goo of some sort. :rolleyes:

Some are not filled at all except with dirt and rosin and the like. The one's I have seen plugged with wood look as though they have been that way for a very long time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I don't think so, Bruce.  I mean, I don't think you bad. 

 

The hole is the hole, and the pin is the pin.  So was the pin just to fill the hole, or was the hole made FOR the pin which had its own purpose?  I guess this riddle has already occupied almost as much time as the"secret of Strad."

 

Has it been found by anyone what the pins are made of, and if there are different materials used?  Do the pins ever fall out?  

How about, a kind of hole, sort of, that is sometimes filled but not always and even though it's on the back, which if anything should be dorsal, it's called ventral in relation to the belly which would be ventral side of the instrument but on the inside of the back facing the ventral belly you could call it the ventral-dorsal hole which is kind of a cone shaped hole of sorts, maybe, which is often but not always plugged or filled with something or another for some reason that nobody knows for sure but that there's bound to be some reaction to the fact it's there, if it's there. :wacko:

 

This brings us to the question, can a pin be made of goo? :lol:

 

Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just happy to hear more and clearer details about these holes and their locations, no matter what they're called.

 

 

At 1/2 the length or farther up towards the neck block.

 

Bruce

 

Sorry again for being dense.  I originally read this as saying the holes occur higher up, rather than at the spot I marked.   But I see now that it might equally be read as 'they sometimes occur at the 1/2 line, and sometimes further up'.  

 

So I gather they primarily occur at the 1/2 line. but once again I'm confused.  Do they also sometimes occur a bit higher up???

 

 

 

I think it most likely that the pin was inserted by restorers. It's easier to fill a small hole with goo of some sort. :rolleyes:

 

Seems they are filled by inconsistent methods, or not at all.    But early workers or later restores would face essentially the same range of options in filling them.  I don't see any logical way to deduce 'when' from 'how' in this case.   But the filling of the holes doesn't seem very significant either way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just happy to hear more and clearer details about these holes and their locations, no matter what they're called.

Sorry again for being dense.  I originally read this as saying the holes occur higher up, rather than at the spot I marked.   But I see now that it might equally be read as 'they sometimes occur at the 1/2 line, and sometimes further up'.  

 

So I gather they primarily occur at the 1/2 line. but once again I'm confused.  Do they also sometimes occur a bit higher up???

 

Seems they are filled by inconsistent methods, or not at all.    But early workers or later restores would face essentially the same range of options in filling them.  I don't see any logical way to deduce 'when' from 'how' in this case.   But the filling of the holes doesn't seem very significant either way.

It was Guarneri 'del Gesù' who moved the hole farther up towards the neck block. Stradivari did not use this method so there is no hole but his heaviest graduations (thickest area) are shifted upwards anyway.

 

Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, 

 

I'd like to show you a tool that I've used in the past, when I was making baroque violins, and see if anyone has any thoughts about it:

 

post-44655-0-99176200-1395165470_thumb.jpg

 

The way I used it was (with the mold out and the neck attached, as Hargrave describes) to slide the slots of this rig over the ribs at the narrowest point, and drill through the back plate on the center line until the point came through the other side. Then the board, glued to the neck, gets pointed at the center of the rig, and the outline is taken. Pins for body length, and centering of the upper and lower blocks, and this rig to center and maintain the narrowest point. (I made a few of them at slightly different widths)

 

When the back is finished, it gets put on again during glueing to help align everything - that's why it has to go all the way through in the first place, so it goes back in the same spot. The reason I made it was that, since I was taking the measurements of the upper eyes from that part of the rib assembly, I wanted it to be centered there - the first one I did that way was not.

 

I don't think that this is the purpose of the ventral pin in Cremonese violins, because they only sometimes are at the narrowest point. I tried to think about a rig that used the corner blocks to do something similar, thinking that maybe the evidence for it had been cut away with the trimming of the blocks - but I never managed to come up with anything.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, you guys, but even though I have to admit I thought it was pretty clever, I don't think this works as an explanation for the pins in Cremonese instruments. But maybe it is on the right track? I thought someone else may have gone down this road and had some ideas.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This certainly seems creative and inventive, but not so sure about historic.  Others have suggested other schemes that involve a screw/gimlet/drilling origin of the holes.  But the little bit of description I've heard of these holes does not seem to be consistent with that kind of origin.   The holes sound too petite and simple for that.  But I would love to hear more from those with direct observations.

 

For me, I've had no difficulty using the combination of the simple clamps at the six blocks and the two wooden pins at each end to align and fix the sides and boards when needed during the build.  I think Roger gives a very workable and historically plausible description of this in the articles on his web site.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you cut the plate into two pieces at the balance point line I predict the two pieces will not have the same weight.  I'll bet a six pack of good beer that I'm right if you provide the top.

Yes, this seems obvious. Equal area does not mean equal weight, not to say that one couldn't painstakingly make it so. There is also some confusion I think related to how people are envisioning "balance point" In my mind we have several kinds of "equal" and several "balance points". An example, balance the plate across a taught string vs a pinpoint in the center of the determined line. Equal surface area by no means determines equal weight. For example I could take a pic of a finished top side plate, I could then, say on the top half not graduate the top area. Thus the surface area may be very similar, but the top half I left 3/4" thick in the center while the bottom part is graduated to 3 mil. Thus we have very different weight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

...

Finally, didn't we go through this conversation before on MN. If I remember correctly, someone sent pictures if a late Strad cello with anvil makings on the outside showing that the spike markings must have been made on the inside as Sacconi states. I have never seen these inside thickness marks that Sacconi mentions myself, so if anyone knows where they are to be found, or has photos, can they please let me know.        

 

 

Well, this would be clearly LinkMan's job, but anyway: Michael Darnton has a nice collection of pictures showing marks (also inside a violin) in his blog (LINK).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I trust that this was not a serious remark. As far as I know I was the first person to mention this pin in print back in early 1980's. (Ex Soil article) I got quite a bit of stick from a couple of high end dealers, who accused me of giving away trade secrets. But this ventral pin has been known about for centuries. It appears only in some Cremonese families and in the works of some of their followers. In others it is total absent. The hole is sometimes filled with a conical wooden peg and sometimes it is left empty. This seems to be a matter of how large the holes were. These pins generally mark the thickest point in the back; although we can never be sure if some instruments have been altered since.

There are any number of theories for its presence many of which I came up with myself using systems of divergent and lateral thinking. Unfortunately, although quite creative, most of these ideas quickly ran into problems. I personally find it useful to use a bradawl and insert it into the plate until I feel it with my thumb on the outside. This marks my thicknessing center and allows me to draw and redraw circles without having to measure each time the compass point is removed by the thicknessing tools. Only rarely does the hole show on the outside.

There is a tool in the Strad museum which had me going for a long time. It is a sort of heavy caliper in forged iron with a screw. I bet Addie has a picture. This tool has a point on one side and an anvil on the other. I considered that it might have been used to hold the back plate at this position. The anvil would not have marked the outside of the arching and the pin would have prevented the plate from moving sideways off position. I had considered, that held in this way, some method of tuning might have been applied. The obvious one would have been nodal patterns. However, although such patterns were known to Leonardo da Vinci as well as Carleen M. Hutchins, just holding the plates at this point the nodes would have been limited.

Of course there was no problem creating a tone generator, (although it took me a while to work that one out), they could simply have use an organ. No, the problem for me is the same problem that we have been discussing here. To what extent would plate tuning have helped if the edges and purfling channels were still uncut? 

 

As for the paper patturn, I have never had it in my hands, but a paper expert would be able to give you some idea. There has been a lot of work done on ancient papers. They can often tell exactly which mill made them and when.  

 

LinkMan you've done it again.

rambo-thumbs-up-brin-f.jpg

 

Stradivari_Tool.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem for me is that I made a punch for a cello as well. It does not need to be so much bigger than the violin one, especially if the pin is off-set. It really only needs to be a little deeper. Such a punch is so much easier to make that that iron calliper and so much easier to use. It will effortlessly go through up to 10mm. The thing about the wooden punch system is that unless you set it wrong, you can never go too deep. It will always ire on the safe side. With the iron calliper you have to grip it in your fingers, there is no-way that you can penetrate 10 mm over and over again on a cello back, your fingers and wrist would just give up. Remember that you might need to do this several times before you are down to size and this gadget is meant to be a time saver.  Moreover, when you get tired you will need to use both hands. This will lead to too much pressure being applied and you may end up punching holes that are too deep. And how will you then hold the plate? One other thing that springs to mind is the point. It is some time since I last saw this tool, but as I remember it, the point was sharp. (I may be wrong) If you are using this thing for fixing the depth of your cuts, you need a pointer with a flat end in order to see the depth markings clearly.

Finally, didn't we go through this conversation before on MN. If I remember correctly, someone sent pictures if a late Strad cello with anvil makings on the outside showing that the spike markings must have been made on the inside as Sacconi states. I have never seen these inside thickness marks that Sacconi mentions myself, so if anyone knows where they are to be found, or has photos, can they please let me know.        

pinpricks.jpg

 

"In softer wood or if the punch point had to go through too much wood, the anvil on the other side (outside) could leave dents in the surface. These can be steamed or scraped out, but once in a while they’re visible." -Michael's Violin bLog

What's going on in the shop at Darnton Violins and Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.